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FROM CHURCHES TOGETHER IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND
13 NOVEMBER 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE USE
WAITING FOR THE COMING OF CHRIST DURING AN ECONOMIC RECESSION
In a world still reeling from last year's economic recession, which had a profound effect on both the industrialised world and the emerging economies, can Christians still look forward to the promise of Christmas with the same degree of hope for the future?
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland has provided a new on-line Advent course, which explores the current economic crisis in relation to the Churches shared Christian beliefs and values. As Advent is a time of journeying in preparation and hope for Christmas, the Bible readings, prayers and suggestions for action seek to move us towards being a positive force for change in the world.
In his introduction to the course, the author Dr Pat Logan draws three lessons from the economic crisis that underpin it:
- the whole world is affected by the crisis, and we are more dependant on each other than we realise;
- we cannot afford to let the future be determined by a few;
- our economic life is in need of a moral renewal.
From this Dr Logan develops a focus for each of the four weeks of Advent:
- A New City: The New Jerusalem.
- A New Covenant: No Covenant, No Prosperity.
- A New Morality: Economics - Ethics, Morality and the Happy Life.
- New Life: Labour, Life, Love.
The Advent course culminates in a reflection for Christmas Eve that lays bare the implication of God's coming into the world in flesh and blood: "Advent hope arises and becomes strong not by abstract discussions of the meaning of justice or even by clear visions of the type of reforms that are needed but by solidarity with the victims of the injustice by which some of us have a modicum of prosperity, whether they be on our doorstep or on the other side of the planet."
Through the weeks people are encouraged to remember and pray for a variety of daily realities and challenges, including a wide range of real-life situations from the World Bank, small businesses, entrepreneurs and whistleblowers to fraud agencies.
There is also a Sunday Worship Preparation Guide, an Advent Candle Lighting Liturgy, and a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols outline.
Welcoming the new material, the Revd Bob Fyffe, CTBI general secretary, said, "These Advent resources are a serious attempt to engage with and understand the current economic situation. We believe that they will help Christians in Britain and Ireland to grasp the complex realities and relationships of faith, society and the world economy, and will help us discover what the coming of Christ at Christmas can mean for those who long for a better and different kind of world."
All the CTBI Advent materials are available for free download at www.ctbi.org.uk/advent.
Notes for editors:
- Dr Pat Logan, a lay Roman Catholic moral theologian, is available for interview. To arrange interviews, please contact John Newbury, CTBI communications consultant, Tel. 01686.440203; Mob. 0798 246 4770; .
- Churches Together in Britain and Ireland helps the Churches to think, work and pray together, and serves them on their shared journey towards full visible unity. It is the official ecumenical body that brings together Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and Pentecostal traditions, and is the direct successor to the British Council of Churches. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland works closely with the "Churches Together" bodies that focus separately on England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. See www.ctbi.org.uk.