T4CG Newsletter, Christ the King 2023. This is an extract – to view full version click here
Welcome to the T4CG Newsletter at a time when grave things weigh heavy on our minds. The current situation in Israel and Gaza has emerged out of a long, complex story, and its profound implications connect with cultural and political tensions not only abroad but also at home. We mourn the dead and stand in solidarity with all who suffer and are afraid.
Recently I was asked to give a meditation on justice and peace. I sensed it might be helpful to share this with you at this time of confusion and on this, the solemnity of Christ the King. The meditation begins with the death of John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets. He spoke truth to power in the rabbinic tradition, where justice involves right relationship, and his prophetic witness made way for the justice of Jesus. As we continue, we recognise that while war is the most obvious and extreme violation of peace and justice, there are many smaller violations which, when unresolved, cause mayhem and can culminate in war.
In the meditation, we explore the causes of injustice in our time, how the Church is called to respond, and we recognise that we will need to face this era with a tragic realism. We look at traditions of justice, examine our inadvertent complicity and mission drift, and identify how the people of God can offer prophetic witness today. Looking through the nonpartisan lens of Catholic social thought, we see how the Church is called in spiritual, cultural and political terms. We see ways in which Christ calls us tobuild peace – not a negative peace as in “tolerance” or “social cohesion” – but a non-tribal peace that comes from hearing God and from building relationships with our neighbours, to generate God’s economy.
Our work goes to the heart of the challenges facing the Church and society, helping you find your way in these times of instability. This edition is packed with resources, but first, I invite you to read or listen to the meditation on justice and peace.
Further down, I’m pleased to share with you the latest lectures in our series with Lincoln Cathedral which highlight how Catholic social thought can be a blessing on public life. The seventh, featuring Professor Alison Milbank, explored the role of the local church as part of the solution to balancing environmental and social problems, and the eighth is on Monday 27th November online – join us as we welcome Sr Helen Alford who will open up a common good discussion on the question of social peace and the causes of division.
Our podcast Leaving Egypt is attracting a growing community. My co-host Alan Roxburgh and I are having fascinating conversations with brilliant guests on what it means to be God’s people in an age of unravelling, reading the signs of the times and hearing grassroots stories of hope. Click here to find the latest episodes.
Also in this edition, I am making two resources available – each designed to strengthen the churches at this time: one to help you build solidarity with low income neighbours and another helping you create a more relational and co-responsible culture both in the church and in the neighbourhood. Finally, in the full edition, you will find a selection of articles to help you read signs of the times, with a special emphasis on the Israel-Hamas war, plus our latest list of recommended books.
Time prevents us from covering all of T4CG’s work here, but this leaflet will tell you more. Please pray for us as we do for you.
With all best wishes for a blessed Advent,
Jenny Sinclair, and the Together for the Common Good team
This is an extract from the T4CG Newsletter for Christ the King 2023. To read it in full, click here