Every locality has its landmarks and we all use them for navigating around our landscapes.  A few like the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty are notable beyond their locality, but most only mean something to locals.  When a familiar old tree is taken down or a favourite shop closes, there is a sense of loss and some disorientation.  The pictured monument is probably known only to a very few readers - it is placed in heathland to mark the proximity of habitat for Wild Cranberries, the Woodlark and Nightjar.  Some have creatively also used it for geocaching so if it was moved it would be confusing for dog walkers and for those searching for their next geocache answer.  You will have some landmarks that mean a lot to you but little to others.  Come to that, in the landscape of life, you will have people or events that are significant landmarks particularly to you.  Perhaps you are a landmark for others like a cairn on a mountain walk to help them on their way.  

  • ‘The bees learn where they live by landmarks. If they're moved within their home range, they get confused’ - Gene Robinson
  • ‘All the aftermath that so frequently follows in the wake of war still confront the nation, and we now, as ever before, must hold fast to the ancient landmarks and see to it that all of these plagues that threaten so mightily shall be rendered harmless’ - Alexander Henry

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Nowadays, many parts of the world refer to ‘The Fall’ rather than ‘Autumn’ which is easily understood as it is the time when trees shed their leaves after they change from greens to rich oranges, yellows and reds.  The origin of the word is uncertain but there is an Old French word ‘autumpne’ from the Thirteenth Century, possibly meaning ‘the drying up season’!  Maybe some people feel it is the time when the sap starts to sink but it is actually a remarkably positive time both in nature and in life.  Harvests are gathered in from Summer’s growth, celebrations are had and beautiful colours indicate that maturity has been reached.  This is a season when over 150 million people celebrate ‘Halloween’ in America, children pay ‘Conkers’ (with seeds from Chestnut Trees), there are Harvest Festivals and bonfires in Britain.  In Germany, people collect nuts, making crafts out of them and fly their kites with the strong winds that bring the leaves down. The French get very excited about this mushroom-picking season, but caution is needed for every year there are some 1,000 poisonings caused by mushrooms like this tempting ‘Amanita Muscaria’, the iconic red toadstool associated with fairies and the occult.  This is often poisonous or hallucinogenic but is sometimes eaten when boiled in parts of Europe, Asia and North America.   Various fruits still come in the Autumn but it is important to discern whether they are good or bad.

  •  ‘Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower’ – Albert Camus

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Years of development and trials which began in 2008 led to the launch of C4L Online in 2015 - a new set of free ministry online and app resources. From Easter 2017, there is now a free high-tech extensive set of outreach and discipleship resources to match the established hard copy versions. – Olaf Fogwill, Ministry Director with Connect4Life

This features two free apps – MY CONNECTIONS for discipleship and BEST CONNECTIONS for outreach – which accompany two short courses, TCL and ABC. 

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“Five years on, Pentecost 2015 seemed an ideal time to bring out a new set of free ministry online and app resources. Church Connections sets out to help churches make multiple connections within their communities” – Olaf Fogwill, Ministry Director with Connect4Life

This features two free apps – MY CONNECTIONS for discipleship and BEST CONNECTIONS for outreach. Material from this is also freely available online.

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Countless Christian parents and church leaders suffer the constant pain of lost contact with their prodigals.  Back in 2007, research from Tear Fund showed 16 million people have stopped attending church – the lost generation. Findings from new research released today gives in depth insights from people who have reconnected and from church leaders about the causes and possible solutions.

A panel of 16 national church leaders has come together to reflect on the data from research carried out by Connect4Life for the wider church to address this problem.  The list of commentators includes Bishop Graham Cray (Fresh Expressions), Michael Harvey (Back To Church Sunday originator) and Debbie Thrower (TV Presenter), with other leading figures from denominations and youth ministries. 

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