It happens to us all. One day is bright and joyful, the next has a blue filter over everything. You can feel submerged in those blue feelings, uncertain why and how to get back to the surface. Apparently January is the saddest month of the year and the third Monday of January is said to be the most depressing day of the year! Depression is an extreme version of ‘The Blues’ and hits many people with something like one in four of us experiencing it at some point in our lives. Jim Carrey, Anne Hathaway, Johny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Harrison Ford, Amy Winehouse, Hugh Lawrie, Karen Carpenter, Winston Churchill, Gwyneth Paltrow, Freddie Flintoff and Prince William are just a few of the famous who have acknowledged poor mental health at times. It affects all types and Christians are not immune! It’s not something to be ashamed of and is not a mark of failure. One song-writer shows it’s nothing new:
Morality has been laughed at, spat upon and been the subject of countless TV shows, but why does it even exist in the first place? It can be defined as good behaviour, conduct or simply as ‘the right thing to do’. People like to have a view on this but the question is whether it is a Relative thing which changes over time or whether it has an Absolute character. If it was wrong to steal in the past, we think it is still wrong in the present and that it will be in the future. Morality applies to big issues like international justice and ‘small’ ones such as telling the truth. We look for morality in politicians to be worthy of our vote, heroes to be worthy of acclaim and others to be worthy of our trust and yet ... we find it hard to honestly review our own morality knowing we often fall short! Left or right then in the moral maze? First then, the wider perspective:
“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.
“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
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.