Speak a little louder

Our Church and Mission Coordinator Donna reflects on the ‘For the Soul of the Nation’ gathering on Monday evening… 

St Annes..jpg

Speak a little louder…?

As I joined my own voice with 2000 others on Monday evening in St Anne’s Cathedral, there was a beautiful moment of unity for the Northern Irish Church. Full to capacity, with many standing outside, St Anne’s Cathedral was bursting with voices of prayer and praise on Monday evening as we prayed ‘For the Soul of the Nation’.

A moment of unity amidst diversity: across denominations and church expressions; across age and gender; across ability, race and class. God’s people joined together to cry out to God in repentance – repentance for our division and silence; to cry out for His help and for the flourishing of the cities, towns and people of our land.

In this moment, on these issues, we were ‘in one accord’. One mind. One voice. It was a beautiful moment.

Let’s multiply this moment.

Evangelical Alliance exists to see the prayer of Jesus realised and effective in His world – ‘that they may be One’ (John 17.23). We are here to resource and connect you, the Northern Irish Church, to be of one mind, and one voice. Perhaps never before has Northern Ireland needed to hear a united voice.

 

Unity augments our voice and intensifies our witness to a watching world.

Come on, Church! Together, let’s speak a little louder.

 

What should we speak?

Speak to Each Other: As the Church is pushed to the margins, it is tempting to retreat, batten down the hatches and hope for heaven. Lift up your voice and proclaim to one other: ‘Our God reigns’! (Is 52.8-10) Jesus is Lord of Heaven and Earth. His reign is absolute and His rule is good. God is calling His Church to be of one accord, one mind; to look up…and to speak out, in one voice.

Speak Truth: We correct the language of the unborn as a ‘child’ rather than ‘fetus’. We resist the false narratives around abortion as a basic human right and the best option for women. We query the contradictory medical narratives between abortion in one ward, and neo-natal research and care in another. We challenge the notion that the validity of a human life rests solely on the will or choice of one woman, in one moment. We convey using words and statistics the consequences of abortion in England and Wales post 1967, and the potential realities lying ahead for Northern Ireland. 


Used with kind permission of Midwives for both lives

Used with kind permission of Midwives for both lives


Speak Truth to Power: We pray for and bless our country’s leaders at this crucial time (1 Timothy 2). We highlight the undemocratic imposition of these policies during the absence of government in Northern Ireland. We acknowledge the role of government to structure the function and protection of society between creation and new creation – but we take our place as the Church in the Public Square to point, correct, and call to account the direction of their authority. We speak truth to our elected representatives on our concerns and aspirations for our shared society. We ask for a return to the seat of power. We ask for our wishes to be represented to Westminster.

Find more info on how to get involved:

www.bothlivesmatter.org/get-involved or contact Dawn: stand@bothlivesmatter.org

www.righttolife.org.uk/take-action-abortion-ni-assembly

 

Speak Life and Blessing for our land: We love this land, and actively seek the welfare of our people, our towns, streets and communities. We speak out our vision for Northern Ireland to be a place where all human beings regardless of gender, race, ability, class can flourish together; where our vulnerable, weakest members are cared for, not eradicated. We bless the services available in Northern Ireland for the mother in pregnancy crisis, for the child who was not planned, and for the child born with disability - and want to see these infrastructures and supports strengthened and develop.

Check some of our member organisations who work in these areas: Home for Good, Madlug, CAP, local foodbanks who are supporting and speaking into statutory services in these areas.

Speak for those who have no voice. We speak justice for those who are in need and dispossessed (Prov 31.8-9). The narratives spoken in the demand for abortion are degrading and devalue the humanity of those who live with a disability, have led to increased number of hate crimes against disability, and reduction of services. We speak a counter cultural narrative over the value systems surrounding all individuals.  We empower the voice and insist on the place of all men, women, boys and girls in our communities. We campaign and advocate for their rights throughout and into every aspect of their life.

 Check out www.tioassociates.org for more info.

Speak to our Children: Our children are constantly bombarded with direct and indirect messaging around identity, humanity, purpose, relationship. In our families and faith communities, we must intentionally counter this messaging by speaking to our children about specific issues and their underlying worldview. Speak out the better story of the Bible consistently and with clarity as together we raise the next generation of faith in Northern Ireland.

Check out some helpful resources from our member organisations: Biblica, SU, Love for Life, Care for the Family

Speak to Each Other: Create intentional conversations in your family, friendship groups, church communities and church leadership teams  - conversations that plan an active practical response in one accord.

This is a moment for the Church in Northern Ireland to step into advocacy that is missional. Actions speak louder than words. We speak not only against the death knell of abortion, but we missionally create opportunities for life. Can the Church say ‘no’ to the liberalisation of abortion laws here, without following it up with saying, ‘therefore, we will…’ ?

The Church (that is me, that is you…) must step up and into more fostering and adoption, we must become a sanctuary for families with disabled children, we must provide the emotional, mental, social and material needs of the mother in pregnancy crisis. In this moment, we become the good news people in word, and in deed. We become a counter-cultural corporate witness in community. We tell and become the more beautiful story over and above abortion.

EA exist to resource the Church. In my role as Church and Mission Coordinator, I would love to support and connect these conversations within a Biblical missional framework.

Contact me: d.jennings@eauk.org

 

Speak from beyond yourselves: The prophets of Scripture held no pedigree, no credentials. They did not project personal opinion or politics. Their lone voices were vehicles that carried ‘The Voice’ with the weight of divine authority.

The prophetic voice of the Church is directed by Jesus’ authority over heaven and earth; commissioned by Jesus as He sends us to speak in the Public Square; and empowered by His presence with us. (Matthew 28.16-20)

As His People, in this moment, we must speak in one accord. One mind. One Voice. Our united voice in the Public Square must be led and empowered by the Spirit, grounded in diverse community and shaped by the Word.

 

Unity increases volume and intensifies our witness to a watching world.

So, come on, Church – together, let’s speak a little louder!

 

The team at Evangelical Alliance are here to resource the Church in Northern Ireland into unity, mission and advocacy. Check out our website, or get in touch with us in the office to talk more about how we can serve you.