Together for the Common Good Newsletter

Please make time to examine the T4CG’s Pentecostal newsletter to catch the spirit of the gathering momentum of that network .The range of examples given of work for the Common Good is impressive and some may be of pertinence in your own outreach. A momentum, which in different terms but similar intent, we seem to have lost.
Peter.

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Together for the Common Good Newsletter <website@togetherforthecommongood.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2022 at 07:02
Subject: The gentle spirit of loving kindness
To: <peterchallen@gmail.com>

Penteost 2022
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The gentle spirit of loving-kindness
Ephesians 4:32
Dear Friends
 
Welcome to the Pentecost edition of the T4CG Newsletter.The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee has reminded us of the best of human qualities. Warmth, affection, kindness, gentleness, gratitude and selflessness seem especially resonant. But there is a sense of brief respite about these days of happy celebration: there is unease below the surface. We are so moved by those qualities because we sense they have been eroded and we long for them. The pressures of inflation and rising costs of living add further pressure to an already precarious situation. But our societies are suffering from a deep spiritual malaise: there is need for both civic and spiritual renewal.

An individualistic philosophy over at least four decades has damaged our life together. It has led to degeneration, and in parts of our country, to the abandonment of whole communities. Not only here: this is true of all countries who adopted this philosophy. This individualism is unravelling our societies. The symptoms are clear: breakdowns in trust, political polarisation, social fragmentation, rises in loneliness and crises in mental health. The evidence is more visible in some places than others, but it is everywhere. A philosophy which denies the transcendent dimension of the human person ends up with a false anthropology. And a society based on this misguided conception is inhospitable to the human being. It becomes a machine. It is also unsustainable, which is why it is unravelling.

Building common good is the antidote, and churches can help. But civic renewal is not sustained without spiritual renewal. Spiritual renewal requires a theology of the Holy Spirit that is grounded in place and shaped around the truth of what it means to be a human person, made in the image of God. On earth, as in heaven.

When Jesus meets Nicodemus, He says that to leave behind past habits, we need the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He says you can’t understand what the Kingdom of God is, unless you are born of the Spirit. Jesus says “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” (John 3:12). The reality is that there are two realms, the heavenly and the earthly.

Pentecost saw the apostles experiencing the outpouring of the Spirit. Today, we need to know which worldview we are operating from. Because sometimes we in the churches forget who we are. We end up operating from within an earthly paradigm, using managerial, technocratic approaches, thinking we can sort it all out on our own. We can’t. The in-dwelling of the Spirit in us must come before any plans or projects. This means a constant posture of listening – to the Holy Spirit, and to one another, discerning where God is calling us.So in this edition, we are delighted to bring you a beautiful story from Father William Taylor about listening, which he and his parishioners have discovered is a gentle yet powerful way to build common good with their neighbours. We also have Jenny Sinclair writing about the importance of loving kindness as a way of building relational power, and Jenny also shares her work with Middlesbrough Diocese who are taking to heart the Spirit-led listening posture in their synodality journey.

We’re also very pleased to share details of our new lecture series in partnership with Lincoln Cathedral which starts on Tuesday 7 June. We’ll be looking at the common good, civic and spiritual renewal and you are warmly invited. If you live within easy reach please join us, or otherwise do watch the recording afterwards.

Also below you’ll find an essay on Solidarity from theologian Anna Rowlands‘ latest book, plus our latest selection of articles to help you read the signs of the times, and some recommended books. Finally, we are excited to introduce Jo Stow and Sean Ryan who have joined the T4CG team: they each share their vision for our work with schools and churches, helping them become more relational to strengthen their local community.

Holy Spirit, come and dwell in each of us this Pentecost.

Warmest wishes,
Together for the Common Good


Covenental listening: building common good in Stamford Hill

Many of our communities are deeply fragmented, so how can we build a common good with our neighbours? Father William Taylor tells a story from his parish which is situated in the heart of an Orthodox Jewish community. He relates a fascinating journey of covenantal commitment to place and finds that the answer to the question is listening, listening to God and to each other.

Read the story
 


The power of loving kindness

Somewhere along the way, did we forget how to be kind? Jenny Sinclair talks about the importance of kindness as a key human quality and its deeper meaning as loving-kindness. She explores the reasons for forgetting how to be kind and the different meanings of kindness. She argues that true kindness has a radical political edge, making us more interdependent and less compliant to the pressures of consumerism. Jenny says that kindness can build relational power, strengthening our ability to resist the powers that commodify and dehumanise.

Read more


Listening to the Spirit: T4CG meets Middlesbrough diocese

“Synodality” is the name given by the Catholic Church to a worldwide process to enable the people of God “to walk together and listen to the Holy Spirit.” T4CG believes its Spirit-led posture can release energy in local churches, enabling them to become more relational and resist the destructive culture of individualism.

T4CG’s founder director, Jenny Sinclair met with clergy, laity and religious of Middlesbrough Diocese for a sixty minute session exploring their synodal journey in the context of the signs of the times as seen through the lens of Catholic social teaching. Her session notes are available to download.

Learn more and download session notes


Common Good Schools: update June 2022

We are delighted to introduce Jo Stow our Common Good Schools Project Leader. Here, she talks about Common Good Schools, our 10-week resource for secondary schools. Jo’s vision for young people and schools is that students, equipped with the principles of Common Good thinking, will be inspired to take responsibility and engage with the civic life of their local community, and that schools will be enabled to explore their vocation as a trusted, relational institution in the neighbourhood.

Read more
EVENT COMING UP



Lincoln Cathedral Lecture Series 2022-2023

Together for the Common Good is partnering with Lincoln Cathedral to bring you a series of eight lectures over 2022 and 2023 as part of the Lincoln Cathedral Common Good Project. We will explore how God calls us to engage with the world, in terms of the economy, work, nature, freedom, social peace, politics and civic life.

The introductory lecture, “Just Responsibility?” will be by T4CG’s Jenny Sinclair on Tuesday 7 June in person. If you are within easy reach of Lincoln, we hope you can come along. The next three lectures will be given between July and October by Lord Glasman, Edward Hadas and Revd Dr Malcolm Brown. A further four lectures in 2023 will be announced soon. T4CG is grateful to CCLA for supporting our work on the series. The series will be videoed and shared on YouTube.

Full details and booking
 


Common Good Journey: update June 2022

We are delighted to introduce Sean Ryan our Common Good Journey Project Leader. Here, Sean talks about our Common Good Journey programme which equips ordinary church goers of all backgrounds to grow in faith, discern where the Spirit is at work and become more deeply relational amongst their neighbours and local institutions. Sean’s “burning desire is to play some small part in the realisation of T4CG’s vision for spiritual and civic renewal.” He says “relationships come first, always.”  Sean is also our new Head of Operations and Development and has been in post since March.

Read more 
 


Solidarity 
We are pleased to share with you a long theological essay on Solidarity, one of the key principles within Catholic social teaching. This is a chapter from the recently published The Politics of Communion: Catholic Social Teaching for Dark Times by Professor Anna Rowlands.
Read more 

Signs of the times: our latest selection of articles

Culture wars
Paul Kingsnorth What progress wants
Alana Newhouse new divide is not left & right, but between insider and outsider
Coleman Hughes The moral case against Black Lives Matter
Glen Loury Race, Racism, Identity Politics, and Cancel Culture
Joanna Williams Is woke real?
Michael Lind The end of progressive intellectual life
Freddy Gray Why progressives can’t tolerate Christians
Sian Griffiths Teacher reveals how schools are struggling with trans rights

International
Alexander J Motyl Is Putin Committing Genocide in Ukraine? 
Aris Roussinos Russia has empowered far right Ukrainian militias
Maria Lozarno  A day in the life of a priest in Kyiv
Marc Patrone Bank Apologizes over Trucker Convoy account freeze
Matthew Luxmoore Putin’s Orthodox Ally Helps Cement Russian Support for War
Debbie White Britons fight and die like cannon-fodder in Ukraine, says teen volunteer
NS Lyons The triumph and terror of Wang Huning
Niall Ferguson Biden is making a mistake in thinking he can bleed Russia dry
Toby Green Bill Gates wants to build a dystopia

Domestic 
John Gray there is no clear successor to the crumbling model of globalisation
George Hoare The dominance of the professional managerial class
Michela Wrong Why does Kagame want to take in Britain’s asylum seekers?
Eric Kaufman Brexit has not delivered lower immigration
Fiona Hamilton We’re not thought police, says new chief inspector of constabulary
Richard Harries Will policymakers invest in Levelling Up social capital projects? 
John Harris Riven by scandal the Tories have all but abandoned Levelling Up
James Forsyth a confidence vote for Boris is a matter of when not if
Andrew Marr How the Queen’s conservatism prevailed in an age of individualism
Matthew Crawford Covid: liberal individualism as a tendency to authoritarianism
 
From the churches
Tomiwa Owolade British Christianity is being revived by migration
James Mumford Political theology between quietism and theocracy
Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt After Christendom: Catholicism in a secular future
Church of England announces spending plans to resource mission and ministry
David Ford Church must face up to issues of class and wealth or it will not recover
John Major Different country, different church
Ben Aldous Transhumanism and being human
Trauma Informed Churches helping churches support those suffering from trauma
Martyn Percy why I’m leaving the C of E
Mind and Soul Foundation understanding mental health from a Christian perspective
Archdiocese of Southwark putting the record straight regarding John Fisher School
Mike Royal, Cinnamon Network Missional listening resource
Archbishops’ Commission on Families and Households briefing papers
Jubilee Centre Jubilee Fair Work Commitment learning lab
Joey Gardiner Church of England to set up major housing association
 
Support T4CG
We need your support – will you join us by becoming a regular donor? 
A gift of £5 or £10 a month will help us plan ahead. You can donate here.
If you have any questions, please email louise@togetherforthecommongood.co.uk

Recommended books
Our latest selection
Augusto Del Noce The Crisis of Modernity
William T Cavanaugh Killing for the Telephone Company: Why the nation-
state is not the keeper of the common good

Josef Pieper Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power (Narrated)
Steve Corbett, Brian Fikkert When Helping Hurts
Michael Goheen Church and Its Vocation: Lesslie Newbigin’s Missionary Ecclesiology
Glen Scrivener The air we breathe: How We All Came to Believe in Freedom, Kindness, Progress & Equality Farrah Stockman American Made: What Happens to People When Work Disappears
Anna Ruddick Reimagining Mission from Urban Places: Missional Pastoral Care
Martin Charlesworth and Natalie Williams A Church for the Poor
Alexia Salvatierra and Peter Heltzel Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World
 
You may also be interested in
Recommended books in previous newslettersour
Leading Thinkers collection
Common Good thinking and Catholic social thought

What is the Common Good?
The Common Good is the shared life of a society in which everyone can flourish – as we act together in different ways that all contribute towards that goal, enabled by social conditions that mean every single person can participate. We create these conditions and pursue that goal by working together across our differences, each of us taking responsibility, according to our calling and ability.
Click here to learn more and explore our free resources

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About Together for the Common GoodWe are dedicated to the renewal of our country. T4CG helps people rediscover their civic vocation through the building of local relationships. We offer common good training, create resources and hold public conversations. We work with many partners, in particular with churches. Drawing on the wisdom of all the Christian traditions and especially from Catholic social thought, we articulate the meaning and practice of the common good. 
We are non partisan, independent, ecumenical and proud of our Christian traditions.

Our People
Team: Jenny Sinclair (Founder Director), Sean Ryan [Director of Operations and Development], Jo Stow [Common Good Schools Project Leader, p/t], Louise Lambert (Team Support Worker, p/t), Annette McBride [Volunteer PA, p/t]
Board of Trustees: Richard Holman (Chair), Holly Terry (Company Secretary), Sophie Stanes, Geoff Knott, Edward Hadas

Our sincere thanks
We are so grateful for help-in-kind and support from our partners and associates who contribute pro bono to different strands of our work. We are most grateful to our regular donors for their faithful generosity and to CCLA for sponsoring our website.If this message has been forwarded to you, and you would like to add your own email address to the list, you can subscribe to our newsletter here.  Read our previous newsletters here.

Together for the Common Good is a registered charity in England and Wales (no. 1172113).
© T4CG 2022
Header image: instagrammed by ukraine.ua. A traditional pottery jug in the shape of a cockerel, sitting atop a kitchen cabinet, survived a bombardment of Borodianka, and became a symbol of the Ukrainian spirit of resistance. For more on this story, click here.
  
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