New Normal Sixteen Nine

Creating the New Normal

A Series of discussion which took places in February and March 2021

We all face a difficult challenge, we are in the midst of a global pandemic and beyond this immediate threat we can see on the horizon economic distress, a climate emergency and the rise of many destructive ideologies.

Many of us are struggling to work out how best to balance the calls of injustice, our need for community, and a sense of exhaustion after a year of lockdown.

Perhaps it is always true at moments of crisis that there is an overwhelming need for action partnered with both confusion as to what is best to do, and a lack of energy to make things happen. In coming months we will all need to navigate this road between renewal and time for recovery.

1) The Climate and Ecological Emergency

Led by Green Christian

This emergency is already being felt here, but more deeply in other parts of the world. We cannot put our heads in the sand.

We will reflect on the emotional impact, and discuss where we feel called to action both individually and collectively.

There are clear parallels between how the pandemic/Covid-19 has led people to rethink and how the climate and ecological emergency too requires us to reimagine a different way of living.

To Find out more see: The Climate and Ecological Emergency

2) Militarism

Led by Pax Christi

What is militarism? where can we see it in our everyday lives?

What questions does militarism raise? and how is it connected to other issues, such as security, education, the arms trade, migration and remembrance?

To Find out more see: Militarism

3) Feminism

Led by Theodora Hawksley

What work still needs to be done towards equality? How can each of us, female or male, work towards a building a society where all are valued?

To Find out more see: Feminism

4) Racism

Led by CARJ

A discussion of the various, complex forms of racism that exist in the Church and wider UK Society.

How can we offer justice, equality and community to the various groups who need our support?

CARJ is a Black-led, independent charity working with others to address racial justice in Church and Society.

Find out more: Racism

5) Death

Led by Siobhan Burke

Death is often described as the last taboo. Something we fear and don't talk about.

Over the last year more than two million people have died of Covid19, more than one hundred thousand of them here in the UK. We have maybe become a bit immune to the shocking daily death toll.

Beyond Covid19 millions continue to die in other way. War, violence and preventable disease are still the reality for much of the world's population.

And there are also those whose death is sad but not tragic, leaving us in old age at the end of a long life.

How does reflecting on death effect us emotionally? How can we learn to live with the reality of death?

Find out more: Death

6) Church

Led by Francis Stewart

The pandemic has forced us to change how we do church.

How have we experienced this changes? What are the new ways of doing church that we need to hold on to? Are there challenges which we need to embrace?

Is this an opportunity to return to the roots of our faith and to embrace a new way of being Church?

This session is not just for those who attend church regularly, the voices of those on the margins are welcome and valuable.

Find out more: Church

7) Sexuality

Led by Jack Woodruff

Sexuality is another subject that we often find difficult to talk about.

We would like to open a space for conversation about the diversity of sexuality, and the diversity of our experience of sexuality.

In 21st Century Britain there is a huge gulf between the traditional morality encouraged by the churches where sex only happens within marriage; and the popular culture world of sex which happens very early in relationships, or without relationship.

Many young adults of faith find themselves living a reality which falls somewhere between these two ends of the spectrum, highly influenced by both church and culture.

Some will have clear ideas, others are unsure. This is an area of life where painful experiences, guilt and regret often play a big part in our thinking and feeling.

We hope to open a space for honest conversation about this area of life.

Find out more: Sexuality