\Petal is the name for the social venture we partner with to support sustainable washable sanitary towel manufacturing in Bupadhengo ( our link Parish) We are also in partnership with Ascension Church in Bittern Park. The project has had 3 visits from Bradley and Adam who are employed by Wessex Social Ventures from University of Southampton http://wsv.global/ They have sourced materials, repaired sewing machines and trained entrepreneurs. The team in Bupadhengo have updated the pattern used for the sanitary towels which are now being used in other projects in both Kenya and Uganda! They are however struggling with sales, as we are aware, there just isn’t much cash around, and girls’ sanitary products are not a priority ( over food or rent). We are in discussion around how to progress, either with a sponsorship system, to subsidise production, or to develop a sewing school, so the girls can make their own at cost price. Do pray for the right decisions to be made.
There is a team visiting from Bittern Park in the next few weeks, and Bradley has relocated to Kenya to support the projects more closely. Pray for him.
Working with the team in Uganda has made me consider my own impact on the environment and changed my monthly routine- too much info for Grapevine? No apologies!!! Man up!!!
There are lots of sustainable products on the market now- washable and reusable. I’m a complete convert, so do talk to one another and here’s some of the companies you might find useful.
Ps. There are some great ways to recycle your electrical goods too- or repair them- talk to Mark Hilliard.
Josh Cook, our youth worker writes …
There are currently nearly 30,000 young people aged of 10-19 in Southampton. A huge proportion of these are in secondary schools across the city. Just over 700 of them attend the school that is in sight of our church building at Upper Shirley High school (USH).
Over the course of the last few months, there have been significant developments in the relationship with the school and opportunities for the church to be involved in the school. The foundations of these developments were laid in the faithfulness of the USH prayer group which has met termly over a number of years to pray for all aspects of school life.
In recent months, we have worked in partnership with the school on a Remembrance project for year 7 students, researching and honouring the lives of men from Shirley who fought in the First World War.
In the meantime, a partnership has also been developing with Young Life international, a worldwide organisation which aims to bring the message of hope of Jesus Christ to every young person, everywhere, and has been working in local schools in other parts of Southampton.
Over the course of the next few months, there will be opportunities for me to work more frequently in the school in mentoring young people, working with young people who struggle with the everyday normalities of school life and providing a Christian influence into school life.
It would be great if you were able to join with me in praying for this growing and developing ministry area. Please pray for an openness and receptivity to both the message of hope that is faith in Jesus and to me personally
“The foundations of these developments were laid in the faithfulness of the USH prayer group”
‘On the 11th February, we received the sad news that Retired Bishop Cyprian Bamwoze of Busoga had passed away. He had been battling cancer for some time. Cyprian was the inspiration behind many of the links between Southampton and Busoga, including our link with Bupadhengo, He was instrumental in setting up the Busoga Trust together with other initiatives in support of development for the people of his Diocese. The family will struggle to meet the funeral costs so any contributions towards them would be very much appreciated. You can do this by writing a cheque to Enable Busoga or, if you prefer to make a direct transfer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the bank details.
The last part of our 'I could never be a Christian ...' series saw retired scientist and church minister John Williams talk about how he would respond to those who say "I believe in science instead." He spoke about his personal journey as both a scientist and follower of Jesus. You can listen to his talk here.
For those who want to explore further the interplay between science and faith, there are lots of helpful resources around, including:
'Test of faith' - a series of videos including interviews with leading scientists. Watch excerpts here or buy the full course here.
"Creation or evolution: do we have to choose?" by Denis Alexander, director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at the University of Cambridge.
"Can science explain everything?" - a new book by Prof John Lennox. You can watch a trailer for the book here, or an extended interview about the book here.
"God's undertaker: has science buried God?" by Prof John Lennox.
"Inventing the universe: why we can't stop talking about science, faith and God" by Prof Alister McGrath.
And here's the video of the recent debate in Southampton: can science explain everything?
The third part of our 'I could never be a Christian because ...' series looked at how to respond to those who say 'Christians are hypocrites.' It's a fair and important criticism for us to take on board. But does it rule out a belief in Jesus?
You can catch up with the sermon online and also download the discussion guide and sermon slides here. (Please note that the end of the sermon includes a drawing on a flipchart, which we have tried to re-create as additional sermon slides - that part of the sermon will make more sense viewed alongside the sermon slides!)
For those who want to explore this issue further, you could look at:
Mark Clark "The problem of God"
Michael Green & Nick Spencer "I'd like to believe, but ..."
Amy Orr-Ewing "But is it real?"