This week I attended the annual Civic Prayer Breakfast. This is the Lincoln Active Faith Network initiative to bring different sectors within the City of Lincoln together to present their greatest challenge & a hope for the future. After each sector has presented their challenge/ hope, a prayer is said for that sector. It is the only forum that brings various leaders within the city together in this way. Those in attendance include Mayor Sue Burke & party, each of sectors mentioned below, church leaders & groups eg Street Pastors, Joy Foundation of different denominations and many more. I bring to you the greatest challenges & hopes for you to pray for this week as we seek to build a better & stringer community across Lincoln.
● Politics & Government: Greatest Challenge: level of decision in community seems to be increasing Hope: renewed engagement with politics for younger generation helping to make real changes for fairness, social justice and environmental issues
● Policing & Security: Greatest Challenge: ever changing entity and the need to respond effectively & efficiently to new ways of committing crime, with fewer resources Hope: for continued working together to make more ‘cohesive, fair & tolerant community, reflecting the values of caring, love & respect
● Business & Finance: Engineering Energy Sector Greatest Challenge: to be able to succeed in a rapidly changing world of conflict & instability Hope: add value to community thro’ engagement, inspire future engineers to make a difference
● Education & Learning: University of Lincoln (UoL) Greatest Challenge: uncertainty over government funding in learning & education, rising costs & fewer resources, potential fall in no. students Hope: UoL want to act as source of renewal & enlightenment to the community
● Heath & Well-being Greatest Challenge: 1 in 4 people have mental health disease impacts on life; suicide biggest killer of men under 45. Faced with increasing demands with less resources. Hope: work cohesively & holistically in partnership with different agencies and with communities in fostering recovery, connection, well being
● Media, Arts & Entertainment Greatest Challenge: although fastest growing sector it is undervalued being seriously underfunded by the Arts Council, so artists are not staying in area & sharing their gifts
● Hope: recognition of how art changes people’s lives by creating a community of shared experiences, preventing isolation & increased mental well-being.
● Community & Family: P3 outreach
Greatest Challenge: ‘Othering’(rough sleepers, beggars, druggies, zombies, spiceheads, offenders): is based on conscious/ unconscious assumption that certain groups pose a threat a ‘favoured’ group, so the individuals/ group is dismissed as ‘less than human’
Hope: whatever a person’s circumstance, we should never forget that people, are people first.
God bless you in all you do & with all you come into contact with, this week, Revd Julie