‘Friends Of MDC’ Launch

‘Friends of Maidstone Day Care’ is being launched on Tuesday June 7th as part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations at Maidstone Day Care (MDC).

At HOST we are delighted to be part of the launch and work of the Friends and really believe in the outstanding work MDC do with vulnerable and homeless adults.

Click here to read Threshold MDCs yearly magazine outlining the important work of the centre and the issue of homelessness in Maidstone.

Click here to go to MDCs website

UPDATE: Click here for a file outlining HOST’s journey of involvement with MDC

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On finding out more about Christ

“If you behave like Christ you will discover the truth about him” – Karen Armstrong

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The Narrative of Rioting

The scenes across our major cities have been quite distressing.  There is also an ongoing battle in the media with our politicians and commentators attempting to win the argument for the narrative of the riots.  What are the causes of this social underclass and ensuing violence?  Some options have been:

Government cuts
Too much welfare state
Not enough welfare state
Lack of opportunity
Bad education/poor discipline in schools
Just mindless violence
Social networks (Twitter)

The battle for the narrative of the riots is important as it gives our society its self understanding and politicans and leaders authority to take various actions. The reason, I believe, is complex and requires more thought than sticking to political ideologies which delight in either/or positions (e.g the Right: Beef up law enforcement and keep up the deterrent – decrying lack of parenting/education/morals/feral youths or Left: Government cuts damaging the poor in society – need more tolerance/increase spending to social programs). When listening to all the media commentary we must not make rash judgements that reinforce our already established political leanings but rather reflect and ask the difficult questions these riots present us: What is it about our society and culture that provides an environment for acts like these to take place? Why are our children demonstrating such behaviours? Is our capitalist system part of the problem and to what extent are we complicit in it?

Controversial Philosopher Slavoj Žižek argues that his role as a public thinker ‘is not to propose solutions, but to reformulate the problem itself, to shift the ideological framework within which we hitherto perceived the problem.’ In other words to help us think differently and with fresh insight about the issues without lazily resorting to tired old frameworks which have the potential to exacerbate the problem further. A potential insight from Žižek into the recent riots is a phrased by Michael Withey is his review of Violence (2008): ‘this violence cannot be seen as mere contingent disruptions of the otherwise idyllic world of liberal capitalism – rather, we must see the all-too visible violence of terrorism, rioting and repression, as a reflection of the greater violence inherent to the system itself.’ Therefore, according to this view, the very violence perpetrated and inherent in our capitalist system (as evidenced by extreme inequality) is reflected in the riots and mindless destruction in our cities today.

Whether we agree or disagree with Žižek is not important. What is important however, is that we discuss and debate with openness and honesty the recent problems trying to see beyond our own prejudices and agendas to the root of the issue.

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Who said this?

In light of some of the commentary on the recent riots, without ‘googling’ who do you think said the following quote?  Put answers in the comments section.

“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint.”

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Gathering at ‘The Gathering’

We are looking to join the conversation between Rowan Williams+ and Frank Skinner at this years Gathering event in Canterbury.





Full details here.  What’s not to like!

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Rev. John Stott

From the Telegraph

“The Reverend John Stott, who died on July 27 aged 90, was one of the most influential Anglican clergymen of the 20th century ; indeed, in 2005 Time magazine declared him to be one of the 100 most influential people in the world.”


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The Story of Everything

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A question…

A life for God or a life with God?

The former is about impact, being driven and activity.  The latter is about relationship and acceptance.

I think a life with God (Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul mind and strength) overflows into a life for God (and Love your neighbour as yourself).  However, if our core belief is for we are in danger of burnout and not seeing what is right in front of us.

Martha and Mary (Luke 10)

38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

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Starting points

For those subscribers you might need to go direct to the blog to see this!


They come or we go? from Incarnate Network on Vimeo.

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HOST: Becoming a Community of the Resurrection (2)

On that first Easter morning the disciples met with the Risen Jesus.  They struggled to convey exactly what they experienced.  He was flesh and blood yet on one occasion they didn’t recognise him and on another he appeared and disappeared in the same room.  He cooked and ate with them and taught them.  The only language the disciples felt they could use of this occurrence was resurrection.  Jesus was the ‘first fruits’ and the beginning of the re-making and renewal of ALL things.  His body was ‘imperishable’, ‘immortal’ and ‘spiritual’ (1Cor 15.53).

If Jesus was making all things new, restoring the whole of creation then he also is making US, our bodies and lives new.  Paul writes:  ‘If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come!‘  As Romans 8 unpacks ‘You are not contolled by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you….But if Christ is in you your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who lives in you‘.

This renewal of our bodies and spiritual lives empowers us to live demonstrating the values of the Kingdom as writen in Colossians.  It invigorates our imaginations to see the world afresh.  It empowers us to ‘love our neighbour’ and ‘treat others as we would be treated’.  It draws us to the lost, oppressed, and hurting and helps us stand up to structures and authorities where injustice rules.  It empowers us to challenge those rulers in charge of unfair systems that damage and cause pain ‘A new world is here; your time is up’.  We can pray ‘Your Kingdom come; your will be done’.

But this isn’t some kind of cheap social justice, a sticking plaster to that only touches this surface.  Jesus’ life death and resurrection got to the very root of the problem.  On  Good Friday he ‘disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, trimphing over them by the cross‘ (Col 2.15) and rose to life, pouring in the Kingdom of God on Easter Sunday.  All this is only possible in Jesus name and in relationship with him.

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God in a Box

god’s box

the box that i’ve built
to define the things of god
it feels like
i’ve lost god

but i haven’t lost god

just the box

jane upcurch’s inner wellies

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