Over recent months I have frequently been encouraged and inspired by Richard Rohr's daily meditations. Richard is an American Franciscan monk who heads up the 'Centre for Action and Contemplation' and who speaks prophetically to urge the church today to 're-emerge' in a 'bottom up' way. Much of what he has to say has a very 'JSP' character—and reflects the recent 'Upside Down, Inside Out' JSP article.
What an inspirational Jesus Shaped People event! Churches from across the diocese and further afield met at St Christopher’s Holme Wood to explore Magnificat, the special song of Mary, and recall the challenging visit Mary made to her relative Elizabeth who was also pregnant in a surprising way. We did so with adults and children using drama, flower arranging, dance, craft, music and creative prayer—and, after a shared tea, brought it all together in a memorable time of worship.
Jesus Shaped People is on the brink of expansion, as growing numbers of churches benefit from the fresh approach to Christian discipleship it offers. Already well rooted in many northern dioceses, In the past few months, interest in JSP has spread to the south of England—and there have even been enquiries from New Zealand and the United States!
Currently the JSP Trust is afloat thanks to a group of highly committed volunteers. It is financially sustained by a few generous donations, and from the underspend of a grant made by the Church Commissioners back in 2012.
God's longing to 'reshape' his church for his purposes is strikingly recognised by the prophet Jeremiah when he goes down to the house of the potter. It's a picture that undergirds much of the vision of JSP, and we're delighted that James Dey has recently composed a song that captures this story and message. We hope you enjoy it—and find blessing from it.
Listen to The Potter's House on our music page.
Join us for MAGNIFICAT: a JSP Celebration on Sunday October 22nd from 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm at St Christopher’s Church, Holme Wood BD4 9EJ.
Magnificat will give opportunity to explore Mary’s Song in a range of ways, and enable us to grasp its remarkable prophetic message. We’ll begin with lots of creative activities and bring all this together in a time of rich and spiritually rewarding worship. We’ll also be looking at what Magnificat has to say to the church today.
Dawn Moore (front right) began work in July as our new JSP Leeds Diocesan Children’s worker. Dawn has a fulltime post that includes two days per week working to support churches throughout the diocese that adopt Jesus Shaped People. The other three days she will be focused on supporting children/youth work in the Leeds Episcopal Area. Dawn joins us from the Diocese of Sheffield, and has previously had a range of parish based experience.
Jesus Shaped People is growing in Chester Diocese, and their team have recently produced this effective video. It's free to use in your church if you should wish to do so.
The recent Launch of the new JSP Charitable Trust included the introduction of two new songs written specially for JSP by James Dey.
The first of these, ‘Here I Am Lord’ is inspired by Francis of Assisi’s simple prayer ‘Who are you, Lord, and who am I’ that at the time so captivated Brother Leo, an early follower of Francis. The hushed repetitive chant is reminiscent of Taize.
It began with the conviction that it was time to move on from Nazareth. I’d always known that this would come at some point—indeed Mum had frequently reinforced it. She often recalled the stories of Bethlehem and Egypt, and her special poem that we called ‘Mum’s Message’ had frequently been a source of spiritual inspiration. We’d also kept up to date with stories of cousin John’s life in the desert, and news had reached us that his ministry in the Jordan valley was growing fast—indeed there were folk from Galilee, and even a few from Nazareth, who had ‘taken the plunge’!