Stephen and his wife Linda live in Kirkham and for 13 years Stephen managed the Face To Face Homelessness Charity merging it into Fylde Coast YMCA some ten years ago. As Housing Director at the YMCA, Stephen was responsible for developing various community projects including The Credit Union and Fylde Counselling Service.
Reflecting on his former appointments in East London and Newcastle-on-Tyne of working as Methodist Minister, Hospital Chaplain and part time tutor with the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield, Stephen is clearly committed to encouraging individuals and communities to be honest about their hopes and needs and finding how faith in God can help them be met in Body, Mind and Spirit.
|Stephen is our Minister but is already known to us and well known on the Fylde Coast having lived and worked in Fylde for 18 years and prior to that he was a Minister in Blackpool.|
When I was small I loved puzzle books, joining the dots being a favourite. Sometimes I would get carried away thinking I knew what the shape was and then realise I’d guessed wrongly and not followed the numbers correctly.
Last week I spent time setting up a new mobile phone and tablet - transferring data, installing apps. and, of course, trying to remember passwords used years ago. After many panics, searching my memory and notes my goal was achieved. Mobile and tablet operational and I’m connected to my documents and contacts.
At the end of it I was mentally shattered and a few days later I’m still not confident I’ve joined up the dots correctly. “Oh, just let them do it in the shop” or “Ask the children” I hear you say. But I often wonder if, in this modern age, with technology doing things for us, telling us if we are right or wrong, generations to come will lose the ability to make connections for themselves.
Whether it’s the Police investigating the poisonings in Salisbury, United Nations debating the suspected chemical attacks in Syria, the impact of plastics in the world’s oceans, the monitoring of our sugar intake we must join the dots and consider the facts otherwise we will find ourselves in a world which is not as intended, it’s shape will be distorted by selfishness.
For me it is no different to deciding if Jesus really rose from the dead. We must look at the facts, be aware of the politics, examine the evidence, decide right or wrong, connected or distorted. Easter is not over; the risen Christ confronts us every day challenging us to make the right connections. Joining the dots is a matter of life or death.