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Our new Faith and Church Relations Manager and Advent Resources
Introducing Ish Lennox, our new Faith and Church Relations Manager.
Ish Lennox joined Mothers’ Union this month as Faith and Church Relations Manager. Ish comes to us having had a first career in the NHS and then spent the last several years working on a variety of Christian initiatives including More Than Gold the church’s response to the 2012 Olympic Games and 2014 Commonwealth Games. More recently she has been involved in the Church of England’s Setting God’s People Free initiative and Thy Kingdom Come.
As our new faith lead, Ish reflects with us on the impact that faith has had on her journey to get here.
“I believe, God has a vision for our lives. Our personal challenge is to discern and fulfil God’s vision in every new season of our lives. To do this, we must develop an expectation that will hear from God. God has more invested in us discovering what we are created to accomplish then we do. However, God is also looking for a people who are paying close attention to what he has to say.”
Effectively positioning ourselves to hear what the Holy Spirit may be communicating involves active engagement through the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible reading, reflection, meditating and fasting. Believing that God will speak, He has spoken in the past and will do so again, and faith, that, having put in the best application I could, He would open the right door for me. My experience is, if we wait patiently enough, we will eventually identify God’s ‘still small voice ‘ amidst the clamour of our daily routines and challenges.
Belief and Faith are often words that we use interchangeably. Belief is about truths of which we are persuaded or confident. Faith goes further because it implies action, putting what we believe into practice.
It is important to know what we believe and know in whom we have believed. In a world of complex problems we can sometimes doubt what we believe and forget the one in whom we have believed. We are told in Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing. One of the things that attracted me to Mothers’ Union was the many ways that members share stories. It remind us that our Christian belief and our faith in action changes not only our lives but the lives of those around us.
As I take up my role as Faith and Church Relations Manager, I’m reminded that God’s vision for our lives may be you-shaped but it will inevitably be God sized. The opportunities for Mothers’ Union at this time are huge and I am very excited about the privilege of working with members to develop faith, build church relations and share stories of what God has done.
The author Eugene Peterson, best known as the translator of The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language, gave an interview once where he said:
“Stories invite us into a world larger than ourselves. We are storytelling people and our lives are stories. They have plot, they have intent, and they have other people… And the Bible is our greatest story. If we just live within ourselves, or if our lives are determined by our own needs, our wants, or our desires, it’s a very small world.”
The most exciting story ever, is that of Emmanuel, God with us. As the days get shorter and the nights get longer we head towards Advent. The story of the Christ child leaps off the pages of the Bible and the church enter into a season of expectation and preparation, as we prepare to celebrate the coming (adventus) of Christ in his incarnation, and look ahead to his return. The world says “Hurry! Decorate, shop, wrap, bake.” Advent says, “Stop! Look, listen, anticipate, pray.”
Once again this advent we are invited into a moment of pause and an opportunity to draw close to God. Below you can find a whole variety of Advent Resources to help you find that deeper connection with God. I hope you will enjoy them.