In this issue…
As we celebrate Christmas and look forward – perhaps with some trepidation – to the New Year, we find ourselves in an economic crisis. In a searching analysis economist Peter Warburton, the chair of FiBQ’s steering group, discovers the roots of this in the UK’s deep dependence on debt, and shows how passages from Isaiah and Nehemiah have a remarkable relevance to our situation. Much sobering food for thought here.
The theme of Investment, which has dominated the activities of Faith in Business in 2022, receives further treatment in the shape of an authoritative article by Reuben Coulter from Faith Driven Investor. He gives a comprehensive survey of the many different types of investment possible for those who want their faith and their ethics to influence where they put their money. Meanwhile Gary Cundill tells a salutary and admirably honest story of an investment he came to regret, and the lessons he learnt from this.
Peter Heslam introduces Faith in Business’s 2023 theme, that of ‘Beauty at Work’, and explores the theological basis for this. The other partner organisation in the publication of this journal, ICF, has also been busy. Phil Jump and John Weaver have followed up their history of ICF with Love:Work, a very helpful collection of prayers about work (replete with a new set of ten commandments), which John Bloomer commends in a thoughtful review.
In these pages Phil has often urged us to think about new ways of being and doing church in the wake of the pandemic. Mike Clargo illustrates what this might look like with his piece on ‘Strategically Digital Church’, suggesting how believers in the same occupation might resource and encourage each other online.
Elaine Kung is a major figure in the international ‘faith and work’ movement, a well-known and much appreciated figure, particularly in the USA and Chinese-speaking countries. She tells the fascinating story of her life and how God has used her, both in her job at AT&T and her Called to Work organisation, to help Christians apply their faith to their work. Her prolific use of acrostic words and words starting with the same letter provides a powerful aide memoire for many followers of Jesus.
The contribution of suppliers in business is often neglected, but the Salvation Army has made a practice of holding a special conference for them. Stephen Apted tells the story of the latest one which took place on the iconic Strawberry Field site (immortalised in song by John Lennon), and featured a memorable talk by local employer Mark Mitchell.
Finally, Richard Higginson reviews the Jubilee Centre’s online report on 21st Century Pioneers, which includes many inspiring examples of innovative businesses being run by Christians at the present time.
Enjoy – and do show FiBQ to others who might like to subscribe!