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‘They will hate you because of who I am,’ Jesus says in the Gospels. He forgot to add: ‘And the ones who don’t have a clue will point and laugh.’ It’s a lesson Carol Monaghan has learned abruptly.

Monaghan is MP for Glasgow North West and a member of the Scottish National Party. A former science teacher, it’s fair to say she hasn’t grabbed the media spotlight in the way some of her colleagues have since entering Parliament in 2015. Still, she’s gone about her duties as an MP, seeing to the needs of her constituents, and serving on the Commons science and technology committee.

This week, the TV cameras finally found her. On Wednesday, Monaghan turned up to her committee and was met by a colleague’s question. What was that on her forehead?

Monaghan is a practising Catholic and had been to Mass that morning for the dispensation of ashes. For Catholics, and other denominations, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and a period of fasting, self-denial and reflection. Ashes are applied to the forehead, with the priestly reminder: “Dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return”. This ceremony prepares Catholics for six weeks of contrition leading up to Easter Sunday, when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

Monaghan explained to her fellow MP and was met with a blunt response: ‘But this is going to be broadcast’.

To her credit, she kept her ashes intact, explaining: “I think they just thought I didn’t want to be embarrassed – but I was not going to rub it off. Many religions have visible symbols and Christians should not feel any embarrassment in either practising their religion or in the public display of religious symbols.”

We are making all Foundations audios free to download, including all teaching sessions. The point we want to make about this is that our conferences are about the experience of God and fellowship with others, not just about the teaching. The essence of Foundations can't be bottled up and downloaded - you just have to be there! To find out more, click here.

This is the first session of our Foundations East Anglia weekend conference at Belsey Bridge in October 2016. Peter Sammons introduces his 2020 vision. TO HEAR THE MP3

This is the second session of our Foundations East Anglia weekend conference at Belsey Bridge in October 2016. Steve Maltz introduces the day. TO HEAR THE MP3

This is the third session of our Foundations East Anglia weekend conference at Belsey Bridge in October 2016. Peter Sammons gives his first session on his 2020 vision. TO HEAR THE MP3

This is the fourth session of our Foundations East Anglia weekend conference at Belsey Bridge in October 2016. Peter Sammons gives his first session on his 2020 vision. TO HEAR THE MP3

This is the fifth session of our Foundations East Anglia weekend conference at Belsey Bridge in October 2016. Peter Sammons gives his first session on his 2020 vision. TO HEAR THE MP3

This is the final morning of our Foundations East Anglia weekend conference at Belsey Bridge in October 2016. This is the sumnary and testimonies TO HEAR THE MP3

AN INITIAL REPORT

TESTIMONIES AND COMMENTS

Published on 10 Apr 2012
Real Experiences.
True Miracles.
The Hand of The Divine.
Israel : An Eternal Nation .... Eternal Promise and ... An Eternal Miracle .
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"After trying to gain record company support, Leigh decided to make it happen himself by gathering together his musician friends and writing, producing and singing this Christmas song. The video was filmed at the fantastic Blists Hill Victorian Town at Ironbridge in Shropshire. It features the skills of top director Nick Bartleet and Cinematographer John Perez (known for his work on Coldplay's Viva La Vida, Beyoncé and many other productions). You can help spread some Christmas magic by spreading the word - thanks for your support and best wishes for Christmas 2016!"

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Artless

Published on 3 Nov 2015
A re-imagining of the prophet Daniel in a 1940's Film Noir parody.

Hashkama

I intended writing about A Divided Nation since this described Israel during the time of Kings, and it describes Britain today to some degree.  However, according to Prime Minister Theresa May, it is not so much a nation divided, as it is a House Divided against itself as she battles her way

Middle East Report

stories this week include: Israelis remember the Holocaust, Mr Netanyahu cancels meeting with Germany's Foreign Minister, Remembering the Jews who suffered under the Mandate and German Jews feel growing threat of Anti-Semitism.

Olive Tree

My guest today is Nihad Salman, who lives in Bethlehem in the West Bank where he is the pastor of an Evangelical Church. Bethlehem today is a majority Muslim city where evangelical Christians are very much in the minority.

Thinking Differently

Steve Maltz looks ahead to the challenges of 2016

Watching Over Zion

The Word: "I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you. (Exodus 23:31)