Saturday, 30 April 2011
House Of Rainbow Fellowship Activity Updates - June to September 2011.
• Friday 3rd June 2011, @6.30pm, HORF Walthamstow, London UK.
• Sunday 5th June 2011, @4pm HORF Ibadan Nigeria.
• Thursday 9th June, @ 6.30pm Conversation with UKBA, at Mischon De Reya, Summit House, 12 Red Lion Sq London WC1R 4QD
• Blackpool Pride with Liberty Church, 11th & 12th June 2011.
• Wednesday 15th June 2011, @6.30pm, HORF Manchester, Richmond Street Manchester M1 3HF UK.
• Thursday 16th June Panel Debate at School of Oriental and African Studies in London at 6pm, Room G2
• Saturday 18th June Waltham Forest LGBT Forum, at Unity Hall Bramley Close Off Higham Hill E17, @ 1.30-3.30pm
• Sunday 19th June 2011, Black Connection @PACE, 5.30pm, 34 Hartman Road London N7 9JL.
Friday 1st July 2011, @6.30pm, HORF Walthamstow, London UK.
Sunday 3rd July 2011, @4pm HORF Ibadan Nigeria,
Sunday 17th July 2011, Black Connection @PACE, 5.30pm, 34 Hartman Road London N7 9JL.
Wednesday 27th July 2011, @6.30pm, HORF Manchester, Richmond Street Manchester M1 3HF UK.
Friday 5th August 2011, @6.30pm, HORF Walthamstow, London UK (with International Special Guest Speaker- TBC).
Sunday 7th August 2011, @4pm HORF Ibadan Nigeria,
Saturday 20th August 2011, UK Black Pride, Torrington Square, Birkbeck University London WC1E 7JL.
Sunday 21st August 2011, Black Connection @PACE, 5.30pm, 34 Hartman Road London N7 9JL.
Friday 2nd September 2011, @6.30pm, HORF Walthamstow, London UK; 5th Anniversary Supper. Speakers TBC.
Sunday 4th September 2011, @4pm HORF Ibadan Nigeria,
Wednesday 7th September 2011, @6.30pm, HORF Manchester, Richmond Street Manchester M1 3HF UK.
Sunday 18th September 2011, Black Connection @PACE, 5.30pm, 34 Hartman Road London N7 9JL.
Midweek Holy Communion in Walthamstow London
Mass celebrated at St Saviour’s Church 9.30am every Thursday and St Barnabas’s Church 12noon every Friday.
Mass celebrated with Eucharist at St Saviour’s Church 9.00am and St Barnabas’s Church 11am every Sunday.
Bible Study; Every Tuesday at St Barnabas’s Church Vestry
TEN WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT HOUSE OF RAINBOW FELLOWSHIP
1) Become a friend/member, 2) Say regular prayers for us, 3) Worship with us in UK, Nigeria, Ghana and Lesotho 4) Join our online networks, facebook/twitter/youtube, 5) Tell others about us and or invite them to House of Rainbow, 6) Become a Local Leader, 7) visit us at www.houseofrainbow.org 8) Call/SMS on +447507510357, 9) Skype us @ Revjide, 10) Donate generously.
House Of Rainbow Fellowship
Phone: +442085583485; +44 (0) 7507 510 357
Find House Of Rainbow on Facebook/Twitter/Youtube
Skype & Yahoo ID; revjide
We have small groups meeting in London and Manchester UK, Lagos and Ibadan Nigeria, Accra Ghana and Maseru Lesotho.
Monday, 25 April 2011
Nigeria's gay church is reborn amid a climate of fear
House of Rainbow church offers underground prayer and preaching to Christians ostracised by rampant homophobia
Shyamantha Asokan in Lagos
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 24 April 2011 19.57 BST
When Ade's aunt learned he was gay, the then 16-year-old Nigerian was made to go through an exorcism to expel "the demon of homosexuality".
"The priest came to the house with candles, holy water and anointing oils. I had to kneel down, holding candles in my hands," recalls Ade, now 25, as he sits in a cafe in Lagos. He does not wish to reveal his full name. "He kept shouting 'Come out! Come out! Come out!' in a fevered voice … I was allowed to go back to church after that but I had to pretend to be straight."
In a country where homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, it is no surprise that many of Ade's friends – those who, like him, are both gay and religious – stay away from church altogether for fear of being outed.
However, an alternative could soon be at hand. Ade is helping to resurrect a religious refuge for himself and his friends. He is part of the team restarting House of Rainbow, the country's only gay church, which was forced to close in 2008 after a witch-hunt stirred by exposés in local newspapers.
The Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay, the gay minister who founded the church, is leading the comeback even though he remains in self-imposed exile in London.
"Religion is a backbone to life in Nigeria, so we all want to go to church," he says. "But we don't want to lie to God about who we are."
Macaulay first set up House of Rainbow in 2006, when he openly held Sunday services in a Lagos hotel hall decked out with rainbow flags. A public backlash culminated in members being beaten as they left church. Macaulay fled to the UK after death threats.
This year, he has recruited a small team that includes Ade as his local leader in Lagos. In his voluntary role, Ade started holding prayer sessions and Bible study groups at his house at the end of last month. A full church might be set up again if it is considered safe.
The project could even spread beyond the borders of Africa's most populous country. Macaulay has recently recruited a local leader in Accra, the capital of nearby Ghana. He is considering applications from Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
Religious groups are central to Nigeria's culture of homophobia. Pentecostalism, an evangelical school of Christianity thought to have started in America just over a century ago, has blossomed in southern Nigeria and across Africa in recent decades. The "megachurches" in and around Lagos can attract tens of thousands of worshippers to a single service.
Pentecostal pastors often see gay desire as the work of demons. "You might start casually but, once you get into it, you will be possessed by the spirit," says Emmanuel Owoyemi, a pastor in Lagos.
Meanwhile, in Nigeria's mostly Muslim north, 12 states have adopted sharia law over the last decade. Gay sex carries the death penalty under sharia, although no executions have yet taken place. A national anti-gay marriage bill, which pushes for jail sentences for anyone who even assists gay marriage, has been before Nigeria's parliament since 2009.
Being gay is regarded as an offence across much of Africa. Uganda's parliament continues to debate a proposed law that would introduce the death penalty in some cases. Malawi's president only pardoned a gay couple last year sentenced to 14 years in jail after an international outcry.
Apart from being on the wrong side of the law, many homosexual Nigerians say exclusion from church is one of the hardest parts of being gay.
"We are brought up to believe that you should belong to a religion. We feel that, if we don't go to church, God will not answer our prayers," says a young gay man in Abuja, Nigeria's capital. "When I recently told a friend I was having financial difficulties, he said, 'When did you last go to church?'"
In oil-rich Nigeria, where corruption robs many of even basic services, religious groups provide more than spiritual assistance. Muslim movements such as Izala have built schools in the north, while southern pentecostal groups such as the Redeemed Christian Church of God run universities. "[We] lose out on all these services," says the young man.
Some argue that African homophobia is slowly waning. Marc Epprecht, an expert on sexuality in Africa at Queen's University in Canada, says the continent's growing number of gay rights groups are challenging negative stereotypes.
He adds that despite the bad press it attracts, African homophobia is not markedly stronger than that of poor or patriarchal parts of the Middle East and South America.
Macaulay, however, is not taking any chances this time. Prayer sessions are being held in secret locations. No unknown newcomers are being admitted. He continues to preach via YouTube from London – he thinks it would be unwise to return home. "We have learnt our lesson," he says. "It is a hostile situation."
Saturday, 23 April 2011
Come Walk With Me – The Easter Prayer 2011
1. Jesus is Condemn to death
Bible Reading; Matthew 27:22-26
Pilate said to them, ‘Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’* All of them said, ‘Let him be crucified!’ Then he asked, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!’ So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood;* see to it yourselves.’ Then the people as a whole answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’ So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
Lord Jesus, you were condemned to death for political expediency; be with all those imprisoned unjustly and help us to change the minds of oppressors and exploiters everywhere. Amen.
2. Jesus Receives the Cross.
Bible Reading; John 19:16-17
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew* is called Golgotha.
Lord Jesus, you carried the cross, laden with the weight of our sins, through the rough streets of Jerusalem; be with those who are loaded with burdens beyond their strength; and help us to realize the cost of your love for us. Amen.
3. Jesus falls for the first time.
Bible Reading; John 12:23-24
Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
How can it be, Lord Jesus, eternal Son of God, that you should fall down? O Jesus, I wonder how heavy was my share of the burden you bore on your shoulder. In your tender mercy, do not let me be discouraged by my failures but lift me up and bring me to the father. Amen.
4. Jesus meets his mother
Bible Reading; Luke 2:33-35
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon* blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’
Lord Jesus, she stayed with you step by step, from stable to Nazareth and on to Cana; now she can only watch. How can a mother see her son suffer? Look mercifully on all parents who watch helplessly as their children grow, stumble and fall, and in wiping away their tears, give them patience and hope. Amen.
5. The Cross is laid upon Simon of Cyrene.
Bible Reading; Luke 23:26
As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus.
Lord Jesus, you were worn down by fatigue and in simplicity accepted the help of a stranger; be with those who are overwhelmed and exhausted by work, by stress, by responsibility and when an invited cross is loaded onto our shoulder, may we willingly carry it for you. Amen.
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.
Bible Reading; Matthew 25:34-40
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,* you did it to me.”
O Jesus, may our contemplation of your passion move us deeply and inspire in us a fervent love for you, that the image of your tear-stained face may be impressed on our hearts. Amen.
7. Jesus falls the second time.
Bible Reading; Psalm 44:25-26
Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord? Awake, do not cast us off for ever! Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression? For we sink down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up, come to our help. Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.
Lord Jesus, in order to save the human race, you staggered on your painful journey; whenever people are tempted to give up, have mercy on those who are close to despair. Amen.
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.
Bible Reading; Luke 23:27-31
A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us”; and to the hills, “Cover us.” For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?’
Lord Jesus, the women of Jerusalem wept for you; move us to tears at the plight of our broken world and help us to weep for our sins; send your blessing on the city of Jerusalem today, that it may indeed be the city of Peace. Amen.
9. Jesus falls for the third time.
Bible Reading; Psalm 38:7-11
For my loins are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am utterly spent and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart. O Lord, all my longing is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me. My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction, and my neighbours stand far off.
Lord Jesus, as you crash to the hard stones of the Jerusalem street, I see what my falling into sin does to your heart of love. Be with me in my times of temptation and lift my eyes to see the glories of your kingdom. Amen.
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments.
Bible Reading; John 19:24
So they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.’ This was to fulfil what the scripture says, ‘They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.’
Lord Jesus, how anxious I am to conceal my real self even from you. How reluctant I am to acknowledge my responsibility for what I do and say. Help me to be confident of your love and forgiveness and remind me that I am made in the image of God. Amen.
11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
Bible Reading; John 17:1-3
After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people,* to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Lord Jesus, you bled in pain as the nails were driven into your flesh, transform, through the mystery of your love, the pain of those who suffer. Amen.
12. Jesus dies on the cross.
Bible Reading; Philippians 2:6-8
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death even death on a cross.
Lord Jesus, in death you entered the darkest of all places; give us all the courage in the hour of our death and illumine our darkness with your glorious presence. Amen.
13. Jesus’ body is laid in the arms of his mother.
Bible Reading; John 19:32-38a
Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows* that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘None of his bones shall be broken.’ And again another passage of scripture says, ‘They will look on the one whom they have pierced.’ After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus.
Merciful Jesus, whose mortal body was returned to the loving arms of his mother; heal the sadness of all those who mourn. Amen
14. Jesus’ body is laid in the tomb.
Bible Reading; John 19:38b-42
Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Lord Jesus, though you were the Lord of Life, you became as nothing for us and you were laid in a cold, dark tomb; be with those who feel worthless, those ignored by the world and those who dies alone and afraid. Amen.
Everlasting God, who in your tender love towards the human race, sent your son our saviour Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross; grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility and also be made partakers of his resurrection, through Jesus Christ our Lord who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.