A letter from Tom and Judy Harvey in England
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Dear Friends and Partners in Mission,
The Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS), where Tom Serves as Academic Dean, is known for its engaged, relevant and practical research that brings Word and life together through research to transform individuals, communities and nations.
And the Word became flesh…
OCMS student Munther Isaac is Dean of the Bethlehem Bible College in Israel/Palestine. Munther is a Palestinian Christian. His family goes back 10 generations in Bethlehem. His thesis, God's Rule in God's Land: The Fulfilment of Land Theology in Kingdom Theology, with a special reference to the Palestinian church, is controversial not only in Bethlehem but globally. Munther arrived at OCMS bent on writing an angry polemic that would give voice to the frustration and injustice felt by Palestinian Christians. Transforming his passion into a carefully crafted thesis wasn’t easy, but after several revisions, Munther has produced a powerful, nuanced, balanced, and provocative thesis. At OCMS Munther has been introduced to key international Christian leaders who in turn have brought him into dialogue with Jewish Christian leaders. Munther is now at the forefront of dialogue between Jewish and Palestinian Christians working for justice, peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land. In Munther one sees the Word of God made flesh.
and dwelt among us…
OCMS student Maqsood Kamil is Executive Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. In Pakistan, Christians have faced violent persecution, most recently in Peshawar. Rather than fight violence with violence, the churches under Maqsood’s guidance have reached out to Muslims in Pakistan. “We are called to emulate Christ in service to God and humanity,” Maqsood noted. “We Pakistani Presbyterians are placed by God to demonstrate his love to 170 million Pakistanis, out of which 95 percent are Muslims.” Maqsood's research seeks ways to overcome violence through love and service. In Maqsood we see the Word who dwells amongst us.
and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…
On August 20, 2013, 104 scholars converged on OCMS. 46 Christian, Liberal, New Left and New Confucian scholars from China joined scholars from around the globe to discuss Christianity and current ideological trends in China. The climax of the conference was the historic drafting and signing of the "Oxford Consensus 2013" at OCMS. This historic agreement committed the Chinese delegation to work together to overcome any hostility between them and to jointly address the challenges facing China with tolerance and deeper appreciation of each other’s points of view. The conference served notice that Christian and secular scholars can work together to serve civil society. Read an article about the conference here: http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/q-a-yang-fenggang-on-the-oxford-consensus-and-public-trust-in-china/?_r=2&. At OCMS we can see grace and truth at work building consensus for the good of people and nations globally.
Judy and Tom will be in the U.S.A. in October and early November to meet with supporting churches and also to reach out to new congregations. Tom will travel to California in February as well to meet with churches. If you are in the California area and would like to have Tom visit, please write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a meeting.
Judy continues with her work at St Andrews Church in Oxford with “young mums,” who come to the church once a week for fellowship, and with “empty nesters,” who are women in the time of transition when their children are leaving home for training or work. Our son Paul is completing his final months of working in camping ministry. He plans to take his experience in counseling and apply it toward study at the master's level. Our son Joe continues his work as a Research Associate in Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He is also preparing to apply for doctoral programs in behavioral economics for 2014. Our daughter Emma returns for her final year at Durham University. After graduation she is looking to apply for teaching positions in the U.S.A.
We want to thank you for your prayers, notes of encouragement, and financial gifts this past year. For those of you who may be reading about our work with OCMS for the first time, may I invite you to come alongside us and support this important ministry through your prayers, encouragement and financial support. Pray for us as we meet with church leaders and mission committees in the weeks and months to come. We know these are challenging times economically and financially both for individuals and churches. So do know that we are in prayer for you even as you keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
Tom, Judy, Joe, Paul and Emma
Address: 25 Hayfield Road
Oxford OX2 6TX England
The 2013 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 278
Read more about Tom and Judy Harvey's ministry