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Diary Dates : All dates are cancelled.

Church Officials

Minister:   .

Secretary:  Miss A. Shaw, 27 Whernside Road, Lancaster, LA1 2TA.

Treasurer.  Mr. G. Shaw: 27 Whernside Road, Lancaster, LA1 2TA,

Tel. 67644

If anyone needs a minister please contact the Church Secretary.

Lockdown

A few days ago I did quite a lot of work in my garden.  I gave the lawns their final mowing of the year, cleaned the mower and put it away until next year.  I found a lot of ivy had been growing where I did not want it, sending out shoots that must have been at least eight feet long.  It had to be pulled out so as not to interfere with shrubs, etc when they sprout next year.  In other words, I was locking down for the winter.

We are at the present all facing a lockdown in our lives to varying extents because of Covid 19.  However, even though we do not know what the coming months will bring, we do know that spring will surely follow on behind, when nature will spring to life again.  We can all hope and pray that by that time our lives can burst forth again.

Meanwhile, those of us with closed churches, if we have Zoom, can join in with virtual services.  Personally, I had never been interested in getting Zoom or similar.  However, I now have it and have done the two URC training sessions and have attended virtual services.  If you do not have Zoom, then think about it.  It helps to escape a little of lockdown.

Thought for the week beginning 11th October 2020

Racism is downright blasphemous – It is as if we are spitting in the face of God – Desmond Tutu

October is Black History month – throughout this month some TV channels are featuring programmes to celebrate black individuals who have made significant contributions to Britain. I watched one such programme this past Tuesday 6th, on ITV, presented by Alison Hammond: Back to School. It was educational and truly inspirational as through interviews with historians and various others, she uncovered some of the significant black figures who have been overlooked in the history books, and are absent from school curriculum.

I was fascinated by the story of Walter Tull, the grandson of a Barbadian slave, born in Folkestone, Kent in 1888. Orphaned at 9, he spent his growing up years in a Methodist Children’s Home and Orphanage, in Bethnal Green, London. His faith helped to shape his character and resilience. He enjoyed a distinguished footballing career before enlisting in the British army in December 1914. He was commissioned as 2nd lieutenant in May 1917, which defied army regulations prohibiting ‘Men of Colour’ from serving as officers. He was recommended for the Military Cross (award still pending), for his bravery in WW1 combat. As I watched the programme, I couldn’t help but ponder over the question of why Walter and others who in the past contributed so significantly to the life of Britain are not included in the school curriculum? It was Nelson Mandela who said that: Education is the most powerful thing you can use to change the world. Inclusion of significant minority figures in the curriculum is not about erasing history, but making it fair, balanced and authentic.

Sadly, the society we are living in today is still not free from bigotry, racial prejudice and discrimination. Racism and discrimination find new expressions every day, not only in overt and outrageous ways, but also in subtle and covert ways. Even individuals with good intentions can fall into a trap of unconscious racial bias and profiling. Yet, for us as Christians, the biblical mandate is a call to engage in the mission of a God who has created all individuals as equals and who seeks to ensure life in all its fullness for all He has created. Part of the URC commitment is to challenge and equip all its members to resist racism within themselves, within the church and within society as a whole.

I leave you with this quote: Our story is one of a people from rich and diverse journeys. Differences, not similarities, are the source of our vitality and strength in our common faith in Jesus Christ. This includes our Church heritages, theologies, cultures, national heritages and life experiences. As a multicultural Church, we are building a biblical understanding of God’s mission to which the gospel calls us to living God’s word, embodying God’s love and promoting God’s justice as we aim to include, affirm and welcome all. We will continue to live our calling of prophetic witness to holiness, hope and reconciliation, as we seek greater participation of all to reflect our rich and diverse journeys in all our life together. (The URC Vision 2020, Statement 5).

Take care and blessings

Irene John