The Time is Now!

At the Mass lobby of parliament on 26th June,  a group of residents from Hemel Hempstead met Sir Mike Penning, MP and discussed a wide range of issues and received assurances as to how he thought progress should be made. Please now pray that the Government’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will be backed up by specific measurable targets to ensure we get there.  

 


Picture of the Kingdom

Kingdom

 

At our celebratory 50th Anniversary Service last year, our  distinguished guest preacher, Rowan Williams, eloquently expounded the theological basis for the work of Christian Aid in a profound and thought-provoking address.  He spoke of what a visionary glimpse of what the Kingdom of God on earth might look like.

United Service

This year, at the united service to launch Christian Aid Week held in the Methodist Church, Jenny Ayres, Head of Christian Aid in South East England, gave us a living picture of what that kingdom looked like in a particular part of Sierra Leone, where ten women die daily in giving birth and how the joint work of Christian Aid and its partner there has given new life and hope to that community by setting up health centres and training midwives.  We learned, by way of encouragement, that the money raised by our house-to-house collectors in Kings Langley over the past five years would notionally have funded three such health centres, staffed by trained midwives.

Although Jenny has never visited Sierra Leone, with the help of Christian Aid videos she spoke with such passion and warmth that she vividly created a real sense of involvement n this human drama.

We are not unique in Kings Langley in suspending our usual morning services in each participating church and coming together in a united act of worship and witness embracing Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic and Quaker partners in responding to the needs of God’s children worldwide.  But we think it is gloriously unusual when the denominational barriers come down in a shared mission.
In the commissioning prayer at the conclusion of the service, the metaphor which resonates in the memory was the prayer that we might all become “midwives of hope”.     Amen to that.

Report from Myanmar

After this inspirational act of worship,  many of us adjourned for an informal coffee-and-chat and a good number stayed with us to hear from Jenny about her recent visit to Myanmar.   She made us aware of the complexities of the situation there and of the sufferings of the persecuted Rohingya  minority and of the efforts by Christian Aid to heal and reconcile in that tragically divided country.  Doll

One of the limited opportunities open to these oppressed and isolated people is the making and sale of painted dolls, weighted so that, whenever they are knocked over, they bounce back upright-  a visual metaphor  for their resilience.  Jenny gave us the chance to put this to the test.

After a morning packed with memorable and moving moments, we were ready to enjoy a delicious buffet lunch. The offerings made in the course of the service, together with lunch donations, raised nearly £500 for the work of  Christian Aid.

So, in accordance with the hymn which we sang earlier, we went out with joy in our hearts and lots of clapping.  Jenny (pictured with the 'Everstanding Doll) had served us wonderfully well throughout her visit.   The mountains (?) and the hills would be tackled by the collectors later in the week.

Harold Taylor