Thoughts from Patsy
I am now settling into my ministry in Dukinfield I have tried to get to all the groups who meet in the Church I have already presided over my first wedding and been truly welcomed by the congregation local Churches and the district at my welcome service. This month we hold our Christmas fair please come along to support it.
As I write this piece and we prepare to mark Remembrance day it is so shocking to see to situation escalating between the Israelis and Palestinians. The United Nations has played a significant role in addressing the enduring conflict between Israel and Palestine, and the UN has been actively involved in seeking a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On 7 October 2023, Palestinian armed groups in Gaza launched thousands of rockets toward Israel and breached through the perimeter fence of Gaza at multiple locations, entering into Israeli towns and killing and capturing Israeli forces and civilians. The Israeli military declared “a state of war alert,” and began striking targets in the Gaza Strip, including residential buildings and health care facilities. Since then, thousands of people have been killed and more than one million have been displaced, as parts of Gaza have been reduced to rubble.
This year marks 70 years since fighting in the Korean War came to an end. 27th July was the anniversary of the armistice of what many call ‘the Forgotten War’. It was overshadowed by the end of the Second World War and the subsequent ‘Cold War’, and yet the sacrifice of the allied Armed Forces was extremely high, and its legacy still has a global impact. We also pray for peace between Ukraine and Russia a prayer for peace.
Prince of peace, Lord of light, God of grace as we hear of war and invasion we pray to you for peace. In a world of conflict and violence we pray for all who live in fear, we lament with you, and pray for peace. Prince of peace Lord of light, God of grace, shows us how to pray for peace today. Amen
God bless, Patsy
The main event this month is the Christmas Fayre on 18th. We are always grateful for donations of goods to sell: cakes, bric-a-brac, unwanted gifts, bottles, but more than that, we are grateful for those who work so hard to man the stalls and to those who come to buy. Please do your best to make this a record-breaking event.
Also this month is our Tin and Toy Service (26th) and we are hoping to welcome Br Michael Evans to receive the gifts of new toys you so kindly bring for the Wood Street Mission in Manchester.
The Food Hamper Group would like to thank everyone who has supplied coats and other winter woollies for their Autumn appeal. We have been inundated with wonderful donations and these are already being distributed to the needy in the area.
Also, many thanks to everyone who has donated Harvest gifts, namely St Stephens, Guide Bridge, Ravensfield School, Broadbent Fold School, Cromwell School, Yew Tee Junior and Infants schools (all in Dukinfield).
HOW TO DEAL WITH ENEMIES
In the season of Remembrance, we consider those who have heroically given their lives in war. However, Jesus calls all of us to a radical heroism in our daily lives: ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.’ (Matt 5:43-45).
Love Your Enemies: Our ‘enemies’ are rarely life-threatening; they can simply be impatient, judgmental, self–righteous or just plain disagreeable! Whether the conflict is with a family or church member, work colleague or neighbour, our attitude toward them should be one of love. We will naturally want to retaliate, but Jesus commands us to love!
Pray for Your Persecutors: It’s only when we are ready to pray for someone whom we find difficult, that God can soften our attitude towards them. Like us, they are those in need of God’s forgiveness and grace. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor executed by the Nazis at the end of World War 2, wrote:
‘This is the supreme demand. Through the medium of prayer, we go to our enemy, stand by his side, and plead for him to God. For if we pray for them, we are taking their distress and poverty, their guilt and perdition upon ourselves and pleading to God for them.’
Become More Like Jesus: When we start loving our enemies and praying for our persecutors, we become more like Jesus Himself. He willingly laid down His life for us, prayed for His persecutors and gives us the power to love our enemies as He did.
At a time when we recognise that we all need heroes; how will we respond to this call to radical heroism in our own life?
Prayer for November 2023
November is not many people’s favourite month, unless there is a birthday or a delight in bonfires. Short days, sometimes dismal weather can lower our mood. The days of springtime optimism and summer sunshine seem a long way away, whether we look back or forward.
Help us Lord, whatever the month, whatever our circumstances, whatever our mood, to know the reality of Your presence and peace; to treasure each new day and know it is transformed by You into the most precious and beautiful gift. Help us not to waste a single one of them, Lord. Thank You so much for November days.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Daphne Kitching