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Minister Prayers Walking the Way

7 June 2020

I wrote last week about beginning a series of Prayer walks, so I thought I would share something from those. Monday was Ansty Road, beginning outside the church where I could inspect the early work on the redevelopment, trenches a dug for the footings, there is a big hole where the steps used to be and all the muck from broken drains has been cleared out. Inside some of the walls have been removed. Already a different view into the building is emerging. That, for me, is the purpose of a prayer walk, not just to pray but to have a new view emerge.

Ansty Road is shorter than I thought, I had to consciously slow myself down. I noticed various building projects in progress, the closed pubs/club and the taste of pollution beginning again as the roads become busier. We wondered if the climate might get an extended break, but it seems not. There were various other people walking as well, most looked as if they were exercising, most keen to nod hello, whilst maintaining distance but each engagement remembering the joy of being amongst people. 

Around St. Columba’s, it’s quieter. Drapers Field isn’t being used to park for the City Centre and there is very little movement. Along the canal, the ducks were negotiating a collection of lilies, cans and bottles. There is still no rest for our environment. Along Widdrington Road and Aldbourne Road cars are parked tightly, seemingly with nowhere to go. I’m reminded that I wanted to focus on environmental concerns through this period, but have been distracted, The climate crisis will not go away and will not do so if we return to business as usual.    

On Monday of this week  we will pray on Hocking Road, Farren Road, Oldham Ave, Hyde Rd, Edyth Rd, Belgrave Road, Arch Road.

On Tuesday, St. Columba’s Close, St. Nicholas Street, Ellys Road, Sandy Lane, Somerset Road, Dorset Road, Kingfield Road, Pridmore Road, Foleshill Road.

Please join in however you can.

Some of you have been kind enough to ask after my parents. They have both been ill with Covid-19, as have many others in their care home. They have both recovered from it, but are a bit weaker and a bit more confused than they were before. Thank you for the prayers and messages of support, it has been particularly difficult when we have been unable to visit and wonder what news each phone call will bring.

Sunday 7 June   Trinity Sunday

Prayer In the name of God we come to worship

As followers of Jesus we come to worship

Welcomed by the Spirit we come to worship

Hymn Eternal God, your loves tremendous glory

cascades through life in overflowing grace,

to tell creation’s meaning in the story

of love evolving love from time and space.

Bible 2 Corinthians 13:5-14

Reflection I watch the news from the United States with a heavy heart. The ease and arrogance with which a Police Officer killed a man whilst the public watched. The threat to violence from the President enacted with ruthless efficiency and then protesters being cleared from the White House with tear gas so that the President can strut across the road and hold a bible up outside a church. And then sometimes I’m heartened by peoples humanity -, the images of many peaceful demonstrations and the voices of speakers such as William Barber II (https://www.facebook.com/anewppc/videos/268796894477061/)  and Traci Blackmon (https://youtu.be/QwpjH2ZkdSI)  But mostly I’m appalled.

And I’m worried. We might sit here and say, “Look at them over there” but I know that many of our communities feel similarly marginalised and discriminated against, and you wonder what spark might set off similar scenes and whether a government that likes it’s militaristic language, may respond with similar aggression. It seems so far away, and yet so close.

On Trinity Sunday we focus on the oneness of God, whether presented as Creator, Son or Spirit. We remember that relationships are complex and many faceted and yet we are called to be one body. Whenever Paul writes to the Corinthians he knows that divisions are not far from the surface and so he challenges them, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith” and then he encourages them, “Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.” None of those strike me as passive responses. If we care about the things we see on the news, then we need to be active in examining ourselves, listening to others, finding agreement, creating peace, dwelling with love, greeting with a kiss.

Prayer

We seek blessing upon your church

that we may be one as you are one

that we may follow the path you lead 

that we reveal your glory

May your Spirit rest upon each one. 

Hymn

Love’s trinity, self-perfect, self-sustaining;

love which commands, enables and obeys:

you give yourself, in boundless joy, creating 

one vast increasing harmony of praise. 

Alan Gaunt Rejoice & Sing 33

© Stainer & Bell Ltd

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