Thought for the Week: #BlackLivesMatter
On Tuesday evening a group of angry men surrounded a young couple in their car, slashed their tyres and smashed the windows. They shouted from every direction; though strapped in with seatbelts, the men debilitated the couple with tasers and dragged them out of the car. They were afraid and prayed that they wouldn’t be killed by the mob. One of the couple had his arm fractured, and had a cut which required 20 stitches.
The couple are black. The group of men were police officers.
The couple were not charged with any crime. In their moment of panic and fear, while sustaining injuries, who could they turn to for help? Who was defending them against violence? Against hatred? We can’t imagine having no-one to turn to, no-one to defend us against danger, and the protests sweeping the US and the world, ignited by the murder of George Floyd, are standing up for people who suffer again and again in this way, and many other ways.
But some have even taken offense at the #BlackLivesMatter campaign, claiming “all lives matter!” Of course, they do, but Jesus teaches us that the Good Shepherd leaves 99 sheep to go looking for the one that is lost. All of the sheep matter, but one of them is suffering, and needs more immediate help. Our sermon this week highlights biodiversity—how all creation is connected; how all things are interdependent. Dr Martin Luther King Jr knew this when he said: ‘In a real sense, we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Therefore, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ We must think of this when we see our brothers and sisters suffering. May we have the wisdom to know when others need immediate help. May we not be afraid to offer ourselves to do our part. May we never say “yes, but...”. Love is not sacrificed or diminished when it is shared out. It grows and grows.
Revd Benjamin Jarvis
World Environment Day
World Environment Day was this Friday 5th June. In this Sunday’s Church at Home service, Kate Stobart will be leading our reflection on this theme. More information about World Environment Day can be found here: https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/, and there is a section on how faith groups can contribute in the “WED toolkit” https://p.widencdn.net/e2n0wj/WED_SimpleToolkit.
Thanks from Ben
Thank you to everyone who prayed for me and my family after the sudden death of my father a few weeks ago. I was touched by the many messages of support, and knowing we were being held in prayer was a great comfort to us all.
100 Club Winners
The winners for May are: £50 Peter and Rosemay Dunlop; £30 Pat Bottrill; £20 Bryan Morgan. Cheques will be given after the lockdown.
Our Online Coffee Morning is a success, and we will be keeping it going. If you are able to join us online between 10:30am and 11:15am on Tuesdays we’d love to see you.
Go to ‘Events’ on our website: stmarysmonkseaton.org.uk/events to RSVP and get a link to join via Zoom. You would need to click on RSVP and enter you name and email address and click on ‘submit’. An email is then sent to you with a link to the Coffee Morning. If you haven’t already got Zoom, you can get it for free on your computer, tablet or phone. You could download it now from https://zoom.us.
Because they've had to cease direct contact with service users, our colleagues at ‘Walking With’ have for the time being closed their centre in Wallsend and are unable to accept food or clothing donations
As an alternative way of supporting their refugee and asylum seeker clients, ‘Walking With’ are using financial donations to purchase and donate Tesco vouchers for food and essentials while the lockdown continues. They've spent nearly £2000 to date on vouchers, and will need to purchase more to continue the much needed support for their clients and their families.
Donations will be welcomed, preferably by electronic transfer, or cheques payable to 'Walking With North Tyneside'. If you can gift aid please let them know. They will need your details.
Unity Trust Bank/ Customer: Walking With/ Account: 20160878/ Sort Code: 60-83-01
Walking With in North Tyneside, Hugh Street, Wallsend, NE28 6RL
New Daily Hope Phone Line
“Daily Hope” offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line. The line – which is available FREE, 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind. You can select options to listen to Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer updated daily, and a recording of the Church of England weekly national online service. A section called ‘Hymn Line’ offers callers a small selection of hymns, updated daily. An option entitled ‘Hymns We Love’, provides a hymn and reflection.
There’s a webpage with ideas for volunteering during Covid-19, which will be continually updated with new information. https://www.newcastle.anglican.org/Generosity/Covid-19/volunteering/
Two NEW ways to volunteer are:
Age UK – Call in Time is a free telephone friendship service for people 60 and over. You are matched up with a likeminded person who's keen to make a new friend, and every week they'll give you a call. Not having someone to talk to regularly can be lonely, particularly if you're used to sharing your home and time with others. A friendly, 30-minute chat on the phone every week can make all the difference.
Age UK – Become a Digital Buddy
Gift Aid and Planned Giving
Please contact Rosie Tate if you would like a Gift Aid statement regarding the tax year just ended, or if you have any questions regarding Planned Giving during lockdown. (email@example.com; Tel: 297 0869).
Recognising how impactful the coronavirus and isolation can be to our mental health, The Church of England has provided some mental health resources, including tips for dealing with loneliness, daily reflections on various issues, and links to support providers. You can access the resources here:
Your Prayers are requested for
Rest in Peace
Anne Gregory (anniversary)
Don’t forget, you can still add someone to the prayer list by emailing or phoning as usual, but you need to get their permission before adding them to the sick list.
Do let us know if you or others are celebrating any special event or anniversary so that we can put this news into our future email letters. You can do this by calling 0191 251 4216 or by sending us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org