One to One

I have a confession to make. I’m suffering from a condition which many of you are familiar with. It is called ‘fatigue’, the kind which comes from being bombarded by charities asking for money. Appeals flutter down from magazines and newspapers. They live in letter-boxes and TV ‘shorts’, and there seems to be no end to them.

I hate to be called a ‘Scrooge’ but to keep my sanity, I ration myself to the ones I know and ignore the rest. I am grateful that they draw my attention to the evils of hunger, oppression and the like across the globe and acknowledge that these things are only a part of what is going on in the wider church, and some of which I can pass on to you month by month. So, here goes once more!

“I believe that Religious Education is essential”, ran the headline in a challenging newspaper column I came across this month. The writer warns us that the subject is under imminent threat on several fronts. Two strands can be traced: religious knowledge and religious observance. In defence, we can say that both are part of our cultural heritage in Britain, and bedded in them are the spirit of tolerance and a whole raft of strict moral standards. Can we afford to jettison these elements (because that is what would happen)? What do you think?

Whatever happened to the ‘Wayside pulpit’, a series of posters on display outside churches, challenging passers-by to reflect on biblical texts and quotations? I hope that some of my offerings will help to fill the gap - or not, as the case may be.

“The Church cares for people. Do we care for the Church?”

“Christianity is not dead and will not die as long as human beings seek meaning in life.”

“Too often our congregations could be described as nothing more than passive observers in a hymn/prayer sandwich service which bears little relevance to the everyday struggles of life in a broken world.”

My charity calendar for the month of May has a picture of some cheerful ladies carrying collecting cans. Despite what I said earlier, I would suggest that the Red Cross is one of those charities that demands our giving.

Finally, a prayer borrowed from World Mission’s magazine, which sums up some of the things I have touched upon in this article.

“Heavenly Father,
Help us, as you did here on earth,
to feed the hungry, water the thirsty,
welcome the alienated, treat the sick,
and visit the jailed,
and help us to realise that by loving and
serving the least we are loving and
serving you.”


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