Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Monday, 28 November 2016
I love Advent and Christmas. One of my favourite times of year.
Now we do things so simply at home, I love it even more. We give a gift from our household to our very old grandmother and to the two small grandchildren. Other than that, no gifts; and we send very few cards.
Some of us like to decorate the house, so they do, and I have a beautiful Nativity set.
On Christmas Eve I do a children’s service for the littlies in the Methodist church just across the valley from our house. We sing carols with friends outside the supermarket.
On Christmas Day, we eat something nice, but no greater amount than normal, and nothing expensive. We keep it simple.
And this year, I am trying a new kind of Advent calendar.
Our present UK national administration is harsh and greedy, violent and unkind. Very warlike, very hard on the poor and disabled. This winter, many more have been made homeless, reduced to abject poverty, lost the financial support from the government they needed to manage. The call on help from food banks has drastically increased.
So every day through Advent it’s my plan to walk along to the supermarket and buy something for the food bank box put out there. As I walk along, I will pray for the people who are hungry and desperate, worried and frightened, unable to pay their bills. And for everyone who is homeless or a refugee.
And I will think about Mary and Joseph walking through Advent to Bethlehem; where there was no room and they had to sleep in a stable, from where they fled persecution and became refugees.
It’s only a small plan, but a happy one I think.
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* Image at the top is The people that walked in darkness by Hebe Wilcock.
Saturday, 26 November 2016
Today, November 26th 2016, there’s a synchronized action for Standing Rock, a global gathering for prayer, at 3.00pm Central time, 9.00pm Greenwich Meantime. I'll copy and paste the info from the Facebook page below.
Here's a link to timezones near you: http://bit.ly/
#PraywithStandingRock is a synchronized moment of Prayer across the world giving thanks for Mother Earth, Clean Water and the Water Protectors at Standing Rock.
Keep in touch for regular updates here: http://
Using the word 'Prayer', rather than 'meditation' or something similar, is a native led request. Standing Rock is a prayer camp. You can pray in whatever way is appropriate for you. You don't have to be religious. You can follow your heart. Prayer can also mean taking action on the ground, but in asacred way.
Pray for Standing Rock has been approved by the Tribal Council at Standing Rock and we wish, as allies, to respect and support the native leadership and be inclusive of their participation.
Learn about the Seven Lakota values here: http://
GLOBAL WOPIDA on December 10th
Then, on December 10 (United Nations Human Rights Day), join us along with Chief Phil Lane and many other traditional leaders for a Global Wopida. Wopida is a Dakota word that means "giving of gifts, and thank you".
Take action by contributing to the Protector's Alliance on-the-ground initiative here: https://www.gofundme.com/
In case somehow you haven’t heard what’s happening at Standing Rock, let me briefly explain.
38 miles of the North Dakota pipeline transporting oil across America goes through Native American tribal lands – including sacred burial land. And the Native Americans don’t want it, because the pipelines leak and split – always; there are more than 500 such incidents a year with existing pipelines – causing horrendous and lasting ecological damage and associated human suffering. If the pipeline leaks into the Missouri, the damage will be unthinkable.
So the various Native American tribes along with many other supporters, have united at Standing Rock to protect the waters of the land, as well as the land itself and the creatures (including human) that depend on it, against this peril. Access to clean water and clean air is vital to life.
The water protectors have met with state violence deployed on behalf of business interest on a massive scale. The stand (this is not a ‘protest’; the land does actually belong to the tribal peoples) has been nonviolent and peaceful; but the state response has been violent. The water protectors have been teargassed, peppersprayed, beaten with wood batons, arrested and locked in dog cages, shot with rubber bullets, wounded with concussion grenades, hosed from water canons in sub-freezing temperatures. And still they stand, hundreds coming to join them.
We live in times when cruelty and greed feel free to appear in flagrant manifestation, the poor and vulnerable abandoned and fleeced, the earth raped and pillaged, the rich indifferent and arrogant. We can identify many profound and intransigent problems, so much that is destructive and frightening. But if there were three things against which we should take a stand, I’d say dirty technology, violence and corporate greed are the ones. The other things (like the selling off of our health service and the removal of financial support for vulnerable people in the UK) we can, if necessary, unite to tackle by ingenious local means. But if the land is fracked, we all are. If the water and air are poisoned, we all are. A National Health Service is of little use if there’s no water left to drink and all the animals and plants are dying, or there’s radioactive muck pouring into the sea as there is in Japan, or bombs are thundering down as they are on Aleppo.
So today I invite you to join me and thousands of others around the world, as we come together to pray according to our own custom, for the situation at Standing Rock.
I shall be praying in the mighty Name of Jesus that the pipeline will not only never pass through those sacred lands, but that it will be abandoned altogether. I’ll be praying for an end to dirty technology and for the rise of clean technology dependent on the sun, wind and waves. I’ll be praying for humankind as we face the turbulence and terror of what we have set in motion in climate change. I’ll be praying for peace to radiate from my life and yours and the life of everyone praying, for an end to human violence and the coming of God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I’ll be praying for the safety and protection of the water protectors, for the wellbeing of North Dakota, and calling on God to remember his covenant with the Earth and come to her rescue. I’ll be praying for those who have put themselves at the service of violence who are caught in a trap of slavish obedience, required to beat and harass and hurt their fellow human beings by greedy corporations and complicit government. I’ll be blessing them with the love of the Lord, over and over, letting His blessing soak and rinse through them to loosen and dissolve violence and blindness. And for this whole situation I’ll be praying over and over the Ho’oponopono Prayer: I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you – the mantra for healing and cleansing.