Dear Village and friends,
Whilst Chris and I were away we heard about the terrible air show accident. Although nobody I know was involved in the incident many friends and colleagues have been swept up in the aftermath. Support for those affected, funerals for those that were lost. Just the fact that the A27 has been closed has had an impact, albeit incidental in the face of the terrible human loss.
Then again this week we have been reminded of the plight of refugees around the world. Just a few days ago over seventy refugees were found to have died in the back of a truck whilst trying to reach for a better life. Dreadful. Some are fleeing regimes that would deny them their liberty, whilst others are escaping the ravages of war. No one flees their home without significant reason.
Whether it’s refugees trying to find safety, women escaping violence, children living with abuse, or any of the huge problems that we face, our response is important. Does it reflect empathy or ambivalence? Does it empower or demonize? Does it close us down or help us to reach out? What kind of language is used in the news and media? In what way does it affect us and those around us? Not only is language a reflection of our attitude, it informs it too. It’s difficult to choose your own path when all the signposts point one way.
MCC North London and Journey MCC in Birmingham support LGBT refugees seeking asylum here in the UK. I’m sure that as we move forward that our work with the homeless will need to include the plight of refugees in some measure, especially those who may have seen Brighton as a supportive place to turn to if you identify as LGBTQ. If you know of specific cases then please let me know.
We’re still very young – just six months old as a church and laying the foundations for the future. We may not have the resources to do a huge amount right now but we can still pray for those that need help, and reach out in the many small ways that we can as individuals. And as we move forward we can be aware of the calling that God has laid on us and reach for a better world.