Pastoral Letter (July/August 2018)
from Malcolm Souter, Church Steward
As I write this in Catherine's absence (and with the editorial deadline of tomorrow!) the news of the day has been of the talks between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, with the hope that these will lead to peace in the Korean Peninsula for the first time in 80 years.
This year we remember the end of the "War to End All Wars" 100 years ago.
I have just come back from the Baltic where the effects of the Cold War have, to a large extent, faded into history. Yet there is still conflict in the world: in Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Sudan, Myanmar and Afghanistan. These national conflicts are for the politicians, the Trumps and the Putins of this world, to solve.
Conflicts do, however, also exist much closer to home: gang wars that have led to the death by stabbing of 46 young people in London so far this year. There has been a notable increase in racial tension since the Brexit vote and the anti-immigration stance that this evoked.
Is there conflict in our own lives, for example, with our neighbours or work colleagues?
Jesus was prepared to approach and befriend those who were the subject of hate and prejudice – the Samaritan woman, the tax collector, the leper and the beggar. Can we, in our own lives, follow his example and try to offer the hand of friendship to all with whom we might be in conflict or disagreement? Imagine the ripple effect that this might have if we just throw our own little pebble of peace into the water of the world.
Let us, with God's help, share the peace to all within our church and those in our surrounding neighbourhoods and see what the effect might be.