Most people of any sort of faith have been praying for the victims of the terrorist outrage in Manchester.
- The wounded
- The bereaved
- The rescuers
- The doctors, nurses, care-givers
- the police and security services
They all need our prayers at this time. And afterwards.
Is there a group I missed?
What about the terrorists? Surely they too are victims. Not only the one who died at the scene. Am I condoning their actions? The very opposite. I find it hard to imagine anyone thinking such an act could serve any god or any human cause.
I want to pray for:
- Anyone who feels otherwise.
- Anyone who was involved in any way.
- Anyone thinking of doing anything similar.
- Anyone who wants to cheer for the terrorists.
Let us pray not only that they never succeed, but that they may change.
- May God open their eyes.
- May they turn away from their path.
- May they find a better way.
They too are victims.
Christians in West Warrington will be praying in the streets as well as in their churches this Ascension Day, Thursday 25th May. They are responding to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Thy Kingdom Come initiative, calling on Christians to pray for others to come to know Jesus. It marks the first of ten days of prayer. People will be praying in each of the four Anglican churches of West Warrington at certain times and will be praying as they walk between them.
Says Pioneer Team Rector, Rev.Jeremy Tear, “Not everyone is expected to walk the whole way or visit all four churches (though I hope to manage that myself!). People are welcome to join us for any part of the time. You don’t have to be a member of one of our churches to join in. All are invited to pray.”
Similar events are being held throughout this country and in many others. Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodists and most other denominations are backing this call. The Archbishop, Justin Welby, says, “Coming to know Jesus was the most important thing that ever happened to me. I am praying that others will find the same love, joy and peace he brings.”
People will be praying at St James’s, Great Sankey, at 9.00 am, at St Philip’s, Westbrook, at 11.00 am, at St Paul’s, in The Oaks Centre, Penketh, at 1.30 pm, and at St Mary’s, Great Sankey, at 3.30 pm. The day will end with a service of Holy Communion in St James’s at 7.30 pm.
Jeremy added, “Ascension Day is when we remember the day Jesus left the Earth to go back to his Father in Heaven. That’s when he told his followers that they were to be witnesses to him both locally, nationally and internationally. Our prayers are one way of making that happen.”
Other events will be happening over the following nine days, locally nationally and internationally. For more information about this initiative, see www.thykingdomcome.global
“In praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities.”
Archbishop Justin Welby.
Join us. Walk. Pray. Be part of it.
I have written about the risk of giving away money unintentionally.
I have also written about some of the findings from scientific research into happiness. Another finding is that, unlike money, happiness grows when you give it away. In other words, you find yourself feeling happier after you have done something to make someone else happy. I don’t know if anyone knows why, but it seems to be so.
How? Could you volunteer for something?
Of course, not everyone is cut out to be a do-gooder. I know I am not. I prefer to keep to myself. Except online. But it is a matter of degree. Even doing a little to help someone, occasionally, can do you good.
Where to start? There are lots of charities and not-for-profit organisations that are always looking for another volunteer. Increasingly, local authorities are inviting the public to volunteer in some of their activities too. Pick one that suits you, both in the nature of the activity and the organisation’s objectives. If you love animals, an animal charity may be best. If you are concerned about poverty in other parts of the world, you might find an opportunity to go overseas to volunteer with a project, or you could get involved in publicity or fundraising without leaving home.
If you find you cannot cope with too much organisation, you don’t have to. Just find someone who needs a little help and provide it on a one-to-one basis, whether doing their garden, taking them out, or just sitting and listening to them for a bit.
There are many reasons for doing good, but one is that it does you good. Amazing!
I thought I was a bit old fashioned sticking to reading physical books, although I do read books online nowadays, mainly because they are cheaper. I still like to hold a book in my hands.
I publish my own books both ways. This is partly to reach the widest possible readership. I also like to keep a few handy, at home or in the car, in case I want to show them to someone or even sell one face to face. It is less straightforward if they have to go online.
However, I have just heard that sales of e-books have started to decline, while paperback sales are going up.
Total sales of all books are up [Hooray!].
People suggest that nowadays we all spend so much time in front of our computers and tablets that it’s nice to shut them down and do something different to relax. It may also be because many people use their phones for a lot of things and find them not to be the best way to read a book. Another suggestion is that people like to read on trains, planes, beaches, park benches and lots of places where it’s easy to lose your book or get it wet or covered in sand. Books can survive better than anything electronic and anyway they are more expendable.
Whichever way you prefer to read, please do so and encourage others.
And enjoy it!