The Refugee Family and friends spent the evening on the doorstep waiting for a lift to their next destination. Fortunately it was reasonably warm and it didn’t rain much but their lift never materialised as their next host ran out of time chasing around preparing for Christmas! Several hours later the family managed to wake the Inn Keeper who had fallen asleep in front of the TV watching a worthy program about racism and he grudgingly let them back in to stay the night.
On the Fourth Sunday of Advent the Gospel reading is about the events involving Mary and Joseph that led directly to the birth of Jesus. Because the announcement of Jesus’ birth was made by an angel the candle that we light for the first time on this Sunday is sometimes known as the Angel’s candle.
This Sunday we will be meeting at 10:30 am, we will be lighting the fourth candle and reflecting on the song that Mary sang as a result of the angel’s message:
My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.
One of the problems with continuously moving from one place to another is that you can easily lose track of events. Refugees and asylum seekers are often picked up on inconsistencies in their stories when they are interviewed but if you slept in a different place every night you would have difficulty keeping track!
And so it is with our refugee family, we now have evidence of where they were last weekend, possibly Saturday night. Let’s hope that the Home Office don’t catch up with them and ask any difficult questions. (I’m sure that they won’t forget staying with Edie and Maeve even if they don’t remember which night it was!)
One of the problems of being a refugee is that you never know if you are going to be able to put your head down in the same place two nights running. Our refugee family spent a night in Meanwood…
… and then found themselves in York
Sometimes a refugee or asylum seeker may be a bit more fortunate (!) and find a scheme like the WYDAN night shelter where they know that they might be able to have 7 nights in one place, or they might be accepted on Grace Hosting and find themselves welcomed into someone’s home for a period of time but they are still not in their own space and they still do not have any control over their future in the same way that we do.
As we approach Christmas and we remember how Jesus was a refugee from Herod let us remember those caught up as refugees and asylum seekers and let us try and find more ways to welcome and support them.
It is often the case with refugee families that they disappear off the radar for a time and then appear in unexpected places. Who would have thought that the refugee family would turn up in Chapel Allerton! But they have made it to Pippa and Jackie’s. The kings are still on the way, across earth and fire……
Mon 17 Dec @11-3 Rainbow Junktion Cafe
Tue 18 Dec @7:30-9pm Bible Study at church (07930 815911 for further info)
Wed 19 Dec @12-2pm OWLS lunch
Thu 20 Dec @11-3 Rainbow Junktion Cafe
Fri 21 Dec @11-3 Rainbow Junktion Cafe
Sun 23 Dec @10.30am All Hallows’ Advent worship
See our calendar for more details of what is happening at All Hallows’
This Sunday is the third Sunday in Advent and is also known as Gaudete Sunday or Rose Sunday – you can read more on Wikipedia or by using Google. Gaudete is the Latin word for Rejoice, and this Sunday is going to be full of rejoicing as we have an “All Hallows’ has got talent” event and a Sacred Wing concert in the evening. This Sunday’s meeting starts at 10:30am and everyone is welcome to come and rejoice and have fun with us.
Tickets for our Christmas Day lunch are now available, further details are on the Rainbow Junktion Facebook page and tickets are available from the EventBrite page.
Please note that this event is a ticket only event. As always we will be using food saved from landfill and be serving on a Pay-As-You-Feel basis (suggested minimum donation is £5 as we are raising money to keep the community cafe all year round) and everybody is welcome.
Lunch will be served after the Church service (10:30am) and you are welcome to join us for the service as well. Vegan and gluten free options will be available but please let us know about any allergies.
Everybody is welcome, regardless of faith or ability to pay. This Christmas Day let’s have a wonderful time together celebrating our differences whilst breaking bread together. Please tell anyone who may be alone or unable to make themselves lunch this Christmas to come along because no one should be hungry on Christmas day.
If you book a ticket and find that you are unable to come please cancel the ticket via EventBrite so that you can free up your space for someone else.
Today the knitted Nativity visited Shire Oak School in Headingley. In assembly they helped the children think about all those who are travelling at this time of year.
Dear God, as we travel through Advent towards Christmas, we think of everyone travelling
Be with them, and us, in all our journeys.
- to loved ones
- to safety
- for work
- to help others.