Our Knitivity Refugee Family have found some peace and quiet with another family – Kerri, James and Elizabeth. If you look carefully and compare the pictures with earlier ones you may spot some other knitted folk on a very similar journey! Hopefully they had some fun and shared some of their experiences of being on the road.
Hospitality is so important when you are in a strange place and Leeds has many organisations who help us to host asylum seekers and refugees as they try to make a new life in a strange place. Organisations such as WYDAN and LASSN’s Grace Hosting work to provide temporary accommodation and there are other organisations who help in so many other ways but these organisations are dependent on our generosity of time, money and our love.
Our refugee family found their way to Shire Oak Primary School in Headingley at the beginning of the week and reminded me how important education is for those who have to leave their homeland and find a new home in foreign parts. There can be so many new things to learn – language, customs, money, food, geography, politics, our social security system – it’s quite frightening to think about! Refugee children should find a place in a school and young children generally find it easier to learn and adapt although it can be a very traumatic experience especially if they find it difficult to make friends or are bullied. For adults it can be very hard – the stress of looking after a family, trying to fit into a new society and navigate the crazy systems that we have.
So let us remember those who have been uprooted from their homes and are trying to fit into a new society and let us be thankful for amazing schools like Shire Oak Primary and their wonderful staff!
This Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent and we will be having a “Flash Mob Nativity” at our 10:30am meeting. So come as your favourite character if you can, whether that is a king or a shepherd, a donkey or a lamb, an inn keeper or King Herod! Everyone is welcome whatever character they wish to be or whether you just want to come as yourself. There will also be a talent show led by the young people so if you want to show off your amazing talents ….! Somewhere in the midst of all this Heston will be leading our thoughts on “Good God, Upside Down World?”
And there will be a Blue Christmas Contemplative Communion at 6:30pm for anyone who needs some peace quiet reflection headspace- and rebellion against the ‘crazy’ of Christmas (and politics?!)
In their travels the Knitivity refugee family meet all sorts of people. Usually they meet local people connected to All Hallows but this weekend they found themselves at the vicarage for a night and they met up with two people visiting from London – not quite refugees themselves – Emily and Nam. Emily works for the Migration Museum Project , a fascinating project “telling stories of movement to and from Britain in fresh and engaging ways.” I’m sure that Emily learnt a lot from meeting our Knitivity Refugee Family!
This Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent – a time of waiting, reflection and preparing for that great time of celebration of Jesus’ birthday.
At our 10:30am meeting Heston will be leading us in our thoughts and exploring the meaning of ‘God is love’ in a world full of suffering.
Do come and join with us whether you want to celebrate or mourn, are feeling great or totally pissed off, want to “Get Brexit Done” or want to “Remain” – everyone is welcome!
God will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet with the best of meats and the finest of wines. God will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death for ever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces…
The Knitivity Refugee Family found warmth and security with Marcus for a night but they also met someone very strange. If you look closely in the picture you might spot a strange character. This reminds us that refugees will meet all sorts of people in their travels, some normal, some very strange. They have to make on the spot decisions who to trust and who to be wary of. Fortunately they were very safe with Marcus and his strange additional guest!
Sometimes it is important, if you are a refugee family, to lie low and keep out of the spotlight. You never know who is watching you or might report you to the authorities. Increasingly the government makes it a requirement for services to report refugees so that the government can keep an eye on them and know where to pick them up should they decide to do so.
Our Knitivity refugee family have been lying low this last week but we now know that they were in Headingley seeking refuge and safety. They soon moved on so maybe they didn’t feel too safe, good thing they have an angel watching over them!
What an exciting day this Sunday will be! Advent is finally arriving! And this Sunday is not just an ordinary first Sunday in Advent, it is a baptism first Sunday in Advent! We will be meeting as usual at 10:30am and everyone is welcome to come and join with us in celebrating.
Sunday also marks World Aids Day, an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.
On Sunday afternoon, from 4pm to 6pm we will be having a “Big Bible Read” when we will be meeting together at the church to read through Luke’s Gospel in one sitting – with contemplation and cake! If you are unable to join us then why not take some time off at home and read through Luke’s Gospel on your own or with a member or your family or a friend?