“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12). I offer you these words from the Apostle Paul for the month of October.
Here in our corner of the world thankfully we know much of what it is to “be joyful in Hope.”
It is now at least the official season of Harvest Thanksgiving (with the hot summer, harvest having come early this year). Now we focus our worship on being thankful for all of God’s good gifts and resources to us. Early harvests or not, here in Wales and the UK we have much to be thankful and joyful for in this corner that we have been given to care for.
At our Harvest Songs of Praise this year we welcome Rev’d Alan Cronin, the new curate of Hawarden as our guest speaker. Alan’s face I gather will not be all that unfamiliar to some of you. I gather our oldest generations may well remember Alan as a former Caergwrle Policeman. I suspect Alan will have some interesting things to say.
In Hope, we are “joyful in hope.” As Christians we are also called to “be patient in affliction.” In the press lately we have learned about the effects of recent storms – Hurricane Florence in America (whose remnants then became Storm Ali across the UK) and worse, Typhoon Mangkhut, in the Philippines and South China.
Our Harvest Charity for 2018 will be the Christian relief charity Tearfund and their Philippines’ Typhoon Emergency Fund. Due to the landslides caused by the typhoon, numerous people have died and several hundred thousand have been affected. Tearfund is currently working with local partners to provide water and sanitation, food, and other essentials. There are also plans to provide psychosocial support to children and young people affected by the crisis.
We will take a collection for Tearfund at both the Ladies’ Guild Harvest Supper in Emmanuel and Harvest Songs of Praise in Hope. If you are unable to attend either of these events but would still like to give then please get in touch with myself or Adam Taylor, Les Graham or David Dalrymple. Food gifts kindly received at our Harvest Festival services will be divided between our local Foodbanks and the Salvation Army Citadel Kitchen in Wrexham.
Another issue which we as Christians are called to be “patient in affliction and faithful in prayer” and worth considering this month is that of Nuclear Weapons Disarmament. I have been learning a lot about this recently! Not just because of the current media coverage on America and North Korea but because, in August, members of the Ludlow Quakers and Hereford Peace Council got in touch with me. Early on Wednesday 24th October – United Nations Day and the beginning of Disarmament Week – a “Peace Train” is departing Hope Station, (likely at 8:12am or 9:12am), for Newport and then London. In September I met with the retired Bishop of Shrewsbury, John Davies, who is now an Honorary Assistant Bishop of St Asaph, to talk further about this initiative. In short, various Quaker, peace and justice groups are travelling together to London as part of a wider Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament collecting signatories to petition the government to sign the 2017 United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; a treaty that won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize. These groups are beginning in Hope because there is Hope for Peace!
There are varying points of view on whether the United Kingdom should currently have nuclear weapons or not but very few of us I suspect are supportive of the principle of nuclear warfare.
In 1970, five nations with declared nuclear capabilities, America, Russia, China, France and the UK, signed the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty. These nations agreed that they would work together to reduce their number of nuclear weapons. Unfortunately nearly 50 years later, whilst the number of nuclear weapons worldwide is now decreasing, none of these five nations have completely disarmed and there is now an estimated 8-10 nations with nuclear warfare capabilities.
In the magazine you will find a petition slip that you are invited to sign if you would like to. I have signed it. Personally speaking I have signed the petition because 48 years since the 1970 Treaty was agreed is a long time. I believe it’s important that the UK Government keeps the goal of worldwide nuclear disarmament on its political agenda and is optimistic
that a nuclear weapon free world one day is possible. Hopefully before another fifty years is up.
In light of Harvest, the Philippines and Nuclear Disarmament, this month may we “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12). Please do make use of the Prayer Page!
In Christ, Adam