Church Link News: October 2014
Welcome to the October edition of the Church Link News. This is written as an accompaniment to our general Network News, and is our opportunity to celebrate the work of our supporters, volunteers, and staff. Andrew Wells, an associate Alabaré chaplain from Salisbury, has kindly taken the time to talk about his work with us and Salisbury Courts, and we also bring you our Harvest Festival appeal.
Here's Andrew's story;
In 1972 in Australia, I saw the late Sydney Carter perform a song which still challenges me. It began:
When I needed a neighbour - were you there, were you there?
When I needed a neighbour - were you there?
The creed and the colour and the name won’t matter.
Were you there?”
(Sydney Carter, 1915-2004)
Each verse points to the sharp core of Jesus’ Good Samaritan parable. Samaritans were treated as outcasts and despised. We still too often label or treat others likewise. Luke 10:25-37*
Jesus’ command is as demanding, liberating and life-giving now as it was then (Matt 28:20*). Alabaré’s vital work responds to that clarion call. So does Court chaplaincy, as does all other work caring for “neighbours”.
Courts are places of truth-testing, truth-finding and judgement for those visiting or brought to court - often with no hiding place. They can be particularly stressful for witnesses, victims, juries, parties, and for family and friends who come and support them. None are immune from the ups and downs of life.
So the Courts chaplaincy team, as is the Alabaré team, is there for everyone – without exception. There to give each person physical and spiritual space. There to listen – attentively, non-judgementally and in confidence. There to help get on top of specific issues he or she may be struggling with – and, where appropriate, to offer practical help, and when appropriate there to point them to charities and agencies, which may be able to help each person move forward in a sustainable way.
Chaplaincy is ecumenical and multi-faith. It networks closely with all churches and faith communities, and is also there for those who profess no faith. After all, everyone’s life is an unpredictable drama of growing, loving, trusting, hoping, despairing, and suffering, rejoicing, having and losing. And we all share a need to reach out to the transcendent – to that which is greater and other than us.
So chaplaincy team members respect, care for and serve each person encountered for his or her ownsake. They need not believe in God, or go to a church, mosque, synagogue or temple. God has His own wonderful and unique way with each - as Abbé Pierre, founder of Emmaus, rightly reminds us:
“God isn’t in the sky; he is in this poor fellow who is talking to you at this moment. Christ is incarnate in this hooligan, this thief, this liar. The glory of God is incarnate in you who listens to this, and in me, who is speaking.”
Andrew's Bible readings to consider this month:
Luke 10:25-37 The self-justifying lawyer testing Jesus may have been quite shocked to discover the hero was a Samaritan, not a Jew – then more so, to hear Jesus’ finally tell him “Go and do likewise.”
Matt 28:20 Jesus’ command is as demanding, liberating and life-giving now as it was then. Alabaré’s vital work responds to that clarion call.
Please help us support vulnerable and homeless people in your area - your gift will make a huge difference to someone's life. We’re looking for.
- Cartons of juice
- Marmite, jam, marmalade
- Cooking oil
- Washing powder
- Tinned meat (tuna corned, beef etc.),
- Tinned fruit, and vegetables
- Baked beans
- Toilet rolls,
- Kitchen towels,
- Washing up liquid,
- Gravy granules
- Rice or Pasta
Thank you for your support, without kind hearts like yours we wouldn’t be able to provide the service that so many people across the South West rely on. Please contact Rosie on 01722 344478 for further details on how to donate. If you do choose Alabaré as the beneficiaries of your Harvest collection we would be happy to supply some information about our work - please get in touch.
Please keep in your prayers...
Our planned Homes for Veterans across Wales.
WANTED – Church Link People
We know that church life is a busy and rewarding full-time occupation; however we are also endeavouring to look for a self-nominated "Church Link" person for every church/parish who will share our monthly thoughts with their congregations and liaise with us here at Alabaré.
If you are interested in sharing our good news please get in touch with Rosie Lewis.
We would like to give a special mention to the congregation of St John's Tisbury who came together to run 2 concerts at St Thomas' Church, Salisbury raising £375.70 that will be shared across our local projects.
We were also lucky to have had the Pontypool Male Voice Choir hold an evening for us at St Hilda's church, Griffithstown that raised £201.65 for our Wales Homes for Veterans.