HOLY TRINITY CORFU

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Our purpose is to glorify God in making the Christ of the Scriptures known through the love of God in worship, word and action’ 

 

Pulse is our monthly news sheet reflecting upon recent events, looking forward to the coming month, drawing attention to prayer needs and giving thanks for answered prayer.

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THE LEAD ARTICLE IN THE CURRENT EDITION OF PULSE OCTOBER 2017

(see below for current and past issues of Pulse and PulseXtra)  

Dear Friends

 

The last week travelling to and from the Synod of the Eastern European Anglican churches has been a time of real contrasts.

The Synod was held in a truly beautiful location at the Orthodox Academy of Greece on Crete– a place that in its long history has hosted many conferences to engage and inspire Christians to work together for the Kingdom of God. It was inspirational to hear how the “Green Patriarch”, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew – spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church, had worked in a gentle and faithful way to draw people together from all religions and nations to take seriously and find creative solutions to the environmental issues facing everyone and everything that lives on this beautiful earth of ours. In such a location, with people of a shared faith and hope, it is somehow more possible to glimpse clearly the Kingdom of God – a kingdom of peace, hope and unity among people living in the gentle ways of Jesus.

On the way back, I stayed overnight in Preveza as I had the privilege of presiding at a blessing in Lefkada. Preveza was a favourite haunt of my family in the past – a bustling harbour town with the added delight of catching a glimpse of the turtles in the harbour. Walking back through the backstreets from the harbour (after a no-show from the turtles!) the effect of the ongoing austerity measures was unavoidable. Shop after shop after shop closed. It was saddening to think that each empty building represented someone’s struggle – a personal story of the consequences of the continuing pressure on the people of Greece.

Hope and despair. A day apart.

At the conference, there were again many stories about the refugee crisis – about the ongoing help and support that many churches are offering. The churches in our part of the world are in locations that almost map the journey from Syria into Europe. Again, the stories for the most part were of hope in the face of human suffering – a compassionate response to the real need of fellow human beings. A shared understanding of the infinite value of every human being as a child of God.

Reading the news this morning, it was clear that there is also a different response in evidence. The growth in the far-right wing AfD party in Germany is seen by most as an overtly negative criticism of the actions of Angela Merkel in her attempt to address positively and welcomingly the humanitarian crisis as it unfolded.

Compassion and hatred. A day apart.

Our human achievements have created a smaller world – a world where we can see and measure more clearly the results of our decisions about the way we live; the consequences of our choices are often only too apparent. But how we choose to see that world and how we allow the consequences of our actions to shape what we do next is always personal.

The Christian Way does not start with a political solution to these big world issues, it too is personal. Jesus sacrificial life and death leads to a glorious resurrection and vindication of his ways of peace – but the choices he needed to make along that journey were always costly. He set aside any selfish, or protectionist choices to open himself up to the reality of the experiences of those he served. He took upon himself the suffering and pain of others to bring them healing and hope. His Way speaks ever more clearly into the continued abuses of our world and our ability to live with each other in ways that seek good for each other. With all our advances in technology and our ingenious capacity to manipulate the world around us, our greatest challenge remains personal to every human being, Can we grow spiritually in ways that allow us to “feel” the pain of others and creation to such an extent that we can make different choices together?

I pray that as Jesus’ church we will all take time to pray for his inspiration and guidance in our responses to the big issues facing our time and, more importantly, have the faith and courage to respond to what we hear from Him.

With peace and blessings,

Jules

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