Thanks again to Fred for today's LENT REFLECTION below.
Please also see the attached document and paragraphs below for some further details and update about the Nazarene Ukraine Refugee Sponsorship Scheme:
"We have had a great response particularly from the North District Churches. This is a very stressful time for Ukrainian refugees, some of whom have never left the country before. The thought of travelling across Europe is very daunting, and knowing they have a bigger Nazarene family supporting them is very reassuring.
I have attached some updated information for those who are willing to host refugees. Some of the families are in unsafe situations and so we need to move as quickly as possible. Included are times for Zoom calls, where there will be an opportunity to answer any questions and potentially match up hosts with guests.
If you would like to host refugess then please register at firstname.lastname@example.org - thank you!"
Please make use of these ZOOM meetings for more information.
I mentioned in my previous email that it may be helpful to connect those of you who are planning to host refugees with each other. You may become aware of one another on the ZOOM calls, but I will host a Trinity Church ZOOM call this Saturday 26 March at 8pm for anyone who has already registered or is thinking about registering. You can join that ZOOM call by clicking on the following link and/or using the Meeting ID and password...
Meeting ID: 898 0431 1244
LENT REFLECTION (Fred Drummond):
In the midst of all the chaos and challenges around us, and sometimes within us, we take time to pause, be still, and know God. We hope the following reflection helps you to do so...
Making space for the whisper
I have been a speaker/teacher/leader for thirty years, so I feel I can say as an expert....
...Sometimes I talk way too much. (I can tell you are not shocked)
However, I don’t think I am the only one. There is a saying used about some preachers - “great in the air, never knows when to land, never hits the ground till they run out of fuel”
I think that sometimes sums us all up!!!!
However, I have been reflecting on the fact that we can talk a lot and say very little. We can fill every void with words but actually say nothing significant. Sometimes the diamonds of our insight are lost in the mud of the rest of our words.
Did you know that the Lords prayer is 66 words?
The “I have a dream speech” took only 15mins to share and is only 1600 words
Lincoln's Gettysburg address is only 271 words and was given in 4 minutes.
The number of words does not equate with the level of our impact...
When God speaks it is always full of impact. It brings things into being. God speaks with transformative power. With one word God changes everything. Often in a still small quiet voice. An unexpected whisper. At other times God speaks with a power, sometimes In the silence, at other moments it is in the place of desperation that the whisper of grace comes to us.
God also speaks.
When God speaks, the words always have our best interest at heart and come in cadences of hope. When God speaks, the words come with power, authority and grace.
God speaks to us all but often we are too busy to hear, or we fill every moment with our own words, leaving no space left to wait and reflect upon what God might have to say (is most of our prayer life spent in speaking or listening?)
As we walk the journey of lent, I wonder whether we will make time to wait and listen, to reflect on justice, sacrifice, mercy, and love. Can we avoid filling every space with words and just simply dwell in the presence of God? What does God have to say to us?
Are there things we need to do, things we have to stop doing. Is God calling us to bold action and creative acts of kindness. Is it words of challenge or reassurance?
Are we ready to listen?
Lord help me to slow down.
To walk, wait to listen
To open my heart to the awareness of your presence.
Forgive me when all I ever do is talk at you.
Help me to become attentive to your voice,
and may your words change me.
As we journey to the cross may we kneel in humble love and only use the appropriate words.
Thank you Fred. Why not take time to be pause, to be still and to listen for "the whisper of God".
Grace and Peace Friends.