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A View From...

a poetic view from Karen Campbell, Church Related Community Worker (Bury Park and Beech Hill Council of Churches, Luton)

Sisters, brothers, neighbours, strangers,
Rubbing along; somehow getting by;
Of course there were 'issues', and words left unspoken -
Perhaps, with good reason why!

Then came the 'debate' - Brexit/not Brexit -
Thinly-veiled lies with a crocodile smile;
Fragile unity shattered, in less than a heartbeat,
And spattered with geysers of bile. 

Read more: The Brexit Prize

IMG 0373This reflection is written by Mary Haines about the history of the Church in Kuala Lumpur, following her recent visit.

One hundred years the Presbyterian Church of England (one of the predecessor denominations of the United Reformed Church) sent a young Minister, Andrew Drummond Harcus to become the first minister of St Andrew’s church, Kuala Lumpur, which his determination and effort had helped to become a reality. 

Read more: Kuala Lumpur

Zambia Report Dec 2017 PW 1A report by the Revd Paul Whittle of his visit to the United Church of Zambia and, in particular to Alison Gibbs, Mission Partner from the URC to UCZ, 1 to 8 December 2017.

Passport Control on arrival at Lusaka is an interesting and challenging experience, with loads of people and no clarity, so far as I could see, as to where to queue. However, eventually I got through and was delighted to be met by Moses, one of the UCZ’s drivers.

Moses drove me to the Catholic Guest House, where I was to stay for the first night, past lots of little roadside stalls, some selling clothes, particularly dresses, shoes and other fashion items, and many others selling food, mainly tomatoes and other vegetables and fruit. Some were cooking, for example corn on the cob, and selling these. After settling in to the accommodation I had a welcome dinner with the Synod Bishop, the Revd Sydney Sichilima, the General Secretary, the Revd Dr Peggy Kabonde, and Keith and Ida Waddell, World Mission Partners from the Church of Scotland, and, respectively, Secretaries for Education and Health. (One fascinating discovery was that Keith and I went to the same primary school in Greenock in Scotland, and at the same time.)  

Read more: The United Church of Zambia

Bleach Warning webThis reflection is written by the Revd Dr Peter Cruchley. The Revd Dr Cruchley currently serves as the Mission Secretary for Mission Development at the Council for World Mission.

‘People are even bleaching babies!’ This was one of the most startling comments in CWM’s recent Hearing on the Legacies of Slavery in Jamaica.  Several History and Politics students from the University of the West Indies came to share their perspectives on the ways the history of slavery still shapes life, systems and relationships today. The dehumanising of blackness as godless and brutish by Missionary and colonial rhetoric, the enslavement and impoverishment of black people, have left a legacy of internalised racism, a complexity of self-hatred. These young people talked about their own attempts to lighten their skin colour so they could be fair, and therefore beautiful and attractive. This is traumatic enough for adolescence, when self-image is skewed in almost any teenager of any ethnicity: but to then decide to bleach your baby. This was a collective ‘falling off chair’ moment for the gathered CWM group, especially for the older Caribbean participants who thought they had put a stop to this in their generation.  How can this still be a burden being carried by black youth and children?

Read more: MLK, Bleaching and the Occupation of Being

Zimbabwe PW 1A report by the Revd Paul Whittle of the visit to the Presbytery of Zimbabwe by five representatives of Eastern Synod, 8 to 18 December 2017.

The visitors were the Revd Paul Whittle, Team Leader and Synod Moderator, Lindsey Brown, Synod Global Links Advocate and Elder at Epping URC (twinned with Mbare UPC), Robert Dart, Elder at Rayleigh URC (twinned with Budiriro UPC), John Driver, Elder at Maldon URC (exploring twinning with Njube UPC), and the Revd Sohail Ejaz, Minister at The Cornerstone URC Southend (twinned with Highfield UPC).

Read more: The Presbytery of Zimbabwe
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