around the manse lawn late in February, I noticed various green shoots of spring,
snowdrops and daffodils among them. I had to be careful, to make sure I did not
crush them – they were small, and I am not. Stopping to observe them, gave my
heart a lift on a wintry day.
last blogged, my diary has afforded me several opportunities to see green
shoots of spring in the United Reformed Church (URC).
my turn to be the General Assembly Moderator at URC Youth Assembly. Derek
Estill had told me how much it meant to him in 2019, and I rejoice that it was
possible for me to attend this year.
struck time and again by the passionate consideration of some diverse business:
In March, the Revd Nigel Uden will lead a church weekend on the Isle of Man, and will preach for the Lancaster Missional Partnership; at Meersbrook Park United Reformed Church, Sheffield; and in Darwen, Lancashire.
Mr Derek Estill will attend a
URC/Baptist interfaith event in Elland, West Yorkshire, and will preside at the
induction of the Revd Brian Jolly to the role of North Western Synod Moderator
in Bolton, Greater Manchester.
Both moderators will attend a
meeting of the URC General Assembly arrangements committee, in London, and
Mission Council, from 17 to 19 March, at High Leigh Conference Centre,
Each year, on 27 January, the nation comes together to
remember the Holocaust and the murder of six million Jews. This year’s ceremony also marked the 75th
anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazis’ death camp, on the 27
January 1945. At that time, I was a four-year-old
in South Wales completely unaware of the horrors that had been taking place across
Europe. Similarly, young people today
can be unaware of the dangers that lurk just a little below the surface of our
everyday lives. Many of those who were
directly affected have now died and each year there are fewer left to tell what
happened. It is therefore our responsibility
to make sure these memories, and the accounts of what happened at this most
terrible time in the world’s history, are not forgotten.
The following are the ten recognised steps that lead to genocide: 1. Classification creating an “us” and “them” mentality 2. Symbolisation of the “other” such as being made to wear a yellow star 3. Discrimination against certain groups 4. Dehumanisation against the other as being inferior 5. Organisation through state involvement to execute actions 6. Polarisation between “us” and “them” through propaganda 7. Preparation of armies to protect “us” from “them” 8. Persecution by separation of “them” from “us” 9. Extermination by mass killing 10. Denial by not accepting what has been done It is so important that we guard against this happening.
“Stand Together”, the theme of this year’s Holocaust
Memorial Day (HMD), reminds me of that new commandment that Jesus gave us when
he said that we are to “love one another as I have loved you”.
This simple commandment has an urgency and power that
makes it an essential motivator to the way we live our lives. It challenges us
in every way you can think of. We, as Christians, are called to live out these
words in all we do and say, putting them into action in our day to day lives,
following Jesus to build communities that stand together as Jesus wants us to