New beginnings

After a week of news dominated by the atrocities in Paris and Nigeria the wind sweeping across Scarborough’s North Bay was strangely comforting. The threat posed by extremism is real and not restricted to one faith. Christianity has its own share of violent extremists who excuse their self-deluded fantasies in the name of religion. A short

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

drive north from Scarborough is Whitby where the Synod of the same name saw the triumph of Roman over Celtic customs. We often find it easier to label and condemn than we do to embrace and celebrate difference.

The congregation at St. Andrew’s, Scarborough is celebrating 150 years in their present building, although the history of the congregation goes much further back to the watershed of the 17th century. Like many they find IMG_9756themselves in a building built on a grand scale for another time. The desire to see the building used by community groups is a testimony to their resilience and determination. Buildings matter, they are a visible sign of our presence and a reminder of where we have come from. But on the chilly wind swept January day it was the warmth of the welcome and the laughter of friends that spoke of a faith that endures.

Scarborough South Bay

Scarborough South Bay

We grieve with the people of France and voice our own concerns that violence breeds fear and fear divides. And in the face of anxiety we turn not in on ourselves but towards each other and to the God who calls us to worship. At the beginning of a new year it was good to be reminded that no matter the difficulties we face, as communities and as individuals, then we are not alone. The God of the stable is the God of the moment and lives despite the darkness.

David Grosch-Miller

2 thoughts on “New beginnings

  1. Adrian Bulley

    Thank you, David, for mentioning the atrocities in Nigeria in the same breath as Paris.

    I stood outside the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on the evening of Sunday 11th January, alongside a thousand or so other people, clutching our pencils and ‘Je Suis Charlie’ placards, but could’t help reflecting that the terrible events in Nigeria have been overshadowed to the point of invisibility by the happenings in Paris. Is it easier to stand in solidarity with people closer to home – people like us – or are we just congenitally blinkered?

  2. David Grosch-Miller Post author

    Hi Adrian, I think that the proximity of the atrocities in Paris do threaten us. If we respond out of compassion rather than fear than Nigeria, the Sudan, Syria, the West Bank all clamour for our attention. It would be easy to be overwhelmed but may we never become immune to the suffering of others.

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