JUNE 2017 NEWSLETTER

Justice and Peace Scotland         
JUNE 2017 NEWSLETTER
http://www.justiceandpeacescotland.org.uk/

Dear Justice and Peace Supporter

Travels of a Social Justice Co-ordinator

Whilst it’s been only two months since I last wrote one of these columns, a lot has happened. The unexpected calling of a General Election (very unexpected given the PM’s denial of such a possibility for the previous 9 months!) has given all of us who work for social justice and peace to take up that prophetic role to ‘speak the truth to power’, and to look at the campaigning by all parties with critical eyes. Whatever the result, our work goes on! The last two months have bought unexpected sadness too. For me the bombing of a concert in Manchester (my hometown) caught me off guard in a way I could never have expected. We know from the press that the hurt caused by these actions is not limited to one city, and my prayers, and I’m sure many of us, have kept the community on Barra in our hearts in recent weeks. When these events happen we often say “well next time it could be us”, but I think for many of us we never truly believe it will be. I was however, and remain immensely proud of the response by Manchester, to open doors to those in need, and as a city to face down extremists hoping to create division. The events in Manchester, and London in recent weeks show the resilience of love, and the need to be working harder for peace and inclusion across our communities.

With summer now beginning many J&P groups will be taking breaks as people go on holiday, and enjoy a well-earned rest. You all deserve it! We know that the work does not stop, just because we aren’t meeting, and I know that our Church will continue to reach out to the margins, and seek the face of Jesus in those who are suffering, through the little acts of kindness which we try to show each day. For me, my break has been had this last week in a special way, going on pilgrimage to the Holy Land walking in the footsteps of Jesus. I will write more about this in the coming weeks (keep an eye on the website!). For now I will end with part of the reflection we used for the Third Station, Jesus falls for the first time, when walking the Via Dolorosa through Jerusalem;

In this fall, Jesus gives meaning to humanity’s suffering. … There are moments of suffering which seem to deny God’s love. Where is God in death camps? Where is he in mines and factories where children work like slaves? Where is God in the boats sinking in the Mediterranean?

Jesus falls under the weight of the cross, but he is not crushed by it. Behold Christ is there; an outcast among outcasts, a failure among so many other failures, a fallen victim among so many shipwrecked souls.

God takes all of this upon himself; a God who out of love does not show his omnipotence. But in that way, precisely in that way, having fallen on the ground like a grain of wheat. God is faithful to himself; faithful in love.

Future Events:

Faslane Annual Witness for Peace – (SCANA) Saturday 10th June 2017 at 12 noon – North Gate

This Saturday, 10th June, we hope you will join us for the Annual SCANA witness for Peace at Faslane event. Justice and Peace Scotland will be there and we are hoping that you will be too! Archbishop Tartaglia has written a statement which will be read out on his behalf. Justice and Peace Scotlad have commissioned a short film about nuclear weapons and film footage will be taken at Faslane for the film. With the nuclear weapon ban treaty process beginning at the UN in New York on Thursday 15th June and the UK government’s refusal to attend lets send the message to the UN that the Scottish people support the ban treaty even if our leaders won’t!

Dungavel Solidarity Gathering – Sunday 25th June 2017 at 1pm

We will be at Dungavel Detention Centre on Sunday 25th June at 1pm. Please join We are planning a gesture of solidarity for those incarcerated in Dungavel at our gathering with kites and the scattering of Scottish wild flower seeds around Dungavel. This event will also be captured on camera for a film Justice and Peace have commissioned about Dungavel so we are really hoping for a good turn out on the day.   Please support us.

 

Nonviolence Conference – St Mary’s Monastery, Kinnoul, Perth 14th-16th July 2017

There are still some places available on the Nonviolence Conference at Kinnoul, ‘Reclaiming Gospel Nonviolence’ Contact the J&P office on 0141 333 0238 for more information/ a booking form, prices start from only £10.

 

Social Justice Quotes

To support churches in promoting Catholic Social Teaching each week a section of church teaching is selected to fit with the weekly mass readings and/or upcoming social justice events. These are available in advance for church newsletters and bulletins from the Justice and Peace website, and are shared through social media. Please promote the use of this resource within parishes. For moreinformation please contact the office.

[Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees]

Shoulder to Shoulder: an interfaith pilgrimage – Ben Ledi

Sunday 2 July 2017, 10.30am-6.30pm

Ben Ledi, near Callander, FK17

Christian Aid Scotland and Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees are pleased to present Shoulder to Shoulder, a pilgrimage walk for all people regardless of their religion or belief.

Together we’ll walk the well-worn paths of the ancient and spiritual mountain of Ben Ledi, near Callander. This 10km walk will take in sights including Rock of Embers and a panoramic view of the Highlands, and will be themed around sanctuary and refugees.

It’s free to take part in this pilgrimage, however you are encouraged to raise funds for a project or charity which works with refugees, especially one with a faith basis.

Please register via Eventbrite

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/shoulder-to-shoulder-tickets-34318446397

Volunteering Opportunity Edinburgh Weekend Club

We are looking for enthusiastic and dedicated individuals from different faith, religion, and belief backgrounds who would like to contribute and plan an integration project for refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants in Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh Weekend Club is an initiative that seeks to respond to the social isolation experienced by many refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants arriving in Scotland. Providing a relaxed and fun environment at monthly events, the Edinburgh Weekend Club enables its participants to meet new people, build friendships, improve their English and learn more about Scottish culture and history. YOU will have the opportunity to make a lasting difference in people’s lives.

To find out more or to download the role description and application form visit our website http://www.sfar.org.uk or contact Sabine Chalmers schalmers@churchofscotland.org.uk.
We would love to hear from you!

For more information, please email Amy Menzies or call her on 0141 241 6138.

 

Event: Mindful Peace Walk.

Organisers: Jointly organised by the Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace, EICSP, Scottish Charity, SC038996, and the Edinburgh Sangha of the Community of Interbeing.

Venue: Lauriston Castle, 2 Cramond Road South, Edinburgh. EH4 6AD.

Date: Sunday 18 June 2017.

Time: 12 noon. Gather in front of Lauriston Castle for 12 noon.

Cost: Admission Free. Just come along on the day. For further information:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2017@hotmail.com , 0131 331 4469.

Show world changing films in your community. Follow this link for screenings

https://www.takeoneaction.org.uk/events/

Refugee Festival Scotland events calendar

This year’s Festival runs from 20 June to 2 July. With art, music, theatre, food and drink and community and family events, it really is a festival for everyone.

http://www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk/news_and_events/events

 

What are we doing in Scotland on World Refugee Day?

Where: George Square, Glasgow City Centre

When: Tuesday 20 June, 11am – 12pm

On World Refugee Day 2017 we will take a moment to ‘stand with’ refugees in Glasgow city centre.

We will form a human chain within George Square, showing our solidarity with refugees around the world and our connection to refugees in Scotland.

RISE Theatre is a Christian Theatre company and we are currently taking bookings for a church tour of our new, original play about Blessed Oscar Romero.

Dates available from 27th September – 24th November 2017.
Visit www.risetheatre.co.uk for more information about us and see below for more information about the production Romero – Heartbeat of El Salvador.

YEARLY REPORT 2017 for SVDP

The Foodbank Project continues to do well and thanks to the generosity of our parishioners 460 kilos of food and provisions were supplied.

At Christmas our SVdP Conference supplied food to 12 families and a further 20 parishioners were helped with money chocolates and Christmas cards. We gave Victoria and Roxburgh £150 for their comfort fund for the patients.

Hospital Visits. Each week we try to visit the sick at Victoria Hospital. As well as distributing communion , we take time to speak to them and often to other patients in the wards who have very few visitors. (some have other faiths and some have none) We have only 5 SVdP members of whom only 2  are Eucharistic ministers namely Pauline Veal, Nick Toner and occasionally some members of the University Conference (usually Mitch Waite). Just last week John Mackay also volunteered to help.  This year we have visited 328 patients.
We are still awaiting a Chaplain for Royal Victoria.

We have visited many homes in the parish namely 328 but because of shortages of volunteers, we are unable to visit everyone we would like to see, including patients in the care homes.

Our church door collections are £1115.10
Relief to needy parishioners is £854.42
Twinning(educational help to Young Indians) £120/year
Other donations (Space and asylum seekers ) £300
Furniture project £160
Caravan project £160

We would like to thank the parishioners of St. Joseph’s parish for their continual support.

With only 5 members St, Joseph’s conference we are limited in what we can do. We do need new members both young and old so that we can continue to serve our parishioners.

The national office is planning a recruitment drive to attract new members nationally. Did you know that there are 780,000 members throughout the world?

We would be grateful for your views on attracting new members to the St, Joseph’s conference

Charlie Welsh
President St, Joseph’s St. Vincent de Paul Conference

CLASSROOMS FOR REFUGEE CHILDREN

Last autumn the Justice and Peace Group of St Joseph’s Parish, Dundee, decided it needed a challenge and strongly moved by television footage of the plight of the people of Aleppo, decided to try to raise funds for a classroom for Syrian child refugees, using SCIAF’s Real Gifts scheme.

Initially the sum of GBP1125 seemed daunting, but our group decided to invite our neighbouring parish, St Andrew’s Cathedral, to work with us to raise funds. This request proved to be a huge boost to the cause and over the winter, table top sales, anonymous donations and finally a joint parish quiz night took the fund raising over the finishing line, for not just one classroom, but two, with the wonderful sum of GBP2250 realised by Lent 2017.

Our parish school, St Joseph’s Primary, joined in and used the real gifts scheme to provide school books for the children using the classrooms and the venture was concluded with the Offertory procession at mass in St Joseph’s on SCIAF Sunday. Parishioners of both parishes and children of our school offered models of the classrooms and sample books to be used by Syrian children in their refugee camps.

Our grateful thanks go to our parish priests, teachers, children and parishioners for their support and generosity.