19 October 2021            A Candle in the Window            Peter Millar

Words to encourage us in these times            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Words for every age:

I have fought against while domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunity. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and achieve but if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.    Nelson Mandela

The Wild goose:

The Wild Goose is considered by many to be a Celtic symbol of the Holy Spirit, and serves as the logo of the Iona Community. Geese in flock have seventy per cent greater range than a single goose on its own; geese in formation fly seventy-five per cent faster than single geese. Iona, down through the centuries, speaks to us above all about the experience of the Holy Spirit in community. The islanders on the small island of Iona off Scotland’s West coast have always had to be dependent on each other. So too the Celtic monks on Iona, the later Benedictines, and the present-day international and ecumenical Iona Community. All have learned about the need and strength of sharing. Christianity is a community faith, as are many of the world’s great religions.

Holy Spirit of God brooding over Iona’s wild restless waters; laughing with the wind’s fury or gentle touch, rising with the sun and settling amidst the stars – be present among us in the joys and pains of every new day.

 *** Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto   -  song of Violeta Parra

                  (Thanks be to life which has given me so much.)

In The Bible the often difficult to grasp Book of Job, does not give us a reason for suffering; it gives us a framework in which to live it and to begin to understand it.    Gustavo Gutierrez, theologian.

  *** The Tiniest and most forgotten creature is fresh and alive in God’s memory.    Bartolome de Las Casas

There is no such thing as emptiness in the world. Even in the sky there are no vacant places - everywhere there is life, visible and invisible, and every object gives us a great interest to live. Even without human companionship we are never alone. The planet teems with life and wisdom.  Luther Standing Bear

World’s religions join Pope Francis in climate appeal:

The Pope and leaders representing the world’s foremost religions have pleaded with politicians attending The Cop26 conference in Glasgow to save the planet from environmental disaster. Calling for the world to achieve net-zero carbon emissions as soon as possible and to limit the world temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the appeal “begs” rich nations to fund poorer countries that are now being hit hard by climate change. The document was signed by leaders of the Christian faith, and by leaders of  Islam, Judaism. Hinduism. Sikhism. Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism Zoroastrianism and Jainism.

If scientists cannot persuade world leaders to act on climate change, perhaps religious leaders can. That is the hope of this new joint appeal. There have been similar statements in the past but this recent document is supported by more faith leaders than any before The appeal’s greatest impact may lie in what it commits faith leaders to do themselves rather than call on others. They promise to take much more serious action and to deepen their efforts to bring about a change of heart in those who live by a religion.***

Celebrating true courage:  (The Nobel Prize 2021 also went to the brave Filipino journalist Maria Ressa - a truly inspirational person in our world.)

Dmitry Muratov this year’s joint-winner of The Nobel Peace Prize, is often described as a ‘living legend’ and co-founder of Novaya Gazeta one of Russia’s most fearless news outlets. Since being established by Muratov and colleagues in 1993, Novaya Gazeta has investigated corruption inside and outside Russia, as well as the long, brutal wars in Chechnya. Six of the paper’s reporters and contributors have been murdered for their work. Muratov said the Nobel prize belonged to them – Igor Domnikov, Yuri Shchekochikhin, Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya, Nastya Barburova, Natasha Estemirova and Stas Markelov. Former president Gorbachev another Nobel laureate, donated some of his prize money to help the paper buy computers and pay staff. He hopes that it will raise once more the importance of the press in the modern world. Yet as Russia’s fierce crackdown on independent media has intensified in recent years under Vladimir Putin, the paper and its staff have been repeatedly targeted. Despite this pressure, Novaya Gazeta continues its investigative work, and remains a beacon of hope for millions of Russians and many others around the world. Let us remember this vital work in our thoughts and prayers.