River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Musings From The Methodist Manse

February 2001

We're in the decade to overcome violence

Dear Friends,

I write these thoughts in the week where many people have been shocked by the death of little Anna Climbe; neglected and tortured by the two people who were supposed to be caring for us. Her death came only weeks after the shocking murder of Damilola Taylor and in the same week as the newspapers once more recalled the shocking murder of Jamie Bulgar; and debated the future of the two little boys (now young adults) who killed him.

We are shocked. These events are shocking. Their horror defies us to find words which adequately describe the sense of shock and sometimes, we are in danger of hearing such shocking things so often, that sadly, they do not really shock us any more.

This year, the World Council of Churches begins a new initiative. They have designated the first decade of the new millennium, THE DECADE TO OVERCOME VIOLENCE.

It is a brave undertaking - one which will no doubt be invested with expectations that seem too high and cynicism about what it is possible to achieve. It is all too easy for us to look to others to solve the problems around us. After all, most of us, thankfully, are not directly touched by events as tragic as those we hear about in our news. But therein lies a danger - the mistaken beliefs that it couldn't happen to me or it would never happen here, were no doubt in the minds of those who have experienced violent tragedy. It is important that we all stop once in a while and examine our own capacity for anger and violence - in our thoughts, words and actions. When was the last time you were rude to someone, or lost your temper, or berated someone to another? It is from these seeds, that violence grows and it is by beginning to tackle the weeds in our own lives, that we can do out part in helping to overcome violence. Please find some space this month to think (and pray) for violence to be overcome.

Prayer of the World Council of Churches

Pray for peace in your country. For the victims of violence everywhere.

For those struggling for peace and justice. For churches in conflict situations

For a world without war and violence.

Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth,

Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust.

Lead me from hate to love, from fear to trust.

Let peace fill our beings, our world and our universe. Amen.

Every Blessing

Revd Jackie Goddard

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