A message from the Rev’d Diana Netherway, Assistant Curate

Posted by Admin on Friday, 25th March 2016, 22:23

 

Hello to you all
While I was training for ordination 20 years ago, I heard the story about a young boy who, when asked by his teacher to describe the word `Deacon`, answered, “It is a light on top of a hill which guides things or people away from danger and gives light and hope to others.”  He was, of course, talking about a BEACON….however, the lad wasn’t that far wrong in his description of a Deacon.
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The word Deacon comes from the Greek DIAKONOS which also means servant or minister. The ministry of Deacons, i.e. my job, involves making Christ known in the world by following His example of selfless, unconditional love, serving the needs of those in danger, sickness or any adversity, feeding the hungry, acting on the plight of the poor, the homeless and the rejected. We are also to speak out boldly against injustices in society. Although this describes the ministry of Deacons and indeed, all Christians, it doesn’t exclude those of other faiths or perhaps no faith, who regularly go about their daily lives bringing light into the lives of those in the dark places of society. I believe that all goodness and love comes from God whether we recognise or acknowledge it or not, and He gives us the gifts of His Spirit in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to reach out to those in need.
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Here on the Island we see the result of God’s love shown through the generosity of those who fill baskets to over-flowing in supermarkets and churches, with gifts for our foodbanks, who cater to the needs of the hungry, the poor and disadvantaged. We have Street and School Pastors taking care of the safety, comfort and wellbeing of youngsters and the vulnerable in our towns and schools. Within our churches we have pastoral groups going out to minister to the needs of the sick, the housebound and bereaved in the community. The fantastic work of the Salvation Army along with the care of other organisations and individuals has given relief to the growing number of the homeless in our towns.
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The plight of the homeless has been made much worse recently with the closure of the Downside Community Night Shelter, and the lack of site for the soup kitchen. However as I write this there has been a temporary plan established, through the huge number of people who have signed the petition for a night shelter, which will open at The Riverside Centre in Newport, with a Pop Up Soup Kitchen close at hand to feed those who would otherwise go hungry.  These people are homeless for a variety of reasons, some of which are no fault of their own. They are victims of circumstance and need help. We can help by maintaining the pressure on our MP and councillors but also via other ways such as donating warm clothing or blankets, scarves and hats or if we have more time talking to them and listening to their stories and finding out what they really do need.
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The fact is that whatever dark situation or hardship a person finds themselves in there should be the Beacon of God’s light shining somewhere to help them find the way back to a better place, where they are cared for and loved unconditionally.
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Loving God, in your house there is room for everyone, help us to strive for a world where everyone has a home that truly meets their needs. Give us grace to welcome strangers, to feed the hungry, to clothe the shivering, to visit the sick and to give shelter to the homeless, for what we do for the least of these, your children, we do for you. Make us Beacons of your love and light to the glory of your name.

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Amen.

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Diana

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See the Church section

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Please note this message is NOT from Rev’d AMand Collinson as incorrectly stated in the April 2016 edition of Northwood News.

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