Openness has great merit
The recent article The Prophecy of Emptiness (OLC #124) really struck a chord with me and though we are all very security conscious in today's world, I believe that Terry Monagle's suggestion has great merit.
Whilst travelling overseas five years ago, especially in England, my husband and I were very impressed to see, in almost every town we visited, an open invitation displayed by churches of various denominations, to visit, reflect, pray or spend some quite time within. These churches advertised their communities as members of "Churches Travelling Together".
A further message welcomed those travelling away from home, inviting them to join in the Sunday service, regardless of denomination.
It was such an uplifting experience for us, especially as only a week before our return to England from Ireland, the terrible events of September 11th had occurred.
In spite of this, the signs remained and the churches did not close their doors. In fact, a steady stream of people seemed to seek out a quite place to pray or reflect in whichever way brought them comfort and peace during those anxious weeks following the attack.
We have all seen how often people visit a church during a major tragedy, whether it be a terrorist attack, tsunami or earthquake, but how wonderful it would be to offer visitors "a sacred space" where they have the opportunity to restore their spirit if only for a short while.
A nearby Catholic Parish has already taken this step and displays a message outside the church welcoming anyone wishing to spend time in prayer or meditation, whether a believer or not. Some would consider this could encourage vandalism, but what a wonderful outreach, especially in today's world when so many people consider themselves to be spiritual rather an aligning themselves with a particular denomination.
The glory of God
You write, "The glory of God is the human being fully alive!" What does that mean? St Irenaeus gave the answer in the full quotation, "The glory of God is man fully alive and the life of man is the vision of God."
(editor’s note: The writer is responding to the pre-issue 124 email, Be radical. Be risky. Be real. The choice is personal, in which I was pointing to the article, Do we really want to be fully alive)
Edward Broughton, South African War, WWI & WWII (AIF) (Belated recognition, OLC #121) Edward Renata Muhunga Broughton was born on 6-9-84 ie 6 September 1884 according to his History Sheet on his (very brief) WWI file in Archives NZ, Wellington (for NZ Army, WWI; I can't see a Boer War file!). An envelope (medical, pension or? ) was kept confidential. For Religion "none".
From the attestation details for the South African War & WWI, his parents were William Brougham and Ateria (or Atiria) Hauwaha, who had married in 1882. When he enlisted in 1915 his next-of-kin was his mother, Mrs Atiria Brougham of Fern Hill, Hawkes Bay. Was his father dead by then? He was a Land Broker, last employed by the New Zealand Native Department, Wellington. Address The Civil ServiceClub, Wellington.
He got the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, and "Special Mention in Despatches by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig for distinguished and gallant service and devotion to duty during the period of 16-9-18 to 15-3-19" (NZEF 833, London 15-7-19). Also mentioned in 1916 was "Good work at Gallipoli". He served from 4-1-15 to 4-5-19 or 4y & 121 days (inc 186 days in NZ).
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