PCN members have told PCN Chair that we need to value all workers

PCN members have told PCN Chair that we need to value all workers

the average hourly wage for many care staff is £8.10... One in four social care workers are on zero-hours contracts

My working life as a parish priest meant that I was familiar with care and nursing homes, seeing individual residents, sharing communion services, enjoying a Christmas carol sing. But a few months ago I saw a care home in a different light – my mother at the age of 102 went into care. She is a healthy centenarian with a sound memory and a love of people and for the last six years, after giving up her own home at the age of 96 to live with us, we have looked after her needs. By last December we all decided that mum would be safer in full time care because she was too vulnerable to leave alone for any length of time- she could have fallen, there could be an unwanted visitor at the door and so on. Many readers of this newsletter will have had similar experiences in their families.

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PCN Newsletter 28th May

PCN Newsletter 28th May

In our tenth newsletter we hear from Adrian Alker about the need to value all key workers.

My working life as a parish priest meant that I was familiar with care and nursing homes, seeing individual residents, sharing communion services, enjoying a Christmas carol sing. But a few months ago I saw a care home in a different light – my mother at the age of 102 went into care. She is a healthy centenarian with a sound memory and a love of people and for the last six years, after giving up her own home at the age of 96 to live with us, we have looked after her needs. By last December we all decided that mum would be safer in full time care because she was too vulnerable to leave alone for any length of time- she could have fallen, there could be an unwanted visitor at the door and so on. Many readers of this newsletter will have had similar experiences in their families.

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PCN Newsletter 21st May

PCN Newsletter 21st May

This is the ninth is our series of lockdown newsletters

Marcus Borg Memorial Conference – Postponement to 2021

PCN members and friends will know that we had planned our fifth conference in honour of Marcus Borg to be held in Birmingham in October in association wit the Church at Carrs Lane. We had invited Revd Deshna Shine to lead our day and plans were well in hand. Deshna is the Executive Director of the Progressive Christian movement in the USA. It is now clear that it will be some considerable time before we all feel safe to attend conferences and Deshna has agreed to lead the conference in the autumn of 2021, when we do hope a vaccine will have been discovered and be universally available.

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A call to discover divine mystery by Dostoyevsky

A call to discover divine mystery by Dostoyevsky

You will perceive The divine mystery in things

The whole of it and every grain of sand

Love every leaf
Every ray of God’s light
Love the animals
Love the plants
Love everything
If you love everything
You will perceive
The divine mystery in things
And once you have perceived it
You will begin to comprehend it ceaselessly
More and more everyday
And you will at last come to love the whole world
With an abiding universal love

- Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Did God send Covid-19 and should we even ask that question? by John Wijngaards

Did God send Covid-19 and should we even ask that question? by John Wijngaards

Most Christians I am sure will reject this image of the Tyrant God - John Wijngaards - professor (emeritus)

John Wijngaards writing in The Tablet says: This reflection of mine will not dwell on the coronavirus – though my thoughts were sparked by a sermon on the pandemic by a Pentecostal preacher I watched on TV. Thumping the pulpit he shouted: “You ask why? Why indeed! God is chastising us for our sins! Don’t we read in Genesis 6,5 that God sent the Deluge because ‘the Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become’?!”

Most Christians I am sure will reject this image of the Tyrant God, the difficult-to-please Disciplinarian, the all-seeing Eye, the strict Master who expects perfection from everyone and unleashes disaster to punish us. But is the Testing God much better? He allowed Job to endure crippling hardships, including the death of all his children and grandchildren. He inflicts pain and suffering on people to give them a chance to gain merit, as the apostle of the devotion to the Sacred Heart, Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque, believed. Or what about the Partisan God, the God who spares us if we know how to invoke his/her pity, if we plead with tears in our eyes?

It reminds me of a college student I knew whose father died of cancer in his forties. “I begged God”, she told me. “I spent hours in church on bare knees. I cried. I implored God to save my dad, for the sake of mum and my four brothers and sisters. No use. He is dead.”
And then she added. “I will never go to church again.”

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Universal Basic Income? - Chair Adrian Alker invites your views on post Covid society

Universal Basic Income? - Chair Adrian Alker invites your views on post Covid society

What changes do we want to see in our country as a result of this awful experience of the coronavirus?

This was the invitation I gave to PCN members in the fifth of our weekly newsletters, back on April 23rd. Already we have received nineteen emails in response and we hope others may wish to take up the invitation to reflect upon what we are learning about our economy, our workforce, our environment, our priorities as a nation. I thought I would try to highlight in the coming weeks some of the wished-for changes which members have written about.

So here is one possible change!

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Of the value of life

Of the value of life

I May Be Dead, But I Will Not Have Gone

My last breath will have been given to the air around me,

So look for me in the still air of morning,

And in the rushing winds of the afternoon.

My body will have returned its borrowed substance to the world around us,
So look for me in the growing grass
And the swaying of the woodland trees.

My genes are only borrowed from the generations before me,
So look for me in the countenances of my children,
And the happy smiles of my grandchildren.

The waters of my body will have been returned to the atmosphere,
So look for me in the magnificent clouds of the day-time
And in the radiant skies of the sunset.

My love was given to me by my parents,
So look for me in the love I have given you
And in the love you give to your children.

My thoughts I have always shared with those who cared to listen,
So look for me where other folk now run their courses
And may change the world just a little.

From the stuff of stars came the atoms that made me,
To the stuff of stars they will eventually return.
I may be dead, But I will not have gone.

Patrick Coleman*

Now a Member of Truro Meeting, Patrick was for many years a Member at Liskeard and the original editor of The Fountain.

Principles for a pandemic by Joan Chittister

Principles for a pandemic by Joan Chittister

"Rules are not necessarily sacred," Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "principles are."

One thing is clear: “Rules” are not getting us out of the largest pandemic in modern history.

We’re washing our hands and wearing our masks and staying indoors and counting the number of people in every group, but the numbers keep going up regardless.

At the same time, principles, if any, may be necessary but nobody talks about them much —despite the fact that it’s principles that guide our behavior or help us to evaluate what’s going on around us. Principles are the motivating force upon which everything we do is based.

Worse, if we never ask ourselves what our principles really are, how can we ever survive, let alone resurrect the foundations of a moral, an effective society, tumbled by circumstances, felled by the deaths of the past. How can we ever change what must be changed?

That kind of spiritual ignorance is no small factor in the shrinking of the soul of a country.

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a wonderful world of exquisite beauty and of great mystery

a wonderful world of exquisite beauty and of great mystery

That leads us to believe that even a little “Somebody” matters.

In the maternity hospital where I was born in 1944 another child entered the world, I don’t now if it was a boy or girl but what I do know is that this baby did not survive. In my childhood my mother often spoke of this baby and particularly of its mother. Way back then, confinement was for ten days and babies did not stay with their mothers but were brought into the ward for feeding at certain times of the day. On every occasion that this happened, this young childless mother, who remained in the ward with all the others, was constantly being remaindered of the immensity of her loss. My mother already saddened by this baby’s death, thought it was the cruelest procedure imaginable and she spoke of it with hurt but also with disgust, throughout the rest of her life, not obsessively by any means, but this baby and this young mum always mattered to her.

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