PCN Newsletter 14th May
This is the eighth weekly newsletter.
Do not worry about returning your DVD if your group meetings are on pause. All loan dates have been extended by six months and nobody is at the moment waiting for your current DVD because so far we have been able to juggle between multiple copies, and/or divert fresh hirers to other titles. I’ve had interesting news from some PCN groups who are planning to continue their meetings in a new way. At least one group was about to resume the course where they left off - but in a zoom meeting, and two groups are planning to start new DVD courses in this way. I expect we’d all like to hear the experiences of these pioneers, if they would be willing to report back to the rest of us. My first concern was whether there might be a performing rights problem, but someone explained that as long as it is a meeting with known people, rather than a public performance open to all this is just another way of meeting. In any case I would expect the publishers to understand. Just one other notice from the DVD library. Existing hirers have already paid the cost of return postage on all discs in their course and should use their return labels as normal with no additional payment required. The postage cost for all new hires from today will increase in line with Royal Mail price changes this year. These changes have affected both the outward and the return prices. It will be £3.50 per disc package – but this still covers return postage and any Royal Mail price rises during the period of your hire. https://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/resources/dvd-library best wishes, JessGretta Vosper once wrote that it is time for “humanists and atheists, sceptics and agnostics to see they share a common future with the many who are still comforted by their religious beliefs”. Perhaps now more than ever that must be true. If ever there was a time for people who want the best for society, people who seek ‘the common good’ to be willing to work together, this must be it. Like many of us, my mind has been turning recently to the future – life ‘post covid19’ – the much heralded ‘new normal’. I think lots of people really just want the old normal back, and I don’t blame them. We get used to things, and we like them that way. I like to have pizza on a Saturday evening, I don’t mind a change every now and then, but I look forward to getting back to normal. How much more so for those who have found their lives turned upside down by the virus. There is a danger sometimes that we ‘progressives’ find ourselves permanently socially distanced from our more conservative counterparts, perhaps because we’ve been hurt, or just because we find their theology weird, annoying or plain boring. The reason that this is dangerous is that it has the potential to stop us from making common cause with them when it counts. And right now it counts. We may be fed up with dodgy doctrine, but ultimately we need to work together to ensure that the poor are cared for. We might not be interested in hearing the latest news from their church, but we need to find a way to keep food banks running. We’re on the brink – perhaps we’re over it already – of the biggest recession in living memory, this has the potential to drive people into appalling poverty, if they weren’t there already. It’s time for us all to work together, sceptics, agnostics, atheists, die hard conservatives, and the ‘non binaries’ too for the sake of human flourishing. Simon Cross, PCN Trustee
I have never really got into mindfulness; I have been on various courses and know it works for others but it has never really struck a chord with me. Until I watched my daughter helping me bring the washing in. I pass the washing from the line to her and she in her infinite 19-month-old wisdom selects the precise spot within the washing basket where the item needs to go. A tiny pair of leggings here, a pair of socks there. When the washing pile gets too high in the basket I ask her to squash it down and she considers her task before attacking the previously perfectly piled washing with great enthusiasm. She squashes and squashes letting out little huffs of exertion as she does so. When she is finished she looks at the compacted washing, smiles with satisfaction and then wanders off. Toddlers are great at mindfulness and being in the now, they are utterly focussed on their task and pay attention to each and every detail of it until it is completed to their exacting (and unfathomable) standards. From her I learn that each task has a value of its own and that I should pay attention to it, not divide my mind between things. This is easier said than done when one has many different roles that often require attention at the same time. Although that is the lesson, these things may all ask for my attention at the same time but I can only really focus on one and accomplish it to the best of my ability. The wandering off though is the point at which the lesson on mindfulness ends and I need to move from being mindful to being watchful because as every toddler knows, everything is better with added mud, even the washing. Sarah Guilfoyle, PCN Administrator