COI Gazette – November 2019

Untitled 2Editorial – A PLACE TO CALL HOME

The deaths last month of 39 people whose bodies were discovered in a container lorry which had travelled to the UK from Belgium is nothing short of horrific.

Migrants. Refugees. Asylum seekers. Whatever ‘category’ they may fall into, they are people.
What agonies did they face in their homeland to cause them to want to flee? What hopes and dreams were they harbouring as they climbed into the lorry for their trip to a new life? What loved ones did they leave behind? What sacrifices did they have to make to finance this fatal journey?

As I write, investigations are ongoing. Speculation may be rife, but all facts have yet to be unearthed.

What must it be like to have no home, no security, no hope? Billy Smyth of Church Mission Society Ireland knows people who could answer that. Billy has recently returned from Yei, South Sudan,
where the local Church is once again sheltering those displaced by civil war.

When he last visited in April, Billy found people returning from refugee camps, planting crops, reopening shops. Yet, in a short space of time, renewed violence has destroyed that fragile hope. “The optimism has died,” Billy says. You can read Billy’s interview on pages 18-19.

I have stood in the grounds of Yei’s Emmanuel Cathedral in happier times, having travelled there on behalf of the Diocese of Connor in 2010 and 2013. On both occasions, families were rebuilding their lives after decades of civil war. They had left the bush and the camps. They were home.

The stories I heard then were harrowing. Catherine Aya fled Yei with nothing in 1984. In the cold of the open bush, she ripped her own dress to cover her children. Catherine spent the entire civil war
hiding in the bush.
“Despite all the suffering, we did not lose faith in a living God. Wherever we fled, we made a church in a shed,” she told me in 2010.

Joyce Kharmisa was pregnant with her sixth child when the soldiers first arrived in Yei. She fled with a baby on her back and one clinging to her neck. “In the bush we survived on wild fruit. We lit fires at night for heat and to keep the mosquitoes from the children,” she said. Two of her children died due to lack of medication.

Fighting broke out again in South Sudan in December 2013. People like Catherine and Joyce may have had to leave their homes again. I do not know the rest of their stories.

For those who died in that container lorry last month, their earthly stories have ended.

We pray for refugees everywhere, that one day they will have a place to call home.


 

Contents:

Home News

ARCHBISHOP ON NEW NI LEGISLATION

TALKING A LANGUAGE EVERYONE CAN UNDERSTAND

CHORISTERS FOR A DAY!

THE E-BIKE – IT IS A PLEASURE TO CYCLE

CLIMATE JUSTICE CANDLE IN SLIGO

FARMERS & FAITH EVENING

Diocesan Synods  –

NEW HORIZONS AND POSSIBILITIES

HOPE ACHIEVED BY SMALL STEPS

FREE TO SHAPE OUR FUTURE, SYNOD TOLD

CAKES, BAKES & FAITH

NEW LIFT BOOSTS OUTREACH

LEAD THIEVES STRIKE IN CONNOR

BLESS OUR PETS!

NEW PARISH AND COMMUNITY CENTRE FOR BALLINCOLLIG

A PERSONAL STORY AT ‘MIND YOURSELF’ EVENT

MENTAL HEALTH  AND YOUNG  PEOPLE

ST COLUMBA’S FAREWELL TO BISHOP HAROLD

CELEBRATING TWO CENTURIES IN TRALEE

GRANT WILL HELP ENCOURAGE READING

CMSI PUTS ‘CHURCH AT THE CENTRE’

FESTIVAL OF ANGELS WILL INSPIRE AND AMAZE

TALK IS IMPORTANT

THE SAINT AND THE SULTAN


 

 

FEATURES

Young People – LET’S OPEN UP ON RELATIONSHIPS

Interview – ALWAYS AIM TO DO THAT WHICH MAKES YOU HAPPY

DOWN AND DROMORE DIOCESE: A YEAR IN REVIEW

PEOPLE – SCOUTS HAVE BEEN MY LIFE, SAYS BILLY

PEOPLE – BLINDNESS IS NO BARRIER TO ROBERT

MISSION – BILLY SADDENED AFTER RETURN TO YEI

HERITAGE – CATHEDRAL HISTORY RECORDED IN BOOK

ENVIRONMENT – LET’S TALK RUBBISH!

MUSIC – ANNUAL ORGAN SCHOLARS’ SERVICE

MUSIC – CHOIRS JOIN FOR MEMORIAL FUNDRAISER

MUSIC – ‘ORGANIST OF INTERNATIONAL STANDING’

MUSIC – CHOIR CALL – DUBLIN CHOIR WITH A LONG HISTORY

HERITAGE – MAP TELLS A STORY

YOUNG PEOPLE – NEW TRAINING IN YOUTH WORK

YOUNG PEOPLE –  SHAKEN RESOURCE TO EQUIP CONNOR YOUTH

YOUNG PEOPLE  – WEEKEND FUN ON CAPE CLEAR

MOTHERS’ UNION – WORDS OF WISDOM AT WEEKEND EVENT

MU – DERRY AND RAPHOE FESTIVAL SERVICE

MU – THANKS TO VOLUNTEERS

EDUCATION – FINANCIAL HELP WITH BOARDING/SCHOOL FEES

EDUCATION – SERVICE MARKS BEGINNING OF ACADEMIC YEAR

 


 

WORLD NEWS

US REFUGEE POLICY CONDEMNED

YOUNG PEOPLE SPEND ‘A YEAR IN  GOD’S TIME’

PROTECTING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IS OUR RESPONSIBLITY

BISHOPS APPEAL FOR ZERO DEFORESTATION


 

BOOK REVIEWS

IT TAKES A CHURCH TO RAISE A PARENT:
Author: Rachel Turner Publisher: BRF, 2018

REBOOTED: RECLAIMING YOUTH MINISTRY FOR THE LONG HAUL: A BIBLICAL FRAMEWORK Author: Tim Gough Publisher: Inter- Varsity Press, 2018

THE DAY THE REVOLUTION BEGAN
Author: Tom Wright Publisher: SPCK, 2017


TRIBUTE  – THE REV CANON BILLY GIBBONS


 

APPOINTMENTS & RETIREMENT