Friday Update on Refugees at CMM

This morning a group of us met with the refugees in the Church. The group included the South African Human Rights Commission, Africa Diaspora Forum, More than Peace, The Archbishop of Cape Town and a few Pastors to the refugee community.

The hope was to inform everyone of the discussions that had taken place over the last week that had been facilitated by the South African Human Rights Commission as well for me to request that people begin to vacate the Sanctuary.

The chair of the Human Rights Commission and myself were able to speak to everyone. But when one of the Pastors (known to the refugees) tried to speak – some people refused to allow him to do so and thereafter the Pastor and other members of the above-mentioned group were assaulted.

A semblance of calm was restored with the help of some refugee leaders and many of the refugees intervening to protect people. Thereafter we were able to get members of the group out of the sanctuary into safety. It is very concerning that three people of this group were injured while everyone else is obviously in shock.

The whole situation is very sad and troubling, not only because of where it took place or who was hurt, but because any violence anywhere against anyone is self-defeating. Violence does not solve anything. It just causes more hurt and more problems.

From my previous communications I reiterate our safety and health concerns and I’m continuing to request the refugees to vacate the church with dignity and peace. I call on the relevant agencies to give support.

I call all to be calm. To respect people – even the people who have done this. We will continue to talk. We will continue to expect the best from people. All of us have the ability to be patient and peaceful and I call on all of us to activate that ability now.

Peace,
Alan

 

 

CMM Update on the Refugee Situation


The latest sermon:

November, 10 2019 Alan Storey: The foreigner is not foreign; and the danger of becoming what we hate. [Leviticus 19:33-34; Luke 9:51-56; Luke 10:25-37]


The last few days have included many discussions regarding the refugees staying in and around CMM. These dialogues have been hosted and facilitated by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). They have included the leaders of the refugees at the church as well as a large number of other stakeholders including: UNHCR, Government: Department of Home Affairs, Premier’s Office, Department for Social Development, Department of Health, Police, and many civil society organisations intimately involved with refugee concerns. I am not personally involved in these discussions.

We must remember that though the problem of the present situation demands an urgent solution – it is itself a symptom of much larger and equally urgent problems. It is these systemic problems that must be urgently addressed for there to be a lasting solution for all refugees in South Africa and not only the people in and around CMM. So, it is a balancing act of dealing with both the immediate and the long-term issues.

I trust the people involved in the facilitation of these discussions and hope that a way forward will soon become clear.

My first hope is that the way forward will secure protection and justice for refugees across this country. In the very least, the treatment refugees receive from Home Affairs must improve drastically to become just and compassionate. Let every official at Home Affairs remember: “When a foreigner resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the foreigner. The foreigner who resides with you shall be to you as a citizen among you; you shall love the foreigner as yourself…” Leviticus 19: 33-34.

My second hope is that the way forward includes the vacating of CMM. There are a number of reasons for this, but please note it is not “so the church can get back to normal” as some people suggest. As church we exist to care for the vulnerable and persecuted. Caring is our normal. This does not mean we are setting up a shelter – we are not – everyone is aware that this is a temporary situation. A temporary situation that resulted from the violent dispersing of protesting refugees by the police.

The most important reason why the way forward must help people to vacate CMM is safety.

The risk of a fire in the sanctuary remains. Plainly put: if there is a fire, people will die. There are simply not enough exits for the amount of people inside the church to vacate fast enough. This is especially since so many of those inside the sanctuary are young children and babies. Furthermore, the pews act like crowd barricades making quick movement impossible. It is a dangerous situation, and people don’t think it will happen until it does! The City Fire Department did an inspection on the 12th November. No doubt we will hear from them soon – but one doesn’t need to work for the Fire Department to know what their instruction will be.

I also share the concern of the many traders in the area who are experiencing a loss in business, especially the traders on Greenmarket Square itself. This is another reason why a speedy solution be found. These are people who themselves can least afford any loss of trade.

Finally, thank you for your continued care and concern regarding those sheltering in and around CMM. Forgive us for not being able to give a neat list in response to your question: “what can I do to help?” Things are more complicated and nuanced than a list is able to capture. For example: There is a fine line between providing caring hospitality on the one hand and running the risk of setting up a “permanent shelter” on the other hand. Likewise, we need to respond to health care needs, yet at the same time avoid setting up a “clinic”. To this end, regarding health care – St John’s have been providing care at the Church while also enabling people to have easy access to a local government clinic. This access is made possible by the direct intervention of the District Six Community Day Care Centre and the Province’s Head of Community Health for which we are very grateful. In this way we don’t duplicate services already made available by the State. But as I have said, it is a fine line to walk.

Grace,
Alan Storey
13 November 2019

 

 

The latest sermon:

November, 10 2019 Alan Storey: The foreigner is not foreign; and the danger of becoming what we hate. [Leviticus 19:33-34; Luke 9:51-56; Luke 10:25-37]


Grace and peace to you,

Thank you to all of you who have assisted over the last couple of days at CMM – making sure that the people who have sought refuge in the sanctuary since Wednesday 30th October have been cared for. (I am sure by now you have seen many of the reports – there are a few links below.) The wounded, injured, traumatised and sick have been attended to with respect and kindness.

CMM’s gratitude to the many individuals and a number of different organisations, both religious and civil society who have responded generously and thoughtfully. Gift of the Givers have been amazing. Health services have been coordinated and stabilised. CMM is grateful for the donations that people have made, enabling us to provide necessities.

But please note: Though we are grateful for the initial response of generosity we want to be clear that CMM is not asking for any donations and nor are we raising any money on behalf of anyone or any organisation. For the moment we have what we need due to the fact that the load is shared among a number of different organisations. We must also be careful not to be naïve “do-gooders” removing agency from people and creating unhelpful dependency. This can be a fine line to hold. As we offer solidarity and support, we must respect people enough to carry the struggles of their own lives.

As CMM we are also very clear that this is a temporary “safe place” and we hope and encourage all role players to seek a solution that will include vacating CMM. We are very aware that we are not the solution to this crisis. At best we offer a moment of calm in which we hope people can find one another to talk, listen and negotiate. As I said on Sunday, it takes courage to protest, but it also takes courage to negotiate. This is needed at all levels of this dispute. Refusing to talk and negotiate is never helpful.

Together with the leadership of CMM I am very concerned that though CMM may have been a safe place last Wednesday from the police violence – it is increasingly becoming unsafe, mainly due to the health risks naturally associated with an over-crowded and under-ventilated space – not to mention our complete lack of adequate toilet and bathroom facilities. The health risk is especially high among the young children, including many babies, as well as pregnant mothers. And of course fire risk is heightened by the over-crowding. For this reason, it has been clearly stated that no one is allowed to sleep in any of the upstairs areas of the sanctuary and there is strictly no cooking or smoking allowed inside the sanctuary at any time. It has also been repeatedly made clear that the doors of the Sanctuary on the Longmarket Street side must remain open at all times.

We are trying as best we can to listen carefully and respond thoughtfully to the many concerns and challenges. These matters are never simple. There are layers within layers being played out. We must be able to hold more than one truth at a time. In short, we need the gift of discernment to navigate it all.

Sunday services and all other church activities continue as usual. For the sake of people’s dignity, we ask again that you please do not take photographs or videos.

Thank you for your willingness to be on this journey as we seek to do to others as we would have them do to us.

Grace,
Alan
6th November 2019

2019 10 30 TimesLive

Evictions from the Waldorf Arcade

Bureaucratic hell brought on the Waldorf Arcade refugee outrage

Methodists open their hearts as refugees, congregants share Sunday services

How will the boy who escaped to Tion remember South Africa?

The perfection of God’s love is the choice not to love

November, 03 2019 Alan Storey: Let us remember, and not forget. [Deuteronomy 15:7-11; 1 John 4:16-21; Matthew 25:31-45]


I recently participated in CMM’s Manna & Mercy course. It was an eyeopener. We learned new techniques to interpret the Bible, which included spending time understanding the context and asking more questions when we encounter things that we don’t understand. We learned to wear our Jesus lenses when reading the Bible. It gave love a whole new meaning. The perfection of God’s love is the choice not to love was a key sentence that stuck with me. In other words, true love can only happen when we have the choice not to love. Seeing God’s love in this way is very powerful and made me reflect on the parent-child relationship, which often lacks the choice not to love. Let me explain.

It is natural for us to think that children must love their parents. Parents are the ones that bring children into the world. They raise them, feed them, give significant financial resources, sacrifice time and other things. Furthermore, we grew up with the belief that the Bible told us in the ten commandments to ‘Honour your father and your mother’ which was used in particular by our parents and society when we misbehaved or seemed disrespectful.

Applying the newly learned Bible reading skills, we learned, that the commandments were written in the context of a vulnerable and traumatised society that was trying to protect in particular the vulnerable. It is therefore not helpful to think that honouring your parents refers to a little child (who is already more vulnerable than any adult) asking it to honour their parent. However, if this commandment relates instead to the adult-child and old-parent, it matches the context. It relates to the construct when parents get old and vulnerable and need the protection and support from their children. Seeing it in this light enables us to free the parent-child relationship from guilt and compulsive thankfulness.

On 2 November, we celebrated International Children’s Day, and I would like to encourage us to reflect on the burden parents and society put on children. Instead of liberating their love and enabling and empowering children to live in love, by love and for love – we put a compulsion into the parent/caregiver-child relationship. In most instances, children do love their parents. Even neglected or abused children love their parents. The obligation to love or not having the choice not to love often plays a part in why abused children find it difficult to be angry with their abuser parent. We should not be driven by our fear of losing the love of our children or becoming less important in their lives or fearing that after ‘all we did for them’ we get nothing back. We should rather have sleepless nights asking ourselves how do we teach them love that comes without expectation? How do we teach them the unconditional Jesus way of love? Surely not by filling our relationships with expectations and obligations. I know many people who in their adult life have challenging relationships with their parents. They might ‘get along’, but the relationships are marked by a lot of anger, hurt and misunderstandings. Let’s give the children generation of today a chance to learn free love by allowing them not to love us. Our children (biological or related) do not owe us anything. But we owe them the choice to love and not to love – enabling true and free love.

Carolin Gomulia

What kind of future city are we building today?

Thursday, 31 October is World Cities Day. By 2050, cities will be the ‘natural habitat’ for most of humanity, so how we build sustainable and inclusive places is important.

In SA, and particularly Cape Town, we have a dual challenge: not only do we need to plan innovatively for a better life for future generations of city-dwellers, we also need to redress the legacy of Apartheid cemented into our urban fabric.

Affordable housing in well-located areas is regarded as one of the keys to begin to undo this problem. However, cries for affordable housing close to the city is often met with the excuse that “there is no available land”. Yet on a little reflection it is easy to see that this is not true…

A report from the civil society organisation Ndifuna Ukwazi “City Leases” shows the lack of change is not for a lack of available land but rather that there is no political will to allocate public land for public good:

“We see golf courses on some of the best public land serving a few residents; parking lots that sit empty for sixteen hours of the day; bowling greens used once a week; and empty uncared for sports fields.

The City of Cape Town continues to lease well-located public land for next to nothing to private companies and associations. How is this use of land more important than a home? How is it prioritised over the rights of thousands of residents living in backyards and informal settlements? How can it stand in the way of bringing working-class people back into the areas from which they were violently evicted?

And yet, hundreds of leases of public land are renewed every year. These skewed priorities are being implemented, without thought, by city administrators and politicians.”

Golf courses must be the worst utilisation of inner-city land. Large, environmentally costly spaces reserved for use by a privileged few.

Similarly, inner city parking not only prioritises space for cars over people, but future generations will be aghast that we persisted for so long to let a major contributor to emissions dictate the shape of our city.

Even more distressing is the Philippi Horticultural Area, which provides up to 30% of Capetonians’ fresh vegetable and fruit, as well as livelihoods for many, is under threat to be rezoned for “development”. This is currently being challenged in the High Court.

Faced with the choice between recreation for a few vs. water and housing; carbon-dioxide-spewing cars vs. space for people; “development” vs. food and jobs, what would Jesus want?

As the prophets said: “They say that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right; that black is white and white is black; bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” Isaiah 5:20.

To mark World Cities Day, and in recognition for the struggle for housing, land and environmental justice in our country, we hoist another Yellow Banner on the CMM Steeple on Thursday at 13h00.

See you then,
Alan

The greatest love story

Grace to you

The Bible is a love story. A love story about the Great Lover of the Universe who is in love with every particle of life. A love story about those who carry the potential to love just as the Great Lover of the Universe loves, yet who sadly settle for substitutes that promise nourishment but leave us more hungry. A love story about the radical interconnection of all that is alive, reminding us that if one part suffers, then all parts will eventually suffer. Sadly this love story has been interpreted by some throughout the ages in ways that lead to the diminishment, destruction and death of Life, rather than the Great Lover’s hope of this story guiding us all to an abundance of Life in all its fullness.

Instead of affirming the sacredness of all of life, the Bible has been interpreted by some to proclaim the superiority of some aspects of life over others. Think of how some have turned to the scriptures to support the supremacy of “their group” over another: White people superior to black people. Men superior to women. Colonial nations superior to invaded nations. Straight people superior to LGBTI people. Healthy people are superior to people who are ill. Christians superior to people of other religions or no religion. The list could go on! In each case scripture is used to validate discrimination and bless the lie that some are superior and others are inferior, normally for the sake of securing unjust privilege and power.

In each of these cases the struggle for justice and equality (which is how love is incarnated in a society) is made all the more difficult to attain because the perpetrators or beneficiaries of the discrimination believe they are being obedient to God and therefore acting righteously rather than sinfully. History has shown that eventually the Christian Church is called to humble itself in confession and declare: “we were wrong when we thought we were right”.

Another such interpretation of Scripture that may well be the most sinful (read: deathly) of all interpretations is that humanity is superior to all other creatures and life forms. This interpretation has served to validate humanities exploitation of all life on the planet. Calling what is selfish greed a divine blessing. It has promoted the lie that we are independent from the rest of life on the planet. This interpretation has also blinded humanity from the gruesome truth that we are the most destructive animal that has ever existed on the planet and that if we ceased to exist tomorrow, all of life would flourish as a result thereafter.

In this light I refer you to an article that hopefully will humble our opinion of ourselves as a species:

“The bees have been declared the most important living beings on this planet, the Earthwatch Institute concluded in the last meeting of the Royal Geographical Society of London. However, according to wildlife experts and scientists, the bees have joined the endangered species long list.

The recent studies show a dramatic decline of the bees’ number as almost 90 percent of the bee population has disappeared in the last few years. The uncontrolled use of pesticides, deforestation or lack of flowers are the main reasons for their extinction.

However, why would such a little being be named the most important creature on Earth? Well, the answer is actually more simple than you ever thought. Seventy percent of the world’s agriculture depends exclusively on bees. Needless to mention the pollination is the bees’ job, although the plants would not be able to reproduce, therefore the fauna would have been gone in a very short time. More than that, a study … concluded that the bees are the only living being who does not carry any type of pathogen.

After all, Albert Einstein’s say about bees has never been truer. “If the bees disappear, humans would have 4 years to live,” the famous physicist said.

Since the bees’ importance is crucial in our planet’s ecosystems and they’ve also been declared an endangered species, we really need to be as careful as possible on the matter. And we need to act quickly as we still have some solutions.”
The Science Times July 2019, by Chardynne Joy H. Concio

Grace,
Alan

 

Inequality

The South African Nightmare

(A poem of lament for this beloved country)

I hate this country in which one’s race is the single most significant determinant of one’s fluency in funeral songs
Because Death is racist and blackness requires being prepared for him in and out of season

I hate this country where rain means different things to different people
How some can celebrate the filling of the dams, while others’ homes, belongings and belonging get washed away

I hate this country where nothing makes any sense
Where people talk about a housing crisis, while multi-million rand mansions stand unoccupied for most months of the year

I hate this country that too often feels like a knotted mess that cannot be undone
Because the oppressor/oppressed dynamics are so entangled within our beings that in the process of untangling it feels impossible not to lose pieces of ourselves

I hate this country that means vastly different things to different people
Simultaneously occupying lists of the best places to live in the world, and the most dangerous places to live in
the world

I hate this country that is so two-faced in its reception of people into its borders
Welcoming some with open arms, while perpetually making others feel like the unwanted stepchildren who don’t belong

I hate this country that doesn’t even bother to hide its idolatry of capital
Where money can buy you education, healthcare, dignity, and even humanity, but if you can’t afford it you can forget about it

I hate this country that doesn’t even bother to hide its racism
Where white peoples’ right to play golf is prioritised over black peoples’ rights to health, food, housing and sanitation

I hate this country where having a vagina far too often represents a death sentence
And penises are weaponised to maintain the oppression of womxn and children

I hate this country where the church is just as dangerous a space for womxn as anywhere else
And theology is twisted to uphold the strongholds of patriarchy and violence

I hate this country where proximity to whiteness is proxy for the amount of attention one’s murder is given
And the brutal violence experienced daily by so many is deemed unworthy of outcry

I hate this country that is too often the stuff of nightmares
Where you can become as woke as you like, but there is no waking from this mess

By Thandi Gamedze

If you would like to read more of Thandi Gamedze remarkable poetic laments, visit https://www.warehouse.org.za/author/thandi-gamedze/page/2/

Grace, Alan

 

Taizé

Grace and peace to you

In 1941 a 26 year old named Roger wrote: “The defeat of France awoke powerful sympathy. If a house could be found there, of the kind we had dreamed of, it would offer a possible way of assisting some of those most discouraged, those deprived of a livelihood; and it could become a place of silence and work…” As Gonzalez Balado explains the house they dreamed of: “A house to live the essentials of the Gospel with others – a new reality. France it must be, a land of wartime suffering but a land of inner freedom.”

So, Roger went looking for a house in the poor areas of France. In the tiny town of Taizé he was given a simple meal from an old woman who, after hearing Roger tell of his idea, said: “Stay here with us; we are so poor, so isolated and the times are so bad!” He stayed.

Roger’s first task was to offer hospitality to refugees from the war – many of them Jews fleeing to Switzerland for safety. In 1942 his house of hospitality was taken over by the Gestapo and he had to go home to Geneva. Yet after the war he returned with his first brothers; and one of his first tasks was to care for German prisoners of war – which was far from popular at the time! They did so while keeping a simple rule of life:

Throughout your day let work and rest be quickened by the Word of God.

Keep inner silence in all things and you will dwell in Christ.

Be filled with the spirit of the Beatitudes: Joy, simplicity, mercy.

In 1948 Roger received permission to use the local Catholic Church in the area – the first non-Catholics to be allowed to do so. No doubt inspired by his grandmother who during the terrible conflict between Protestant and Catholics who, as a Protestant, used to worship regularly at the local Catholic church showing all that “we are all one”. Later Brother Roger and a few others from Taizé were the only non-Catholics to be invited by Pope John to attend the 2nd Vatican Council.

This brief history shows how Br. Roger and Taizé became a community that consistently crossed divides for decades – especially during the cold war between Eastern and Western Europe. Each year literally hundreds of thousands of young people between the ages of 15 and 30 would make a pilgrimage to Taizé to practice prayer, seek silence and meet with people otherwise divided by an Iron Curtain. Taizé would play a huge, yet hidden (humble) role in the Velvet Revolution of the late 80s inspired by many who had Taizé in their spirits…

Just over a week ago Taizé held a Pilgrimage of Trust in Cape Town – drawing around 2000 young people into silence, prayer and community. It did not make any headlines. Jesus stuff seldom does because most often it is impossible to measure – and we live in a world that says if you can’t measure it then it is probably meaningless. But let it be known that the future of our land and continent will be nudged towards freedom and justice because of what was silently planted in the lives of young people last week.

Grace,
Alan

Power, Permission and Non-Violence

As a human race, in our unaware state driven by a fear of being separate from Love, we organise ourselves around power. This plays out on a societal level with the combination of power and bias creating the violent oppression of racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, xenophobia and so on. The effects of living with this oppression are far reaching, many of which cannot even be discerned because the dynamic is so familiar, it seems real and true. The extent to which people question that reality and choose to live a different one, is generally the extent to which they are isolated, rejected, resisted, shunned, blamed, maimed or killed.

Other systems of oppression we live in today are perhaps quite subtle, feeling like the norm of our day and age—materialism, consumerism, capitalism… where the currency used to stay in the in group is performance, drivenness, social media presence, greed, attention and a pursuit of more, bigger, better, faster and newer. 

Most of us are seduced in one way or another daily, and are not even aware of it. Red push notifications from the apps on a phone, designed to grab your attention and keep you coming back for more; marketing and advertising convincing you of a need you didn’t know you had, and the resultant answer to that need which is something you didn’t know existed; Netflix series episodes rolling from one into the next before you’ve had time to press stop.

Further still are the daily oppressive beliefs we have of what makes us worthy of love and belonging, whether that be our looks, our ability to succeed or produce, the number of people who like us or praise us, our need to be perfect or to stand out… Not only do we face oppressive systems on the outside with their deathly effects, we hand our personal power over to some violent value judgment that leaves us in a place of anxiety, shame, anger, despair or depression.

At the same time, there is another Way in this world, a way that comes from a different place, from Love, a belief of Oneness. It is a voice of permission. Permission to Be. Be exactly who you are. In the words of one who is speaking Truth to systems of oppression in our day, Brenè Brown, “Imperfect and enough”.

What does permission look like for each of us today? Permission to question a system, protocol or expectation of us from outside ourselves, or become curious about the voice of the critic within that leaves us with a sense of unworthiness. Permission to feel all our feelings, to be different, to not conform, to have boundaries, to pull aside into stillness, silence, solitude. Permission to connect with a different Way, to connect with non-violent teachers such as nature, children, animals, art, dance, music. Permission to take a break from the intensity of social media and news, or hurtful, burdening or unhelpful conversations. Permission to acknowledge our needs, get to know them, express them, and put time, effort, and resources into meeting them. Give permission to the different parts of ourselves that are looking for expression, acceptance and love to be witnessed.

When we know the freedom, joy and life that that permission produces in us, we will be compelled, enCOURAGEd to work for it for those around us who are struggling to see or access a reality outside of the system. Because we are One, my freedom and well-being is inextricably linked to the freedom and well-being of all.

May we grow more and more confident in the Power of Love.
Catherine

 

 

The kingdom of God is like …

If you watched the Cape Town Marathon zigzag through the streets of the city last Sunday, you would have witnessed an amazing sign of what Jesus called the ‘Kingdom of God’ – his way of describing how the world is meant to be.

I reckon if Jesus were hanging out in the Gardens with his disciples last Sunday he would have said to them while pointing to the runners passing by: “Behold, the Kingdom of God is like this marathon.” In reply we can hear one disciple boasting about being the fastest, provoking Jesus to look skyward in exasperation. And Peter asking, “Does this mean we must first complete a marathon to be saved?” And with some irritation in his voice, Jesus replies, “Oh Peter I wish you would stop taking me so literally … no, you don’t have to become a marathon runner, but can’t you see a glimpse of God’s reign passing by right in front of you? Oh those who have eyes yet cannot see … Let me touch your eyes again Peter … now look and tell me what do you see?”

“I see people – lots of people – all types of people. I see women and men. I see Greyhound-like-athletes flying past as well as joggers, walkers and hobblers. All of them moving at different speeds, yet strangely all moving as one. I see tall people, short people, thin-as-a-rake people and round-as-a-ball people … raking, rolling and running. All respect, and all are respected. I see a blind person holding the arm of his guide. I see a kid in a wheelchair grinning with a winner’s ear-to-ear smile. I see a person with one leg … one leg … swaying, almost dancing between his crutches. I see grandparents wrinkled and worn as well as youth still smooth and sleek. I see skin colours of every shade. I see running vests that indicate people are from every single part of this country and some from other countries and even continents.”

“Yes Peter, the reign of God is inclusive of all. Now what do you hear?”

“I hear heavy breathing …” “Peter, get serious!” “Ok, I hear multitudes of languages. I hear conversations of encouragement and care and laughter … even from the tired-legged. I hear singing, some chanting a meditation, another a hymn – one is even about what a friend you are Jesus … some sing in toyi-toyi-ing unison to a beat that seems to rise up from the soil while others observe strict silence. I hear music – carried by runners as well as played by the supporters. Music of every variety: 1980s Disco, House, R&B, Reggae, Beats and more R&B!

I hear a supporter (one of many) call out: “Take what you need” as they point to a spread of food and drink … in fact all the food and drink along the route is there for everyone – not only a privileged few.

“Yes Peter, the reign of God is where no one will be in need. And what else do you notice Peter?”

“I notice that every runner only takes what they need. No-one is grabbing 10 cups of coke … there is no hoarding … and look there is enough for everyone … in fact there is more than enough … an abundance. Not only does everyone have access to the same nourishment but also the same medical care along the way.”

“Yes Peter that is why they all run in peace, because no one has too much and no one has too little. Fairness, justice, equality bring peace … blessed are those who know this.”

“One last thing Peter, what is it about this marathon that is NOT a sign of God’s reign of justice and mercy? Look and see Peter … there on the ground … littered all over … what do you see?”

“I see thousands of blue plastic water sachets lying like blue bottles on a beach …”

“Yes Peter, and sadly many of these will end up on the beach too.” “But Jesus they advertised this as an eco-friendly marathon!?” “Peter … go ye and think about that …”

Grace,
Alan

For another Kingdom of God marathon story visit https://www.bruceclarkwriter.net/2016/11/boston/