The exercise class were discussing different approaches to pain control, the teacher advocating the gentle tai chi regime for various reasons, including putting the patient actively in the driving seat, instead of being a passive recipient of treatment.
He explained: ‘I didn’t want to just be doing things to people, giving them some relief from pain, only for them to come back again and again, having done something silly and reawakened their problem. Again and again the same silliness, the same problem.’
He calls patients to take personal responsibility for attending classes and practising the exercises when alone in one’s room or standing at the station, sitting at table or a work desk. Other people would not observe many of the exercises being performed as they are small in scope, even invisible under clothing, but over time they bring real change.
Some new patients were discouraged when they were not asked to do anything dramatic, when the movements were small, the immediate effects imperceptible. ‘Have patience, give it six weeks at least’, he advises patients. Six weeks is forty-two days, just two more than forty days, the time we are offered every year to bring about real change in our hearts, the time taken by Jesus to prepare for his ministry. And he declined the chance of dramatic gestures.
What little change can I work on for the next six weeks?
Congratulations to Lichfield Cathedral on its award for caring for our home planet!
We’ll let them tell the story which follows naturally our short Franciscan season.
Lichfield Cathedral has been presented with its Silver Eco Church Award.
Lichfield Cathedral won the Bronze Award in 2021 and is working hard to achieve the Gold Eco Church Award.The Cathedral also received A Rocha UK’s Partner in Action Certificate in Environmental Excellence. This certificate acknowledges the Cathedral’s dedication to protecting and enhancing species and habitats, engaging the cathedral community in caring for the land, and developing a sustainable, low carbon approach to energy, food, and water use.
The Revd Canon Dr David Primrose said, “we are on a journey from Bronze to Gold. Tasks ahead include robust action plans to reduce our carbon footprint, and improved communications and engagement with others. There is a growing awareness of the connections between loss of biodiversity, the climate crisis, rising energy prices, and the cost of living.As a Healthy Healing Hub, we know the links between care for creation, the common good, and the wellbeing of those who are vulnerable.”
Yesterday’s post was ‘Honour the Lord with your wealth’. This Fair Trade story was sent to us recently and we wanted to share it with you because it resonates with that idea in very different circumstances. This is just a taster of the post; read the whole story here.
THREE REASONS TO BE EXCITED ABOUT OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH MARS
Mars, Fairtrade and ECOOKIM – a collection of cocoa farming co-operatives in Côte d’Ivoire have announced plans to deepen their partnership, through an innovative $10m programme to raise farmer incomes, called LEAP (Livelihoods Ecosystem Advancement Programme). Taryn Holland, Head of Programmes at Fairtrade Foundation, picks out three elements of this partnership to look out for.
1. FARMERS ARE AT THE HEART OF OUR WORK TOGETHER
Fairtrade first started working together with ECOOKIM farmers and Mars over two years ago, to identify the most effective ways to raise cocoa farmers’ incomes and help farming households thrive. Farmers themselves know better than anyone else both the challenges they face – such as climate change and long-term low prices – as well as the sorts of solutions that can best tackle these challenges.
Because no two farmers are the same, the LEAP approach will support different types of farmers with tailored packages to move towards a living income, regardless of their starting position.
2. BUILDING ON FAIRTRADE SOURCING
Mars have been sourcing Fairtrade certified cocoa from ECOOKIM for many years, with products in the UK including Maltesers and Mars bars proudly bearing the Fairtrade Mark. Mars will continue to source cocoa on Fairtrade terms from ECOOKIM, and make additional investments that help improve farmer incomes even further over the long term.
3. SHARING AND EMBRACING LESSONS
A female farming leader at the forefront of the programme, Aminata Bamba, Head of Sustainability for Fairtrade co-operative ECOOKIM, said: ’For us, Fairtrade is not just a certification, it means so much more for farmers. Fairtrade helps pull producers out of poverty. It means a woman can flourish because she knows her rights, she can earn extra money to support the family and pay for school fees, she can buy medicines when her child is sick. All the changes we’ve made are thanks to the Fairtrade Premium, so it’s important that consumers continue to enjoy Fairtrade chocolate. We’re so excited to announce the next steps in our journey with Fairtrade and Mars.’
Sr. Dr. Lucy Hometowu, a member of the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church, educates the parishioners in Ho Dome, a town in the Volta Region of Ghana. She is also the COVID-19 vaccine campaign coordinator of her congregation’s medical team. (Damian Avevor)
Many people believed that the vaccine was unsafe and had severe side effects on human bodies, thus vowing never to take “the jab,” as it is referred to in many African countries.
Religious sisters in the West African nation of over 31 million people have been working hard to debunk COVID-19 vaccine myths that are rampant, ranging from denial that the virus exists to various false side effects. As of Feb. 16, just over 15% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University.
Rev Jo RIchards writes about the next stage in the pandemic as numbers locally are high amongst school children, teachers and parents. In the three churches of Saints Dunstan, Mildred and Peter this is the new policy for worship.
Easing of covid restrictions
With the easing of restrictions we must remember that the case numbers of covid are still high. Therefore in our church buildings and hall:
Mask wearing is not mandatory but to be encouraged – I will continue to wear mine; Jenny and I also do a lateral flow test before all services.
Sanitise hands on entry
Remain mindful of social distancing – if you prefer not to be close to someone in church, please put bag/coat on seat next to you
Peace from afar
Communion: we will return to people coming forward and the intincting (dipping) of a consecrated wafer, for those who would like to receive, or just wafer only. If you would prefer to receive in your seat, that is fine and we will come to you.
Please note when coming forward at St Dunstan’s – the service is live streamed and recorded and you will be observed coming forward to receive. If you would prefer to remain off-camera please come receive in the Roper Chapel.
Coffee will be served in the hall after the 10.00 service
The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have updated and relaxed rules for worship according to new Government guidelines. The following sets out the principles for the new guidance; the link leads to the full document.
The vaccine programme has had a major impact in reducing death and serious illness from infection with Covid-19. The Church in England and Wales supports the vaccination programme and encourages people to be vaccinated. The scientific consensus is that society is moving towards the stage where the virus is transitioning from the pandemic phase to the endemic phase, but as stated by HM Government, there is still a risk associated with gathering for sustained periods in enclosed spaces and therefore there needs to be continued caution by all against infection. This, however, has to be balanced against the need to move forward safely towards a normal lifestyle and these two positions will always be held in tension. This holding in tension is the key to living safely with Covid-19, namely keeping infections from a virus that cannot be eliminated to levels which minimise disruption to people’s lives. This guidance has been written with this principle in mind. Alongside the positive effects of covid vaccination, it should be stressed that any people displaying symptoms of Covid-19 should stay at home and not participate in acts of worship in church.
If we thought we were jogging along quietly, along comes Covid.mark omicron. Here are the responses from the Roman Catholic and Anglican parishes in Canterbury. Not quite Christmas Past; let’s hope it is only Christmas Present, but not Christmas Yet-to-come!
MASKS AT MASS (AND IN OUR SHOP TOO)
The return to stricter Covid restrictions, announced by the Prime Minister this week, means that people must now wear face masks, sanitise their hands, keep a social distance and be aware of fellow worshippers’ safety when at Mass and in the church shop. Thank you
BOOKINGS FOR CHRISTMAS MASSES. Due to the COVID situation, it has been decided to ticket all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses. Tickets are now available via our website. For those unable to access the website bookings system, please telephone the Parish Office – please leave a message including a contact telephone number. Bookings will close at midnight on Wednesday, 22nd December and no further tickets in any format will be available after this time. Thank you
CHRISTMAS FAIR.: Sunday. 12 December 10:30- 12:30 in Hall. WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE COVID STATUS
And Saints Dunstan, Mildred and Peter, Anglican Benefice.
Covid updates and cancellations
Following the guidance issued by the government on Weds 8th December, face coverings are now mandatory in places of worship, unless exempt. We will also for the short term, return to receiving communion in one kind in seats.
Remain mindful of social distancing.
Sanitise hands upon entry.
More information can be found at: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-12/COVID%2019%20Guidance%20v2.3.pdf In light of this, both the Rectory Christmas drinks party is cancelled (18th December) and the Benefice Homecoming Bring & Share lunch on the 19th December is cancelled. We will keep you up to date with any further developments, but at the moment our pattern of Christmas Services remain as planned, with mandatory wearing of face coverings, hand sanitising and remain mindful of social distancing.
Vain wish ! Me fate compels to bear
The downward season's iron reign;
Compels to breathe polluted air,
And shiver on a blasted plain.
What bliss to life can autumn yield,
If glooms, and show'rs, and storms prevail,
And Ceres flies the naked field,
And flowers, and fruits, and Phoebus fail?
Oh! what remains, what lingers yet,
To cheer me in the dark'ning hour!
The grape remains! the friend of wit,
In love, and mirth, of mighty pow'r.
Haste—press the clusters, fill the bowl;
Apollo! shoot thy parting ray:
This gives the sunshine of the soul,
This god of health, and verse, and day.
Still—still the jocund strain shall flow,
The pulse with vig'rous rapture beat;
My Stella with new charms shall glow,
And ev'ry bliss in wine shall meet.
Ceres: Roman goddess of harvest.
Phoebus Appollo: Roman sun god.
(from Volume 1 The Works of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., in Nine Volumes)
It is about now that the Beaujolais Nouveau wine is released, so ‘haste – press the clusters’ is about right. Johnson was also capable of admitting that too much of a good thing was possible. The pollution in London today is from gas and petrol rather than wood and coal fires, but just as real. Despite the pollution, Jonson was never tired of London.
Women in Abuja, Nigeria, wear face masks May 2, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic. (CNS/Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)
The road to full vaccination in Africa looks like being long and difficult.This article from the National Catholic Reporter tells how Catholic parishes are encouraging vaccinations; yet even though nowhere near enough doses are available, there is much scepticism about their efficacy.
Olayide Osibogun, a public health physician at the University of Lagos, said: “The purpose of having a vaccine is to provide immunity to as many people as possible and break the chain of transmission. And when people refuse to take the vaccine, they make achieving herd immunity impossible.”
But vaccine hesitancy is still growing on the continent. Some Catholic communities are showing indifference towards taking vaccines. Mabola Thusi, a parishioner at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg, South Africa, for example, spoke to NCR about her hesitancy to take a vaccine that was developed in a few years.
I once took a message to a local convent, where the door was answered by a little old sister, walking with two sticks, bent almost double, who had a chat with me before finding the sister I was sent to. ‘You must know about this convent, Will – she’d found out my name as a matter of course – your friend Sister Clare may be a teacher, but most of us look after old people’. I had the impression that she was looking after as much as being looked after. I felt looked after by her in those few minutes’ conversation!
Sister Carol Zinn, the executive director of the American Leadership Conference of Women Religious, says that healthy aging is “whatever is holy and healthy for human beings: to be in relationships, have a meaningful prayer life and a way of being of service to other people. These are a given in religious life, but I really think that they are a given in a happy, holy human life.”
This article from the National Catholic Reporterby Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans explores aging in community and healthy, mature ‘letting go’ of work, property and other things, but not letting go of mission. What is holy and healthy for Will T as he moves deeper into Autumn and deeper into retirement, I wonder? Do read this excellent reflection from the Global Sisters Report.