Previous thoughts for the week

Waiting for the Dawn

It's almost a year
since life changed,
without warning
And still we look to the horizon,
not knowing for how much longer.

So much we can't predict.
So much we can't control,
So much we can't plan.

Anxiety has not left our side,
But keep us company
Day in day out.
We are tired
So tired
All might long we have fished and have caught nothing.

Carry us beyond this dark night
of grief and unknowing.
As dawn breaks,
May we stand astonished
At the beauty of the rising sun,

Ask us to cast our nets deeper
On the other side of the boat.
To fish in new ways and new places
That our nets may be filled beyond imagining.

And when we recognise You
Waiting longingly for us,
On the shore
Feed us,
As you fed your disciples.
With the nourishing food
Of new hope

To mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2020, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Senior Imam Qari Asim came together and wrote a special prayer which is intended to be used by people of any faith at their HMD activity.

Loving God, we come to you with heavy hearts, remembering the six million Jewish souls murdered during the Holocaust.

In the horrors of that history, when so many groups were targeted because of their identity, and in genocides which followed, we recognise destructive prejudices that drive people apart.

Forgive us when we give space to fear, negativity and hatred of others, simply because they are different from us.

In the light of God, we see everyone as equally precious manifestations of the Divine, and can know the courage to face the darkness.

Through our prayers and actions, help us to stand together with those who are suffering, so that light may banish all darkness, love will prevail over hate and good will triumph over evil.


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

An ecumenical Christian observance in the Christian Calendar that is celebrated internationally. It is kept annually between Ascension Day and Pentecost in the Southern Hemisphere and between 18 January and 25 January in the Northern Hemisphere.

It is an octave, that is, an observance lasting eight days. The theme for this year, 2021, was prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland. They chose a theme based on John 15:1-17: Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit.

Please pray for Mildmay where we care for persons of all faiths and none, treating all as suggested in our mission statement which is also based on John’s gospel, ’that they may have life and have it in all its fullness”.

You may be interested to know that each year we have always marked this Week of Prayer in our chapel at Mildmay. However, as you know, we are restricted by Covid regulations during this third lockdown.

We pray during this Octave of Unity that Mildmay will continue to be of service to our HIV, Homeless and Covid clients.

A Prayer:

Restoring and healing God,

thank you for medical workers everywhere,

embodying sacrificial love in these challenging times

putting the welfare of others before their own

staying away from their family and loved ones

comforting the concerned and bereaved

reassuring the anxious and vulnerable

working to heal and restore people who are ill.

Be their guide, strength, wisdom and hope.

A Christmas Prayer

May starlight guide your steps towards the place of wonder.

May angels sing their news as you walk towards the manger.

May promise fill these days as we watch at the edge of birth.

May faith tell you Emmanuel will be with us soon, in human skin.

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

Bringing Christmas in...

I began to look for real signs of Christmas on the High Street,
while waiting during Advent for Christmas to come.

I looked for a long time in vain, or so I thought!
Then at last I saw a sign.
It was hanging over a pub in Old Ford, in the East End.
Life there is not as dramatic as in the Old Vic in Eastenders but it is just as challenging.

The pub signs heralds the coming of Christ.
The hand on it belongs to the angel Gabriel who in sacred art is depicted as announcing to Mary that she is chosen.

The lily handed to Mary also symbolises her role as the Mother of Christ.

And so, let us remember that God and humanity is found in the market place
and in the stillness of our hearts as we watch and wait.

(Christmas 2020)

There is a piece of light in all of us:

There is a piece of light in all of us, maybe hidden or buried with pain,
perhaps pushed in the corner by others.
It is even there in the arrogant, the spiteful, the mean, those who insult others, those who denigrate humanity, those who are unwilling to forgive.

One single candle lights a little dark space, two even more so and three!

Many candles light a world full of people desperately in need of each other’s glow. Each lone light makes us stronger when we all stand together.

Seen or unseen, the light is there, ready to kindle, eager to expand,
refusing to be tightly contained. When the tiniest space, the tiniest crack appears, it quickly emerges, floods outward, illuminating the darkest of places.

A prayer, a wish, a hope for the Second Week of Advent:

It gets darker much earlier. I don’t like this deep, foreboding darkness.
The Light is coming.
I keep looking down, trying not to stumble and fall
The Light is coming.

I don’t know what to expect.

I am pressured on all sides to be here or there and to do this or that. I have no time, no peace, no hope.
The Light is coming. Look up! Do not be afraid.

But if I look up, I might stumble.

I don’t know what’s ahead for me.
The Light is coming. Do not be afraid.

Where is the light?

It is here, in our path, our hearts and in our souls.
Let me see and feel the presence of that light.
Trust in the Light. Wait, watch, it is here.

A prayer for Advent and World AIDS Day:

God of Hope,

All of us who are affected by HIV/AIDS ask for a new heart.

As we begin the new Season of Advent this Sunday,

We give thanks for signs of hope,

For growing understanding

For medical advances
For changing attitudes and behavior

For greater awareness and concern.
God of Unity, bind us together with strong ties of love
 that Mildmay UK may be a place where
 all can find acceptance.

May it be a place of welcome for all affected by HIV/AIDS.

May it be a place where care is given and received,

Where stories are told and heard,

Where fear is overcome by love,

Where all give and receive love and respect.


“To all men and women of good will, we say: let us become creative artisans of peace, let us build social friendship, let us make our own the culture of dialogue.

Honest, persistent and courageous dialogue is the antidote to distrust, division and violence. Dialogue dismantles at the outset the arguments for wars that destroy the fraternity to which our human family is called.

No one can feel exempted from this. All of us have a shared responsibility. All of us need to forgive and to be forgiven. The injustices of the world and of history are not healed by hatred and revenge, but by dialogue and forgiveness.

May we be inspired to commit ourselves to these ideals and to the journey we would be making together as heralds of peace.”

—Pope Francis

The Serenity Prayer

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

—Reinhold Niebuhr

"Hope regards problems, small and large, as opportunities”

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