September sees the beginning of Creation-tide. This year our Sundays will be themed: Forest; Land; Remote spaces; River, concluding as ever, with Harvest. USPG have produced a really helpful workbook for churches thinking about climate change for use at this time. Click on the image and have a look for yourself.
On 21st September, as part of the International Peace One Day celebrations, people will be gathering to dedicate the peace pole commissioned by St James the Less. It has been handcrafted with love and care by Andrew McCaullye, who has repurposed an electricity pole and wax from the remnants of candles burned in church.
The English phrase, May peace prevail on Earth, spirals around the top of the pole, encouraging onlookers to come close and walk around it. This is matched at the bottom of the pole, with a nod to our Scottish heritage, as we find the phrase in Gallic. Vertically around the pole we find the phrase in Hebrew, a biblical language and a sign of our continuing prayers for all the peoples of the Holy Land. Russian is included in acknowledgement of growing tensions and conflicts in Ukraine and other once-Soviet states, and as a prayer for peace in these lands. Twi is included as a reminder of our diocesan partnership with Ghana, this is one of the most peaceful places in Africa, despite tribes speaking 5 native languages, as well as the official English. Fante, most commonly spoken in Cape Coast is not written down, so Twi serves and reminds us to pray for our partners in Ghana and for peace throughout the continent of Africa. Tibetan is included as we pray for people whose struggle for peace goes on over many years and can all too easily be forgotten.
As we dedicate the pole, we will pray:
Gracious God, hear us.
Sanctify this pole dedicated to the peace you offer through Christ.
Let it be to all who see it a sign that peace will come on earth and a prompt to our prayers and diligent work for peace. Accept here the continual reading of the words “May Peace prevail on earth” as the heartfelt prayers of your people. Grant that all who look upon this pole may be blessed by your spirit of peace. Blessed be your Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; now and for endless ages. Amen.
I do hope you will lift your heart in prayer and or longing for peace whenever you go past.