Here, there and everywhere
Though we’re not allowed to travel for leisure, there’s nothing stopping us from journeying online to just about anywhere in the world.
Let’s start with GARSTANG. Where is it? I had to confess I didn’t know but fortunately someone in the first of our Lenten Time Zoom evenings did: it’s near Blackpool. A later look at the road atlas shows it to be just off the M6 between Lancaster and Preston.
Why Garstang? It was the first Fair Trade town in the UK. This was one of the questions in our Fair Trade quiz during our first Lenten Time gathering. There were ten altogether, ably put to us by the youngest participants, who are still in primary school. Watch out, Jeremy Paxman, Bradley Walsh etc.
Now let’s move to GAZA CITY. Now that has to be virtual in our case, unless we happen to work in Israel and are thus able to apply for a permit to enter. Which is a great shame, as Gaza City is home to the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children and an impressive showroom filled with the various artefacts made by (mainly deaf) adults in a number of workshops: woodwork, embroidery, handwoven cloths and, most recently, furniture.
This bag is actually from the Catholic Melkite Centre, Ramallah but it is a good example of the beautiful Palestinian embroidery which is available from Hadeel.
As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, Hadeel (a social enterprise operated by Palcrafts (UK) Limited) is offering tours of some of their suppliers. If this has whetted your appetite, may I suggest you visit their website: Hadeel - Fair Trade Palestinian Crafts When restrictions are eased, you might also like to drop in at their shop at 123 George Street, Edinburgh, just nextdoor to the Church of Scotland offices.
And tomorrow, it’s off to the South Pacific islands of VANUATU, as it has been this country’s turn to prepare a service of worship for the 2021 World Day of Prayer. In 2019 our group of Dundee congregations, from several denominations, gathered for this occasion (and tea afterwards) in St Andrew’s Church.
Follow this link to watch this year’s service from Vanuatu: Homepage | World Day Of Prayer (wwdp.org.uk)
And/or worship with folk from the UK or another part of the world – this link will show you what is available: Virtual-services-v-0.5.pdf (wwdp.org.uk)
Some will say it’s not the same as the local gathering, which might be the one time in the year they meet for worship ecumenically, but thanks to the internet we may feel even more closely connected with Christians around the world, no matter what denomination they are part of.