Thursday, 19 July 2012

Perfect babies

I have just read this brilliant post on Ignitum Today on "perfect children." If you haven't already seen it you really must. I've posted the link below:

That statistic that 92% (which I'm assuming is just for the USA although I doubt it'll be little different for the UK) of babies diagnosed with Down's Syndrome is not only shocking but horrifying. Like the post's author I find it staggering that people can honestly believe that no life is better than a difficult one. Her story will, for many, raise questions as, obviously, in her case the conclusions drawn from the tests that were done were found to be inaccurate and for how many more children was this true? But regardless of whether the vast majority of children who were diagnoses with Down's syndrome did or did not have it it doesn't change the horror of the situation. So, so many children have been killed because people can't face the thought of bringing a child with a disability to term, there is a deep fear that the life that child will live will simply be unlivable, that they will be unlovable, that the lives of the parents will become too hard, that they won't have enough support and that it is cruel to bring a child with that kind of disability into the world. But, when faced with these sorts of fears and statements, I would always ask; "aren't we the ones with the disability?" After all it is we who are imposing the view that all life that is not 'normal', not 'average', not 'the same' as yours and mine is not worthy of existence. Is it not us who are so blind that we cannot even consider that someone with a different quality of life, with different abilities can still live a worthwhile life by simply living. And instead of pulling them and their families down with everything they can't do should we not try to maximise and emphasise what they can and pour our efforts into making that possible? Instead of spending billions on abortion spend billions on improving their quality of life and help them to live as full a life as we are able?

All of us, every, single one, is created in the image and likeness of God. Our innate dignity as human beings is founded in this. And that dignity, that expression of the image and likeness of God shines though the poor and sick and disabled and elderly just as much as through fit and healthy and young and wealthy. We need to see beyond the end of our own existence and truly appreciate the life of others. Yes, it may be different, but it is life just the same.

Sunday, 15 July 2012's the Church coming along then?

As you will have read in the newsletter this week I'm sure stage one of the refurbishment is running on time and going according to plan. The ceiling in the sanctuary is now completed, the doors from the Martyr's chapel into the flower arranging room is in, the organ has been moved onto the balcony, the oak panelling is beginning to be looked at, the speakers have been moved and the wiring tidied up and tuning sorted. Here's a few snaps from when I last had a peek (which was Tuesday and a lot has been done since then!)

Please do pray for Richard the decorator, Chris the sound guy and Simon the carpenter as work continues.

Society of African Missions

This weekend we were very blessed to be visited by Fr. Sylvester who, although currently based in the UK for the next couple of years, is from the Society of African Missions. He preached a good homily and spoke passionately and beautifully about the work of the SMA in his home continent and the importance, despite us all having to tighten our belts at this difficult financial time, of supporting the priests and missionaries who have dedicated their lives to proclaiming the Gospel. In addition to promoting vocations and training candidates for the priesthood the society is also intimately involved in pastoral work in parishes, education, healthcare and helping communities to develop. Their work is invaluable, you can read more about it on the SMA British Province website here. (If you didn't see Fr. Sylvester this morning or get a chance to donate to the society's work in Africa then you can do so here or by downloading and returning via post this Gift Aid form.)

Please, please do pray for Fr. Sylvester and all of those who work with the SMA and those they serve in Africa. It makes a huge difference!