Livingston Green’s Political Views

The Congregation of Livingston have spoken.

Aleppo’s New Aid Appeal, Good Samaritans Offering Sanctuary and Benefits Caps in Britain…

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Good samaritans come in all shapes and sizes.

Although Livingston Green may often feel like it’s far removed from the troubles and issues of the modern day world, we are not completely ignorant. We have internet connections and we do use them!

Over the course of the last few months, there has been an increasing amount of discussion of topical matters in our Church Services. It appears that our congregation have been galvanised by the current political climate, so we thought it would be a good idea to get some of these opinions out in the open.

There may well be a precedent set for keeping Religion and Politics separate, but we’re a liberal bunch and believe that the two will forever be intertwined. So without further ado, let’s get to it!


Trump & Immigration

Galatians 6:2 says: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

sanctuary

There was widespread outcry after Donald Trump was elected as the next President of the United States. But the outrage wasn’t strictly limited to the States.

Members of Livingston Green’s community were also found to be angry at the result and worried about the outcome for the thousands of Central American immigrants who could soon be at risk of deportation.

Village Store shop keep, Mavis, had this to say: “Hundreds of Churches and Synagogues across the United States have pledged their commitment to offering sanctuary to those poor, lost people, but I’m still worried for them. I’d let them into my home in a heartbeat.”


bENEFIT CAPS COULD hARM fAMILIES

Hebrews 13:16: “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

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At the start of November a new cap was introduced by the UK government, intended to provide recipients of benefits with a ‘clear incentive to move into a new job’. The cap was decried by many as an outright attack on the most vulnerable people in our society.

Although Livingston Green is mostly a well-off community, that gets by without the aid of government aid, the plight of young families and single mother’s still struck a chord with the congregation here.

Sheep farmer and choir member, Gerald, raised this point: “The government exists in this country to help it’s citizens. By forcing the hands of thousands of young Mothers across Britain, the politicians are putting children’s growth and development in peril.”


oNGOING sYRIAN CRISIS

Proverbs 3:27 says: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”

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Since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, the community of Livingston Green has been deeply saddened by the loss of human life in Syria. The lack of empathy or support offered from major world powers has also led to a deep well of sympathy for those displaced by the war.

Amongst all the ongoing topical issues in the news, it is the Syrian Conflict (in addition to the ensuing Migrant Crisis) that has drawn the most discussion amongst the congregation here in Livingston Green.


Unanimously, the community here stands firmly in support of the men, women and children whose lives have been irrevocably damaged by this devastating conflict.

 …

Is Christmas Here Already?

The Christmas Season Is Approaching – What Does This Mean?

Us Brits try and put it off for as long as possible, but eventually the Christmas Season takes hold of the country…

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The beginning of the Christmas Season is now murky and ambiguous.

In the times before the rampant commercialisation of the Festive Season, when the Christian Faith was more prevalent within the communities of Britain, the beginning and end of the period was more defined.

Traditionally, the period of Advent (which begins on the nearest Sunday to the feast day of St. Andrew) lasts for the breadth of four Sunday, running up to Christmas. This year, it will be the 27th November.

However, the observant might have already noticed Festively packaged food items creeping on to the shelves – suggestively putting thoughts of Christmas into our minds ahead of Advent.

There are no rules or law as to when people should start discussing Christmas, or even using the period as a way to create brand awareness. John Lewis, for the last few years, have done well out of investing millions in creating powerfully emotional – yet slick – adverts, capable of ‘warming the hearts’ whilst also reminding the viewer of where to shop for their presents.

For most people, this advert is a calling to think about the practicalities of christmas: presents, travel plans, dinners.
But what should Methodists be thinking about?

Even though we are yet to officially reach the start of Advent – it does us no harm to start considering the implications of this period of expectation.

It can be easy to take a superficial view of what Advent means to us Methodists, with the many rituals and thematic readings that we can, sometimes, grow a little weary of.

So, before we surround ourselves with the rich purple hues that denote the season, let us consider the theological ramifications of Advent and how we can let it effect our daily routines.

think towards your charitable actions

Matthew 5:42 says: “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.”

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As the Winter months draw in, the cold winds and rain drive us indoors, into the warmth of our homes. It’s important to remember that there are those not so lucky to have their own refuge. 

Giving to charity can be as simple as  buying someone a cup of coffee

Proverbs 29:7 says: The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.”

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The bigger the sacrifice you make, the better you can make the world – so don’t let the bad weather keep you from exercising your charitable nature – go on and make someone’s day!

Consider those who might be alone for the period

Ephesians 4:32 says: Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

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The Christmas season can be a painfully lonely time for those with few friends – so why not take the time to keep those people company. It can be as little as dropping in to a Hospice once a week or a Retirement Home.

Don’t let the the early start of the Christmas season put you off from giving and being generous.