Making the best of it

  Newsletter 03 August 2021  
  Dear Friends,

Welcome to Autumn's MeetPrayLove newsletter

Around this time of year we start feeling the change in the balance between light and dark. This year, 23 September marked the autumn equinox, with that date holding the equal balance of day and night. As we slip through October and November, the change becomes more noticeable and in most cultures and religions around the world we enjoy festivals of light. In the Christian tradition we celebrate the light of Christ coming into the world close to when the darkness is at its deepest –the winter solstice.

As well as in the natural world around us, we also know dark times in our own lives and the lives of others; times when we wonder if the light will ever come back. Trying to find ways to light the darkness or be a light to others is not easy. However, being alongside people in a small group is one way that can be of help. We may have no answers to each others' questions as we journey together but in that togetherness we can share the burdens.

As we journey through this year, inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela, we reflect this month on his ability to make the best of his situation. His long period of imprisonment gave him ample reason to be bitter – his mother and eldest son both died while he was in prison. However, he wrote in his 1995 autobiography Long Walk to Freedom: "Prison is itself a tremendous education in the need for patience and perseverance. It is, above all, a test of one's commitment." For those of us on the outside of his prison cell on Robben Island, we were aware of his light shining out into the darkness – an inspiration for millions of people across the world.

binPractical Idea: make a lantern out of a recycled tin can – the light shining out as a symbol of patience and perseverance.

Tin Can
Wooden block (to keep the can's shape)
Wire to make a loop to hang it up by
Night light

1. Take your can – insert the wooden block
2. Get a hammer and a nail
3. Knock into the can a simple pattern of holes
4. Take a length of wire – make a hoop to hang it with – thread wire through the top holes – and secure it
5. Pop in your nightlight
6. Your lantern is complete! Choose where you would like to hang it – or who you would like to give it to

We're delighted to be welcoming new people to MeetPrayLove from around the UK this month including people from the north west of England and Surrey. Why not invite others to join the network and ensure that people who meet in small groups with the aim of supporting each other in changing our communities and world for the better are connected in our endeavours? We hope that the sense of togetherness offers light to us all.

All best wishes

Sally Robertson
MeetPrayLove Editor
MeetPrayLove is part of the Methodist Church and is open to all


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