Action Zones 

From Revd Helen Budd

HELEN BUDD30th October 2018
 as published in November Parish Life

Now it’s November, we are deep in the season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’. Autumn is my favourite time of year. A time for pulling the curtains across, putting my fluffy slippers on and curling up on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate. It’s a naturally reflective time of year
It’s a time of remembering those who have gone before us - those we have known and loved, as well as our sisters and brothers in Christ whom we have never met. It has also become a time to remember the victims of war, and this year Remembrance takes on an extra significance as we mark one hundred years since the armistice that ended the First World War
How I wish I could say that this year we are celebrating one hundred years of peace. Over the past century hundreds more wars have been fought, and far too many people killed - both people serving in the armed forces and civilians. Millions more have had to flee their homes, in search of peace for themselves and their families. This cannot be what anyone wants for humanity
How can we bear it? A world in which human life is seen as expendable, and making weapons is seen as a way to get rich? This is not what God wants for us. But this is not a new problem, we only have to turn to the Old Testament and other ancient texts, to see that humans have been at war with each other for thousands of years
How then, can we be advocates for peace? For several years I have worn both a red poppy and a white poppy. This is an expression both of gratitude for the bravery of those who have fought for justice, as well as a hope that one day this world will know peace in every corner. It’s a small gesture, and this year I have been thinking about what I can do to turn that hope into reality
I can’t take on multinational arms manufacturers, but I can write letters to those who can engage with them. I can’t conduct peace talks between warring factions, but I can try and build relationships with people who hold different views from me. I can’t rehome every refugee, but I can support charities who will help them find safety
What can you do?
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of  God” (Matthew 5:9) 

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