Bishop’s Letter- 20 June 2019

Dear Clergy and People of God,
As we remember the Refugees in our communities, please do visit the website of Pope Francis to pray the prayers for Refugees. I offer the following prayer written by Walter Brueggemann, Prayers for a Privileged People

Can we risk it?
We have been sent dangerously
by God’s address –
called by name,
entrusted with risky words,
and empowered with authority.
We are to tell the truth openly,
work for justice,
and stand in solidarity
with our neighbours.
The cost is high,
the purposes are those of the Holy God.

As we remember Refugees on the same day as Corpus Christi in the church’s calendar, God calls us to community, to a mutually supportive, empowering and accountable life together. We know that from the Bible, we know it from Christian tradition, and we know it from the yearnings of our own hearts.
As migrants and refugees join our communities, they come hoping to find a safer and more sacred city than the cities they have known. They come hoping that their sadness and struggle might be lifted, that the kingdom of God might arrive.
The Last Supper teaches us the true nature of community. On the feast of Corpus Christi, Christ is gathering people into community. We come to the altar with our “low points” and Christ helps us to keep on keeping on. Christ brings us together in friendship, family, hospitality – breaking bread together and passing the cup. Let us not betray him or argue about who is the greatest. Conflict in communities can provide openings into the deeper reaches of spiritual life, into deeper relationship with one another and with God. Like the disciples who journeyed with Jesus, we place our trust in God. We come to receive the sacraments holding out empty hands to receive the fullness of life.
On this day when we welcome refugees and celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, I pray that we will see God’s continual healing presence among us and begin to more fully experience the fruits of the Spirit with each other: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and gentleness.

Read the Press Release regarding Fr Michael Lapsley SSM, an Anglican Priest and Director of the Institute for Healing of Memories (IHOM) – South Africa with Pope Francis on 15 June 2019. ( Fr Michael’s memoirs are contained in his book, Redeeming the Past. You will also find him on YouTube.
I pray that we will all remain faithful to our calling to be servant leaders. “I am, because we are, because God is … Opening Hearts to heal God’s world.”

Love, Prayers, Peace and Blessings,
Bishop Margaret B. Vertue
Bishop of False Bay