Sunday, January 31, 2010

Enough - Poverty and Homelessness Action Week

Today is Homelessness Sunday, the start of Poverty and Homelessness Action Week.

The theme for this year is Enough, quoting Gandhi's statement'
'There is enough for everybody's need, but not enough for anybody's greed'.
The website's resources include a couple of powerpoint presentations, one of which we played before the service began this morning.

In Exclaimers we've been looking at a range of famous people this term so we began with Dr Barnardo but then moved on to homelessness today. The children were already pretty clued up about child homelessness here and abroad, although most were less conscious of adult homelessness here in Reading.

Picking up on the PHAW theme of finding ways to share the resources we have, I thought it might be time to resurrect the idea of a sharing book. This was first initated after our very first Eco Worship Together service. The idea is to help us consume less and use our resources more effectively by offering to share possessions that we don't need on a daily basis - paint strippers, jam pans, DVDs etc. While many people put generous offers in the initial book, few seemed to look through it or be aware of what was in there and somewhere during the upheaval of rebuilding the refectory it disappeared. So, we began today with a little washing line of postcards to demonstrate to the congregation (one Exclaimer offered to share 'cudderly toys') but the cards have now been transferred to the Eco-congregation board. For the next few weeks the board will be devoted to these cards in the hope that people will notice and remember potentially useful items. Then I'll punch holes in them and hang them all together from the board, with still a small space reserved for 'new offers'. It may also function as an in-church freecycle as we've already got an offer of lots of glass jars up there.

My decision to illustrate this with a squirrel was inspired by a guest who overstayed his welcome this afternoon. I had advertised the RSPB's great garden birdwatch at church and this afternoon was trying to make my contribution. Normally I am very happy to support squirrels as well as birds. However, our resident squirrel hogged the bird table for so much of today that I'm sure he contributed to my disappointing count.

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