Tomorrow night we have our Social Action meeting and all are welcome. It is a chance for us to review what we have already achieved this year and plan for the next few months. We had a very generous collection of underwear, toiletries and other items in May for the People’s Kitchen. The food from our Harvest service on 27th September will go there as well. Our Social4Justice group has been writing letters in support of prisoners highlighted by Amnesty International. One of the prisoners we supported was actually released. Our monthly group for LGBT folk seeking asylum in the UK, Rainbow Home, continues to develop and grow. More new members came to the August group. People travel from all over the NE, including Teesside to be part of this safe space. Individuals continue to bring in clothing and other items for the West End Refugee Service (WERS). (WERS is very short of men’s clothing, if anyone is having a summer clearout.) We had a fantastic presence at Newcastle Pride this year and the Candlelit vigil was an opportunity to remind everyone of the social action and social justice history of Pride. There is still so much work to be done around the world before LGBTQI people and their families will be able to live freely. Each month, we send a small proportion of our income to MCC HQ to support our global justice ministry worldwide. It is amazing to think that our hands and feet extend around the world.
As well as these actions we do together, I know that many people in the congregation support other social action organisations financially or volunteer their time. Others perform daily acts of kindness that make a real difference. Some buy food or a hot drink for a homeless person they see on the street. More importantly, they sit and chat with them for a while. Some check up on elderly neighbours and do their shopping for them. Mother Teresa once said “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Social action may sound very daunting and a bit radical. However, each of us can make a difference by even the smallest of actions, being Christ’s hands and feet in the world.