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President’s Blog 27th April 2020

President’s Blog 27th April 2020
April 27, 2020 Hilary Evans

Apple blossom has been a favourite type of blossom since I was a child. There was an old apple orchard behind our house where for a while at least we children could climb the trees make dens and play cowboys and Indians. Sitting in a tree in Spring having opportunity to observe the blossom, always made me smile, and that feeling has stayed with me. So as the blossom has appeared on the apple trees in my own garden in the last week or so I have been reminded of those childhood days; the games we played; the fun we had; the freedom we felt.
Thinking about the appearance of the blossom this year, it seems more than most years to have shown itself suddenly, a kind of miracle moment. I’m sure it can’t be more than a week [well only by a day or two] that the trees all seemed barren and lifeless, yet this week all the ones around us are in almost full leaf casting different shadows and camouflaging the birds.
Blossom however is quite fleeting. It is already beginning to fade and blow off the branches and we will be left to anticipate the fruit that will follow in a few months’ time. That thought prompted me to start thinking about other aspects of the future, not least what may happen as our current restrictions begin to ease. It is good to have things to look forward to which motivate and focus us, but, at the moment, it is hard to envisage what we may be able to do and when. Many of us hope that whatever decisions are made, a more environmentally friendly approach may be instilled. That will, I think, be a big challenge for many, but is essential if humanity is to live in harmony with the rest of creation. It will need everyone to participate though and engage with living more sustainably.
I listened yesterday to the 11.00 a.m. service from Wesley’s Chapel, as I have for the past few weeks [as well as our own church’s virtual service]. I really enjoy the way that Rev. Jennifer Smith speaks, and yesterday she gave a different perspective on the Emmaus Road story talking about the miracle moments in the story, comparing them to present day and suggesting miracles are happening around us all the time, but so often are missed as such, because they are things that tend to happen ‘at the edges’. She suggested that Christian need to develop good peripheral vision.
As we begin to anticipate a reduction in our lockdown and consider what the future may bring I hope we will endeavour to notice the miracle moments, not just in nature, but in the relationships and attitudes of those around us.
Many of you will be aware that MWiB will be 10 years old next year. We are starting to plan ways in which that may be celebrated. One project is to encourage every District to create at least one fabric panel [A4 size and double sided, using a colour from MWiB’s logo as the background] with a design [either stitched or fabric glued] that illustrates a project or partnership from their work addressing social justice issues. Forum members will have the basic instructions and hopefully in the next few days I intend to send them a reminder, and instructions with a bit more detail. I’m hoping this time of staying at home will provide the space to create some of these panels and I’d be delighted for any of you to participate. Feel free to encourage others to join in too. Let me know if you need the instructions, and I can forward them to you. The intention is to join them into bunting to show the range of things which MWiB supports, and has involvement with, to raise awareness of our work. All being well we can use the bunting as part of a display at Conference 2021 and in Gothenburg at the World Federation meeting in August 2021. The more panels the better! Some might show where miracle moments and changes have happened so let’s celebrate those achievements.
Keep safe and positive,