NOVENA FOR ST OLIVER PLUNKETT FEAST JULY 1st 2020

The Novena to St. Oliver is promoted by the Parish of St. Peter, Drogheda. The resource includes a theme for each day along with a prayer and a short commentary based on each theme. It is suggested that it could be used this year from 23rd June leading up to the Feast on 1st July. Alternatively, a Triduum could be held from Monday 29th up to the Feast on Wednesday 1st. Such a Triduum would coincide with the reopening of some of our churches for public Mass. The commentary (first paragraph of each daily theme) is optional and may be used as an added resource for each day or as a basis for a homily. The St. Oliver Festival Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Michael Router at the National Shrine of St. Oliver in Drogheda on Sunday 5th July at 4.00pm and will be accessible by St. Peter’s Parish website, http://www.saintpetersdrogheda.ie (St. Peter’s Church webcam). 

Download for use.

St. Oliver Novena 2020

Resources_including_Mass_of_St._Oliver

 

Checkout this for information

St Oliver Plunkett – Martyr and Peacemaker

 

The Story of St Oliver Plunkett

 

 

 

Coping with the Pandemic.

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Join Declan in praying the Jesus Prayer for our world, and all its People as we cope with this pandemic.

The Jesus Prayer is an ancient Christian Prayer form, based on the words of the Blind Man asking for help from Jesus.

Traditionally you begin it by repeating the Phrase often in the presence of a Holy Icon.

Jesus is reputed to have lived for 33 years on this Earth.  So it is repeated 33 times.

This practice was used in the very early Christian Church and was a favourite of the Desert Fathers and Mothers in Egypt.

I believe it was used even earlier back as far as the time of the Apostles.

It is sometimes known as ” the Prayer of the Heart”.  What starts in the mind slowly deepens from the head into the heart or soul.

It is a very powerful way to pray.  Please try it. Some people use it with prayer beads or ropes with 33 knots.

This is not essential.  Sit and join me and allow God to fill your heart with His peace.  God Bless you.

 

 

Many will be in lockdown living with family members.  This is not always easy.  The lovely prayer attributed to St Francis is a way to help us live in these unusual times.  We are each called to try to be true instruments of peace as we follow the example of Jesus our Master.  Join Declan in praying this lovely prayer. Indeed it might become a family morning and night prayer.  Don’t go to your rest in an angry mood.  Make peace.  God Bless and love you  .

 

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

PSALM 8  A PRAYER OF APPRECIATION FOR THE GIFT THAT IS CREATION

Many of us who are isolating are spending time walking or working in our gardens if we are lucky to have one.  Perhaps a byproduct of this prolonged time in isolation is a growing awareness and appreciation of the beauty that God surrounds us with each day.  Perhaps we have taken this gift for granted in the past busy lives we led.

Take a few moments to pray with Declan as you view this video.

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PRAYING BEFORE THE BLESSED SACRAMENT FOR OUR WORLD AND ITS PEOPLES.

Join Declan in praying for ten minutes before Jesus The Bread of Life.

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This prayer uses Holy Scripture from the Gospel of John and also the Litany Pope Francis used at His prayer during the Holy Week Urbi et Orbi message and Prayer this year.

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PRAYING WITH THE BLESSED TRINITY ICON. 

Declan explains this wonderful Holy Icon, a copy of the famous Rublev Icon and prays with it.

The core of Christianity is the belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Take 10 minutes to pray before this lovely icon.

 

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SMA RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES  and SCHOOLS DURING THE PANDEMIC

This programme gives families of every kind the opportunity to become stronger by working and reflecting together. The programme consists of four sessions and the resources here will guide you through each of them. Any family can participate, the family in the home, in the classroom or school or community group.

https://sma.ie/family-tree-programme/

Session 1. OUR FAMILY: ROOTS 

Session 2. OUR GROWING FAMILY: TRUNK

Session 3. OUR GLOBAL FAMILY: BRANCHES

Session 4. THE FAMILY OF CREATION: LEAVES & FRUIT

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

The resources linked to each of the four sessions are designed to provide parents, teachers or group leaders with all they need to organise and run the programme. In addition to Session Notes and other downloadable materials, there are short films to guide leaders as they prepare to work with their particular “family” group. In addition to being aids for preparation, the films can also be used during sessions if you wish.

 

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Other resources

Trocaire has compiled the following reflection based on a recent statement of Pope Francis:   “The pandemic reminds us there are no difference or borders between those who suffer. We are all frail, all equal, all precious. May we be profoundly shaken: Now is the time to eliminate inequalities and heal the injustice undermining the health of the entire human family!”

My Planet My Pledge: Youth Work Ireland has developed an online activity pack on climate change and the environment. The My Planet My Pledge activity pack was originally developed as a workshop session, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been adapted to be delivered as an online resource. The pack contains activities to support young people develop skills and knowledge to enable them to live an environmentally friendlier life and to support them recognise their responsibilities and abilities to become advocates for the environment and climate change. The pack is available at www.youthworkireland.ie/myplanetmypledge

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Young Philosopher Awards: Ethical questions are important not only in our everyday interactions with others, but in the use of technology, how we conduct ourselves at school and at work, how governments and institutions undertake their duty and conduct their practices, and how we plan for the future as well as reflect upon past actions. The UCD Young Philosopher Awards are inviting young people to create a short project on any ethical questions that they think is important or relevant in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Prizes will be awarded for the best entries. The best entries will also be published on the UCD Centre for Ethics in Public Life website and the IYPA website. Find out more here>> https://youngphilosopherawards.ucd.ie

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The Religion Teacher website offers lots of free printable student worksheets on Lent/Sunday Readings which Parents could use at home with students?

https://www.thereligionteacher.com/coronavirus/?utm_source=The+Religion+Teacher+Newsletter+List&utm_campaign=d4465f87fa-TRT%3A+Weekly+Newsletter+3-22-20&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a52a2eb0e6-d4465f87fa-326505809&mc_cid=d4465f87fa&mc_eid=ad74739f08

Junior Cycle RE Once again, here is the link to last Thursday week’s JCT RE webinar and resources in case you couldn’t link in:  https://www.jct.ie/religious_education/cpd_elective_workshops.php.

 

Youth Work at a Social Distance Zoom resources

Below are some resources we wanted to make you aware of:

Attached is 24/7 Prayer’s resource for helping young people to pray that we highlighted on the call. Thanks to 24/7 for developing this!

We highlighted a resource called Rock Solid TV made by Youth For Christ. It is brilliant and you can find out more at the below link!

https://resources.yfc.ie/

Do check out Alpha’s Webinar series as a fantastic resource for you, your youth, their parents, and your church!

https://ireland.alpha.org/online

Scripture Union Ireland have just launched a part of their website called SU+ where they have been releasing fantastic resources. Link is below

https://scriptureunion.ie/

 

COVID-19 Praying with Young People[1]

 

The writers of the senior cycle RE programme The Backpack have recently added these “relaxation tracks” to their website.  There is a shorter and a longer form – You can access them at the following link:    https://thebackpack.life/pages/relaxation-tracks

Messenger Publications – The following message has been forwarded by Donal Neary S.J., editor of the messenger of St. Anthony:  “The Messenger is still being printed and distributed monthly. However, some may find it hard to access it. Thus, we are offering a free digital subscription for three months. If you would like to receive this, please send an email to c.henry@messenger.ie, with message digital.”

Messenger publications can be ordered at www.messenger.ie/bookshop.

 

PERSONAL HELP

Sr Deirdre McKenna RSM who is a social worker with the Southern Health Social Care Trust in NI along with her colleagues has created some helpful short videos on helping to respond to living and dying issues during the current COVID-19 situation. From the videos I have watched, these are very good resources and I commend them to you. The following link will take you directly to the video clips: https://learningzone.niscc.info/storage/adapt/5e96d384c8b6f/index.html#/.

 

Teacher Welfare – Some practical and timely advice for teachers during this difficult time.

https://www.education.ie/en/The-Department/Announcements/teacher-wellbeing-self-care-during-the-covid-19-coronavirus-school-closures.pdf

and for the students

https://www.unicef.ie/stories/coping-with-exam-postponement/

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Emotional Wellbeing during the Covid-19 Pandemic – Video

In conjunction with Fr. Dermot McCaul, SMA, the diocese has produced a short video on emotional wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The video is intended to offer guidance around issues of emotional wellbeing and mental health during these times.  It also gives some sound and practical advice on how each of us can navigate these challenges and indeed flourish beyond this period.  Fr. Dermot suggests five daily actions and activities that can help:

 

  1. Reduce and limit Media and Multimedia interaction
  2. Exercise Daily
  3. Make time for daily prayer
  4. Develop and maintain a daily routine
  5. Whilst honoring social distancing protocol engage with family and friends

 

The video can be accessed at the following link:


https://youtu.be/f8jX-f0QcH0

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A good read to cheer you up

‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’ is a beautiful, illustrated, heartfelt book filled with characters each of us can relate to in some fashion. The conversations held between the Boy, and the friends he finds along the way, are a reflection of truths many of us have forgotten — how to be gentle to ourselves and others. How to love without limit. (Author: Charlie Mackesy)

 

Also Read

HOPE FOR THE FLOWERS by Trina Paulus.

“How does one become a butterfly,” Yellow asks pensively. “You must want to fly so much That you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teachers in NI may be preparing online work for students at home.

Susan has shared the Fully Alive Texts in digital form as PDF .  You may find these helpful to draw upon.

You can put the Fully Alive books upon their VLE’s. Also Workbook and Activity Book for each year

You can download these from here

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Fully Alive 1 screen res

Workbook

Activity Book

Fully Alive 2 screen res

FullyAlive2Workbook

FullyAlive2ActivityBook

Fully Alive 3 screen res

Fully Alive 3 Workbook

Fully Alive 3 Activity Book

 

All teachers may find the following a help ……

36 Online Lesson Plans with embedded links to Other Resources, e.g. YouTube links, Songs etc.

GSR in the Classroom.  This site hosts excellent lesson plans, encompassing good discussion questions, stories, testimonies,  scripture passages, suggested actions, links to Youtube clips and concluding prayers on the following topics:

Lent (6 lessons)
Environment (6 lessons)
Human Trafficking (6 lessons)
Migration (6 lessons)
Race Relations (6 lessons)
Vocations (6 lessons)

Each lesson follows Tom Groome’s approach of going from life to faith to life.  There are also great cross-curricular links within RE and with other subjects, e.g. geography, business, history.

Everything you require for a lesson (some could cover two class periods) can be found in one downloadable handout (pdf), which you can email to your students pre or post-lesson if you wish.  Links to YouTube clips are also embedded further limiting demands on you.  There is also a teacher guide for each lesson (clearly written by an experienced teacher) but given your own formation and experience as an RE Teacher and the quality of each handout,  you may not require this.

To source these lessons plans, teacher guides etc. go to:  www.globalsistersreport.org/classroom

 

Checkout also   https://www.24-7prayer.com/videos

 

JUNIOR CERT RE  NEW BOOKS FOR CATHOLIC STUDENTS.   SOULSEEKERS  By Tom Gunning.

Do go on line a check these resources from Tom

Dear RE teacher,

We are aware of the increased pressure on RE teachers at this particular time to gather resources for their students. Accordingly, we have decided to provide free access to the resources on our Soul Seekers website: www.soulseekers.ie . Please find the details below:

Email: soulseekers2020@veritas.ie

Password: SS2020Veritas!

 

ANNUAL ARMAGH RELIGIOUS EDUCATION COMMUNITY DAY 2020

Greetings dear Friends.  Given the circumstances we find ourselves in I am postponing our planned Annual Gathering of the Rel Ed Community.  I do so with great sadness.  I just cherish that special Day and love seeing you all together.  I imagine this coming Academic year starting in September will be a very strange time.  Students will be coming at different times and days with learning at home to facilitate safety within the school environment   Our planned day will be something to return to whenever we get settled back into a new way of being school communities.  I will discern a time when we have coped with the stress and changes that will have to take place.  Can I urge you to try your best to get a good rest when school ends.  The weather has been such a blessing so far.  I hope you will get time to chill and recharge.  Do continue to watch out, be careful and remain safe and well.  God bless and love you all.   Declan

This year our Annual Religious Education Teacher Community will meet on Tuesday 23rd June in St John the Baptist College, Drumcree, Portadown.

This Annual Gathering has proved to be very successful in helping to meet the personal, spiritual and professional needs of teachers of Religious Education in our Archdiocese.  It also affords an opportunity for RE teachers and HODs to build networks for support and to exchange ideas and resources.  Being part of this community helps build a strong sense of support, belonging and identity.  We hope to commence at 9.45 am with Taize Lectio based Morning Prayer,

Full details can be downloaded here.

Annual RE Community Day 2020

Reply slip 2020

Our Annual Armagh Community Day Programme

  1. 45 am           Arrival & registration    (Declan )
  1. 00 am          Taize Lectio Morning Prayer   (Declan)
  1. 40 am           Coffee break

11.00  am            “Living the Gospel as RE Teachers”     Mrs Joan McCombe

12,15. pm             Pure in Heart      Marie Cummins and team

1.00 pm                Lunch break    (Light Lunch Provided)

1.50 pm               Sharing resources and issues.

( Bring 15 copies of one resource you used and found good )

2.10 pm            “ The Fifth Gospel  –  Learning from the  Holy Land itself ”

. Fr Paul Clayton Lee.

3.30 pm               Evaluation and Closure.

 

I really hope as many of you as possible will come along.

I realise the Co Louth schools will be on Summer Holiday by then but maybe a few may make it north to join us all.

 

LENT & POPE FRANCIS

“Lent,” Pope Francis said, “is a time in which to turn off the television and open the Bible.”

During his teaching for the weekly Audience the Pope reflected on the 40 days spent by Jesus in the desert as He prepared for His public ministry and said that, in a sense, it is a time for us to imitate Jesus and seek a place of silence, where we are free to hear the Lord’s word and experience His call.

“In the desert one hears the Word of God,” he said, “one finds intimacy with God and the love of the Lord,” noting that Jesus taught us how to seek the Father, who speaks to us in silence.  For many of us, it is not easy to be in silence as we live in an environment that is “polluted by too much verbal violence,” by so many “offensive and harmful words” which are amplified by the internet “ Lent is a time to disconnect from cell phones and connect to the Gospel,” he said.

“It is the time to give up useless words, chatter, rumours, gossip, and talk and to speak directly to the Lord,” he said, it is a time in which to dedicate ourselves to an ecology of the heart.

Following on from our CSW Tree planting and Sprout Pencils now is a chance to get more involved in saving our Planet  Mother Earth. .

THE SMA LAUDATE TREE PROJECT.

The Laudato Tree Project is Ireland’s contribution to the Great Green Wall – an incredible global initiative to plant 8,000km of trees, spanning 13 countries, right across Africa and to establish a mosaic of greened areas in the Sahel region south of the Sahara.

While the trees you help us plant in Africa will combat the destructive impact of climate change, we must also practice what we preach. So, as a statement of intent that we are serious about tackling climate change and meeting our own greenhouse targets, your generous donations will also help plant trees in Ireland – a country with one of the lowest forest coverage levels in Europe.

The Laudato Tree – Be part of something amazing

Also

A competition being run by Trócaire at the minute called Game Changers (runs to 20th April) where students are invited to create a card, board or video game that explores Climate Justice, Human Rights or Sustainable Development Goals.

These 22 groups of young people, their teachers and Trócaire staff then came together to enjoy a hugely energetic and colourful event. On the day, the judges were wowed by the standard of gameplay on show but the final say on who took home the title went to the entrants themselves.

‘Children are hope’ – a new book by Pope Francis for children

‘Children are hope’ – a new book by Pope Francis aimed at children. I bambini sono speranza

I Bambini sono speranza (Children are hope) is the of a newly published children’s book composed of short and simple statements by Pope Francis that encourage sharing, acceptance and love.

The materials have been selected by Father Antonio Spadaro SJ, director of La Civiltà Cattolica magazine, and the book has been illustrated by Sheree Boyd who illustrated the Dear Pope Francis book for children published in 2016 which so many people loved.

Introducing the new book, Cardinal Tagle said that “where there are no children, there is no future.”

The book, he said, is “a breath of fresh air” as it is full of images of joy, energy and life. He shared that it reminds him of his own childhood in the village of Imus in the Philippines, where the family had no television set and where every evening his mother would read books to the children.

In the book the Pope speaks directly to children, choosing words that invite them to be generous, to not be afraid to cry, to do good in life, but also to smile and to dance for joy.

“You and I can make the Earth a more beautiful place” and “the best way to win a conflict is not to start it,” are amongst the Pope’s words chosen to make up the text of the volume.

On page one Pope Francis says “When I see a child like you, I feel so much hope in my heart”; next to it is a mirror in which the child sees his or her own reflection.

” Children are hope ” is “a special little book with a universal message to make the world a better place.”

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Another book aimed at young people owes its origins to extracts from Pope Francis@ letter Christus Vivit.  Called “CHRIST IS ALIVE” £1.50 copy

Pope Francis calls all those aged 16-30 to throw themselves into life, to love, to create community, to care for our sisters and brothers who suffer, to build a better world and get involved as Jesus did.

Chapters include the following topics

The booklet is produced by Synod Fruits.

Check out this https://www.synodfruits.org.uk/#resources  You can order online.  Much more fascinating resources to be gleaned on this website.

 

 

 

LENT and EASTER 2020

Lent approaches as February passes.

Pope Francis tell us all

“Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive.”

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Watch Utube video  WHAT IS LENT ?

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also check out  Utube video  ” LENT IN THREE MINUTES “

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Some more resources you may find helpful with your classes.

LENT 2020 an overview

Stations-of-the-cross-Assembly

Year-group-Reconciliation Sacrament 

50 things to give up for lent

Teachers-Notes-for-A-Lenten-Garden

Along_the_Lenten_Road

Ash Wednesday Prayer Service

School Liturgy for the Distribution of Ashes

Introduction to a Christian Seder

Stations for Armagh Archdiocese

STATIONS OF THE CROSS Large

Donna kindly sent me this

Dist of Ashes 2020

Lent Board from Roisin

 

Lent idea from Donna

 

CSW 2020 & SEINN 2020

CSW 2020

Catholic Schools Week was launched at St John the Baptist Parish Church in Portadown today Tuesday January 21st. About 30 schools were represented with 600 young people attending with Principals teachers and some parents and grandparents. Living in harmony with Creation was our main focus. A similar launch took place yesterday at the Seinn Service at the Church of the Redeemer in Dundalk Co Louth. There the church was full to the brim with about 900 students from Dundalk, north and mid-Louth and south Armagh attending with teachers, parents and also so proud grandparents.
 
Our three banners this year remind us that our planet and special home is quickly being destroyed by careless and selfish overuse by nations, large companies and even individual choices in how we live and how we treat this wonderful part of God’s Creation. The first banner shows life created by God and says: “Creation God’s love for us” The second shows planet Earth cracking and wounded and says: “What went wrong?”  The third shows the same picture of our suffering planet Sister Earth and says: “We went wrong”.  Today we hoped to find a way forwards towards healing and living in harmony with our beautiful planet which is part of God’s Creation.
 
Music, hymn, readings, artwork and mime and dancing provided wonderful inspiration and reflection. Celebration and prayer helped us resolve in our own small way to be stewards of this wonderful world created in love for us by God. The organising team wish to thank all who helped make this celebration a true launch into CSW which begins this Sunday. Bishop Michael led us all in prayer and story. He blessed saplings of trees for schools to plant and each student received a sprout pencil contains sunflower seeds to emphasise the eco message of living in harmony with our world. Please God all will return home to school determined to make the most of CSW 2020.
Some schools have asked for a copy of the order of service. You can download this below.

Bishop Michael Router meets Colaiste Ris Students CSW 2020

The launch of Catholic Schools Week in the Archdiocese of Armagh will take place as follows:
 
Date Time Venue
Tuesday 21 January 11.00 am St John the Baptist Church, Drumcree, Portadown  ( Prayer Service / Para-liturgy)
Thursday 23 January 12.30 pm Holy Redeemer Church, Ard Easmuinn, Dundalk   ( Prayer Service with active singing !!)
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Bishop Michael meets students in Dundalk as we prepare for CSW 2020 next week.  Full details of the launch are further down the blog.

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Watch this uTube video of their time together.

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Christian Unity Prayer Week 2020

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY 2020
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will run as usual from 18 to 25 January.
The theme this year is They showed us unusual kindness (Acts 28:2).   Annually, leaders of faith communities throughout the world gather together to arrive at the theme for the annual celebration of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year the theme finds its origins in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 27:18 – 28:10).
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Resources are available as downloads from the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland website at www.ctbi.org.uk/weekofprayer.
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Local Service
An interdenominational Service for Christian Unity will be held in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh, on Wednesday, 22 January at 7.30 pm.
The guest preacher will be Fr Tony Currer, a diocesan priest of Hexham and Newcastle diocese in the North East of England who currently works at the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity where he is responsible for the Vatican’s relations with the worldwide Anglican and Methodist Communions and
for the materials prepared for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
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The materials for the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by the Christian churches in Malta and Gozo (Christians Together in Malta). On 10th February many Christians in Malta celebrate the Feast of the Shipwreck of St Paul, marking and giving thanks for the arrival of Christian faith on these islands. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles used for the feast is the text chosen for this year’s Week of Prayer. The story begins with Paul being taken to Rome as a prisoner (Acts 27:1ff). Paul is in chains, but even in what turns out to be a perilous journey, the mission of God continues through him. This narrative is a classic drama of humanity confronted by the terrifying power of the elements. The passengers on the boat are at the mercy of the forces of the seas beneath them and the powerful tempest that rages about them. These forces take them into unknown territory, where they are lost and without hope.

Today many people are facing the same terrors on the same seas. The very same places named in the reading (27:1, 28:1) also feature in the stories of modern-day migrants. In other parts of the world, many others are making equally dangerous journeys by land and sea to escape natural disasters, warfare and poverty. Their lives, too, are at the mercy of immense and coldly indifferent forces – not only natural, but political, economic and human. This human indifference takes various forms: the indifference of those who sell places on unseaworthy vessels to desperate people; the indifference of the decision not to send out rescue boats; and the indifference of turning migrant ships away. This names only a few instances. As Christians together facing these crises of migration this story challenges us: do we collude with the cold forces of indifference, or do we show “unusual kindness” and become witnesses of God’s loving providence to all people?