14 November 2015

Responses to the Paris attacks

Prayer: Eternal God

Eternal God,
in whose perfect realm
no sword is drawn but the sword of justice,
and no strength known but the strength of love:
guide and inspire all who seek your kingdom,
that peoples and nations may find their security
in the love which casts out fear;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen

The Remembrance Sunday Collect - Methodist Worship Book, p. 563


Hymn: Hopeless to help in this violence, this crisis

Andrew Pratt has written a hymn of reflection in response to the French shootings of 7-9 January 2015, which he has added to following the tragic events of 13 November 2015:

"Hopeless to help in this violence, this crisis,
here in the focus of bloodshed and fear,
common humanity binds us together,
love at the centre, not hatred's veneer.

History repeats in a city of beauty,
here amid elegance: danger's embrace.
Love is our purpose when those filled with hatred
break down relationships, nullify grace.

Give me your hand, then let peace grow between us,
let us rebuild what distrust might destroy.
Now in this moment we'll make a commitment,
love is the weapon we'll use and deploy."

For more information, please visit the Singing the Faith website


Statement from the Methodist Church in Britain

The President and the Vice-President of the Conference have issued the following statement about the attacks in Paris: 

"We, and all the Methodist people, pray for all the victims of the attacks in Paris on Friday night.  We hold in our prayers all those who seek to offer comfort and support in the days and weeks ahead."

The Revd Steven Wild, President of the Conference, and Dr Jill Barber, Vice-President of the Conference. 

Statement from the World Methodist Council

The World Methodist Council condemns the  terrorist-motivated multiple bombings, shootings, and hostage-taking attacks in Paris yesterday, the second time in less than a year that such attacks have taken place on French soil.

The savage attack on innocent, unarmed civilians attending a concert, soccer match and eating at restaurants shows cowardice and is an affront to human dignity.  At the time of this statement, 129 people had been confirmed killed and more than 200 wounded. 

World Methodist Council General Secretary Bishop Ivan Abrahams extends the condolences of the WMC to the next of kin of those killed and to the French nation. He also calls on all people of goodwill to remember those afflicted by this tragedy in their thoughts and prayers, including investigators and officials in the ongoing investigation. May God help us work toward and realize a day when violence no longer exists.


Statement from the United Methodist Church in Central and Southern Europe

Bishop Patrick Streiff, of the UMC of Central Southern and Sourthern Europe, has said:

"Together with all people of good will, of whatever religious belief, we are horrified by the depth of violence despising human lives and finding pleasure in the death of others.

We are people who believe in Christ. Our life shall witness that Christ is the "Prince of Peace". He has blessed those who make peace. This shall model our answer to the terrible attacks in Paris.

In a time when Islam is on the forefront of the news through violent extremists, we want to meet our Muslim neighbours with respect and honour and to let them feel that for us the love of God is offered to everyone.

In a time when refugees arrive in high numbers in our European countries, we want to support politicians and the civil society in offering them a place to live among us, be it for a limited or a long term, and without consideration of their religious background.

In a time when terrorist attacks reach Europe, we want to support those who help alleviate the refugee disaster in the Middle East, particularly in the countries around Syria, and also in many regions of Africa, whether through State development aid or non-governmental organizations.

As people who follow Christ, we promote an open, democratic and plural society. We do not condone the tendencies of nationalist radicalization in the States of Europe. As United Methodists we understand ourselves as part of the worldwide Body of Christ. In the face of violence, we are called to be peacemakers."



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