NOTE: This is an online only gathering. On the first Sunday of each month, we’ll meet in person in Birmingham City Centre (and livestream our gathering). The rest of the month we meet online.
On Sunday, 20th June we’ll be hosting a special online worship gathering at 4pm for Refugee Week with this year’s theme ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’ full of reflections, stories, interviews and music.
We’ll hear from Journey LGBTQ+ Asylum Seekers Group and there will be music from the Refugee Week Choir, David Benjamin Blower (from his album Welcome the Stranger) and a special song performed for us by Nichole Grace (Open Table).
We’ll reconvene on Zoom at 5:15 for a catch up with one another. You will need to be logged into a Zoom account with a public account name in order to access this Zoom. (Meeting ID: 853 6699 5635, Passcode: 123674)
Welcome – Danielle
Song – Welcome the Stranger (David Benjamin Blower)
What is ‘refuge’? (Dina Nayeri – Iranian Author)
Question for Sharing – (Danielle & Debs)
There is a moment in Martin Luther King’s historic ‘I have a dream’ speech when he turns his attention to the White people who, realising their destiny and that of their Black fellow citizens was intertwined, joined the movement for equal rights.
“They have come to realise that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom,” he said. “We cannot walk alone.” The theme for this year’s Refugee Week is taken from this idea.
Can you think of a time where someone has walked with you through a significant moment in your life? Perhaps they helped carry a load, celebrated a triumph with you or simply listened to your story.
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 10:16-19 (Danielle)
“Change your hearts and stop being stubborn… God is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. God ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. God shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.”
Song – To Europa’s Shores (David Benjamin Blower)
Prayer (Dave) – An excerpt from The Dangerous Journey: A Litany About Migration by Cory Driver
God, our Loving Parent and Creator of all, your children cry out to you. Those who pass through the waters, those who struggle across the land—God, be with them!
God, you carried the Israelites through the heart of the sea. You escorted them across dry land with your fiery presence.
God, your Word reminds us continually: We were strangers in a foreign land.
God, help us to have radical empathy for those who are unwelcomed.
You told us when we love the stranger we are, in fact, loving you. Help us to love the stranger, our neighbour! God, create in us a compulsion not to stand idly by.
Birmingham Refugee Stories
Song: The Persian Hunger Strike of 2015 (David Benjamin Blower)
Reflection/ Interview – Journey LGBTQ+ Asylum Seekers Group (Phil Hoar)
Story – Yew Fook Sam & Open Table
Song – Rescue (Nichole Grace)
Interview – Introducing the Refugee Week Choir (Emma)
Song – Never Give Up (Refugee Week Choir)
Story – Writing Never Give Up from Detention (Lamin)
What’s Coming Up at IGB (Danielle)
Blessing: “May we live fully, love wastefully and have the courage to be all that God has created us to be.”
Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Founded in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on the 20 June, Refugee Week is also a growing global movement.
Through a programme of arts, cultural, sports and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week enables people from different backgrounds to connect beyond labels, as well as encouraging understanding of why people are displaced, and the challenges they face when seeking safety. Refugee Week is a platform for people who have sought safety in the UK to share their experiences, perspectives and creative work on their own terms.
Refugee Week’s vision is for refugees and asylum seekers to be able to live safely within inclusive and resilient communities, where they can continue to make a valuable contribution.
Find out more at www.refugeeweek.org.uk.
About Inclusive Gathering Birmingham …
Inclusive Gathering Birmingham is a diverse church gathered together by a common dream: to become a truly inclusive faith community, where doubt and difference are a welcome part of our journey together toward Jesus. We believe that the way of Jesus leads us to the wild, radical idea that true spiritual community can be formed based on who is INCLUDED, not by who is EXCLUDED. We are a learning community, constantly growing and changing to live out this vision in new and expanding ways.
When we say “inclusion”, we mean much more than mere tolerance or welcome. We believe God wants us all to know that we actually belong. That means people of every race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, age and background, HIV status, ability and disability, theological and political conviction are loved, invited, and fully included. Read more about what makes us tick at www.inclusivegathering.org.uk or send an email to email@example.com to ask questions or chat.