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Bushey and Oxhey Methodist Church

CHRISTMAS COLLECTIONS 2013

Each year we split the proceeds of our extra
Christmas collections between two charities, one working abroad and one in this country. This year we are supporting the Amos Trust and Emmaus Communities.
Emmaus Communities enable people to move on from homelessness. Companions, as residents are known, work full time collecting, renovating and re-selling donated furniture. This work supports the Community financially and enables residents to develop skills, rebuild their self-respect and help others in greater need.
Companions receive accommodation, food, clothing and a small weekly allowance, but for many, the greatest benefit is a fresh start.  Emmaus is a secular movement, spanning 36 countries, with 19 Communities in the UK. Each Community aims to become self-supporting, with any surplus donated to others in need.

Central to the ethos of Emmaus Communities is the concept of solidarity. The perception of people who are homeless is that they are a drain on society, but the residents of Emmaus Communities turn this perception on its head. Not only do they work to support themselves, but they also work to help others.

Companions also volunteer their time to other organisations; they clear playgrounds, cook lunch for pensioners, drive people to and from their homes and work in soup kitchens.

The concept of Solidarity is perhaps best embodied in Abbe Pierre’s words:   “Serve first those who suffer most".  For more information see www.emmaus.org.uk

The Amos Trust works in Palestine/Israel promoting peace and human rights and supporting the needs of the poor and the victims of violence. It also works with street children in Nicaragua and South Africa and with the Dalit communities in South India.

“ This is still a crucial time to be supporting the local Christian Church and peacemakers from different faith communities in Palestine/Israel. As the possibility of a comprehensive peace process ebbs and flows Amos Trust endeavours to link up with the Palestine community and Jewish peacemakers to hear their stories, stand alongside them in their suffering and support their work. The aim is to encourage us to learn about the realities on the ground, and to work with them for justice and peace”

Amos Trust supports the Wi’am Conflict Resolution Centre in Bethlehem which is helping to bring reconciliation to the Palestine community.

Wi’am means ‘cordial relationships’ in Arabic. According to its director, Zoughbi Zoughbi,  helping people resolve their personal conflicts helps preserve Palestinian society and people’s faith in non-violent possibilities.’

Bethlehem is surrounded by Israeli settlements and the wall, the latter cutting across the neighbouring ‘shepherds’ fields’ of Beit Sahour. The wall is an ugly reminder of the lack of peace. It causes daily problems to the 170,000 Palestinian residents of the district, with the unpredictability of the permit system, and checkpoints frequently preventing access to work places, hospitals, university, schools and the churches and mosques of Jerusalem.

PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY
and if  you are UK tax payer, don’t forget to use  a Gift Aid envelope to increase your contribution by 20%

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