FRIENDS OF THE LITTLE SISTERS OF JOY
An ecumenical Foundation of Prayer, Peace and Reconciliation
My dear friends,
I thought I would send this Christmas newsletter to some of you by post, as I have done in the past. I have been publishing them on our website recently, but just had trouble with it and I have an exciting event coming up- I would like to invite you!
A 25th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT FOR PEACE AND RECONCILIATION, TO COMMEMORATE 25 YEARS OF FOUNDATION OF THE LITTLE SISTERS OF JOY, WILL TAKE PLACE AT MAGDALENE COLLEGE CHAPEL, CAMBRIDGE,
by kind permission of the Dean, Revd. Sarah Atkins
THE DATE IS TUESDAY, 19TH MARCH 2024 AT 2.30PM, FOLLOWED BY A RECEPTION IN THE BENSON HALL AT MAGDALENE, FROM 4 TO 6PM.
I will sing my mix of Hebrew and Scottish melodies, with various Songs of the Sixties, to include the works of Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton and Simon and Garfunkel, to reflect some of the favourite melodies of the audiences from previous concerts.
All welcome, admission free; a Retiring Collection for the work of the Foundation.
I managed two concerts this year-one in Fakenham in Norfolk and the other in a lovely town church in Cambridge, where everyone joined in the singing.It has been a busy but rewarding year, with two trips abroad. The first was to Dusseldorf and Munich last April, where I stayed first with a lovely couple who hosted me beautifully and took me down the Rhine by train. The journey was stunning as we passed the part of the river Rhine, where the mermaid Lorelei had lured, according to the legend, sailors to their death.
In Mainz we saw some beautiful Hebrew objects, used on the Sabbath, which had been rescued from the Nazis and restored to this Museum.
I met with my very close friends who live in the north of The Netherlands, and we had a day out in Dusseldorf. Towards the end of my stay I travelled to Munich, where I met with a colleague to discuss the future of The LIttle Sisters of Joy. Lately some young people have come across my path who seem willing to give of their skills and help grow the Project.I have also been invited recently to several countries, including Singapore, Australia and Oman on the Arabian Sea.
We cannot, of course, ignore the terrible things which have been unfolding in the Middle East. Strangely enough, I was in Malta in October, when all this tragedy started. I say strangely, as, during my first visit to Malta in March 2003, the Gulf war was taking place, and I felt then that I had been ‘lifted up’ to an oasis, in a relatively peaceful country. The work of a peacemaker is not always easy and I try very hard to understand the situation from all sides; what keeps me going is my hope of getting back to Toronto in the autumn of 2024. Toronto, as you know, is the global and spiritual heart of my personal life and the global and spiritual heart of the Foundation.
I feel sure that the prophecy of Peace, when ‘Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and neither will they learn war any more,’ (Isaiah 2:4) can only be fulfilled in the ‘latter days’ in the Canadian landscape, the oldest visible landscape on the planet, with its Canadian Shield of preCambrian rock. You could put it another way by saying that ‘When God created the world, this was the part He did first!’ And indeed, it is not hard to get a sense of that, as I was privileged to do, when I stood there to make a momentous decision in the summer of 1988.
I wish you all a very Happy Chanukah and Christmas, with a sense of very deep peace around you and all your family. May 2024 be truly better for us all!