Many church congregations are using worship and small group dicussions to engage with questions around migration, assylum seekers, and the responses of European nations.
What we sing, or the texts we read on these occasions, may help our thinking or reflect our dismay or hopes. On StF+, you may find it helpful to re-visit the resources we highlighted for Social Justice Sunday in 2013 (including three hymns that focus on the example of Jesus: Jesus Christ is waiting, StF 251; When I needed a neighbour, were you there, were you there?, StF 256; Would you walk by on the other side, when someone called for aid?, StF 257).
A second article prepared for the same occasion highlights hymns around two other themes: “Working with others/in the community/with the disadvantaged”; and “Justice and Mission”. See Social Justice – part 2.
On the Methodist Church’s own website, the Refugee Crisis: resources, prayers and updates page includes the 2015 Methodist Conference statement on “Migrating people and sanctuary”.
Also see All We Can’s Statement on the current refugee and migrant crisis (September 2015) and the statement made by church leaders in response to the situation in Calais (August 2015).
One contemporary hymn writer who regularly translates news headlines into hymn form is the Methodist minister Andrew Pratt. Andrew’s blog, Hymns and Books, currently contains three texts addressing migration:
- Idyllic beaches break the waves (April 2015: responding to reports of more than 800 people drowned off Libya’s coast)
- They’re carted off like cattle (August 2015: responding to the report of 70 migrants found dead in a lorry in Austria)
- Sometimes the footfall seems incesant (September 2015: reflecting on an issue that “continues to exercise the politicians and people of the UK and Europe”)
Finally, among hymns published here on StF+, you may find helpful the following texts:
- The world we thought we knew is changing fast by Rosemary Wakelin
- “Who is my neighbour?” asked the scribe by John M. Smith
- and – when it comes to the Advent/Christmas season and inevitable parallels are drawn between migrants and the journeys undertaken by the Holy Family – consider Paul Thompson’s How hard was the journey