A prayer for peace on Palm Sunday

This prayer from the URC highlights fatal terrorist attacks in Israel, 22 March – 7 April 2022.

  • We continue to pray for those affected by war in Ukraine, remembering there is ongoing conflict and devastation in other places too.
  • ISIS has claimed responsibility for three of four fatal terror attacks in Israel in the past three weeks.
  • Armed conflict continues around the world today. We work and pray for a time when all sorrows cease and all people will live in peace.

 

God of all,

On this day of celebration and triumph,
of palm waving and hosannas,
we pause, as Jesus did, to cry for peace in Jerusalem,
and in the Holy Land.

Lord, bring your peace
and make us peacemakers.

As Jesus wept over the city,
we think of families that weep for loved ones
in Be’er Sheva, Hadera, Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv,
and pray for peace to prevail.

Lord, bring your peace
and make us peacemakers.

In every place of conflict,
far away or nearby,
on our screens or hidden from view,
protect the vulnerable, we pray.

Lord, bring your peace
and make us peacemakers.

Amen

 

Distance Aware

Distance Aware is a UK-wide initiative launched by the Bevan Commission which enables individuals and organisations to politely prompt ongoing distancing and respect of individual social space. The scheme is symbolised by a shield with arrows; indicating the desired space. The scheme has previously been endorsed by the Welsh, Northern Irish and UK Governments.  The Scottish Government has confirmed Distance Aware will launch in Scotland on 26 January and is investing to promote the scheme and the products across Scotland.

www.gov.scot/distanceaware

The shield icon is worn as a badge or lanyard to allow individuals to indicate that they would like to have space around them. Because this icon is universal, it means that is open to anyone that wishes to indicate they’d like distance around them.

The Scottish Government has worked with the Bevan Commission to adopt the Distance Aware scheme and adapt it for Scotland.   We believe the initiative can support people in adapting to live with the virus in ways that are less restrictive and can help overcome anxiety people may feel in returning to public settings including places of worship.

Existing sources where individuals can access badges include UK wide partner ASDA, or online through a small number of partner charities listed on the Bevan website.   The Scottish Government has also procured badges and lanyards for distribution free at libraries throughout Scotland. This is to ensure that people across the breadth of Scotland can access the scheme, and is not reliant on digital sources in order to receive a badge.

We will be promoting Distance Aware in the coming days on our website, through a press release, social media content, SMS messages, and through a letter to around 180,000 people on the Highest Risk List.

However this scheme, which is completely voluntary, is available to anyone who needs it for any reason, to make sure everyone benefits as restrictions are reduced and we return to a more normal way of life.  This will be a big step or change for some for many reasons, and we hope will make more people confident and comfortable in public places and work.  It also provides an opportunity to discuss with staff, customers or members what living with the virus and returning to a more normal way of life means for everyone, and how we can do this in consideration of those who find it harder to adapt.

To ensure success of the scheme we are asking businesses and organisations to help us raise awareness of the Distance Aware symbol and with staff, customers and members.

The stakeholder pack provides information on Distance Aware, and includes suggestions on ways in which business and organisations can participate in the scheme, and resources to support them with this. These include suggested social media content and posters that can be printed for display.  These are provided in high resolution (A4) pdf format, and have also been provided as an open file to allow organisations to re-size where required.

As part of our ongoing evaluation of the scheme, we are keen to gauge how widely the scheme has been promoted and to understand how organisations are using the resources in the toolkit so will be very grateful for any feedback you or faith groups are able to provide, and will be in touch in the coming weeks for this.

Living Safely for us all – Scottish Government

Please find attached a copy of the latest Scottish Government Coronavirus toolkit. This is for dissemination throughout your organisations and contains links to adverts and materials for display.  Some information on the campaign is detailed at the bottom of this message.

As most of you will have seen today, the First Minister announced some further changes to Covid restrictions. This included changes to working from home, working with children and face covering exemptions. For Places of Worship, the current exemption for the use of face coverings was that for a person leading an act of worship and for performers/choirs, a face covering did not require to be worn provided that the person was either behind a screen or at least 2 metres from other people. This will now revert back to 1 metre, and the change will take effect from Friday 28th January. I am currently updating the guidance for publication, and will let you know once this has been done

Toolkit – Coronavirus – Living Safely for Us All

Living Safely for us all Campaign

Today we wanted to give you an update on our COVID-19 ‘Living Safely for Us All’ Campaign – please find the updated Stakeholder Toolkit attached.

With Omicron cases declining and restrictions easing, yesterday saw the re-introduction of the ‘Living Safely For Us All’ campaign. Messaging has been updated to reflect a more positive tone, while still covering the COVID-19 safety behaviours. Living Safely For Us All illustrates that by keeping up with the key behaviours, it helps keep life moving elsewhere. Living Safely For Us all will run throughout February across TV, radio, outdoor and digital advertising channels.

Ø  View the ‘Living Safely for Us All’ TV ad via YouTube here

Key Messages

The ‘Living Safely for Us All’ key messages include:

  • By living as safely as we can with COVID around, we’re helping others, helping our NHS and helping Scotland’s recovery.
  • Get vaccinated (1st, 2nd, 3rd or booster)
  • Take an LFD test before socialising, mixing with others or using public transport
  • Wear a face coverings in indoor public places
  • Self-isolation and testing has now changed to reduce isolation periods in certain circumstances.
  • Report LFD test results, even if negative
  • Let fresh air in regularly if meeting others indoors
  • Clean your hands and surfaces regularly

 How You Can Help

  • Please use the updated assets moving forward
  • Please discontinue use of any ‘stay at home’ materials and previously shared TV advert to ensure the latest self-isolation guidance is being shared
  • If you don’t already, please follow SG channels across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share and retweet content

Stakeholder Toolkit

The ‘Living Safely this Winter’ Stakeholder Toolkit contains the following, with all download links available within the toolkit:

  • Campaign overview and key messages
  • TV ad and 10 sec social cut-down films
  • Stakeholder Posters – Key COVID Protection Measures and Flowchart of Self-Isolation Changes
  • Editable Stakeholder Posters for Local Test Centres
  • Social media assets with suggested copy
  • Email signature and web banner
  • Useful links

Laptops for Tuvalu

During COP26 we met with a representative of the Island of Tuvalu and in collaboration
with the school there we have started a crowdfunding project to raise £5,000 for lap-tops for the children.
If you wish to donate please access the project information via the link below.
Any contribution large or small will be hugely appreciated. Thank you – kind regards Maureen

Laptops for the children of Tuvalu: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/laptops-for-the-children-of-tuvalu

Dr. Maureen Sier,
Interfaith Scotland

 

Holocaust Memorial Scotland 2022

Below is a selection of National and additional Holocaust Memorial events being held across Scotland during the week beginning 24th January 2022.  

National Events

26th January 2022: Scottish Event (National) hosted by Edinburgh Interfaith Association (6 pm)

The program will include contributions from Holocaust survivor Henry Wuga, Rwandan genocide survivor, Eric Eugene Murangwa, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison, and students from across Scotland and Rwanda.  The program will go out on the Edinburgh Interfaith Association YouTube channel.   Register to receive the link to the programme

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/national-holocaust-memorial-day-programme-scotland-streamedonline-registration228269659697

27th January 2022: Holocaust Memorial Day Trust UK wide online event (7pm)

Sandi Toksvig OBE will be narrating the UK Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day this year.  Sandi’s family have a personal connection to the Holocaust as they hid Jewish people from the Nazis during the war.  Many special guests will be appearing, including actors, sports people and faith leaders and their contributions will sit alongside the powerful testimony of Holocaust and genocide survivors.

https://hmdt.geteventaccess.com/public/events/05e9d88e-021b-42dc-97dc-f2bdc65a6d8b/guests/create

Additional Scottish Events

26th January 2022: East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire Council online (7pm)

East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire Councils will jointly host their Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony virtually this year on Wednesday, 26 January at 7pm. The Ceremony will include footage of local residents describing their family’s persecution and their subsequent move to Scotland; music provided by East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire school pupils; a prayer; and an opportunity to light a candle in your own home in memory of all those who were murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution and in other genocides.   You can join the virtual memorial on Wednesday, 26 January from 7pm on the Council’s Facebook and Twitter channels.

26th January: Erskine Community Garden (in person) (11.55 am)

We are holding a moment of silence and arranging an exhibition of art & crafts within the garden, to promote unity, understanding, peace and hope. Address: Erskine Community Garden at Barwood Park, Barwood Road, Erskine, United Kingdom.

Email: enquiries@erskinecommunitygarden.co.uk

https://www.hmd.org.uk/activity/erskine-community-garden-hmd-moment/

27th January 2022: Interfaith Scotland – Holocaust Memorial Day event (6.30 pm)

Interfaith Scotland is delighted to be hosting an in-person, intimate and participative event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2022 (6.30 pm).  All places for the in-person event have now been filled but if you wish to join us briefly for the National Moment, and candle lighting ceremony, please register at link below.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeukAhd85WGQM3A3LZivIkq4V5r32ZAv1ashJnhNRRpos_aWw/viewform

27th January 2022: Ayrshire Interfaith Group – Holocaust Memorial Day event

Ayrshire Interfaith group will be hosting a Holocaust Memorial Day event on 27th January at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mossgeil Place in Ayr. Please contact Stuart Lang for more details: stuartlang1@hotmail.com

27th January 2022: Holocaust Memorial Day in Iona Abbey online event (7pm)

A candlelit vigil will be held in Iona Abbey for the local congregation and for those joining by zoom.  There will be contributions from people from different traditions and musicians from the island of Iona will be playing live at the Abbey.  To register to join online please go to:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAkfumgqzovGtyoN01F_Ye6uScV2EkQpzf7

27th January 2022: Dumfries and Galloway Interfaith Group online event (1 pm)

The Dumfries and Galloway Interfaith Group is holding a short online event to mark HMD on Thursday 27 January 2022 at 1pm. There will be readings and interfaith prayers relating to this year’s theme. The link to the event is here:

Time: Jan 27, 2022 01:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89666466190?pwd=QlJTM1RXdU55Rit5djhpUG4zSVpyUT09

Meeting ID: 896 6646 6190 and Passcode: 528556

People are also invited to light a candle at a suitable location to mark the day. Should you wish to receive a special ‘HMD 2022 One Day’ candle, made by local company Caerlaverock Candles, please contact Liz.Manson@dumgal.gov.uk.

30th January 2022: Aberdeen Interfaith Group, online Holocaust Memorial Day event (2.30 pm)
Aberdeen Interfaith group will be hosting Holocaust Reflections on Zoom on Sunday 30 January at 2.30pm with guest speakers Eva Clarke BEM and Dr Carl Wilkens of World Outside my Shoes. Email p.a.findlay@btopenworld.com to register.

National Holocaust Memorial Day Event Scotland

Edinburgh Interfaith Association

The Edinburgh Interfaith Association, on behalf of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, invites you to register for the official National Holocaust Memorial Day Event for Scotland to be held online on 26 January 2022 at 6pm. We will pay our respects to those who lost their lives in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and attempt to learns the lessons from humanity’s dark past.

The program will include contributions from Holocaust survivor Henry Wuga , Rwandan genocide survivor against the Tutsi Eric Eugene Murangwa, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison, and students from across Scotland and Rwanda.

The programme produced by the Edinburgh Interfaith Association will go out on the Edinburgh Interfaith Association YouTube channel.  Look out for the live link at Holocaust Memorial Day | EIFA Website 2021 (edinburghinterfaith.com)

Or register to receive the link to the programme emailed directly at:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/national-holocaust-memorial-day-programme-scotland-streamed-online-registration-228269659697

World Interfaith Harmony Week 1st-7th Feb 2022

Dear friends

Interfaith Scotland is delighted to inform you that we are planning two events to celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week which takes place from 1st – 7th February.

Protection of Mother Earth through Mindfulness and Prayer
Tuesday 1st February, 12.30 – 2.45pm, online webinar

Interfaith Scotland is working with Mindfulness for Earth and Faith for Earth to host this online webinar. Speakers from seven faiths will share what mindfulness and prayer means to them in the context of protecting the environment. Please see the attached poster for more details.

To book please email contact@mindfulness4earth.org . You will be sent the joining instructions for the webinar two weeks prior to the event.

Pilgrimage to Places of Worship
Thursday 3rd February, 11am – 4pm

Interfaith Scotland is working with Women of Faith and Community (Glasgow) and the Edinburgh Women’s Interfaith Group to host a visit to places of worship in the West End of Glasgow. The theme is ‘Stories of Hope from Women of Faith’. The event will be open to all and details for booking will be sent to you in the New Year. Please note if Covid restrictions do not allow the event to take place we will postpone to the Spring.

www.interfaithscotland.org

INTERFAITH SCOTLAND SUMMIT

previously posted on the home page

It was a great privilege to be part of the annual Interfaith Scotland summit here in Scotland, and on Zoom on this occasion when faith leaders from a wide range of religious communities had the opportunity to meet with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and a couple of her key colleagues, Mairi McAllan MSP, the Minister for Environment and Land Reform, Shona Robison MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government. All three spoke well and clearly value their links with faith communities. They had listened carefully to those who spoke on our behalf, including Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish and Bahai’i representatives. Time was short, just one hour, and presentations and conversation largely focussed on the effects of the pandemic and the importance of COP 26. It was good to see politics and faith in touch.

Blessings,

Paul

A call for safe, humane and dignified treatment of refugees and those seeking asylum

“Our globe is increasingly criss-crossed by journeys of people in often desperate pursuit of safety and sanctuary: adults and children in flight from war, tyranny, persecution and other evils or seeking a life free from extreme poverty, hunger and deprivation.

In a context where the UK and a number of other countries are looking at tightening borders and immigration laws, we call attention to the importance of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol and to observance of this. There will be differing views on particular policies and their implementation and the factors that have to be taken into account. In all cases, however, the response should aim to reflect the best of our humanity.

It is, at this time, for example, a matter of deep concern to us that a policy of ‘push back’ of boats in the channel has been adopted. Regardless of care taken in exercise of the policy, there would be significant dangers both to those ‘pushed back’ and to the Border Force personnel called upon to implement it. We call upon the Government to seek alternative approaches to deal with the crossings.

The Inter Faith Network for the UK has, since its inception, worked to promote good inter faith relations, including through raising awareness of the common ground of the different faith communities, such as fundamental values that are shared. Among these values are those such as justice and compassion and the fundamental principle of treating others as we would ourselves be treated: the ‘golden rule’.

Drawing on the common values at the heart of our different and distinct faith traditions we call for safe, humane and dignified treatment of refugees and those seeking asylum.”

THE FAITH COMMUNITIES FORUM
OF THE INTER FAITH NETWORK FOR THE UK
11 October 2021

NOTES
1. Media queries to the Inter Faith Network: email ifnet@interfaith.org.uk.
2. This statement can be found at http://interfaith.org.uk/resources/statements-and-messages and a copy of IFN’s statement making policy at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/uploads/Policy_on_making_of_statements.pdf.
3. The Inter Faith Network for the UK www.interfaith.org.uk was founded in 1987 to advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in Britain and to promote good relations between people of different faiths in this country. It works with its member bodies and others to carry out these aims.
4. Member bodies of the Inter Faith Network include: national faith community representative bodies; national, regional and local inter faith bodies; and academic institutions and educational bodies concerned with inter faith issues. A list of member bodies can be found at www.interfaith.org.uk/members.
5. IFN member National Faith Community Representative Bodies meet together as the Faith Communities Forum of IFN. More information can be found at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/about/faith-communities-forum.
6. The Act of Commitment, developed by the UK’s faith communities with IFN at the time of the Millennium, is one expression of key values held in common: https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/act-of-commitment.
7. Information about the 1951 UN Convention and its 1967 Protocol can be found at https://www.unhcr.org/uk/1951-refugee-convention.html.
8. The definition of a ‘refugee’ according to The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is: “A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”
9. In 2020 there were 29,815 applications for asylum in the UK (not including dependants). In the UK, a person becomes a refugee when government agrees that an individual who has applied for asylum meets the definition in the Refugee Convention.

The Inter Faith Network for the UK
2 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH
Tel: +44 (0)20 7730 0410
Email: ifnet@interfaith.org.uk
Web: www.interfaith.org.uk

www.facebook.com/IFNetUK

www.twitter.com/IFNetUK

Registered charity no. 1068934
Company limited by guarantee no. 3443823 Registered in England.

Scottish Interfaith Week – Together for Our Planet 31st Oct – 7th Nov 2021

Scottish Interfaith Week is taking place from 31st October – 7th November. This year the theme is ‘Together for Our Planet’ and the week will coincide with COP26 (United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021) in Glasgow. We are encouraging individuals, faith communities, local interfaith groups and organisations across Scotland to host climate-related events for the week.
We produce a Scottish Interfaith Week e-newsletter which has already been providing regular updates about the week. If you have not done so already, I would be very grateful if you could sign up to receive the e-newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/c8QCIX
Here is some more information about Scottish Interfaith Week which I hope you find helpful:
Activity Ideas
You can find ideas for running climate-themed events for adults and for young people at the link here: https://scottishinterfaithweek.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Resources-and-ideas-for-event-planning-Scottish-Interfaith-Week-2021.pdf
You can also check out our Climate Action Resources page on the Interfaith Scotland website for more ideas here: https://interfaithscotland.org/climate-action-resources
Youth and Schools Competition
The theme for this year’s competition for young people is how to make religious festivals more eco-friendly. Submissions should be made by 14thOctober and all the details of the competition can be found on the SIFW website at:
Posters, Logos and Photos
I have attached a new SIFW logo to this email designed in green to highlight this year’s theme, and also an image incorporating details of the week with photos which could be used for posters you might want to create for your events. Readymade posters are also available at the link below:
If you are advertising SIFW on Facebook, Instagram or twitter you may be aware that you need differently sized images for each of these mediums. We have cut down the hard work by creating images to fit each of these which you can find at the link below. Do check them out!

Programme

If you would like your event to be included in the programme of events please upload it onto the SIFW website at the link here: http://scottishinterfaithweek.org/submit-an-event.

Events can be added online right up until Scottish Interfaith Week and these will appear in the list of events online. If you have any questions about this or any problems please email my colleagues at info@scottishinterfaithweek.org

Social Media
Just to remind you we have a separate Scottish Interfaith Week social media accounts which you can access at the following links: FacebookTwitterInstagram
If I can be of any assistance over the coming weeks do please be in touch.
Best wishes
Frances
National Development Officer
Interfaith Scotland
Flemington House
110 Flemington Street
Glasgow G21 4BF

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