More in Common
SCM Groups Worker, Lizzie Gawen, tells us about her experience of a 'Great Get Together' event in Birmingham and other inter-faith and community-building work she's been doing.
These past few weeks I have been sad, angry and asking questions. With Grenfell, the terror attacks in Manchester and London, and the recent attack on the Finsbury park Mosque. At times, it all feels too much. It’s in these moments that I look to my Christian faith and ask what Jesus would do. How does God call us to bring the kingdom here on earth?
I am blessed to be a resident community member of Common Ground, a Christian community based in Hodge Hill, north-east Birmingham. It’s a community where I can find strength and support on my Christian journey. It’s a place where we come together to witness to the Good News of Jesus in the world.
A couple of months ago, Britain First harassed our Muslim neighbours in Alum Rock, an inner-city suburb of Birmingham. Our church, along with police and a local councillor, were invited to meet with Muslim shop owners on Easter Sunday. At the end of the Easter service we say the words of Jesus ‘peace be with you’. That day, we carried these words with us into our community and met with our Muslim neighbours to show them that their real neighbours love them and care for them. The hospitality and welcome we received was gracious and it was a privilege to be part of it.
Last week we celebrated a Great Get Together in memory of MP Jo Cox down on the estate. We had bouncy castles, BBQ jerk chicken and activities with the Wildlife Trust. It was a time to celebrate in the sun and become connected. We also met with our Muslim neighbours that week, to join them at prayers and share in the breaking of the fast.
It’s in these moments, when I see our community coming together, that I feel God most closely. We are one family in this beautiful but imperfect world. People of all faiths and none can become radicalised if they are isolated and feel no sense of hope. The poor get left behind if unjust structures go unchallenged. I know that by coming together we can build something better.
May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.
Lizzie is the SCM Groups worker. For more about the Get Together events and Jo Cox click here.Tags: communitycohesionIslamfriendshipdiversityinter-faith