First Word - June 2021


Let your light Shine - is the motto of our Nar Valley Federation of Church Schools which speaks of the values of respect, responsibility, kindness, courage, hope and forgiveness. I am grateful for that six year old child in this month’s school article for the inspiration behind this First Word. As we begin the journey of coming out of lockdown we look forward with hope to an ending of restrictions in mid-June (subject to the consequences of the Indian variant of the Covid 19 virus).There is a sense of freedom being expressed by many as they pick up the feeling of normality returning – to be able to watch a live sports event; to welcome visitors into their home – to hug a loved one – to enjoy a drink with friends or neighbours; but all of this needs to be done whilst giving expression to those school values of acting responsibly and with respect for those around us or those Covid principles of hands, face, space . Respect for others is so important in building up community and being prepared to forgive when things go wrong or relationships break down. It is also about having the courage to hope that there can be a better future. As we see desperate scenes on the television of the conflict between Israel and Palestine – leading to so much destruction and fear we wonder how it can ever end peacefully. Likewise within the nations of these islands we hope that there can be a better future for building community in Northern Ireland. But the breakdown of relationships is not confined to nations or different peoples – it also happens between individuals and within families. The roots of these new beginnings is in the courage to reach out in forgiveness to the other - to build respect for the other person and to recognize we are all valued by God and that as we give respect to each other and their right to live in safety so we also offer our worship out of respect for the God who loves us through the sorrows and the joys. Jesus says; I give you a new commandment to love one another. Let our respect for each other be the beginning of keeping that command. Fr. Stuart Nairn