Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Put People First/Strangers into Citizens

There are two campaigns coming up that have grabbed my attention, and have received the backing of my tribe….one at a national level, and one at a grass roots local level.

Put People First has an official statement of support from The Salvation Army in the UK and Ireland:

The Put People First event on 28th March has the full support of The Salvation Army. The church service and the march through London are a perfect opportunity to ask members of the G20 to consider the well being of the world's most vulnerable people. The Salvation Army is an international movement, part of the universal Christian Church, committed to meet human need and work for social justice without discrimination. It is a privilege to join with the voices of many others to call for action on poverty and climate change.

The second campaign – Strangers into Citizens – has been picked up and promoted by Salvationist leaders in the East End of London in Stratford and Stepney, which in itself is interesting. The East End has for hundreds of years been a hugely diverse area with waves of immigration from all over the world over many generations. It is also the place where The Salvation Army first came into existence in Victorian England as a response to the crippling spiritual and material poverty that gripped society.

It’s an interesting reflection for this time & place that The Sally Army’s work in Stepney uses “Hope:asha” as a pre-fix to it’s Salvation Army moniker.

The Ashes2Asha blog is a good place to find out more about “Strangers into Citizens”

Here’s how they describe who they are:

Hope:asha - The Salvation Army in Stepney has been described in many different ways. Often we're referred to as a church, 'corps' or Christian community, but equally we're seen as a community group or local community activists. We hope we're all these things and more, as we show our dedication to Jesus Christ and to the Stepney community in which we live. Oh, and if you're wondering, 'asha' means hope in the Bengali language.

Check out the Facebook Group for further information on The Salvation Army supporting Strangers Into Citizens


Kevin Davis said...

Thanks for commenting over on the third place - love your blog.

Johnny said...

No worries my friend.

Thanks for the kind comment.


Judith said...

Yes, Nick and Kerry have a wonderful ministry in Stepney - thanks for highlighting it. Judith

Nick Coke said...

Thanks for the Strangers into Citizens plug, Johnny. Love the blog by the way.

The 'hope:asha' thing has certainly helped with the Bangladeshi community here. About 60% of the population of our estate have roots in North-eastern Bangladesh. 'The Salvation Army' means nothing to them - but when they see asha written in Bengali script, it generates a bit of interest.

Johnny said...

Judith: Thanks for passing by.

Nick: Would be good to hook up some time.


Nick Coke said...

Definitely Johnny. Do you ever come London way? If so woudl love to meet.