Prayer Vigil at Roxel – Resources 6

At the end of our vigil at the gates of Roxel this meditation was read.

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MEDITATION ON A BROKEN WORLD

“In the end, man destroyed the heaven that was called earth.

The earth had been beautiful until the spirit of man moved over it and destroyed all things.

And man said…

Let there be darkness…and there was darkness.

And man liked the darkness: so he called the darkness “security”.

And he divided himself into races and religions and classes of society.

And there was no evening and no morning on the seventh day before the end.

And man said…

Let there be strong government to control us in our darkness.

Let there be armies to control our bodies, so that we may learn to kill one another neatly and efficiently in our darkness.

And there was no evening and no morning on the sixth day before the end.

And man said…

Let there be rockets and bombs to kill faster and easier:

Let there be gas chambers and furnaces to be more thorough.

And there was no evening and no morning on the fifth day before the end.

And man said…

Let there be drugs and other forms of escape, for there is this constant annoyance- REALITY which is disturbing our comfort.

And there was no morning and no evening on the fourth day before the end.

And man said…

Let there be divisions among nations, so that we may know who is our common enemy.

And there was no morning and no evening on the third day before the end.

And finally man said…

Let us create God in our image.

Let some other God compete with us.

Let us say that God thinks- as we think, hates as we hate, and kills as we kill.

And there was no morning and no evening on the second day before the end.

On the LAST day there was a great noise on the face of the earth.

Fire consumed the beautiful globe, and there was —- SILENCE.

The blackened earth now rested to worship the one true God;

And God saw all that man had done and in the silence over the smouldering ruins HE WEPT.”

[From G.A. Maloney, S.J., Broken But Loved ]

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Prayer Vigil at Roxel – Resources 5

Our next time of prayer at the gates of Roxel took the form of a liturgy based on the Song of Zechariah.

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Praying with the Song of Zechariah

Reading Luke 1: 67-79

Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy: “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. He has sent us a mighty Saviour from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago. Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant— the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham. We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live. “And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”

Reflection

Blessed be God

Coming among us

Dwelling with us

Dwelling in us

We are redeemed and set free

A freedom which calls for action

A freedom that inspires new hope

A freedom lived and shared

The freedom of love

Blessed be God

Who remembers the forgotten

Who remains with the abandoned

Always

From all time, For all time

Eternity encompassing today

Rescuing us from our enemies

From our hatred and fear of the other

From our desire to demonise for the sake of profit

Giving us energy in the face of apathy

Giving us purpose in the midst of emptiness

Giving us life in all its fullness

Rescued and called

To use our love to care for the loveless

And our voice to speak for the voiceless

Called to have no fear

No fear of condemnation and criticism

No fear of standing up and standing out

Perfect God, perfect love

Drives out all fear

The knowledge we are loved

This is our holiness

To go and share that love

This is our righteousness

To stand with the unloved and the unlovely and the seemingly unlovable

This is our service

And you, the little children,

Prophets of God and messengers of the Kingdom

Your innocence prepares the way of the Lord

His light shines in you

In your curiosity and wonder at the world

In your trusting and in your hope

In your joy and the delight of being alive

Give us knowledge of our salvation,

The opening wide of a kingdom where all are welcome,

A kingdom for such as these

In your suffering we see our sin

In war we have damaged your trusting love

In hunger we have hidden your inquisitive wonder

In poverty we have trampled on your joyful hope

Your tears call us to repentance,

Forgiveness,

Change

And new life.

New life lit up by the faithful love of our God

Coming from on high

Dwelling with the humble

Dwelling alongside the forgotten ones

Dwelling in the children

Giving light

The light of a smile

The light of love

Calling us from darkness

From despondency and despair

From apathy and inactivity

From comfort and continuity

To walk in the light of a new way of peace.

For those who build weapons and those who will use them, especially all those working here at the ROXEL factory.

Lord in your Mercy, Hear our Prayer

For those whose desire for profit outweighs their concern for human life: for shareholders and decision makers.

Lord in your Mercy, Hear our Prayer

For those who believe they can use violence to make peace, all those who justify creating weapons as being in the best interests of our suffering world.

Lord in your Mercy, Hear our Prayer

For those who close their eyes to the impact of their choices, for those here who feel compromised by the work they do but cannot see they have any other choice.

Lord in your Mercy, Hear our Prayer

For all those in Yemen, and around the world, whose lives have been damaged by violent conflict: for the physically injured, and the emotionally scarred. For those grieving for lost loved ones, and for those who no longer know where to call home.

Lord in your Mercy, Hear our Prayer

For all who die in war zones: men, women, children; combatants and civilians, those we call friends and those we call enemies.

Lord in your Mercy, Hear our Prayer

God of unbroken promises and unfailing hope, shine your light in our darkness; igniting in us the possibility of bringing the light of your love, however faint and flickering, to the places and people around us. Amen

written by Stephanie Neville

Prayer Vigil at Roxel – Resources 4

Towards the end of our vigil at Roxel on 10th September the following meditation was read:IMG_8769

A Lenten Meditation: A Contemporary Adaptation of Isaiah 58:1-12

Shout out, don’t hold back.
Lift up your voice like a trumpet.
The U.S. empire is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today!
The Pentagon, CIA, NSA, and corporate, political, and military powers worldwide conspire to control the earth,
crush the poor,
and persecute the peace and justice makers.

Yet, day after day, the rulers and countless people invoke my name,
as if they practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They delight to invoke my name to bless their violent deeds.
They even use my name to bless their wars and their weapons.
We practice good religion, they say.
We pray and serve our country well.
We keep good law and order.

Look, you serve your own interests, not mine says Yahweh.
You follow your religion of nationalism, nuclearism, and materialism.
You are slaves to selfishness.
You know not my ways.
You don’t know how to fast– your rituals are empty.
You assert an authority you say is rooted in morality– based on justice and truth.
You hypocrites!
Your morality is rooted in worshiping idols– gods of metal, money, power, greed.
You worship false gods, not me!

Is not this the fast that I choose–the real act of worship that I desire:
to undo the thongs of the yoke, to resist all violence and killing,
to let the oppressed go free, to disarm and abolish all weapons,
to end all injustice.
Is it not to share your resources with the poor, to offer hospitality to the homeless, refugees, and immigrants, to clothe the naked, and to provide quality housing, health care, food, education and work for everyone?
Is it not to make sure that the dignity of each person is respected and to recognize that all human beings are sisters and brothers, children of God?
Is it not to eliminate poverty and war so that people can live in justice and peace?

Then and only then shall your light break forth like the dawn and your healing shall spring up quickly.
Then you shall call and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and the Lord will say,
Here I am.

If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
the demonization and scape-goating of your adversaries,
if you offer food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
if you establish justice for the oppressed and proclaim liberty to the captives,
then your light shall rise in the darkness and your despair be transformed into hope.
The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters never fail.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt, you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

taken from: https://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2013/02/22/a-lenten-meditation-a-contemporary-adaptation-of-isaiah-581-12/

 

 

Prayer Vigil at Roxel – Resources 3

At the gates of Roxel on Monday 10th September we spent a short time in silence following the Quaker tradition. This silence was preceded by the following words:IMG_8761

The corporate testimony

Public statement of the Yearly Meeting of Aotearoa/New Zealand, 1987, at a time when many Friends were making submissions to a committee established by their government to review defence policy:

We totally oppose all wars, all preparation for war, all use of weapons and coercion by force, and all military alliances: no end could ever justify such means.

We equally and actively oppose all that leads to violence among people and nations, and violence to other species and to our planet.

Refusal to fight with weapons is not surrender. We are not passive when threatened by the greedy, the cruel, the tyrant, the unjust.

We will struggle to remove the causes of impasse and confrontation by every means of nonviolent resistance available.

We urge all New Zealanders to have the courage to face up to the mess humans are making of our world and to have the faith and diligence to cleanse it and restore the order intended by God.

We must start with our own hearts and minds. Wars will stop only when each of us is convinced that war is never the way.

The places to begin acquiring the skills and maturity and generosity to avoid or to resolve conflicts are in our own homes, our personal relationships, our schools, our workplaces, and wherever decisions are made.

We must relinquish the desire to own other people, to have power over them, and to force our views on to them. We must own up to our own negative side and not look for scapegoats to blame, punish, or exclude. We must resist the urge towards waste and the accumulation of possessions.

Conflicts are inevitable and must not be repressed or ignored but worked through painfully and carefully. We must develop the skills of being sensitive to oppression and grievances, sharing power in decision-making, creating consensus, and making reparation.

In speaking out, we acknowledge that we ourselves are as limited and as erring as anyone else. When put to the test, we each may fall short.

We do not have a blueprint for peace that spells out every stepping stone towards the goal that we share. In any particular situation, a variety of personal decisions could be made with integrity.

We may disagree with the views and actions of the politician or the soldier who opts for a military solution, but we still respect and cherish the person.

What we call for in this statement is a commitment to make the building of peace a priority and to make opposition to war absolute.

What we advocate is not uniquely Quaker but human and, we believe, the will of God. Our stand does not belong to Friends alone – it is yours by birthright.

We challenge all New Zealanders to stand up and be counted on what is no less than the affirmation of life and the destiny of humankind.

Together, let us reject the clamour of fear and listen to the whisperings of hope.

Quaker Faith and Practice 24.10

(“All New Zealanders” was changed to “Everyone”)

 

Prayer Vigil at Roxel – Resources 2

During the vigil on 10th September Halesowen Global Justice Group led a short time of prayer at the gates of Roxel, here are the resources they used.IMG_8770

The true meaning of peace

True peace goes hand in hand with justice. It is not merely the absence of war or the fragile exhaustion that exists in the aftermath of conflict, when lives have been torn apart, relationships broken, infrastructures destroyed and homes demolished. Rather, the God-given peace that our creator desires for us, which is built on justice, where everything and everyone in the created order is in right relationship with each other and can reach their God-given potential.

If we ignore the inequality that exists between those who have too much and those who have too little, and the mounting tensions that such polarisation brings, we only pay lip service to the pursuit of peace and God’s law of justice is denigrated. Real peace needs to be worked at, like a life-long relationship. It is built by those who direct their efforts to its establishment, day after day. Its pursuit means listening to the voice of the oppressed and being challenged to action. It means seeing all humanity as our brothers and sisters and honouring other people’s development, as well as our own. And it means building a future for the next generations so they can know life in all its fullness and peace in its entirety.
The reflection was from Annabelle Shilsen Thomas (for CAFOD) from the  website
God of the dispossessed.
God of the dispossessed,
defender of the helpless,
you grieve with all the women who weep,
because their children are no more;
may we also refuse to be comforted
until the violence of the strong has been confounded,
and the broken victims have been set free
in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Lord, you have said to us ‘Peace I leave with you.’
This peace that you give is not that of this world:
it is not the peace of order, when order oppresses;
it is not the peace of silence, when silence is born of suppression;
it is not the peace of resignation, when such resignation is unworthy.
Your peace is love for all people,
is justice for all people,
is truth for all people,
the truth that liberates and stimulates growth.

Lord, it is this peace we believe in because of your promise.
Grant us peace, and we will give this peace to others.

Prayer Vigil at Roxel – Resources 1

These are the words which were spoken at the beginning of our vigil at Roxel:

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“We are on the outskirts of Kidderminster. In a moment we are going to walk up to the gates of Roxel.

We are a group of Christians from different denominations. We are here to pray and to protest.

Here at Roxel they are manufacturing the engines for Stormshadow and Brimstone missiles. We believe that they are currently working on a batch of missiles which have been ordered by the Saudi government. We believe it highly likely that these missiles are intended for use in Yemen.

We are here to witness to peace in the name of the prince of peace. We reject the belief that violence can be used to create peace. Violence will only breed more violence.

We believe that the arms industry is fuelling conflict around the world. Dropping bombs and firing missiles is not a road to peace, only to more death, more conflict, more suffering.

As Christians we believe in an incarnate God, a God who became human and placed himself in the midst suffering, and who challenged the sources of suffering. As followers of this God we feel called to be here today in this place which is a source of suffering and death in other parts of the world. We hope to Witness against the industry of war which is ongoing in this place.

We pray for peace in Yemen, and elsewhere in the world.

Aware of our own complicity in evil, we call to repentance all those involved in the work here.

written  by Matthew Neville

Vigil for Peace at Roxel

Last week some of us once again visited the gate of the Roxel factory near Kidderminster. We joined friends from Midland Christian Action (MiChA) and various other local groups, for a prayer vigil.

We spent two hours at the gates in prayer, and in witness against the industry of death which is ongoing in that place.

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Various forms of prayer and liturgy were used by those who led, over the next few days we will share some of those resources here. Please feel free to use them for your own times of prayer and silence, if you share them publicly please acknowledge the author.

Prayer Vigil for Peace

 

On Monday 10th September we’re going back to Kidderminster to take part in a Prayer Vigil for Peace at Roxel.

The vigil will begin at 8.30am at the gates, the postcode for finding where to go is DY11 7RZ. Everyone is welcome, please join us and tell your friends.

Facebook event: MiChA Event at Roxel

We will be working together with MiChA (Midland Christian Action), a local group of Christians and Quakers recently formed to oppose the arms trade.

  • Roxel manufacture Engines for Storm shadow and Brimstone Missiles.
  • Since 2013: 100 storm shadow, and 1000 Brimstone missiles have been sold to Saudi Arabia, at an estimated value of £180m.
  • These missiles have been used by the Saudi Air force in Yemen. We believe they will be in the future.
  • Since March 2013 the Saudi Air Force have repeatedly bombed civilian targets in Yemen
[For our sources please get in touch at putdownthesword@gmail.com]

Roxel Vigil Poster A

Weapons Inspection at Roxel Factory

Today Put Down the Sword visited a Roxel factory near Kidderminster, the factory builds propulsion systems for missiles. Our aim was to carry out a people’s weapons inspection, to ascertain whether parts built at this factory will be used in Yemen by the Saudi Military.

DSEI Update

Back in September, Put Down the Sword were involved in the “No Faith in War” day, aiming to block the set up of DSEI, the world’s largest arms fair which is hosted every 2 years in London.   Here is a short video of the day:

 

Members of the group were arrested, and will be on trial alongside their co-blockers on 1, 2, 7 and 8 Feb at Statford Magistartes Court.   CAAT are coordinating court support.