Kath Forder’s Service on August 6th marked Hiroshima Day. Kath recalled the events of that day, and told the story of a little Japanese girl, Sadako Sasaki. Sadako became known round the world for folding hundreds of paper cranes of all colours and sizes as she lay in hospital suffering the fatal effects of the bombing. Her cranes became an emblem of a desire for peace. Floyd Schmoe, American peace activist, dedicated much of his life to helping to rebuild houses in the areas razed by the bomb. The stories came together when Schmoe built a statue of Sadako which now stands in Seattle Peace Park. Kath built a memorable Service around these events and presented each of us with a paper crane.
Our Swindon meeting considered the chapter in Rev David Usher’s book Life Spirit which looks at our understandings of God. In the introductory Reflection Jane Howarth described a recent visit to Ravensbrook Concentration camp. In such camps the question arose ‘Where is God?’ In the Barcelona (and other) attacks people with another ideology claim to be doing God’s will. Kath Ryder then led us into a thoughtful exploration of David’s chapter and our own varied views.