We are all witnessing the tragic events sweeping across our city, and at a time like this regardless of our political stances we must come together as brothers and sisters in Christ, on our knees, praying that God would hear our cries for Hong Kong and bring righteousness, reconciliation and restoration. A 7-day guided prayer will be available starting from Monday 28 October 2019:
A liturgy for our city:
At the intersection of questions without answers,
At the crossroad of right and wrong,
And sit in the ugliness of our own biased perspective,
And how so often our fingers point and our words judge,
And we say: come, Lord Jesus
Beyond our news feeds and our chat threads,
Beyond the pride of our need to be right,
And we open our hearts towards the narrative of the other,
Listening across the divide until we encounter their pain and hurt,
And we say: come, Lord Jesus
Not with shallow sentimentalism or unrestrained emotionalism,
But with a wailing of the soul for the injustice around us,
And the reality of our own brokenness in the midst of what is broken around us.
And we say: come, Lord Jesus
And then, and only then, do we speak,
With our feet that carry us to spaces we never thought we’d inhabit,
With our hands that reach out towards the humanity around us,
With our minds as we create new possibilities within old circumstances,
And yes, with our mouths, as we say: come, Lord Jesus
As Christians, we carry the hope of Christ with us. Early in August during our prayer meeting, we received a picture of doves being released from The Vine Church. We feel God is saying to us that His Spirit is moving throughout the city and His peace is with us. And independently, our Creative Arts Team came up with the idea for the Dove of Hope cards to share this hope and light with our fellow Hongkongers.
On the card, there’s a QR code that links to our Care page which has resources to help people care for themselves, for others and where to seek help. The resources are in English and Chinese. You can download the card, print it out, and share a message of hope with the people around you.
Many of us know people who are strongly affected by the current situation in our city—the violence and conflict, the political situation, and other things. We’re all wrestling with this in one way or another. Sometimes we don’t know how to help at a time where things are so complex and feelings are so strong. Yet we want to and to do so is to follow in Christ’s footsteps, figuring out how to love others and ourselves in good and difficult seasons.
We’ve put together these practical resources for you to equip yourself, to reach out to others, and to better navigate through differences and conflict within our relationships. Click on the links below to read more:
Guidelines for Managing Difficult Conversations
by Karen Tong, LMFT, Oasis at The Vine
Managing Difficult Conversations
- Starting the conversation (e.g. “I want to talk to you about something and I’d appreciate it if you could hear what I have to say, and then I’ll hear you out as well. Is this OK?”)
- State the specific problem (e.g. “I notice that…” “I feel…when this happened.” “I’d appreciate it if…” “I need…”)
- Listen attentively to the other person (e.g. “Help me understand your points of view, what’s going on, and how you are feeling.”)
- Reflect back what you’ve heard (e.g. “What I’ve heard you say is this…Is that correct?”)
- Put yourself in the shoes of the other person. Express empathy (e.g. “I understand how you feel.” “This must be painful for you.”)
- Brainstorm solutions for the problem (e.g. “Let’s brainstorm possible ways to address this problem. Can you share your ideas about this?”)
- Select a few possible solutions to try out and agree to meet again to evaluate the process and the outcome.
- Agree to disagree on issues that do not have a solution (e.g. “Clearly we have different opinions on this. But we can agree to differ, and let’s continue to value our friendship.”)
- Name and acknowledge your emotions (e.g. I feel angry and upset right now.)
- Be aware of how your body feels (e.g. I notice tensions throughout my body.)
- Take a couple of deep breaths.
- Practise relaxation skills (e.g. tightening the muscles of different parts of your body and releasing the tension.)
- Stop, pause, and take a step back from the situation.
- Self-soothe by focusing on your five senses (e.g. sight, sound, smell, taste, touch.)
Creating the Space to Hear Ourselves, Each Other and God
by Dr. Lance Lee, PhD Oasis at The Vine
The crisis in Hong Kong has exposed deep divisions in our society, and fed experiences of deep hurt and pain—even hostility and conflict—in our friendships, families, and even the church. What is needed is a place where we can safely express ourselves—where we can share our feelings and acknowledge our experiences—a place where we can hear one another, and the heart and voice of God. Safe Haven Support Group is a protocol designed to do expressly that—to give individuals in a community the chance to openly and safely share their feelings, while learning to listen to one another and God. Download the guidelines for facilitating a support group.
by Carmen Chow, Children’s Ministry Coordinator
It’s easy for kids to get the wrong idea. That peacemaking is weak or cowardly. That the most courage belongs to the loudest voice and the reddest face. The Bible teaches and honors those who exercise a quiet strength of compassion and the courage involved in solving problems peacefully.
With a little coaching and a few strategies, kids – even those who are very young – are more than capable of peacemaking among their siblings and friends. Ultimately, these skills will serve them well in future relationships, the workplace, and any other potential conflicts they seek to resolve. By the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can raise up a generation of children who will be agents of peace in the Kingdom.