As part of a week of activities to mark Southend receiving city status Southend City invited faith leaders and leaders of faith charities to participate in an event to mark the value Southend places on faith and the work of faith communities in the wider community. Each contributor was given 4 minutes to express or illustrate the significance of light in their faith tradition and to voice their aspirations for what kind of city Southend could be.
Love Southend was invited to participate. Mark Churchward shared from Genesis 1:16-18 that God’s creation design meant light was always intended to govern our lives, even in the darkness of the night. Helen Yousaf then described the significance of the artwork she had co-produced with members of Love Southend. The artwork intended to capture what came out of a Love Southend time of intercession following Sir David’s murder – a strong sense of God enveloping Sir David’s family and Southend in his love in those dark days, and the light of his love creating hope for the future. This event was the first time this artwork had been seen in public. Their contribution concluded with Mark praying that anyone or group facing a time of darkness in Southend would find the light God had created for, and was shining into, that place of darkness.
Watch the Unite in Light highlights here…
Watch the full recording of the event here:
Read on to view the artwork Helen displayed.
Prayer – our prayers pressing through the darkness into God’s presence and glory
Psalm 91:15 ‘When you call on me I will answer; I will be with you in trouble’
Zion – God’s people, his light to the world, like a city set on a hill
Matthew 5:14 ‘You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.’
Southend waiting – Like all creation Southend is waiting for its freedom as God’s children become fully alive
Romans 8:18-21 ‘I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation
was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.