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A deeply poignant Service of Reflection for Black communities

March 27th, 2024

Blog by Ezra

Coming Together in Hope III 

"Coming Together In Hope III" was a deeply poignant Service of Reflection for Black communities grappling with the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Held on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at the New Testament Assembly in Tooting, London, the event served as a beacon of communal solidarity and remembrance during these challenging times. 

The evening commenced with a heartfelt welcome and opening prayer led by Pastor Andrew Wignal of the New Testament Assembly - Tooting, setting a tone of reverence and unity. Throughout the service, attendees were invited to engage in prayer, contemplation, and communal expressions of grief and hope. 

Rev. Sharon Thomas, a driving force behind the event, shared poignant reflections on the church's collective experience of loss and the journey towards acceptance and healing. Her words, infused with empathy and faith, resonated deeply with those present. 

The service featured a diverse array of performances and contributions from individuals and groups within the community. Notable among them were Mayor of Wandsworth, Cllr Juliana Annan, The Ubele Initiative, and Deputy school Principal Leondre Douglas who delivered brief statements underscoring the importance of coming together in solidarity and compassion. 

Musical interludes, including soul-stirring performances by the Godalming Community Gospel Choir and soloists like Victoria Henry and Talisha Parris, provided moments of solace and reflection. The powerful rendition of "No Longer Slaves to Fear" by the Limage Gospel Band stirred hearts and uplifted spirits. 

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of evocative paintings by Mark Kainyah, whose works captured themes of resilience, love, and remembrance amidst adversity. His pieces serve as poignant visual reminders of the enduring human spirit. 

The service also featured readings from scripture, including Psalm 46:1-11 read by Nathan Farrell of the Wesleyan Christian Centre, offering reassurance of God's presence and strength amid turmoil. 

Throughout the evening, there were moments of profound reflection and communal remembrance, including a roll call of names of those who had passed away during the pandemic. Families, friends, and neighbours solemnly honoured their loved ones, ensuring that their memories would be cherished and preserved. 

The service concluded with prayers, blessings, and a call for continued unity and hope within the community. The event concluded with heartfelt thanks extended to all who had contributed, both visibly and behind the scenes, to make the service possible. Special appreciation was expressed to Pastor Andrew Wignal and his congregation for their hospitality and support.  

The service was supported by several organizations and individuals, including the Wesleyan Holiness Church, The Ubele Initiative, and various community leaders. Attendees were encouraged to contribute to the Wolves Lane Centre project and access bereavement support resources. As attendees departed, they carried with them a renewed sense of community, hope, and resilience, reaffirming their commitment to stand together in solidarity, even in the face of adversity. 

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