At least £1 from the sale of each Splinters paperback or eBook is donated to J.M.A. – The Junior Mission for All which collects for two UK Methodist Church charities – the Fund for Home Mission and The World Mission Fund.
JMA is unusual in as much as it is the children of the congregation that do the collecting, with the proceeds going to help those less fortunate than themselves. Here’s how I found out about JMA…
While enjoying an after-service cup of tea at my local church I noticed posters advertising the work of J.M.A. “What a great initiative” I thought. “The collection process teaches the children to help other people, and maybe sometime in the future a person in a far away country who received the benefit, might remember the kindness. I’ll support that by giving a donation from my book sales…”
It was Wednesday July 6th 2005: Being early for my appointment with Isabella Self, Chairwoman of Birmingham Writers, at the Central Library in Chamberlain Square, I sat on the top step of the man-made amphi-theatre behind the Council House watching people of many nationalities criss-cross the piazza below me.
High on the rear of the Council House, a huge television screen was showing the news.
“And now we go to London for the result of its bid to hold the 2012 Olympics,” the presenter said.
I thought the news that the 30th Olympiad would be held in England was wonderful, and deserved. Here I was in the heart of England, the mother country who opens her arms to any person who would come to work and build a better life.
Next morning, many innocent people were murdered when extremists detonated bombs in buses in London.
Like most people, I wandered about in a daze for the rest of the week. Then, on Sunday morning I felt the need to go to church. I chose Acocks Green Methodist Church, which is near my home.
People of all ages and colours came to church that morning: Families sat together; couples came, some elderly and supporting each other; lone figures entered, and by the time the service began the church was virtually full. The minister did not mention the atrocity, except indirectly when asking the congregation to pray for the families of the deceased. Then, it was time for Holy Communion.
The alter-rail soon filled with kneeling people. A queue formed in the aisles, and I knew when looking at their grim faces that the bombers would never win. The air seemed to fill with energy, and I was overwhelmed by a feeling of shared purpose as one by one the congregation stepped forward to receive the bread and the wine. It was as if by taking the place of the person before them they were demonstrating their commitment to defend their way of life.
“They’ll bury their dead,” I thought. “Not with bitterness, but with sadness. They won’t seek revenge, not because they’ll forgive, but because it is not in their nature to give in to intimidation. They’ll carry on, no matter what the cost, until they win.”
I then discovered the posters advertising the work of the J.M.A. Charity.
Tony Sheppard, August 2009
Thank you for supporting this worthy cause.
You can find out more about the Fund for Home Mission here; and The World Mission Fund here. They are registered under Statutory Instrument SI2002/1598 and the UK’s Methodist Church has charity status.