spilling the beans

It’s time to own up. This morning we had a dramatic accident… on the second day of our focus on fairtrade and economic justice coffee growers were in the headlines as well as on our hearts (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21392257 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21582631).

We were to begin worship by drinking black coffee and standing in solidarity with coffee producers from South America as we prayed for them and the unjust trade systems that make life taste bitter for them.


One exploding cafetiere later the start of worship was delayed by a good twenty minutes while all the pray-ers present tried to clear up the enormous dark coffee stain that covered a huge portion of the South American continent…

As anyone who knows the Sanctuary will know our floor is covered with maps… bespoke maps which are one of our most significant stimuli for prayer – and the most valuable thing to be found at our centre by a long way.

The floor is pristine again and we’re very grateful for it but it got us thinking…

What if the ugly stains made by the way richer nations run trade systems for products like coffee were more visible and traceable to their source? Would it remind us to pray and act more dilligently for change? Would it still even be tolerated?

We certainly hope that the horror of seeing that dark coffee stain spreading across the nations we then went on to pray for will remain in  our minds each time we look at South America on our floor… and will keep us mindful of the unjust systems we are part of, and the change we must be part of bringing to them…

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