Greetings from Ekklesia: the real work of Christmas

By Simon Barrow
December 25, 2013

Ekklesia's voluntary staff and associates would like to extend the warmest greetings to our many friends, collaborators and co-conspirators in these islands and across the world at Christmastide 2013.

Many are rejoicing at the birth of hope in the world, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Others – including a huge number suffering from injustice and violence – are continuing to mourn and to long for deep change. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them in this season and beyond.

These words from the past resonate strongly in the present:

“When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among people, to make music in the heart.
Please help us God.”
-- Howard Thurman (1899-1981).

The writer of these thoughts was an influential African American author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader.

It is the vision and struggle of people like Howard Thurman and a countless cloud of non-conformists, dissidents and witnesses to the subversive nature of the Gospel that continues to inspire Ekklesia's work.

By linking research, advocacy, media and policy together – in seeking both to change the church and challenge the powers-that-be – our aim is to promote and model alternatives that benefit people and planet… but especially those most pushed to the margins.

Our overall approach is strongly shaped by Anabaptist convictions (, by Quakers, but also a very wide range of ecumenical Christian supporters, and by cooperation wherever possible with people of other faith or simply 'good faith'.

In the New Year we will be sharing some exciting news about our future development. Meantime, we hugely appreciate your support, donations, participation, suggestions and encouragement. We could not do what we do without you.

Happy Christmas!

* Christmas on Ekklesia:


© Simon Barrow is co-director of Ekklesia. You can follow him on Twitter (@simonbarrow), Facebook ( and Rebel Mouse (

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.