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The things you don’t see
Sunday 1st October 2017 @ 5:04 pm / 0 comments

Recently, I stood behind a very average human, on an escalator on the London underground. He had long, shaggy, unkempt brown/ginger hair. He was average height. Average build. He wore a loose fitting cardigan – kinda hipster. And he carried a small rug–sack strapped on his back. But something was amiss. Something was special. Something was happening that I couldn’t account for.   Every female (almost, every female), and many males coming down the escalator toward us, were looking at him. And a second or two after they looked at him, their face burst into a smile. ...

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The Holy Land II
Thursday 14th September 2017 @ 9:13 am / 0 comments

There are always tears when I travel with a group to Palestine and Israel.  Usually the tears are a combination of tiredness, hotness, beauty, the conversations and the sheer overwhelming nature of the whole experience. They are never tears of depression or anger – they usually seem to be tears that simply flow from being human. I’ve seen a young man have no words  – only tears – after sitting talking to an Israeli settler in the West Bank. The sellers there by their own ambition, and are there illegally by international law. They don’t care about law. I’ve seen ...

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The Holy Land I
Monday 11th September 2017 @ 12:35 pm / 0 comments

I made a confession on the sea of Galilee to my traveling band of peace lovers and enthusiasts. I might as well write it here too. I think I have found the thing that challenges my personal faith the most. The thing that more than anything else pushes me to question the loving intentions of a loving God.And it’s not the LGBTQ community & how the church talks or doesn’t talk – about sexuality. It’s not the too often too dreary nature of the worship my tribe exhibits.It’s not the judgemental attitude to life and ...

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Who said it?
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 @ 11:41 pm / 0 comments

I have been woefully bad at blogging … I apologise … I desire to do better.   And so, a quizz.Who said the following …… ”we are not defined by the colour of our skin, the figure on our pay cheque, or the party of our politics … We are defined by our shared humanity – by our citizenship … and by the love that fills our hearts.”Donald Trump?Nelson Mandela?Malala?Adolf Hitler?. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Beauty in the dance
Tuesday 4th July 2017 @ 3:04 pm / 0 comments

The following is an excerpt from Padraig O’Tuama’s latest email to the folks of the Corrymeela community. It is a beautiful retelling of an incredible moment of power, authenticity, enlightenment and beauty. I’ll not retell the whole email, with Padraig’s touching observations and application  – but rather I’ll simply invite you into the moment, and into the dance … and invite it to take you where it will…    “Last week, I was with the L’Arche community as they celebrated their international federation meeting in Belfast. This gathering happens once every five years, and 520 L’Arche community members from almost 40 countries ...

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Dare you …
Saturday 13th May 2017 @ 5:47 pm / 0 comments

Brené Brown takes the title of her book, ‘Daring Greatly’ from a speech given by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. It is an apt and illustrative title … and a fantastic book.  I am constantly amazed at how ‘snippets’ from history can jump toward us and be of use. By that I mean, I don’t know very much about Teddy Roosevelt. Only that he was called Teddy. And that like most Presidents he left snippets for us to muse … I suspect he was Wesleyan as one of the shortest snippets you sometimes hear is “Do what you can, ...

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Adaptive Change via Sophie’s World
Saturday 6th May 2017 @ 2:25 pm / 0 comments

 The following is s great example of what it means to adapt … it is taken from ‘Sophie’s World, and hits several nails on it’s head.   “In Britain there is a certain species of butterfly called the peppered moth, which lives on the trunks of silver birches. Back in the eighteenth century, most peppered moths were silvery gray. Can you guess why, Sophie?’ ‘So they weren’t so easy for hungry birds to spot.’ ‘But from time to time, due to quite chance mutations, some darker ones were born. How do you think these darker variants fared?’ ...

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Spot the gaps …
Wednesday 26th April 2017 @ 2:07 pm / 0 comments

These few thoughts may take a few mins to read – and they are incomplete and mis(un)–understandable without any explanation given to each stanza … but I’m interested in what ye think. Wild and wide gaps? Nothing new here … in fact if you can spot a particular philosophical/theological stream do say …     1.    Humans are relational creatures.   2.    The most satisfying and important relationships are those where we are held and we hold (we are trusted and we trust).    3.    Conversely, these relationships are often the most difficult relationships  – they take work, weaving, cultivating and ...

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Trinity Monday Sermon
Monday 24th April 2017 @ 3:52 pm / 0 comments

This beautiful address on ‘wisdom’ was preached to the university on Trinity Monday, a couple of weeks ago, by Dr Kieran OMahony OSA … find more of his gentle brilliance on www.tarsus.ie. We thank him for this …     TCD, Monday Holy Week 2017 Exordium Welcome again to this chapel for a time of reflection, thanksgiving and prayer. Welcome and congratulations to all present. The Provost read from the book of Sirach, a biblical book which comes down to us chiefly in Greek. It belongs to a family of books in the Bible, referred to collectively ...

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What happened Easter weekend 2017
Sunday 16th April 2017 @ 4:27 pm / 0 comments

It’s Easter Sunday  – and I gave the Brighton bomber a lift yesterday. The Corrymeela community continues to provide me with experiences and challenges and inspirations and conversations that I could not foresee. It’s Carafest … a mini–festival weekend here at the Corrymeela Centre in Ballycastle. The sea is roaring splendidly, the clouds are covering beautifully, and the sights sounds and smells of spring freshness are everywhere. On Friday night I had the surreal experience of sitting 6ft away from Patrick Magee – who was sitting beside Jo Berry, whose father he killed in 1984. In the Brighton bomb. ...

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What happened Easter weekend 2017
Sunday 16th April 2017 @ 4:27 pm / 0 comments

It’s Easter Sunday  – and I gave the Brighton bomber a lift yesterday. The Corrymeela community continues to provide me with experiences and challenges and inspirations and conversations that I could not foresee. It’s Carafest … a mini–festival weekend here at the Corrymeela Centre in Ballycastle. The sea is roaring splendidly, the clouds are covering beautifully, and the sights sounds and smells of spring freshness are everywhere. On Friday night I had the surreal experience of sitting 6ft away from Patrick Magee – who was sitting beside Jo Berry, whose father he killed in 1984. In the Brighton bomb. ...

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A brief comment on 2016 census
Thursday 6th April 2017 @ 10:20 pm / 0 comments

So – Republic of Ireland census 2016 results are in. Some interesting religion observations.Roman Catholic population in Ireland – 78%  … down from 88% 10 years ago. Take out the 10% that the Irish Catholics Bishops survey in 2010 reports ‘don’t believe in God,’ and you’re somewhere around the 65–68% RC. In Ireland. The most overtly Catholic country in Europe for decades (save maybe Italy). Church attendance figures put actual attendance in Ireland (total population, once a week) around the 40% mark. Some surveys have RC mss attendance at less than 20%. The year I was born, this figure was ...

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I’ve no interest in the nonsense
Tuesday 7th March 2017 @ 6:10 pm / 0 comments

I think it might be because I have been devouring Brené Brown’s writings – but I am increasingly aware of how important authenticity is. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any children to point out my crap? So I have to try and do it myself. For all of us, the joy of being simply ‘the wonderful you that you are’, should sustain us in the desire to live constantly and presently. Fully present. Constantly. Aware. Alive. Loving in all things. Old writings like this one (well, old being 18 years ago) help to remind me of my ...

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I’ve no interest in the nonsense
Tuesday 7th March 2017 @ 6:10 pm / 0 comments

I think it might be because I have been devouring Brené Brown’s writings – but I am increasingly aware of how important authenticity is. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any children to point out my bullshit? I have to try and to it myself. Old writings like this one help (well, old being 18 years ago!!!) Thanks Oriah for ‘The Invitation.’   It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. ...

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Something
Thursday 16th February 2017 @ 11:30 am / 0 comments

Yesterday I was in one of those meetings that gave me hope and life. Such meetings provide sustenance. The meeting was about an initiative in Trinity to engage refugees and asylum seekers around issues of education. It is a very small ‘private’ idea by a few members of staff. Those members of staff have gathered a few more members of staff, and they have gathered a few more students, and they have created a framework to engage refugees in real ways. The project will most likely involve eating together and having conversation. Eating and listening. That’s all. Those initiators of ...

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