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Henri Nouwen thought
Sunday 19th November 2017 @ 6:26 pm / 0 comments

A thought from Henri Nouwen  – taken from ‘The life of the Beloved’ … a book written as a letter to ‘real’ friend who was not of the same tribe or thinking as Henri, but with whom a deeply meaningful friendship developed, challenging the faith perspective of both.   What, above all, does Henri want his friend (who does not share his churched faith) to know?     ”Listening to that voice with great inner attentiveness, I hear at my centre words that say: ‘I have called you by name, from the very beginning. You are mine and I ...

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Robert Peston
Sunday 19th November 2017 @ 6:17 pm / 0 comments

I have always admired Robert Peston’s ability to communicate with emotion – given that he is a financial journalist, I find it inspiring! I will read his book ‘WTF’ with interest as soon as I can …  but in the meantime, here is a very small snippet. He begins his book with a letter to this late father – a powerful opening. And in that letter, he writes the sentences below: I hope you like it too … read it slowly a few times …he’s talking about UK first, then the entire Western worldview.     “These three ...

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Wars, Mothers + School tests
Sunday 12th November 2017 @ 8:49 am / 0 comments

My friend Kate wrote the words below, and they are worth a few minutes of your time. It seems mildly serendipitous that I first read them on Remembrance Sunday – a day that always massages my emotions, pulling them in different directions.  I have the deepest admiration for those who have laid their lives down for their country – and I have deeper anxieties about a country that would ask them to. I have an overwhelming sense of respect for those who fight for anything of behalf of anyone else – and an overwhelming sense of sadness that humanity is ...

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Sex, Saints and Sacks
Friday 3rd November 2017 @ 8:51 am / 0 comments

 Today in the BBC news. Egyptian female TV host given jail term for commenting on sex before marriage. Religiously conservative Egypt has ruled that Doaa Salah is having public conversation that threatens the fabric of Eqyptian life, fined her, and she now faces a jail term.   A Russian film on an affair between Csar Nicholas II & dancer Mathilde Kschessinskaya

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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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