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Arbishop John +Armagh, Trinity Monday 2022
Monday 2nd May 2022 @ 10:05 am / 0 comments

I do have a habit, when possible, of sharing the sermons that are delivered on Trinity Monday each year at Trinity College. Trinity Monday. As this last Trinity Monday was my last as college chaplain, it serves as a good reminder of much of what has happened over the last 14 years.  Delighted to share what was an inspiring and challenging message to the university – ‘what sort of ancestors will we be?’       A sermon preached in the Chapel of Trinity College, Dublin on Trinity ...

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Easter Message
Sunday 17th April 2022 @ 5:30 pm / 0 comments

For those who have asked, here is the sermon from the RTE TV Easter morning service. A link to the whole service (those musicians were just incredible) is at the end of this blog, and will be up for a month or so.       This is it. This is the reason we do what we do. We have gazed into the abyss this week in Christian world … deliberately poked the darkness of death. In the story of Christ’s walk to the cross, we have seen injustice, petty jealousy, political scheming, brutality, violence, loss and death – ...

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Melanie Maxwell tribute
Friday 8th April 2022 @ 9:58 pm / 0 comments

I get nervous when I have no words in front of me hours before a moment like this arrives. This was one of those nervous times – until very late in the day I simply did not have the words that I wanted to share And that’s not like me. Like Melanie, I like words. Like Melanie, I can talk a lot.   This time, words have been hard to come by. I can hear Melanie, giggling with that infectious chuckle, thinking “Ha – got you Rev!’   No wonder ...

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Well done and Thank you Ma’am
Sunday 6th February 2022 @ 8:45 am / 0 comments

All this year I am sharing something every day for which I am truly thankful. I will not usually write it in this blog, but today it seems appropriate. #yearofthankfulness   Today I am hugely thankful to have lived my whole life during the reign of the longest serving British monarch.  The incredible Elizabeth.As a young woman, she informed her people that her life would be one of Service, dedicated to them.  She meant it.  She has been a stalwart of dedication.    While her life is arguably also the most privileged of any human being on the planet, in ...

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WCPU
Wednesday 26th January 2022 @ 9:12 am / 0 comments

The following words are the reflection given to an Ecumenical Service in North Dublin to mark the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.       It can be a strange thing to enter the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. You probably drove through Jerusalem to get there … a land with all the traits of a modern western liberal democracy … tarmac roads, glistening billboards, McDonalds … but then you would have driven down the Bethlehem road, most likely driven toward Rachel’s tomb, and while the disputed tomb of Rachel (the 2nd wife of ...

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#yearofthankfulness 2022
Saturday 1st January 2022 @ 2:46 pm / 0 comments

As a new year begins, I am wary of making rash promises to myself and those around me. The promises I usually make will ‘absolutely’ make me thin, fit, happy, patient, kind, gentle and strong. And of course, they all work out *cough* Actually, they do work out. The annual failure of said promises work to make me mindful of acceptance, of ambition, of rash self–talk and of reality. After my flutter of excitement at the person I think I can be, I start to accept the person I am, and work with him. The ambition then becomes a ...

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A New Year
Friday 31st December 2021 @ 4:28 pm / 0 comments

I like to pontificate.  Sometimes it comes easy, sometimes not. Today is a strange day, I have a lot to say, but am happy not to say it. I am much happier to point you toward words that were graciously pointed toward me. So I invite you to take five mins, take ten if you can. In a few hours 2021 will be gone forever. We will never be here again.  All it has held will be consigned to everything we have come through.  So I offer you words from poet May Sarton, with the hope, and joy, that we will ...

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Advent Reflection 21
Tuesday 7th December 2021 @ 4:45 pm / 0 comments

Last week I was honoured to give the reflection at the annual Trinity College Advent Carol Service.    You can view the reflection here on this link.    or if you have time and would like to listen to the whole service with wonderful readers and magnificent choir, you can watch it all here.        For those who like to read you can read it here … noting (perhaps amusingly to some, but not to me at the time[!] that the first page of the reflection was missing when I got up to speak! Probably made ...

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FW DeKlerk
Thursday 11th November 2021 @ 11:26 am / 0 comments

The passing of former South African President FW deKlerk brings a fond memory … I wrote the words below at the time, and I shall not forget the encounter.   FW De Klerk negotiated the release from prison of Nelson Mandela, and created a constitution, along with Mandela, that gave the chance for South Africa to experience reconciliation and an opportunity to journey toward prosperity and healing. I attended a lecture he was giving in Trinity College, and at the end of it I was struck by how few ...

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Bereavement Support
Wednesday 10th November 2021 @ 8:51 pm / 0 comments

Shame on me for staying away for so long … I promise to do better and bring things more frequently to this blog. I will soon be connecting the dots for the bereavement support group we run here in Trinity  It is by far the most interesting and meaningful group I have the honour of being a part of in the university.  A dear bereaved friend posted this writing by Gary Sturgis on FB this morning – It sums up perfectly the approach we take in our group. I have never seen these truths expressed so beautifully and succinctly. Maybe ...

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A personal thought, on it being a whole year
Thursday 5th August 2021 @ 8:07 am / 0 comments

I recently had a joy–filled, although emotional experience. Like so many others, my family has lost loved ones over the last year. My own father passed away almost exactly one year ago. I myself had the honour of being invited to preach in the large Belfast Methodist Church where dad was the minister and where I spent my childhood. It was poignant to be there, preaching in the same church where I had run around 40 years ago. And while I led a thought on the Hebrew Bible book of Ecclesiastes, and the classic biblical cry of ‘vanity vanity, all ...

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sermon from a friend
Thursday 8th July 2021 @ 12:19 pm / 0 comments

I was very moved recently by the Amach La Dia (Out With God) leading the RTE Sunday worship service. My friend Teagan led the service and preached. I thought this was a stunning piece of worship and theology, and Teagan has been gracious enough to let me reproduce it here.       Our reading today displays to us Faith in Action.  Jairus Came  Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet  Jairus begged Jairus sought the young Rabbi to heal his little daughter and wasn’t afraid of who saw his appeal.   What parent would not do as much and more ...

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A word of wisdom from a friend
Thursday 1st July 2021 @ 2:39 pm / 0 comments

Here is the text from the recent “Word in Edgeways” for RTE radio that I was once again privileged to share. In case you missed it, you can Listen to it here, or the text is below! With honest thanks to James, who gave me permission to share his words!       Good morning Michael – it’s wonderful to be with you and your listeners again this morning. Every so often, I read something on–line that warms my heart and stirs my soul. Sometimes it’s a paragraph from one of my favourite theologians, or a great thinker, ...

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Reflection to TCD School of Nursing + Midwifery
Tuesday 15th June 2021 @ 10:54 am / 0 comments

It was an honour to lead a service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving for TCD School of Nursing and Midwifery recently. Below is the reflection from the service.     We find wonderful ancient Jewish wisdom coming from the Poet in the book of Ecclesiastics in the Hebrew Bible: The following words are based on the Message translation of the beginning of chapter 3: It may not seem like it, but there is opportune time for all things. There is, a time for everything that we experience on this earth: There is time – a right time ...

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Methodist Conference conversation
Friday 11th June 2021 @ 5:15 pm / 0 comments

The words below were written as an introduction to an evening conversation at Methodist Conference 2021 on how the pandemic has affected our lives …       Not everything in the coming year will be under our control.  We know this, because over the last 18 months we have re–learned,  re–learned in spades with bonus points and a cherry on top,  that not everything is under our control.  This is not a surprise though – we are people of faith – we know this! We should remember at every chance, just how deep this reality is contained in the stories ...

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