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New normals
Sunday 30th June 2019 @ 4:10 pm / 0 comments

‘Proceduralism’ as it turns out, is pretty important. It is the unwritten rules by which social order is kept when political adversaries agree to stick to the same rules of play. Peaceable transfer of power depends on it. Normative nonviolent and diplomatic society keeps on track because of it. This is the grandeur of status quo. Therefore, on one level it is the epitome of ‘nothing changes here.’ Except it’s not – one of the very simple, completely verifiable and unchangeable rules of biological life (of which we are wonderfully a part), is that everything changes here. Nothing ...

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On the passing of a friend
Sunday 16th June 2019 @ 10:50 am / 0 comments

This is an unusual blog post –but, as always I hope it will be honest. I have too many friends of all ages who are ill.  And I have known too many family and friends of all ages pass through the veil of this life without comment from me … hence why this blog post is more unusual. I simply want to recall why I will always be indebted to an elderly friend who was laid to rest yesterday in the beautiful Co. Fermanagh.   Patricia Donald was a brilliant woman (I am linking to a newspaper article from last ...

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End of semester Chats II
Tuesday 14th May 2019 @ 7:13 am / 0 comments

Working in Trinity can definitely be fun at times. It is rewarding – exhilarating – inspiring. Hanging around students who will be leaders in Ireland and around the world (some of them sooner rather than later) is a particular joy. Getting to know staff is great. Having access as chaplain to peoples real lives, and trying to see the Kingdom of God coming alive through peace justice humility forgiveness and transformation is nothing less than an honour.   Sometime the honour comes from unexpected sources.   The second communication that has stayed with me from this last ...

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End of semester Chats I
Tuesday 14th May 2019 @ 7:11 am / 0 comments

The end of the college year affords me the chance to take a breath – and invites me to think over what has happened – what has changed – what should change – what can change. As I have been reflecting on this last semester, two communications from different students sit bluntly at the forefront of my mind. They both brought a tear to the corner of my eye. For very different reasons. Details are changed to protect individuals and places.   The first one concerns a student who identifies as lesbian and had one of the ...

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Good Friday Reflection
Friday 19th April 2019 @ 11:52 am / 0 comments

I never prepare words long in advance for a talk given on Good Friday … it always just seems better to me, that they come from the heart. So from my heart. Within the last couple of hours. It’s Good Friday – it is the day when Christians around the world look to the suffering God, and ask questions of meaning, of sense–making, and of hope  – because it all seems wrong. Upside down, inside out, not the way things should be. The creator and sustainer of all that is, at the mercy of petty religious jealousy, ...

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Words from Act of Remembrance & Solidarity
Thursday 21st March 2019 @ 1:15 pm / 0 comments

Today in Trinity we held an Act of Remembrance & Solidarity for those murdered in Christchurch New Zealand last Friday. It was a moving and meaningful time with words and prayers from Quran being interspersed with words from Bible.      Below are words from the Act of Remembrance, which took place as 50 candles were lit, and the names of victims were read aloud. Below that are words I shared as part of the gathering.       In the peace and stillness of this moment We allow our minds and hearts to travel We remember men women and ...

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Thoughts after terrorist attack on Muslims at worship
Sunday 17th March 2019 @ 10:12 am / 0 comments

The horrific attack on worshipping Muslims in New Zealand has rightly caused the outrage and consternation it deserves. Sadly, it does not stand alone as an act of violence toward religious worshippers. Persecution of Christians is on the rise with over 3000 Christians killed worldwide in both 2017 & 2018, antisemitism is on the rise with 13 Jews murdered in 2018, with Britain recording it’s highest number of antisemitic attacks in decades (more than 1200) in the same year.  I deliberately only mention the Abrahamic faiths – I am sure there are many other adherents to religion that are seeing ...

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Re–form Judaism
Monday 25th February 2019 @ 2:09 pm / 0 comments

I was struck in January by a conversation with a Jewish rabbi friend in a synagogue in Israel. Firstly – and more by way of a sideline, it was explained to me that the largest Jewish movement in the world at the moment is Reform Judaism. Hence, the Rabbi telling me is a woman. Seems that to be a female in the faith community of any major religion you have to be more on the Reformed side of things. When I use the word Reformed, I’m not just talking about the noun – and all things capital R Reformed ...

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Real love on Valentines Day
Thursday 14th February 2019 @ 4:25 pm / 0 comments

It can be hard to read the news sometimes. When I read last night that a 100 year old women who had survived a concentration camp during the 2nd World War, was killed as the result of being mugged by a heroin addict  – a man roughly the same age as me – I wanted to put his head through the nearest wall.  I was profoundly sad.  I was at my worst as a human being, not even for a second wanting to show compassion or try to understand his addiction or his life. I was just gut–wrenchingly sad.     ...

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Brexit & The Other
Friday 8th February 2019 @ 12:48 pm / 0 comments

If you haven’t seen ‘Brexit: The Uncivil War,’ the C4 drama concerning the biggest self–inflicted political wound in British politics since Chamberlin’s Appeasement, you should check it out. (https://www.channel4.com/programmes/brexit-the-uncivil-war/episode-guide) It has many moments of genius, high production values, wonderful narrative, and most significantly a very easy–to–follow synopsis of what (according to the playwrite James Graham) actually happened. It shows the genius of high end, unfeasibly gifted political operatives – Dominic Cummings (according to this portrayal) is a proper political geek. I went to school with people like him, it scares me to think that some of those people ...

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I wish I had time to write more blogs
Tuesday 22nd January 2019 @ 9:36 am / 0 comments

I wish I had more time,  to write more blogs. I miss sitting and thinking and making moves of comfort and challenge to myself and whoever.     One a day? no chance One a week? perhaps. One a month a lot more likely.   Just so I know that I still can I now briefly  put finger to keyboard  in the hope  that it will still keep me keeping on. Moving my intention to reality.   Ever  so inadequately    and   ever     so     slowly.      May you have delight in your intention coming ...

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For Peace on Armistice weekend
Saturday 10th November 2018 @ 11:16 am / 0 comments

Gandhi’s list of ‘Seven Social Sins’, was published a few short years after the end of the ‘War to end all Wars.’ Sadly the war to end all wars was nothing of the sort. In many ways it was only the beginning of continual war with continuously exceeding capacity to destroy to greater extent. Ghandi listed the greatest social sins as: Wealth without work Pleasure without conscience Knowledge without character Commerce without morality Science without humanity Religion without sacrifice Politics without principle   It’s frightening that these realities have magnified exponentially in the last 100 years. There are of course ...

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The Good Summit part I
Saturday 27th October 2018 @ 1:46 pm / 0 comments

What an experience the first The Good Summit was. Full of wonderful and passionate speakers who care about the state of the world and the state of humanity.   We heard so much that was positive – from world changing health care design, to a local social enterprise making bags for kids in the social care system, to politicians saying ‘of course I would do some things differently if I could do it again,’ to some of Ireland’s most successful business leaders talking about the unsustainability of the system, to care for the homeless the hungry the immigrant ...

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Word Mental Health Day 2018
Wednesday 10th October 2018 @ 9:18 am / 0 comments

10th October, World Mental Health day.  1 in 4 of us will suffer with poor mental health in our lives. If you’re a student in a lecture of 100 people today – 25 of those sitting around you have experienced / will experience / are experiencing a break in how they see themselves as whole & functioning human beings. For me it was anxiety illness when I was in my late twenties. I’ll not write about it here, maybe in the future I will devote proper time to exploring how to write about it well … but yes, I know ...

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What has changed?
Saturday 6th October 2018 @ 3:22 pm / 0 comments

While starting my 11th year working in Trinity College Dublin, I asked myself what things have changed most since I first walked through the hallowed Archway. Some of those things are personal and will probably come out over time. But a couple of things struck me immediately.   1. Positive mental health in young adults is a battle worth engaging in.  When I began in TCD, I was massively impressed with the facilities which acted to support students. A counselling service, a health service, and a tutorial service are just a few of the magnificent avenues that care compassionately for ...

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