The Return of the Saturday Supplement

It's been a while since I did a round up of interesting things wot I found on t'interweb but was spurred on to do one this week on the back of two strands that have come out of the current "flags" issue in Belfast. Both are by people who previously worked with the two Methodist missions in Belfast: former East Belfast Mission Youth Worker, Harriet Long, and former club culture outreach worker with Belfast Central Mission Dave Magee.
After a couple of posts on her own feelings about the protests and how they were impacting on East Belfast, Harriet then started a short series giving voice to some women in that area coming at the issue from diverse perspectives, concluding with this one from a girl in the Catholic Short Strand area.
Dave has, for many years now, been working on peace-building and non-violent responses to problems in loyalist communities, particularly in North Down, and the flags protest prompted him at long last to start blogging from his experience... and this guest post on Eamonn Mallie's blog concerns what he calls the elephant in peace process, the vision of masculinity in loyalism... Actually I think that is only one of a whole herd of elephants in that particular room... but, to use an appropriate metaphor, it may well be the rogue bull elephant...
Both of these posts and the strands they come from are excellent... and they come from refreshingly new and articulate voices on the scene (at least new to the wider world... some of us have been listening to Dave rant for years!)... If you find yourself with some time today, sit with a cup of coffee and trawl through them... it won't be time wasted.
Although, if you are a resident of Belfast don't let that distract you from attending the close of the 4 Corners Festival, the timely celebration of Christian Unity here in Belfast. Unfortunately I can't make it due to a wedding today, but I hope that it acts as another counterbalance to the forces seeking to divide this city... and that very soon there will be plans for a follow up festival next year... I would love to be part of it, wherever I may find myself ministering...
On this blog it is rare to find me citing anything by the Rev. Ian K. Paisley (or Lord Bannside), for good or ill, but yesterday my eye was drawn to an interesting piece on Slugger O'Toole, refering to a piece by him previously posted on (and hastily removed from) the Belfast Newsletter website, which extolling the virtues of some aspects of the Good Friday Agreement... of course he doesn't mention it by name and doesn't explicitly give any credit to his predecessor as First Minister, David Trimble for all that he achieved in negotiating the same.
However, there the world is much bigger than Northern Ireland... As Lord Bannside points out, recent events have not reflected well on Northern Ireland recently, but I hope that some of the material originating from here concerning the up-coming G8 conference and the IF campaign in response to it will help to correct that, and lift our eyes from our local difficulties to the problems faced by the very poorest in the rest of the world... Stocki has also offered a helpful surmise on this subject...
A lot of blogspace in both religious and arts circles has been taken up by the film version of "Les Miserables..." I still haven't seen either the stage show or the film, due to a combination of being too busy to go to the cinema for the 3 day running time that it seems to take, and a reluctance to watch anything that I am told I "must" see. I'm not sure whether this review from the Spectator that I posted earlier in the week on facebook would encourage me to see it or not... but certainly it's description of the plot as being about a minor parole violation helped to offset some of the hyperbole.
 But on the world wide web, probably the most stimulating blog this week has been Rachel Held Evans' "Scandal of the Evangelical Heart." I'm still not convinced that we have properly addressed the scandal of the evangelical mind, especially given the increasing retreat into anti-scientific (or even worse faux-scientific) fundamentalism that is prevalent at present, but I am entirely with her when she says:
"The bravest decision I’ll ever make is the decision to follow Jesus with both my head and heart engaged—no checking out, no pretending."
That's what I try to do in my ministry in general and in this blog in particular... I hope this Saturday Supplement helps you to do the same.

Comments

dgmagee said…
thanks for the kind words david
Paul Coulter said…
David - trying to contact you on behalf of New Horizon, but you're church email address (form website) is bouncing back. Can you email me: paul@paulcoulter.net. Thanks!

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