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Showing posts from January, 2014

City of God?

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I offer this dialogue in the light of tonight's event in the Agape Centre as part of the 4 Corners Festival, where we are exploring the question "Is Christ Divided in this City?" through the stories of 4 church leaders from different corners of this city.I originally wrote a version of this dialogue nearly 14 years ago for New Irish Arts and Evangelical Alliance and an event called "Healing of the Nations" based around the Book of Revelation. Sadly, after all these years it is still pertinent, indeed, I had to rewrite part of it regarding our welcome to others and hostility to ourselves, because recently we have demonstrated that our welcome to others is not as all embracing as it might be. The ultimate question is, what vision do we have for our city? One shaped by doom, misery and despair? Or one shaped by the hope that we have in Christ?John:And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down…

4 Corners - 4 Stories

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It's been a busy old month, due to multiple funerals, the mopping up after Haass and other reasons. As a result I haven't been on able to blog or post as regularly as I had planned... I also haven't been able to get to as many 4 Corners Festival Events as I had hoped... 

The 4 Corners Festival, established last year out of the inspired insanity of my friends and colleagues Steve Stockman and Martin Magill, consists of innovative events during and around the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. These events are designed to entice people out of their own ‘corners’ of the city and into new places where they will encounter new perspectives, new ideas, and new friends, and so inspire people from across the city to transform it for the peace and prosperity of all. I got involved due to a casual enquiry over a coffee with Steve... 3 Hours later I was on the steering panel and hosting an event (NOTE: Coffee with either Steve Stockman or Martin Magill is a dangerous business…

Haass has Gone, but the Responsibility Remains...

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Yesterday my friend Lesley Carroll put out a blog post that went viral, deriding the church for not speaking out in the wake of the Haass debacle, and in other important public policy issues... It is a piece that I could see myself writing, although less coherently... However, I found myself in the unusual position of being unwilling to promote her post too widely as I had been part of a group who met to discuss a joint-churches response and had appointed a team to draft a response... They got the guts of it done relatively quickly, but for various reasons it didn't get finalised, signed off or distributed as quickly as many would have liked... But it was released today, and here is the text:As Church leaders we encourage politicians to sustain the momentum and energy generated by the talks of the Panel of Parties in the Northern Ireland Executive, chaired and facilitated by Dr Richard Haass and his team. Significant work has been completed in recent months and we acknowledge the…

Good News Stories

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I still don't have time to blog anything more extensive... However, for a wee while I have been reflecting on my tendency to carp, criticise and rant, despite the fact that I am supposed to be a "good news" person. I still reserve the right, indeed see it as a responsibility to do so in the face of injustice, malpractice and plain stupidity! But without making a "new year's resolution out of it, I am going to make a genuine effort to do 2 things...
1) To get on with making a positive difference where I cann even when I am frustrated by organisations I am associated with, and others in positions of power and responsibility who (I believe) are not doing all that they might. But that is a principle and practice I have held to for most of my life and especially so over the past couple of years... The "new" thing for a "new" year is...

2) To regularly (and where possible daily) post a "good news" story in print or video, that is life af…

Words and Pictures

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Happy new year... Too busy to blog yet... But just to keep you going here's a wordle of recent VM output... Some important words in there, especially in the wake of the Haass talks, and with the dawn of a new year full of challenges and opportunities...





Blessings for this year we now find ourselves in...

Shalom