Archive For June 30, 2016

Who do you say I am?

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Who do you say I am?

Clare McBeath is co-principal of Northern Baptist College and was one of the women who took part in the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland women’s delegation to visit Greece, May 2016. I was welcomed into someone’s home. It was immaculately clean, tidy and soft underfoot, the shade providing a welcome relief from the blistering…

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The Song of the Vineyard – a song of lament but also of hope

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The Song of the Vineyard – a song of lament but also of hope

“They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.” (Isaiah 65: 21 NRSV) The Bible has many stories and passages that speak about the idea of the vineyard. In Isaiah the vineyard appears as part of the vision of a new heaven and a new earth,. The idea that…

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For is not life more than bread?

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For is not life more than bread?

Clare McBeath is co-principal of Northern Baptist College and was one of the women who took part in the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland women’s delegation to visit Greece, May 2016. This reflection is based on a conversation with Voula who runs the “Bridges Project” in Athens and in the port of Piraeus working…

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WelcomeFest – fresh sights and sounds from new friends

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WelcomeFest – fresh sights and sounds from new friends

Four hundred people attended a WelcomeFest celebration held in Belfast’s St Anne’s Cathedral as part of Refugee Week. The evening was organised by the Red Cross, Belfast Friendship Club and NI Council for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (NICRAS). A diocesan news article on the Church of Ireland website explains that the diverse line-up of local performers from BeyondSkin…

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Hospitable and welcoming: ‘We share our poverty’

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Hospitable and welcoming: ‘We share our poverty’

Last Sunday morning Rev Kathryn Viner – minister of Malone congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland – was interviewed on BBC Radio Ulster’s Sunday Sequence about the CTBI trip to Greece at the end of May. Asked about the conditions of refugee camps in Greece, Kathryn said that it carried but described the official…

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Have No Fear conference statement – churches should overcome hesitation to address the public

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Have No Fear conference statement – churches should overcome hesitation to address the public

A statement has been produced based on last week’s Have No Fear conference in Lunteren, organised by the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), the Conference of European Churches (CEC), the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN). Between 14 and 16 June, sixty representatives of churches, ecumenical…

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“[We] must not turn a blind eye to this crisis. We can and must do more to respond.”

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“[We] must not turn a blind eye to this crisis. We can and must do more to respond.”

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams spoke in advance of Refugee Week. The BBC reported his comments: “Desperate people who have been driven out of their homes by war are being forced to make dangerous journeys in search of sanctuary. Yet many countries are closing their borders and putting up barbed wire.” The chair of…

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Looking back at the Working Together in Faith conference in Edinburgh #SFARconference

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Looking back at the Working Together in Faith conference in Edinburgh #SFARconference

Yesterday’s Working Together in Faith conference in Edinburgh examined how individuals and groups could grasp policy, advocacy and practical action as they exercised their faith. You can get a flavour of the event from the tweets posted using the #SFARconference hashtag. Organised by Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees, the interfaith event opened with a reflection…

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Refugee Festival Scotland – visibly and proudly standing in solidarity

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Refugee Festival Scotland – visibly and proudly standing in solidarity

Refugee Festival Scotland is an annual Scotland-wide programme of arts, cultural, educational, heritage and sports events, coordinated by Scottish Refugee Council. Suzi Maciver is arts and cultural development officer of the Scottish Refugee Council. She says that Refugee Festival Scotland is about “recognising this difficult present” of refugees who have “been forced to flee their…

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Welcome Fest in Belfast Cathedral (Thu 23 June)

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Welcome Fest in Belfast Cathedral (Thu 23 June)

As part of Refugee Week, there will be a family-friendly world music gig in Belfast’s St Anne’s Cathedral on Thursday 23 June from 7pm. Organised by the British Red Cross, Belfast Friendship Club and the Northern Ireland Community of Refugees and Asylum Seekers (NICRAS) in conjunction with Belfast Cathedral, Welcome Fest is taking the theme of…

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