As someone who was raised in Northern Ireland for 15 years, I have been following this week’s royal visit to the Republic with particularly close attention, interest and hope. The blog below is written with an awareness that perspectives remain diverse, and often fraught on the numerous, complex and often harrowing issues of Northern Ireland, the Republic and Britain’s involvement with both. I see this week as an optimistic sign of public reconciliation, with a caution that there remains much work to be done.
Two weeks ago, I had the immense privilege of attending Teya Sepinuck’s first two-day Theatre of Witness training workshop in the UK. She was in the country for a limited time, and introduced the philosophy and some films of her theatre work during an evening presentation at St Ethelburga’s.
Our recent interfaith festival in association with Shinyo-en recieved coverage in the Jewish News!
"With the young adults developing positive friendships across different faith communities, their passion and energy has been palpable – all culminating in an impressive festival that took place on Sunday, attended by more than 100 members of the public!
Regardless of what faith background you come from Friends for Change is open to all young adults, providing the opportunity to nurture leadership qualities to bring about future action."
St Ethelburgas has been working to support Rodeemos el Dialogo (surrounding the dialogues), a small and committed organisation working to raise awareness about the power of dialogue in the Colombian peace process. The group are based in both the UK and in Colombia. You can find more information about ReD on their website.
What’s the most exciting experience you’ve had collaborating across differences in faith, culture, and ideology? Have you ever entered into collaborative relationships and been truly surprised by the result? What enabled those experiences to happen?
“We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize the basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.”- Martin Luther King
Like many others, we have been thinking about how we can take the learning, connections and inspiration from the New Story Summit forward. Having digested the elements of learning to do with conference process, Debbie Warrener (who ran our summit hub), myself and others at St Ethelburga’s will be offering a post-NSS experiment. Our aim is to bring people together to harvest what we have learned about designing emergent process.
Wednesday night marked the first instalment of our Re-awakening the Sacred series, the second year St Ethelburga’s has run the programme. The series is a journey exploring how we can connect with a shared sense of meaning and reverence for life in times of crisis and transition, and how we can bring the sacred back into our daily lives in all areas and disciplines.
I’ve just returned from the New Story Summit - a long overdue gathering of those involved in the global grassroots movement for systemic change. We came from all over the world, over 350 people from the fields of peacemaking, new economics, ecology, organisational change, community building, evolutionary biology and the arts.
It is difficult to find the words to describe how horrific and tragic the last few months have been for global conflict, destruction, pain, and collective human suffering as we have watched regions collapse right before our eyes. We have seen communities turn against each other, both abroad and here at home in the heart of London. Identities have hardened, antisemitism and islamophobia have increased.