Members, associates and friends
The 2015 Islands Programme
The 2015 Islands Programme is now out! Have a look, if you haven’t already – and please forward this on to friends and anyone else who might be interested. See you on Iona or at Camas in 2015.
Photo from the Iona Community’s 2015 Islands brochure ©
Vacancy on Iona: Iona Centres Director
The Iona Community is recruiting for a new Director for our centres on Iona.
This is the senior position on the island, which has to provide strategic leadership and management for the Abbey and MacLeod Centre, work alongside Committees and colleagues based elsewhere, and work collaboratively with colleagues to ensure worship services in the Abbey Church reflect the values and vision of the Iona Community.
We are looking for someone with a good track record in leadership and management, ideally in a communal setting or similar, proven ability to work under pressure, an active Christian commitment with experience of leading services, and a good knowledge and understanding of the Iona Community.
We are hoping that both Centres will close in the autumn of 2016 for building work, and this post is therefore being recruited on a contract which starts 1st February, 2014 and ends in September, 2016.
Deadline for applications is 30th November, 2014. Interviews will be held in Glasgow on 12th December, 2014.
Photo from the Iona Community website ©
Members Prayer Book, 2015 – coming to you in January
From Neil Paynter (Editor of Coracle):
Just to let you know, the Members Prayer Book, which comes with the winter Coracle each year, is scheduled to be sent out to members, associates and Friends in January 2o15. I am working on the winter 2014/15 Coracle at the moment and hope to get it to the printer before Christmas.
You will have received the autumn Coracle by now, which has a peace and reconciliation theme – with pieces by Alastair McIntosh, Peter Macdonald, Martin Johnstone, Helen Steven, Lesley Orr, Iain Whyte, Elisabeth Miescher, Katherine Rennie, Mel Duncan, Rosemary Power, Susan Dale, and many others, along with news from members.
Thanks for all your encouragement and support.
– Neil Paynter
Genesis, Gender and Church – a new publication by member Ian M. Fraser, which can be downloaded for free below
On Genesis, Gender and Church:
Ian Fraser sees in the first eleven chapters of Genesis – before history starts with Abraham – a priceless treasure-house of insights into how we are placed in the world and how we are to be related to God and other inhabitants of the earth. All these are worked out in perceptive poetry and parable.
Woven into the very fabric of our planet’s life is an inheritance of hope. Humans beings are created with a family likeness to God. We are given complementary gifts of gender to work together with God towards the world’s fulfilment. Gender disinheritance results in a dysfunctional world and church. We are called to share in mending the situation, that God’s kingdom may come and God’s will be done.
Ian Fraser has been a pastor-labourer in heavy industry, a parish minister, Warden of Scottish Churches House, an Executive Secretary of the World Council of Churches, and Dean and Head of the Department of Mission at Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham. He is the author of many books, including Strange Fire, The Way Ahead, A Storehouse of Kingdom Things, and Reinventing Theology, which is used as a standard theological sourcebook throughout the world.
Ian is one of the original members of the Iona Community who helped George MacLeod to rebuild the common life and the Abbey buildings on the Iona. Throughout his life he has travelled the world, alone and with his wife, Margaret, visiting basic Christian communities. He has walked alongside slum-dwellers in India and Haiti; Nicaraguan and Cuban revolutionaries; priests, nuns and catechists facing arrest and/or death in Central and South America; and small farming and fishing communities in the Philippines.
If you have any comments on Genesis, Gender and Church for Ian, which I’m sure he’d appreciate, please contact him through the Members Book, or e-mail me (Neil Paynter) at Coracle/e-Coracle and I’ll pass them on: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ed.)
Photo © David Coleman
Iona Continentals meeting, 2nd July–5th July, 2015, in Tatzeburg
From the German Region of the Iona Community:
The next Iona Continentals meeting will be held on Thursday 2 July to Sunday 5 July, 2015 in Ratzeburg, halfway between Hamburg and Wismar. We will meet in Christophorus Haus, enjoying the hospitality of a wonderful church-based team.
The theme for the meeting is ‘Gathered and Scattered: Dispersed Christians in community across a growing Europe’. In creative and relaxed ways we want to discover how we experience and live our Christian faith in our daily environments and how a growing Europe influences living and celebrating this faith. Coming from a variety of countries and Churches, we differ – yet share so much. Sometimes it seems as if we Iona-related and Iona-inspired people have more in common with each other than with many people in our countries. Yet we are also curious about our differences. We certainly don’t – and can’t – agree on everything or do things the same way within and outside our communities, our churches, our countries. Let us learn about our differences in culture and tradition – and let us explore our common longing for a peaceful, welcoming and just life in Europe and radiating beyond European borders.
For more information, contact Rolf Bielefeld (see Members Book).
Photo from the Christophorus Haus website ©
Food, Fuel, Finance: Tackling the Poverty Premium, from Closing the Gap, Scotland
This report presents findings from Closing the Gap Scotland, a partnership between the Iona Community, Christian Aid Scotland, Faith in Community Scotland’s Transformation Team, the Episcopal Church in Scotland, the Poverty Truth Commission and the Poverty Alliance.
The Poverty Premium is defined as ‘a notional extra cost that people on lower incomes can pay for goods and services, compared with the cost that is paid for some goods and services by higher-income families’ (Save the Children, 2010).
Carrying a candle, by Jan Sutch Pickard
Carrying a candle
from one little place of shelter
is an act of love.
To move through the huge
and hungry darkness, step by step,
against the invisible wind
that blows for ever around the world,
carrying a candle,
is an act of foolhardy hope.
Surely it will be blown out:
the wind is contemptuous,
the darkness cannot comprehend it.
How much light can this tiny flame shed
on all the great issues of the day?
It is as helpless as a newborn child.
Look how the human hand,
that cradles it, has become translucent:
fragile and beautiful; foolish and loving.
Step by step.
The wind is stronger than this hand,
and the darkness infinite
around this tiny here-and-now flame
that wavers, but keeps burning:
carried with such care
through an uncaring world
from one little place of shelter to another.
An act of love.
The light shines in the darkness
and the darkness can never put it out.
– Jan Sutch Pickard, from Candles and Conifers: Resources for All Saints’ and Advent, Ruth Burgess, Wild Goose Publications