Stop Trident demo: Saturday 27th February, 2016, London, from CND and other friends of our purpose
From the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament:
CND is calling a national demonstration to protest against Britain’s nuclear weapons system: Trident.
Join us to say ‘No’ to government plans to buy a new system at a cost of over £100 billion. Parliament will be voting on this in 2016. So this is urgent – we can’t delay.
The majority of British people oppose nuclear weapons. They are weapons of mass destruction that can kill millions. They don’t keep us safe and they divert resources from essential spending.
Let’s get the message out loud and clear: we don’t want Trident and we don’t want a new Trident.
Syria Crisis Appeal, from Christian Aid
From Christian Aid:
Terrible years of conflict in Syria have had devastating effects on young and old alike. Half the population of Syria have become displaced from their homes and over 4 million people have become refugees. More than 200,000 people have been killed.
Please support our emergency appeal to help our partners in Lebanon and Iraq, to respond to the immediate and long-term needs of some of the most vulnerable people on earth.
Stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia – now, from Campaign Against the Arms Trade
Saudi Arabia is the UK’s biggest arms customer and most shameful relationship. One of the world’s most authoritarian regimes, its repression at home and aggression abroad is propped up and supported by UK arms sales. Sign the petition to stop the arms sales.
The UK has continued to support Saudi air strikes in Yemen and provides arms despite strong evidence that war crimes may have been committed. CAAT is considering legal action against the UK government unless it stops arming Saudi Arabia.
Photo from the CAAT website ©
MESP 2016: Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace, Thursday 11 March–Sunday 20 March, 2016
MESP 2016 will bring together people from a wide range of spiritual backgrounds: people working for peace and reconciliation; educators, scholars and students; people from artistic and cultural backgrounds; folk working for health, well-being and healing; people from diverse cultures, traditions and communities …
Photo from MESP ©
Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement
Recent statements from LGCM on the gathering of Anglican primates from across the Communion:
Come to Iona in 2016 – still lots of spaces open!
‘Iona describes how one big family can live in harmony and peace.’
– A guest at the Abbey
‘Fun-dabadozzie!’ ‘The bee’s knees!’ …
– Children on their stay at the Mac
There are still lots of guest spaces left at the Abbey and Mac for 2016 – for most weeks!
Note: bookings for Greenbelt are now open to non-Greenbelt staff – so to anyone interested in the programme:
Greenbelt on Iona, 28th May-3 June, 2016
Alternate years Greenbelt makes its pilgrimage to Iona to dream harder about what its mission is and how it can be accomplished, while immersed in the rhythm and geography of the Community’s life.
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Camas Diary
The Camas Diary is a blog written by Camas volunteers and guests. Catch up on what’s been happening at Camas:
There will be an interview with Camas Coordinator, Jon Lloyd, in the upcoming spring Coracle (Ed.).
Camas people © David Coleman
Iona Youth news
The Glasgow Youth Team, Chris Long and Sarah Evans, are now busy preparing for some of the main youth events of 2016: Summer Youth Festival on Iona; Junior Youth Fest, which will be at Camas this year, during Easter; the Annual Residential with Bellahouston Academy in May – and more. Chris and Sarah are also spending time working on various funding applications.
Photo © Iona Youth Department
News from Jo Love of the Wild Goose Resource Group
Some news from Jo Love, WGRG Resource Worker, to give a wee flavour of some of the many things the Wild Goose Resource Group are working at these days. For a fuller calendar of WGRG events, go to the (new) WGRG website.
From Jo Love:
– Working with the Scottish Committee of the World Day of Prayer on worship material for 2016 and 2017.
– Committee involvement with the Church of Scotland’s ‘Mission & Discipleship Council’, on a wee subcommittee ‘Resourcing Worship’ working on producing a resource ‘Conversations in Worship’.
– In January Graham Maule and Jo did some worship services and discussion time with two churches in Forres, Scotland.
– Holy City will be ‘on the road’ January-March, doing a series of events with a parish grouping in the east end of Glasgow.
– Holy City ‘Root 66: Biblical blethers on the hoof’ is planned for March-May. ‘Walking and talking’, the first three outings in October-December, was a worthy experiment!
Also, looking towards April and leading the desert retreat in Sinai with Wind, Sand & Stars … hoping flights and safety will all be OK by then.
For more WGRG news, resources:
From the WGRG website, photo ©
In the Gift of This New Day: Praying with the Iona Community – new book from Wild Goose Publications following the Iona Community’s daily prayer cycle
A book of modern, engaged prayers following the rhythm of the Iona Community’s daily prayer cycle. Concerns include:
The ministry of the whole people of God * the renewal of prayer and worship * health and wholeness and the ministry of healing * church renewal * the ecumenical movement * people of other faiths and beliefs and the promotion of understanding through dialogue and joint action for justice and peace * economic witness * poverty * trade justice * young people * working together for change * social and political action for justice, peace and the integrity of creation * victims and perpetrators of violence * peace movements and organisations * human rights and gender justice * racial justice and the rights of indigenous peoples * the environment and all who work for ecological sustainability * refugees and asylum seekers and our commitment to hospitality * the renewal of community and the well-being of our own local communities * intentional and basic Christian communities throughout the world …
Contributors include: Brian Woodcock, the Wild Goose Resource Group, Chris Polhill, Ruth Burgess, Peter Millar, Jan Sutch Pickard, Kathy Galloway, Joy Mead, Rosemary Power, Ian M Fraser, John Harvey, Ruth Harvey, Warren Bardsley, Norman Shanks, Alison Swinfen, Alastair McIntosh, Thom M Shuman and many other members, associates and friends of the Iona Community.
With an introduction by Ian M Fraser
Invitation to contribute to a new Wild Goose book, from author and editor Ruth Burgess and Wild Goose Publications
Contributors wanted for a new liturgical resource book: theme ‘Winter’, includes All Saints’, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany …
Full details from Ruth Burgess (see Members Book), or from Neil Paynter at Wild Goose Publications: email@example.com
Members, associates and friends
‘We can’t claim to be Christian yet back Trident’: a letter from member Brian Quail, from The National
‘… People who try to live by the non-violent principles that Jesus preached will inevitably find themselves in conflict with the powers that dominate the world – the merchants of death, weapons manufacturers and arms dealers, the money worshippers, the high-priests of Moloch and Mammon …’
More (you will need to scroll down a bit after you connect to the link below to read Brian’s letter):
Pilgrimage2Paris, by associate member Diana Hill
Associate Diana Hill and her husband were part of the Pilgrimage2Paris, organised by the Church of England, Christian Aid, Tear Fund and CAFOD for the UN Climate Change Summit/COP21 in November and December. Diana writes: ‘People from the churches played a huge part in lifting our spirits, feeding us (of course!) and encouraging us for what lay ahead. Usually they would pray with us. Often, surprisingly, they would thank us for walking for them …’
On Friday 13th November a group set off from St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square to walk to Paris. We were a motley crowd of pilgrims of various denominations, wearing distinctive blue hoodies, sundry charity workers, several bishops, a rabbi and his dog. All of us were motivated by our concern for this beautiful, wounded planet and the fate of those most at risk from climate change.
We were on the Pilgrimage2Paris organised by the Church of England’s ‘Shrinking the Footprint’, in conjunction with Christian Aid, Tear Fund and CAFOD, heading for Paris for the Climate Change Summit/COP21. We set off with a spring in our step, daunted a little by the challenge ahead – over 200 miles to cover on foot, mostly strangers to one another, some very fit, and some (like my husband Peter and myself) decidedly less so. Daunted, yes, but excited too!
That first day was one of hard pavements, crowds and road crossings. We had only gone a couple of miles when the rain started – and it was to rain most of the following fortnight. But our first stop, for lunch at a church in Balham, showed us just what warm and generous hospitality awaited us. These people from the churches played a huge part in lifting our spirits, feeding us (of course!) and encouraging us for what lay ahead. Usually they would pray with us. Often, surprisingly, they would thank us for walking for them. This became a theme that was repeated many times over. I found it both moving and humbling.
After our first night (at Banstead, just inside the M25) we awoke to hear about the terrible attacks in Paris. That day and the next we walked holding the people of Paris in prayer, uncertain whether we would be allowed to complete the pilgrimage. We were encouraged to consider how we felt about continuing. But resolve emerged, stronger if anything, and we were then walking not only for climate justice but in solidarity with the people of Paris: not one person chose to turn back. We felt utterly committed, and we had bonded as a group.
Did I mention the rain? It rained a great deal, and the first three days were amongst the wettest and most challenging, with a great deal of mud! Walking through muddy fields in the dark, dodging overhanging branches and potholes, exhausted from two sleepless nights and wondering when we would ever reach our host church the first Sunday evening, I was remembering words from a favourite Gospel song:
We are going … heaven knows where we are going, but we know within …
It will be hard, we know, and the road will be muddy and rough
but we’ll get there, heaven knows how we will get there, but we know will …
Then like a miracle, we rounded a corner and there was the church, St John the Evangelist in Burgess Hill. And such a welcome: despite our bedraggled state, we were applauded, ushered inside, and sat down to a delicious meal. The Vicar gave each of us prayer beads and the words of the Jesus Prayer, essentials for any pilgrim, he said. And best of all we could spread ourselves out to sleep anywhere we chose in the warm, newly carpeted church. For many of us that was a real turning point. We slept! And we left restored, encouraged and deeply grateful to the wonderful people who had looked after us there.
From there, it was up and over the South Downs and into Brighton. Then, battered by Storm Bertie, we struggled along the coast road to Newhaven. That was some battle, with horizontal rain and winds so strong we could scarcely keep on our feet. Next day, with the sea still angry from the storm, we took the ferry to Dieppe, by now a core group of 30. There we experienced our first taste of French hospitality, staying with host families: an eight-year-old girl gave up her room for us.
There is much I could write about our route along the Avenue Verte to Paris, the kindness of the people we met on the way, and what happened once we got there. But I can say that we all made it to Paris mainly, I am sure, on the strength of people’s prayers for us. We weren’t able to march, or assemble in public there due to the security situation, but we did see Cristiana Figueres being handed the petition and received her very moving thanks for walking. We met other pilgrims who had travelled much greater distances than us, making us feel very modest about our own achievement. And most importantly, as you know, the hearts of the world leaders at COP21 were moved to reach that remarkable agreement.
But let’s be under no illusion that the work is over: no, it has only just begun as the leaders returned home to persuade their governments to take the necessary steps. Let’s not forget that there is no Planet B; and that we are the first generation who will not be able to say to those who come after us: ‘We did not know.’ Please, let’s continue to pray, and to act.
– Diana Hill
Pilgrims in Paris, photo © Christian Aid/Sarah Rowe (Diana Hill nearest to camera)
In March 2016, Sally Foster-Fulton will be taking over the helm of Christian Aid Scotland from (member and former Leader of the Iona Community) Kathy Galloway. More here, with a lovely photo of Kathy and Sally (Ed.):
Taxpayers Against Poverty, Paul Nicolson
Associate member of the Iona Community Paul Nicolson is Coordinator of the social justice group Taxpayers Against Poverty. Paul is presently involved in a High Court challenge over benefits being shredded by government and then being taxed.
The Open Door Community in Atlanta, Georgia
The latest edition of Hospitality, the Open Door’s wonderfully prophetic newspaper, is now online.
The Open Door Community is a residential community in the Catholic Worker movement which serves the homeless and our sisters and brothers in prison. Open Door is one of the Iona Community’s sister communities.
Artwork © Open Door Community
Apology for 2016 Prayer Book omission
The Community’s attention has been drawn to the omission of the United States from our prayer cycle. This is both unfortunate and unintentional due to human error. We ask all Members and Associate Members to add the USA to the countries to be prayed for on the Twelfth day. Thank you.
Wales Regional Plenary: ‘Iona Calling – transforming lives to change the world’, Saturday 20th February, 2016, South Wales Baptist College, Cardiff
With Leader of the Iona Community, Rev Peter Macdonald, in a day of discussion, sharing insights from the Bible, ideas and worship, as we address the question: ‘How might the Community nurture, equip, release and empower new leaders for church and community through our programmes in Glasgow, around the country and in our Islands Centres?’
‘To live the gospel’: a regional gathering open to all, 27th February, 2016, from member David Osborne in South West England
Saturday 27th February 2016, 11.00am to 4.00pm at Mint Methodist Church, Fore Street, Exeter, EX4 3AT
Aim: The Iona Community has always aimed to not just talk about and preach the gospel but live it. The Good News is to be lived out in work and worship, in prayer and politics, in the sacred and the secular. The purpose of this day is to help us do that.
Invitation: This day is for anyone who is concerned to try to live out their Christian faith, who wants to know more of what it means to be part of the Iona movement in the South West and to meet with other members, associates and friends of the Iona Community.
Programme: The day will include: music and worship in the Iona Community style; small group explorations of different areas of concern, including building community, reconciliation and peacemaking, hospitality, environmental justice, justice and advocacy, the renewal of worship, prayer and spirituality, world development, art and creativity, food; news from the Iona Community in South West England and worldwide; an exploration of how we can support each other in living the gospel; a shared lunch and an opportunity to meet other people in the Iona movement; a bookstall with Wild Goose Publications …
Cost: Voluntary contributions towards expenses are invited: suggestion £8.00
Catering: Coffee from 10.30am. Please bring something for lunch to share with others.
Location: The Mint Methodist Church is in the city centre, a short walk from Exeter Central Station and the bus station. Park and Ride is available. There is a limited amount of disabled parking only at the church. If you need to use this please book and say so.
Booking: Not essential but it would help to give some idea of numbers and of interests. Please say where you live and your particular area of concern, if you have one.
For more information and to book contact: David Osborne (see Members Book)
Wild geese © David Coleman
Talks on ‘Heartfulness’, from member Stephen G. Wright of the Sacred Space Foundation
Member Stephen Wright is Spiritual Director of the Sacred Space Foundation. There is a good series of talks on ‘Heartfulness’ by Stephen on YouTube, in six parts: Introduction, Therapeutic touch, Burnout, Spirituality and well-being, Labyrinth.
Stephen is a knowledgeable, engaging and gentle guide, who previously worked in the NHS and academia.
First part of ‘Heartfulness’ here:
‘Who do you say I am?’, by Kathy Galloway
you are a Lord who walks beside your people.
So we pray for people who march for justice.
You are a Lord who raises up those who are bent low.
So we pray for those held down by the grindings of life
and the indifference of the world.
You are a Lord who feeds the hungry.
So we pray for all who long for bread
and the means to provide it.
You are a Lord who celebrates the small and the insignificant.
So we pray for the children
and for those who are never noticed.
You are a Lord who says ‘Follow me’.
So we pray for courage, faith and cheerfulness in our hearts
that we may take up the cross and find it leads to life.
Kathy Galloway, from In the Gift of This New Day: Praying with the Iona Community, Wild Goose Publications