Iona, Camas and the mainland

Come to Iona or Camas in 2017

Check out the 2017 Islands Centres Programme and book a week on Iona or at Camas in 2017.

Note: the season on Iona has been extended to the end of September, so several weeks have been added, including:

– Gathering Space weeks

– ‘Listening to Fragility’, with Programme Worker, theologian and artist Urzula Glienecke, 2-8 September

– ‘Heaven Shall Not Wait: Poetry of Protest’, with Jan Sutch Pickard, 16-22 September

– ‘The Pilgrimage of Life’, with author Alastair McIntosh, 23-29 September

More information and to book

Arriving on iona

At the jetty © David Coleman

At a crossroads? … vacancies with the Iona Community on Iona – Shop Manager, Islands Staffing Coordinator

Are you looking for an alternative, counter-cultural and spiritually challenging way to live and work? Then consider joining the Resident Staff of the Iona Community at our centres on the isle of Iona, to share a common life and extend our ministry of hospitality to guests from all over the world.

Applications for Shop Manager by 15th December, 2016; for Islands Staffing Coordinator by 22nd December, 2016

For more information and an application

pilgrimage crossroads

 At the crossroads © David Coleman

Heaven shall not wait: an affirmation from the MacLeod Centre, from Mac Housekeeper Doreen Nyamwija

From Doreen Nyamwija:

Here’s an affirmation that came to me during the Corrymeela week on Iona: we were talking about change. It made me think about how sometimes we get overwhelmed when we would like to do bigger things in the world, and end up not even attempting to start with those that seem small …

Heaven shall not wait

We may not change the whole world
but we could make a difference.

We shall not wait to feed all the hungry children in Africa, Asia, South America or even Glasgow,
and we shall start now by sharing the food we have with each other.

We shall not wait for border laws to change,
and we shall start now by opening our homes to strangers and friends.

We shall not wait for the whole world to stop hatred, discrimination, injustices, oppression,
and we shall start now here: through accepting ourselves, our neighbours and spreading as much kindness as we can.

We shall not wait to serve God in heaven,
and we shall start here and now through serving those we meet in our daily lives.

Doreen Nyamwija, Corrymeela Week on Iona

Find out about Doreen’s social project in her homeland Uganda

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Road up to the Mac © Karl-Johan Andersson (Iona staff member), from the ‘Iona Photo Challenge’

The Camas Diary

Catch up on what’s been happening at Camas by reading the Camas blog.

Another brilliant photo here from former Camas staff member Rachel Daniels. Thanks again, Rachel (Ed.)

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Fresh harvest © Rachel Daniels

Hind Khoury, General Secretary of Kairos Palestine, visits the Iona Community’s new Glasgow base – and the upcoming Kairos Week on Iona in 2017

In November Hind Khoury of Kairos Palestine came to speak at the Iona Community’s new Glasgow base, and at other venues in Glasgow and Edinburgh, including the Hadeel Fair Trade shop. Hind’s address to the Community will be printed in an upcoming Coracle.

Kairos Week on Iona, 27 May-2 June, 2017, led by Iona Community members Jan Sutch Pickard and Warren Bardsley

The Kairos week in the Abbey and MacLeod Centre, 27 May-2 June, will look at all that has happened since the Kairos Palestine document (2009) inspired the Iona Call at Pentecost 2012 – to which many in the Iona Community have become signatories. It will find time to face tough questions about the inheritance of the Balfour Declaration, the implications of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and the threat of Christian Zionism. We will listen to stories from the region by recent visitors and those who have creative ways of engagement, such as academic links and exchanges, marketing crafts, making music, prayer and politics. It will be a chance to exchange ideas and information, be challenged and equipped for action. With leaders of the Kairos movements in Palestine (including, we hope, Hind Khoury) the US and the UK.

To book

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Photo (left to right) Victor Spence, of the World Peace Tartan; Hind Khoury, General Secretary of Kairos Palestine; and Peter Macdonald, Leader of the Iona Community, photo ©

Iona Community Youth news: new Glasgow youth group formed, and Hannah Blyth from Camas joins the team

The Iona Community’s new Glasgow base is humming with activity – including now being the venue for the newly formed Glasgow youth group IGLOW.

Hannah Blyth, Camas Activity Worker, has temporarily joined the team to work alongside Iona Community Youth Resource Worker, Chris Long, for the winter. Welcome, Hannah!

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Volunteering in the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais, from Maddey Watson

Earlier this year ‘Community kid’ Maddey Watson went to volunteer in the ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais with a group from her university …

From Maddey Watson:

Between 11th and 14th July 2016, I went to the ‘Jungle’ in Calais as part of a group of five people from Durham for Refugees, a new university society officially formed in October.

In Calais we volunteered with the Care4Calais charity, reporting to their warehouse each day. In the mornings we organised and sorted through aid and donations and prepared supplies for that day’s distribution. In the afternoons we went into the camp, either doing Container (distributing aid from a container based in the camp), or casual art and English classes.

Something that really struck me was how kindhearted these people were – they were willing to let children and injured people skip the queue; if we were offering something they didn’t need they would refuse to take it, as they knew that, even though a second jumper or an extra toilet roll would be useful to them, there would be someone behind them who would need it more.

One night the volunteers stayed in the camp to eat at one of the restaurants run by the refugees. The food was amazing and it was wonderful to see how people living in cramped and dirty tents could make a space so welcoming and hospitable.

Although I was only in Calais for a few days, I met some amazing people and learned so much that I otherwise wouldn’t have known through the media. I have certainly learnt to be more appreciative of what I have and where I live – everyone I met spoke of England and London with longing as if it is a Utopia, yet we complain all the time.

Now that the camp has been disbanded I hope that the refugees can set up a new ‘home’ and that more help can be given to them to allow them to move into more permanent residences.

– Maddey Watson

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Photo of Maddey Watson ©

Wild Goose Publications cover chosen for showcase of book cover art, from Wild Goose Publishing Manager, Sandra Kramer

The cover of Joy Mead’s book Glimpsed in Passing, with artwork by Stephen Raw, has been chosen for an exhibition of book cover art during Book Week Scotland. The physical exhibition, called ‘Design by the Book: a Scottish Publishing Showcase’, will be shown in the Castle Vaults at Edinburgh Castle for the duration of Book Week Scotland and then move to the Chapel Royal at Stirling Castle from December 5th-11th.

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The Life of the World – call for prayers from Iona Community members, associates and friends, for a new book from Wild Goose Publications, from Neil Paynter

Dear Iona Community folk around the world,

As part of the Iona Community’s daily discipline we pray for different countries around the world, but don’t really have a resource for thinking about those countries and the folk in them – but we have associates, friends and members living in Malawi, Nevis, America, Cuba, Taipei, Australia, New Zealand, England, Wales … – well, all around the world! As former Leader of the Community Kathy Galloway once wrote: ‘The Iona Community is both a worldwide movement – with members and groups everywhere from Malawi to Michigan, from Cumbria to Cuba and from Perth, Scotland to Perth, Australia – and a movement rooted in local realities’  …

Send me original prayers rooted in the life of your community. Any style or type, but send a prayer that you think would be helpful in our daily discipline. Thank you.

Prayers to [email protected], by December 31, 2016

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Photo © David Coleman

WeeWONDERBOX 2017 programme, from WGRG and the Iona Community’s Programme team

weeWONDERBOX is a series of face-to-face events running from September 2016 until the end of June 2017. Most events will take place in the Iona Community’s new base at 21 Carlton Court, Glasgow, but in time, we envisage events further afield may also be organised as part of the programme.

weeWONDERBOX 2016/17 programme

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Some upcoming Community gatherings

Kirchentag 2017: Berlin, 24th-28th May 2017, from Rolf Bielefeld/the German Iona Group

Our preparation for the gathering of the Protestant Churches in Germany, the Kirchentag, has started! If you are thinking of coming please register via the Kirchentag website, and let us know if you can help at the Kirchentag Iona Community Centre: e-mail Rolf Bielefeld (see Members Book).

Kirchentag

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Photo from the Kirchentag website ©

‘Care and share’: Iona Continentals Meeting 2017, Salzburg, Austria, 7th-10th September 2017, from associate Evelyn Martin

Dear Iona friends on the Continent and beyond,

We are excited to invite you to our next Continentals Meeting, which will take place in Salzburg, Austria, 7th September-10th September, 2017. We will meet at the guesthouse of the Pallottiner Order of monks, right in the City of Salzburg. The theme of the gathering is ‘Care and share’.

For more information and a registration form, contact Evelyn Martin (see Members Book) by March 2017.

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Wild Geese in flight © David Coleman

Members, associates and friends

Hadeel’s ‘Operation Crafty Aid’ – a practical way to support the Palestinian economy … just in time for Christmas, from member Carol Morton

The Fair Trade shop Hadeel have a scheme whereby anyone in the UK, for £100, will receive a box of goods to at least that value – post free. Order a box for Christmas or a birthday, to put on your Fair Trade stall or to share with your Iona Community Family Group!

Operation Crafty Aid

Crafty Aid Christmas box

Crafty Aid regular box

Hadeel was founded by Iona Community members Carol and Colin Morton.

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Photo © Hadeel

‘Pray that we might give a faithful witness’ – American members and associates on the election of Donald Trump

E-Coracle asked several U.S. members and associates for their reaction to the result of the American election. Here’s what they wrote … (Ed.)

‘They are my brothers and sisters in Christ’, Thom M Shuman, associate, Ohio:

Bulldozed. That’s what I am feeling. The country which had made significant strides (but not yet there by any means) in racial justice; the country which was seeking to make sure that folks have healthcare; the country which was working on climate change; the country which sought to welcome those who had been bombed, devastated, abused, tossed aside by other powers – that country has been levelled by a force I never thought possible. My wife and millions of other women have seen their dream and hope of a person just like them becoming President of the United States bulldozed. Millions and millions of young people, LBGT, POC … have seen their aspirations turned to rubble. They are my brothers and sisters in Christ.


‘Waiting, hoping and praying’, John Dillon, member, Illinois:

I was personally shocked but not surprised. I have lived in five states and served congregations in very affluent and very poor areas. It is my experience that the vast majority of the people see no connection between D.C. politics and their own lives. They don’t want a professional politician, or a professor, or a lawyer, they want a truck driver or a factory worker who understands them and shares their life experience. They got a Reality TV star who mirrored the worst, but very prominent, characteristics of this nation.

Perhaps more relevant than my own reaction is to tell of several conversations I have personally had or witnessed in the days immediately following the election:

‘No one in our county’s Republican party supports him or agrees with him’, an elected Republican officeholder.

‘The Democratic Party failed me by promoting an unelectable candidate’, several Democratic supporters.

‘A vote for a third Party was a vote for Trump. I am so angry at those people for stealing the election from Hillary. Don’t even get me started on the 15,000 people who wrote in Harambe as a candidate.’ (This was the gorilla shot by the Cincinnati Zoo.)

I found my own church secretary crying in the office. She is a cancer survivor and fears she might lose her recently instituted healthcare.

At a meeting of the Suicide Prevention Task Force I heard from a number of mental health professionals that on election night and the following morning the emergency room was very busy with people suffering anxiety attacks. This included a gay couple who feared their marriage would be dissolved. Our countywide telephone Crisis Line almost crashed due to the number of calls. Several colleges and universities went into ‘crisis mode’ and offered immediate, free counseling to any student.

Another elected Republican, on hearing these reports of fear and anxiety, stated: ‘Fear is contagious but it is all the fault of liberal, left-wing media who have been spreading panic. HE has NEVER said ANYTHING which would scare someone.’

Finally, overheard in a local store: ‘I liked him in The Apprentice. In the White House, I am not so sure!’

I am just waiting, hoping and praying …


‘To become a people of hope …’, Jean Richardson, Director, Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center, Pennsylvania:

This is what I wrote the morning after the election. With heart broken for what I believe this means for our country, I tried to move to encourage myself and others to take a deep breath.

Here is what I woke up knowing this morning:

  • Some of my family, some of my friends and colleagues, people who I love and deeply care for in my life, did not vote the way that I did.

  • This vote will not divide me from the people I love and care for. We will still share good food together, talk with one another, disagree with one another, and continue to love one another.

  • This vote will not divide me from my truest self.

  • ‘Listening to the land’ – whether walking in the woods or on an ocean beach, or sitting on a bench at Kirkridge – offers lessons to me about how I want to be and live in this world.

  • The mission of Kirkridge is one that continues to be a gift in my life: ‘Kirkridge is a place to be, and to become a people of hope, compassion, justice and service.’


‘Small glimmers of solidarity and hope’, Scott Blythe, member, New Jersey

I have to say that I was shocked and saddened by the result the other night. The method of campaigning has left many minorities feeling very vulnerable at the moment – from those of different ethnicity to those of the LGBT+ community. The following appointments of officers only seem to ramp up a very conservative response to the positive changes within American culture through the Obama years.

However, as the son of a carpenter who had a terrible time in the 1980s trying to keep working, I see a parallel between this vote and the Brexit choice. I feel the failure to reinvest in traditional working communities in the last 30-40 years has brought a lot of this about. My biggest fear is what will happen when the instantaneous response is a bill to give tax cuts to the very wealthy and to dismantle Obamacare. I feel those who voted for new jobs will be truly outraged when this administration continues the ignoring of these communities that has led to this vote.

I have also read and heard amazing sermons within the PC (USA) that clearly advocate a desire to stand against any draconian actions – such as deportation of Muslim Americans or building walls.

So there is dismay, fear and also small glimmers of solidarity and hope.


‘Countless communities are mobilising daily’, June Goudey, associate, California

Like many others I watched the election night results turn from anticipated elation to utter despair. As Trump continues to offer positions of power to people of questionable integrity, many of us are reeling. Likewise his failure to take responsibility for the hate he so willingly unleashed during the campaign is unspeakable. Day by day occurrences of intolerance towards non-white Americans have shattered our collective sense of safety. We are grieving but not despairing. We know economic inequality is rampant and needs to be addressed; at the same time people of faith and countless communities are mobilising daily. We will not be silent, we will not lose heart, and we will not allow ‘Trumpism’ in all its forms to be the only measure of how our country shapes our common humanity, here and abroad. Thank you for asking!


‘We can’t go morally numb’, Ross Mackenzie, member, Virginia

I draw this from David Brooks, NY Times editorial writer, conservative, whose views I trust: ‘Trump’s bigotry, dishonesty and promise-breaking will have to be denounced. We can’t go morally numb. But he needs to be replaced with a program that addresses the problems that fuelled his ascent. After all, the guy will probably resign or be impeached within a year. The future is closer than you think.’


‘Prayers for more light’, Leslie Simonson, member, Rhode Island

At least the compression I’ve been feeling in my rib cage, around my heart and lungs, has loosened up a bit and I can now take a full breath of air. That hasn’t been the case since Trump’s election as our next President. By way of antidote, yesterday we hosted a wonderful family reunion around our Thanksgiving table(s) with 17 present from 4 generations and a variety of political persuasions, celebrating what knits us together rather than lamenting about what pulls us apart. If ever there was an Advent approaching to remind me that light shines on in the gloom, fear and bigotry, and the Light will never be overcome, this is the Advent I need to hear that gospel more clearly. Outside my kitchen window tonight, I know that the lights on the Mt Hope Bridge have appeared in their holiday display mode and will remain so for the next six weeks … but the fog hovering over the river blots them from view. My normally optimistic outlook is similarly obscured. To put it succinctly instead of metaphorically, I haven’t been this ashamed of my homeland since the Vietnam War. On the BBC America evening news tonight, offerings included highlights from a movie clip, made in Mexico, about a search for a piñata in the guise of Donald Trump. It features a young lad desperate to have one for his upcoming birthday party and his mom undertaking a vigilant hunt for it. From the film clip it wasn’t clear whether that particular piñata was not yet being mass-produced or whether they were flying off the shelves as quickly as they could be stocked. But either way, smashing that effigy of him in the head with a stick – while blindfolded – isn’t likely to yield little sweet things falling out where his mouth used to be. I know there have to be more effective, if not more appealing, responses to our January ‘peaceful transfer of power’ … but my picture of them is still very foggy indeed. I had hoped to be through more of the grieving process, weeks on, having waited this long to reply to e-Coracle’s request for reactions, and into some sense of resolve for the days ahead. But currently, this is all I have – about the big picture – and it has been only in the small ways, in my family, my parish, my prayers for more light, that the fog lifts at all. Blessings to us all, nevertheless, in and through whatever weathers of the soul are brewing.   


‘Pray that we might give a faithful witness’, Ben Sparks, member, Virginia

This is part of a longer article I wrote for Product Magazine, and the online Scottish Journal, Contact:

This year’s election was the culmination of a Republican Southern Strategy, first articulated by Richard Nixon … which came into full bloom under Ronald Reagan. Though Trump speaks in the raucous accents and idioms of an ill-bred New Yorker, his expressions (with several word substitutions) were those which assaulted the mind and heart of my childhood and youth from the mouths of Southern demagogues, governors, police chiefs – and occasional ‘Christian’ preachers. They claimed that if elected, they would save the white race and the ‘Southern way of life’ from the corrupting influence of negroes and Communists. Dr Martin Luther King was a Communist. The Civil Rights Movement was a Communist plot. These were the longstanding, politically effective lies which were in the air I breathed in the 1950s and ’60s. 

The most frightening dimension of Trump’s success is his bringing out of the shadows and into public prominence persons who have largely been ‘underground’ since the 1960s. Represented as legitimate by Fox News and right-wing radio talk show hosts, these are the so-called ‘alt-right’, explicit white nationalists, the Ku Klux Klan, and virulent anti-Semites. They have always been present in the United States, but Trump has now given them a legitimacy they have not known since the days of violent opposition to the Civil Rights Movement. Some of these people now have direct access to the White House. They represent a multitude of Americans who deeply resent having a capable, eloquent African American in the White House.

Pray that we might give a faithful witness.

candles Iona candles © David Coleman

Kirkridge Retreat and Study Centre: ‘A place to be, and to become a people of hope, compassion, justice and service’

The 2017 Programme at Kirkridge looks brilliant, including ‘Celebrating Daniel Berrigan: The Life, Lessons and Writings of a Peacemaker’, with John Dear, and ‘The Anatomy of Change’, with John L. Bell.

Take a virtual tour of Kirkridge below:

The Open Door Community, Atlanta, Georgia: a remarkable ministry of witness, hospitality and political commitment, by members Norman and Ruth Shanks

For over 30 years the Open Door Community in Atlanta, Georgia has fulfilled a remarkable ministry of witness, hospitality and political commitment that has touched for good the lives of countless people worldwide. Located close to downtown Atlanta, it is a residential community in the Catholic Worker tradition that seeks, as its website says, ‘to dismantle racism, sexism and heterosexism, abolish the death penalty, and proclaim the Beloved Community through loving relationships with some of the most neglected and outcast of God’s children: the homeless and our sisters and brothers who are in prison’.

Rooted in prayer, worship and a steadfast commitment to justice, with the assistance of many volunteers from local churches and elsewhere, the members of the community have faithfully, day by day, week by week, served meals, provided showers and changes of clothes, staffed a free medical clinic and foot clinic, conducted worship services, and provided a prison ministry, through facilitating monthly trips for families to visit loved ones at the Hardwick Prisons in central Georgia. The community is committed also to advocacy and campaigning against racism, poverty and the death penalty through non-violent protests, grassroots organising and the publication of its monthly newspaper Hospitality.

Within the Iona Community we have been praying regularly for the Open Door for over 15 years; some of us have had our horizons extended and commitment deepened by visiting and working at the Open Door; and we have welcomed some of the ‘elder leaders’ (as they describe themselves) to Scotland: two of the founders/leaders, Murphy Davis and Ed Loring, led a week on Iona in 2002. Like the Iona Community, arguably even more effectively, the Open Door embodies an integrated and engaged approach to spirituality – holding together work and worship, prayer and politics, treating the people it serves with great sensitivity and compassion.

But now the Open Door is to close – in mid-January next year. While aspects of the ministry will continue – the monthly publication of Hospitality, for example, and the campaigning and advocacy, the practical services from the building in central Atlanta will cease. There are three basic reasons for this: with the senior leaders getting older and the absence of longer-term replacements, there are not enough able-bodied committed community members to continue the regular services; with increasing gentrification the character of the neighbourhood where the house is located has changed significantly so that it has become an inhospitable place for the homeless poor and there has been a substantial drop in the demand for the Open Door’s services; and the building, despite recent refurbishment and repair, now needs too much money and work to maintain it.

The point has now been reached where this courageous but very painful decision was inevitable. The long-term community members are being relocated to housing and support, and the six ‘elders in leadership’ are moving to live closer to their families in different parts of the US. We in the Iona Community shall continue to hold in our prayers all those who have been involved in the Open Door and the aspects of the work that will continue in other ways and places. The closure of the work in Atlanta at this point is far from failure: rather it is a miracle it has gone on for so long with such energy, vision and cutting-edge commitment; stopping something at the right time (kairos) in no way negates or diminishes almost 35 incredible years of witness, caring and striving for justice.

Norman and Ruth Shanks

Norman Shanks is a former Leader of the Iona Community, who spent a month at the Open Door as a volunteer in 2000 and has returned several times since. Ruth and he spent three months in Atlanta in 2007, and on the basis of her experience there Ruth, along with member Katy Owen, now run two foot clinics, at Glasgow’s Lodging House Mission and the Destitution Network’s night shelter for asylum-seekers.

Open Door Community Jesus Prayer

Our Beloved Friend
Outside the Domination System
May your Holy Name be honoured
by the way we live our lives.
Your Beloved Community come.
Guide us to:
Walk your walk
Talk your talk
Sit your Silence
Inside the courtroom, on the streets, in the jailhouses
As they are on the margins of resistance.
Give us this day everything we need.
Forgive us our wrongs
as we forgive those who have wronged us.
Do not bring us to hard testing,
but keep us safe from the Evil One.
For Thine is:
the Beloved Community,
the power and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen

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Artwork © Open Door Community

Travelling companions: Iona Community member Brian Brown

Long-time Iona Community member Brian Brown died on October 15, 2017. Our thoughts and prayers are with Brian’s family and friends. A full tribute to Brian will appear in Coracle.

A prayer for travelling companions

We recall them with prayers of gratitude –
travelling companions.

Those who walked with us,
sharing song and laughter
and tears and passion,
and faith and doubt and dreams.
Together we built community,
and tried to change the world,
praying, ‘Your kingdom come.’

And those who walked ahead,
dreaming dreams, taking risks,
breaking new ground.

We recall them all.
They all walk ahead of us now,
on the next stage of the journey,
on a road still hidden to us.
They give us reason to keep going,
to honour them, keep faith with them.
They invite us to face what will be,
to embrace mystery
and be unafraid of that which we cannot know.

We recall them with prayers of gratitude:
they are not our past, but our future.

Brian Woodcock, from In the Gift of This New Day: Praying with the Iona Community, Wild Goose Publications

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Maclean’s Cross, Iona © David Coleman

News

Million Women March on Washington D.C., January 21, 2017

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Official statement, National Organisers Women’s March on Washington, January 21st, 2017 (taken from Facebook):

‘On January 21, 2017 we will unite in Washington, D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington. We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our families – recognising that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonised and threatened many of us – women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths, particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.

In the spirit of democracy and honouring the champions of human rights, dignity and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world, that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognising that defending the most marginalised among us is defending all of us.

We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognising there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.’

Million Women March

Photo from Million Women March Facebook page ©

Black Lives Matter statement on Donald Trump’s election win

‘Our mandate has not changed: organise and end all state-sanctioned violence until all Black Lives Matter …’

Black Lives Matter statement, printed in The Independent

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 Black Lives logo ©

Protect the Paris Agreement, from AVAAZ: the world in action

From AVAAZ:

In days, President Trump could go to war with climate action …

Sign the Paris protection petition and share widely

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Photo taken from the AVAAZ website ©

Amnesty International’s post-election strategy, by Margaret Huang

From Amnesty International’s Human Rights Now blog:

Amnesty International is a guardian of human rights in the U.S. and around the globe. We do this by holding all human rights abusers accountable. We don’t differentiate by political party or take sides in elections. We take the side of human rights, and that’s why we won’t stand by and let President-elect Donald Trump and his administration – or anyone else – deny people their human rights and freedoms …

Amnesty’s post-election strategy

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Anti-Slavery International

Anti-slavery International works at local, national and international levels to eliminate all forms of slavery around the world. Several Iona Community members, like Iain and Isabel Whyte, have been involved in its work. Read more about current Anti-slavery International projects, and get involved …

Anti-slavery International projects

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‘The defiance of the human spirit’: Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet) and BEMIS film series 2017

From GRAMNet/BEMIS:

The GRAMNet/BEMIS Film Series brochure is out!

This year we bring you documentary and feature films from Scotland and around the world making up a programme that illustrates the diversity and commonalities of those who endure exile and persecution. The films we have selected, and for which we have received generous support, often from the makers and distributors themselves, depict stories of people who must manage extreme risk in order to survive and flourish. Using the compelling medium of film, the series explores difficult questions of what it means to be human and how powerful structures place human beings in complex scenarios which force people into exceptional circumstances. These are stories of loss, but are also stories and acts of resistance, solidarity and empowerment, revealing survival strategies which bind people together forming communities of hope against adversity.

The films in our series are groundbreaking in terms of content, form and production methods: protagonists themselves become filmmakers by documenting their own epic journeys of exile and refuge; personal and historical home-video footage gives an intimate portrayal of life in a refugee camp; cameras hidden in bags and clothes get inside detention camps to expose the horrors of detention; and film crews spend months returning to toxic exclusion zones to capture the defiance of the human spirit. Together these films create a picture of lives in motion, refusing to be denied their right to exist.

To download a film series brochure

GRAMNet

Iona Community member Alison Swinfen is Co-Convenor of GRAMNet and UNESCO Chairholder in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts.

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GalGael Trust, Govan, Glasgow

From GalGael:

GalGael provides learning experiences anchored in practical activities that offer purpose and meaning.

We provide a space that serves as something of a safe harbour for those whose lives have been battered by storms such as worklessness, depression or addiction.

We offer a workplace that challenges, inspires and creates the conditions conducive to learning; a space where mistakes are not only made but owned as our best teachers, where issues are left at the door and new identities forged.

Check out GalGael’s online shop for more Xmas gift ideas

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Photo from GalGael website ©

‘Exploring Mission in Scotland Today’, from the Drummond Trust; the Theology in Scotland Journal; the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh; the Scottish School of Christian Mission, from member Norman Shanks

Tuesday 14 March 2017,
Stirling Baptist Church
67 Murray Place
Stirling
FK8 1AU

The nature of Christian mission in Scotland is changing rapidly. It’s a time for discussion, exploration and experimentation, and a dialogue between theological reflection and the experience of practitioners has never been more important.

This conference will provide a forum for debate across theological boundaries. It offers the chance to hear diverse voices and will widen perspectives, affirming the work of those at the frontiers of mission in Scotland today.

Our plenary speakers are Dr Wesley White, Lecturer at the Scottish School of Christian Mission and leader at the Upper Room Church in Glasgow, and Rev Ian Galloway, parish minister in the Gorbals, Glasgow, and former Convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland.

Seminar speakers include Alison Urie (Vox Liminis, Glasgow), Rev Malcolm Round (Rector, St Mungo’s Episcopal Church, Balerno), Pam Mellstrom (Youth and Community Work Programme Manager, Scottish School of Christian Mission and former manager of Linlithgow Young People’s Project), Catriona Fletcher (Ignatian Spirituality Centre, Glasgow), Dave Close (Hot Chocolate, Dundee), and the Very Rev Albert Bogle (former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland), among others.

Worship and reflection through art will be provided throughout the day by Lou Davis, Edinburgh Dreams (a pioneer venture of the Methodist Church).
Lunch and refreshments are included in the conference price.

More information and to book:

Exploring Mission in Scotland Today

Foxes Have Holes: Christian Reflections on Britain’s Housing Need, from Ekklesia

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A new book, which you might have missed, featuring essays by Andrew Francis, the Rt Rev Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, Sean Gardiner, Chris Horton, Helen Roe, Helen Woolley, Paul Lusk and Iona Community member Raymond Young.

Available through Ekklesia

End Hunger UK coalition, from Church Action on Poverty (CAP)

Together, we can end hunger in the UK.

Church Action on Poverty is working alongside many other organisations as part of the End Hunger UK coalition. Until the end of 2018, we will campaign for a UK where everybody has access to good food and nobody has to go to bed hungry.

The campaign starts with a Big Conversation, going on across the UK until March 2017. Individuals, churches, food banks and other projects are all invited to join in the conversation and ask the question: What does our government need to do to end hunger in the UK?

End Hunger UK

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Homeless Sunday, 22nd January, from Scottish Church Housing Action and others

Through prayer and reflection Homeless Sunday offers an opportunity to listen to what God has to say about homelessness, and to consider what action we are being called to take …

Homeless Sunday

Scottish Church Housing Action

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Photo from the Homeless Sunday website ©

Prayer

Christmas doesn’t work for everyone, by Ruth Burgess

Christmas doesn’t work for everyone,
does it, God?

For a lot of people Christmas is sad
and full of bad memories.

For a lot more Christmas is cold
and hungry, and lonely.

Help us, God, to watch and to listen:
to watch out for people who might need our help,
to listen to people who tell us their stories.

And even though it’s Advent
and we’re supposed to be watching and listening,
it’s OK to act too,
when that’s what’s needed.

It’s OK to cry
and to talk about sad stuff
and to love and listen.

It’s OK to give someone cash for their meter
or food for their table.
It’s good to share our resources.

Christmas doesn’t work for everyone, does it, God?

But it might work a bit better
if we looked for You
in the people around us,
as well as in the manger.

Ruth Burgess, from Winter: Resources for November, December and January, Ruth Burgess (Ed.), Wild Goose Publications, 2016

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2 Responses to e-Coracle November/December

  1. Kathryn Potts says:

    Dear Neil
    I have to confess I haven’t really looked at an e-coracle before because I use my computer for work and don’t have time to read then and I rarely look at it in an evening. But I’m writing my 2016 letter and looked at it this evening. It was all of interest but the American response to the election results and Dora’s prayer especially engaged me. Thank you!
    Kate

  2. John Harvey says:

    Thank you, Neil, for a magnificent e-Coracle – reading the reflections of our American colleagues was inspiring even if harrowing, and so much else was absolutely excellent. We are well served by this medium, and by your editing of it.

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