News and campaigns
Countdown to nuclear ban negotiations: UN negotiations to outlaw nuclear weapons, from ICAN (International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons)
A new blog to keep you informed of key developments in the lead-up, from ICAN:
Photo from the ICAN website ©
Ban nuclear weapons 2017, a new booklet from ICAN
Historic negotiations will begin at the United Nations in March on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. This booklet explains the potential impact of the treaty, and how the negotiations have come about. ICAN is calling for the agreement to prohibit such activities as the development, production, testing, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, deployment, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons. The treaty should also provide an obligation for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and a framework to achieve it.
From the ICAN website ©
Stop Arming Saudi Arabia, from Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT)
UK weapons are being used in Saudi Arabia’s devastating attacks on Yemen – attacks which have killed thousands and created a humanitarian disaster.
CAAT is taking legal action to stop the sales, but every day that the government refuses to act is another day of death and destruction. As we put the arms trade in the spotlight, please contact your MP to make sure Parliament knows that as long as the UK keeps arming Saudi Arabia, we have blood on our hands.
Photo from the CAAT website ©
#Names Not Numbers: The Poverty Truth Commission Report, 2014-2016
From the PTC:
The PTC brings together some of Scotland’s best-known leaders (in politics, policy, public service and the arts) with people with lived experience of poverty working together as equal commissioners.
But the PTC’s approach requires more than just a collection of people. It requires those people to really meet and connect. So when we meet, as far as possible, we leave titles, positions and qualifications at the door and meet first and foremost as human beings, known by our first names. We meet to do two things: listen to one another’s stories and share our own …’
End Hunger, from Church Action on Poverty
Together, we can end hunger in the UK.
Church Action on Poverty (CAP) 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?
Righting Welfare Wrongs: Dispatches and analysis from the frontline of the fight against austerity, the Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network, from Common Weal
From Common Weal:
This 300-page book by the Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network has been forged through grassroots activism by and with people at the sharp end of ‘welfare reform’. It illuminates everyday battles to maintain human dignity and even existence in the face of the new punitive welfare state. It is about solidarity and mutual support, but it is also about understanding and taking on the bigger politics behind this brave new world of coercion and control.
It has been written for everyone who wants to comprehend what is happening and what we can do about it – and maybe even have a laugh along the way.
‘I am convinced that the network must have saved many vulnerable people from going over the edge, as has tragically happened in many parts of the country. I am not surprised now that this same group has written this marvellous book’ (Paul Laverty, Screenwriter for I, Daniel Blake).
Warning – this book will make you angry!
Book jacket, from Common Weal website ©
Philippines: the police’s murderous war on the poor, from Amnesty International
From Amnesty International:
Acting on instructions from the very top of government, the Philippines police have killed and paid others to kill thousands of alleged drug offenders in a wave of extrajudicial executions that may amount to crimes against humanity, Amnesty International said in a report.
Amnesty International’s investigation, ‘If you are poor you are killed’: Extrajudicial Executions in the Philippines’ “War on Drugs” details how the police have systematically targeted mostly poor and defenceless people across the country while planting ‘evidence’, recruiting paid killers, stealing from the people they kill and fabricating official incident reports.
‘This is not a war on drugs, but a war on the poor. Often on the flimsiest of evidence, people accused of using or selling drugs are being killed for cash in an economy of murder,’ said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director.
‘Under President Duterte’s rule, the national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from the murder of impoverished people the government was supposed to uplift. The same streets Duterte vowed to rid of crime are now filled with bodies of people illegally killed by his own police.’
South Sudan Crisis Appeal, from Christian Aid
From Christian Aid:
Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan – a country in the grip of a humanitarian catastrophe.
In Unity State, 100,000 people face starvation and people are dying every day. Another 1 million people are on the brink of famine.
This crisis comes after more than three years of conflict, which has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of 3 million people. Without homes and safety, nearly 4.9 million people across the country urgently need food and security …
Photo from the Christian Aid website ©
International Women’s Day, 8th March
From the International Women’s Day website:
For International Women’s Day 2017, we’re asking you to #BeBoldForChange. Call on the masses or call on yourself to help forge a better working world
– a more inclusive, gender equal world …
Photo from the International Women’s Day website ©
Cycle for Palestine, July 4th-9th, 2017, from Medical Aid for Palestinians
Members, associates and friends
Member Michael Marten elected as new Leader of the Iona Community
e-Coracle is delighted to announce that the next Leader of the Iona Community will be Dr Michael Marten. The Rev. Peter Macdonald continues as Leader until the summer. Congratulations, Michael.
Photo of Michael Marten ©
‘Superhero pensioner Brian Quail, who stopped a nuclear convoy singlehandedly, is cleared by courts’, from The National, 9th February, 2017
‘Brian Quail, the septuagenarian superhero who managed to confound Britain’s nuclear defences using only a pelican crossing, has been found not guilty of breach of the peace.
Last March The National told how Quail had stopped a convoy of four lorries believed to be carrying ‘one of two bombs each’ by waiting for the green man to let him over a road in Balloch.
The 78-year-old calmly walked out and lay on the road …’
Brian is a long-time member of the Iona Community and a member of CND. A poem by Brian, from an upcoming Wild Goose book (Ed.):
My love is like a red, red rose, by Brian Quail
‘Let me say, with the risk of appearing ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by strong feelings of love. Every day we must struggle so that love is transformed into concrete action.’
– Che Guevara
Strong in strange soils she roots deep
under many strange suns she draws life
no great mischief her petals have fallen
in many strange lands
her thorns are stained blood red
blood of my daughters and my sons
she bled in Basra and Tiananmen
Wounded Knee and Jenin
Hiroshima and My Lai
Glencoe and Chechnya
in Belsen they burned her to ashes
with Martin Luther King
and a million voices she sang hope
in Birmingham, Alabama and Washington
she was beaten and gassed in Seattle
in Genoa they shot her dead with Carlo Giuliani
she was hanged on Glasgow Green
with the Radical Martyrs
today she begs for bread in Haiti
and cries for water in Angola
in Gaza she weeps by her ruined home
in Bangkok her daughters work
rich tourists, her sons their pimps
so many times with tanks and guns
they have crushed her petals
yet still each day she blooms red
fresh and clear as morning birdsong
she greets the sun with hope
and gentle defiance unyielding
Rosa mundi, Rosa mystica
within and without one love
her touch in a stranger’s hand
a stranger’s smile her bloom
her scent in my children’s hair
her warmth in my lover’s kiss
my father planted her in a garden
my mother tended her with patience and prayer
I buried them both and know
all this earth is my father’s grave
all her children are one
sacred the soil
red the rose
this red, red rose
Brian Quail, from The Sun Slowly Rises: Readings, Reflections and Prayers for Holy Week, Wild Goose Publications, 2017
Iona sunrise © David Coleman
Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), associate Mel Duncan
Associate Mel Duncan is co-founder and past Executive Director of Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), which in 2016 was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Nonviolent Peaceforce is a global non-profit organisation which protects civilians in violent conflicts through unarmed strategies. NP builds peace side by side with local communities, and advocates for the wider adoption of these approaches to safeguard human lives and dignity.
A wee video of Mel, from 2o14. Recently Mel has been working in the Sudan.
Place for Hope: Transforming conflict, embracing difference, member Ruth Harvey
Place for Hope accompanies and equips people and faith communities so that all might reach their potential to be peacemakers who navigate conflict well. Member Ruth Harvey is the Director of Place for Hope.
To find out more about Place for Hope’s work:
Christian Aid Scotland, member Sally Foster-Fulton
Member Sally Foster-Fulton is Head of Christian Aid Scotland. She and the Christian Aid team have put together some excellent resources for Lent and Easter 2017. Loads of good ideas here:
Photo from the Christian Aid website ©
Helping Orphans Live Again (HOLA), from associate and Iona Community Membership Secretary, Lynn Harper
From Lynn Harper:
After meetings, discussions and prayers, Mike and I have now become ‘trustees’ of the charity HOLA, Helping Orphans Live Again, in Kenya, which was set up and is being run by lovely friends of ours in Altrincham, Mike and Kath Blears.
We have visited their project in Chaurembo, Kenya, a few times and it has been one of the charities we have supported since 2009.
The school, Michael James School, is of manageable size, with approximately 120 children, where they provide education, food and other assistance where needed.
They have a website where you can sponsor a child for £8.00 per month, providing them with an education and, most importantly, food.
This won’t change the support we already give to the other charities. In fact we have the Singing Children of Africa Choir returning to Scotland this September again, and are involved in the organising and planning of that visit, as usual. We are looking for larger venues/schools where people could organise a concert to fundraise/sell tickets, etc.
– Lynn Harper
Lynn and Mike with friends from HOLA, photo ©
Faith on the streets: Street Pastors, member Elaine Gisbourne
Member Elaine Gisbourne volunteers as a street pastor in England. Street pastoring continues to grow throughout the UK and across the world. Street pastors are trained volunteers from local churches who are usually on patrol from 10pm to 4am on a Friday or Saturday night to care for, listen to and help people who are out on the streets. They are led by a local coordinator and also have support from local churches and community groups in partnership with the police, local council and other statutory agencies. For more info:
Photo from Street Pastors website ©
Glasgow Night Shelter: A place of warmth and welcome, from Glasgow Night shelter Coordinator, Margaret Sweeney
Many Iona Community members are involved, or have been involved, in the Glasgow Night Shelter: Sally Beaumont, Robert and Alison Swinfen, Katherine Rennie, Joan Miller, Brett Nicolls, Ruth Shanks, Katy Owen … An update on the shelter’s work, from Shelter Coordinator, Margaret Sweeney
Glasgow is one of the main UK cities to which the Home Office disperses asylum seekers, so there are large numbers of asylum seekers here, both those who are currently in the official support system and those who are, at least temporarily, no longer being supported. We are a group of over 50 committed volunteers, male and female, from all walks of life and a wide age range, who find it completely unacceptable to deliberately make people street destitute, all the more so when these people are often the victims of persecution and even torture. We thus run Glasgow Night Shelter.
Every night for almost 5 years now we have been using a church hall to shelter destitute asylum seekers and also non-EU migrants who are unable to access homeless services. The men turn up for the first time at our door cold, hungry, tired, frightened, totally demoralised – and become our welcome guests. We have the overnight use of a TV/dining room, a kitchen, washing facilities and a large hall where the men sleep on good-quality mattresses with plenty of bedding. We would very much like to offer the same provision for destitute women but we have had enormous difficulty finding premises which will accept women. We will not give up in our search.
We open the door at 8pm and close again at 8am. We give our guests a warm welcome and a hot and nourishing evening meal. The guests can then watch TV or sit around chatting with each other or with the volunteers. Four volunteers sleep over every night and others come in to offer friendship, advice and, sometimes, chiropody. We make a serious effort to encourage our guests to be focused in the collection of evidence required for a fresh asylum claim, and thus a route back into the official immigration support system. This year we organised quite an intensive training scheme for some of our volunteers so that the ability to help our guests in this effort is now increasingly widespread in our community. We also collect warm clothing and shoes and distribute these as needed. Some of our guests require much more support for various reasons – mental or physical health problems, extreme youth or age, shattered nerves because of a dreadful journey or a history of persecution. We do what we can to help, escorting them to doctors and lawyers and connecting them with other charities which can offer specialist intervention. Our guests can stay with us as long as they need to, basically until they can move on to a better situation.
We do all this because we find it immoral that the UK, a relatively rich country, puts vulnerable people into the street, with no access to food. To ask for asylum is a human right. The asylum system here is very harsh, with the standards of evidence required immensely difficult to produce for someone who has had to flee their country in great haste and spend months in a dreadful journey. Given the extra security and stability we are able to provide, a good number of our guests go on to succeed in their asylum cases. We believe asylum seekers should be treated with humanity throughout their time here and we are determined to continue in our role. I cannot overemphasise how rewarding this work is as our guests who have arrived at our shelter so downtrodden quickly learn to walk tall again – and become our friends.
– Margaret Sweeney
To find out more and to help support the shelter:
Glasgow street photo © David Coleman
Taxpayers Against Poverty (TAP), associate Paul Nicolson
Recent news and letters from associate Paul Nicolson, founder of Taxpayers Against Poverty. Followed by a very powerful poem by Paul, from an upcoming Wild Goose book:
Crucifixion 2017-style, by Paul Nicolson
We have a law
and by that law he ought to be
It’s his fault.
He ought to be punished, have a lower
have no income,
ought to be hungry,
live in a flat with only
pay extra rent for a
meet the bailiffs;
he ought to be stressed
to breaking point.
She ought not to have had
a large family with
high benefit income.
It is not fair
on rich people
that some women and children
It is better for the rest of us
that poor people
Paul Nicolson, Taxpayers Against Poverty, from The Sun Slowly Rises: Readings, Reflections and Prayers for Holy Week, Wild Goose Publications, 2017
Photo of Paul Nicolson ©
Associate John McCall in Taipai, Taiwan
John McCall has been an associate member of the Iona Community since 1984, and has lived in Taiwan for 20 years, teaching at seminaries there and in China, and working with church leaders in Asia, all of which he says is ‘a real privilege’.
John McCall and friends ©
Fleet parish paves the way with first diocesan Eco-church Award, from member Jean Belgrove
From member Jean Belgrove:
As my new member project last year I encouraged the use of local buses and markets, as well as eco-church with our two churches, St Philip and James and All Saints Parish Church. In January we were presented with the bronze eco award – the first in the Guildford diocese.
This is what the Iona Community has encouraged me to do. I so appreciate being with people of like mind. Thank you.
– Love in the Lord, Jean Belgrove
Eco award photo © used with permission
The spiritual journey in Poacher’s Pilgrimage: An evening with associate Alastair McIntosh, 9th March, 2017, Edinburgh
Chair: Dr Jim Griffin.
Venue: Sanctuary, Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL
Date: Thursday, 9th March 2017
Time: Registration: 6.30pm-7pm. Event: 7pm-9pm
Cost: £6/£4 (concessions)/£2 (students). For a registration form contact: Neill Walker, [email protected]
Iona, Camas and the mainland
Come to Iona or Camas in 2017
Have you made plans to come to Camas or Iona in 2017 yet? …
Iona jetty © David Coleman
Camas Resident Rhyddian Knight
Rhyddian Knight, Resident at Camas, has his own very interesting website, ‘Supporting regenerative cultural design through outdoor learning’. Find out more about Rhyddian and his wider work:
Photo from the ‘Supporting regenerative cultural design through outdoor learning’ website ©
Iona Community youth work news: The TIE Campaign
In 2016, one of the many things the Iona Community youth folk agreed to as a group was to support the TIE Campaign.
The TIE Campaign ‘are a Scottish campaign group, founded in June 2015, which has one very simple aim: to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia with inclusive education. Despite recent progress towards LGBTI equality, our schools remain breeding grounds for discrimination and prejudice-based bullying. We believe in an education system which is inclusive and free of prejudice for LGBTI youth, and we are lobbying decision-makers in order to achieve this.’
In more Iona Community youth news, IGLOW, the new Glasgow-based youth group, continues to meet and discuss and hang out and plan for 2017 at the Iona Community’s new Glasgow base. More to follow …
WeeWONDERBOX, from the Wild Goose Resource Group and the Iona Community’s Programme team
weeWONDERBOX is a series of face-to-face events which started in May 2016.
The vision that inspires us is the renewal of incarnational, face-to-face public occasions where committed, faithful folk can engage with the pressing issues and challenges of God’s world in all its glorious variety and contradiction.
weeWONDERBOX photo ©
New Iona Abbey Worship Book out now!, from Wild Goose Publications
The services and resources in the Iona Abbey Worship Book reflect the Iona Community’s commitment to the belief that worship is all that we are and all that we do, both inside and outside the church, with no division into the sacred and the secular. The material draws on many traditions, including the Celtic, and aims to help us to be fully present to God, who is fully present to us – in our neighbour, in the political and social activity of the world around us, and in the very centre and soul of our being.
Each year, thousands of visitors make their way to Iona and many are changed by their time on this small Hebridean island which has been a powerful spiritual centre over the centuries. The Iona Community believes that we are brought to Iona not to be changed into ‘religious’ people, but rather to be made more fully human. Our common life – including our services – is directed to that end.
This new edition of the Iona Abbey Worship Book has been extensively revised and rearranged. About 80% of the text is new material which has been developed by members of the Iona Community since the previous edition.
The Iona Community’s Capital Appeal
Generations of people have been touched by the varied and vital work of the Iona Community – work we want to ensure continues to be a reality and not history. This is especially true of our presence in the Abbey on Iona.
As a proactive and forward-thinking organisation, we have ben evaluating and reassessing what we offer to our guests and staff. Wide consultation and guest feedback have identified key issues about the building’s accessibility, flexibility and sustainability. These must be addressed in the next five years if the Abbey is to remain fit for purpose.
The Iona Community has commissioned Tiree-based Roots Design Workshop to draw up proposals for reconfiguration of the existing accommodation in the Abbey, taking into account the considerable challenges of working in a listed building of significant historical interest, on a remote island. As a result of the survey of the building we have been made acutely aware of the critical need to carry out these works as a matter of extreme urgency.
In partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, we will ensure that active use of this iconic building, for its original purpose, is safeguarded for the future.
Photo by Martin Johnstone © Used with permission
Sponsored walk for the Iona Community’s Capital Appeal and for Christian Aid, 16th March–28th April, 2017, from Iona Community associate Peter Phillips
My name is Peter Phillips and I live in Lichfield. I volunteer for Christian Aid and am an associate of the Iona Community.
In March 2017 I hope to walk, by road, from Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire to Iona Abbey – a distance of 412 miles. By doing this I hope to raise money for the Iona Community’s Capital Appeal and for Christian Aid.
Throughout my walk I will need accommodation along the way – that is why I am now asking for your generosity and support. I will start my walk on Thursday, 16th March. I envisage walking 10 to 12 miles per day, hoping to arrive at Iona Abbey on Friday, 28th April. I will be looking for one night’s (two at the most) accommodation along the route. This could be in a church, a church hall or, of course, at a supporter’s own home. I will carry a sleeping bag, so no need for bedding, but it would be greatly appreciated if a meal could be provided by the hosts who are kindly offering me a sleepover.
Any help or support you can offer me to successfully complete this project will be gratefully received – not only by me, but by those who will benefit from the funds raised.
– Thank you, Peter Phillips
Photo of Peter Phillips ©
Artist and associate member Meg Wroe selling paintings and prints for the Iona Community’s Capital Appeal
Associate Meg Wroe has produced a series of beautiful paintings and prints of seascapes and landscapes of Iona, and is selling these, with the proceeds going to the Iona Community’s Capital Appeal.
For more information, please contact Meg through the Members Book or her website:
Photo of Meg Wroe ©
‘Big Silence’ – a day of contemplation in aid of the Iona Community’s Capital Appeal, Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:30am-3:30pm, Mungrisdale Village Hall, Cumbria, from the Sacred Space Foundation and Iona Community member Stephen Wright
Contemplation is an entry into deep prayerful silence where we just ‘let God be God’. It’s a practice that is available to all, with many spiritual benefits. Led by Stephen Wright, one of the spiritual directors of the Sacred Space Foundation, this will be a day of quietness and inner reflection. He will draw on the Christian contemplative tradition, but in a way that is inclusive, whether you belong to a religion or not.
There’s no need to have practised contemplation: guidance will be given before each session, with some gentle reflective music at the beginning and end. Beyond that there will be abundant time for silence and stillness.
Refreshments will be provided. Please bring your own lunch. Places are limited.
To book and for information: [email protected]
There is no fee but we ask that everyone donates within their means to the Iona Community’s Capital Appeal. £25 per head is suggested.
Photo from the Sacred Space website ©
Ceilidh to raise funds for the Iona Community’s Capital Appeal, Friday 21st April, 2017, 8pm–11pm, University of Glasgow Chapel – featuring live music from Macappella Ceilidh Band
Tickets £10. Students & OAPS £5.00. Tickets available from John and Molly Harvey (see Members Book)
Venue: The University of Glasgow Chapel, University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8QQ
An Iona story: ‘Like being born again’, by John Harvey
I first came to Iona in 1958, fresh out of the army from national service. I had been brought up in a Christian tradition which was a mixture of conservative evangelicalism and middle-of-the-road Presbyterianism. Iona blew my mind. A combination of the history of the place – I suppose I had thought that Christianity probably started in Scotland around 1560! – and the excitement of the Iona Community really started me on the road to a new faith. For the first time I met an expression of Christianity that made the link between worship and world, set within the fullness of universal Christianity, in a way that was both accessible and challenging to me. For me, this was like being born again.
John Harvey, a member of the Iona Community, from Fire and Bread, Ruth Burgess (Ed.), Wild Goose Publications
Iona heart © David Coleman
Walking, painting, meditating, ceilidh-organising, storytelling – so how can you use your gifts and talents, passion and interests to help support the Iona Community’s Capital Appeal and its work of renewing the common life? …
Please get in touch with us and let us know:
Thank you very much.
Photo from the Iona Community website ©
Upcoming Iona Community’s gatherings
Facing up to fear: Opening up to hope – a regional gathering of the South West region of the Iona Community, Saturday, 18th March, 2017, 11.00am–4.00pm, The Mint Methodist Church, Fore Street, Exeter
Aim: There is a lot to be fearful about at the present time, but fear can debilitate us. If we acknowledge our fears and begin to face up to them we can perhaps open ourselves to hope. 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, news of the Iona Community in South West England and worldwide, a panel of four speakers addressing the theme of fear and hope: Prof. Tim Gorringe, a theologian involved with the Transition Movement, Dr Susan Dale, a psychotherapist and counsellor, Mike Holroyd, a disability advocate and pastor, Sharen Green of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine. An opportunity to share experiences and ideas on the theme of fear and hope, a shared lunch and an opportunity to meet other people in the Iona movement, a bookstall with Wild Goose Publications
Cost: People’s financial circumstances are very different so there is no charge. Voluntary contributions towards expenses are invited with a suggestion of £9.00.
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 is not essential but it would help to give some idea of numbers. If you also say where you live it might be possible to arrange car-sharing.
For more information and to book contact: David Osborne (see Members Book).
Wild Geese © David Coleman
Wales and Marches Regional Plenary, 18th March, 2017, Bayston Methodist Church, Shrewsbury
‘All are welcome’: Iona Community gathering in Coventry with Leader Peter Macdonald, Saturday, 1st April, 2017, from associate Christopher Hall
‘All are welcome’ to Warwick Road URC Church, 10 Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 IEX, on Saturday 1st April, 10am–4pm to share and hear local stories of welcome for people of all creeds, colour and origins, so as to encourage and empower mutual acceptance and understanding. Guests: Wasim Shah (Ahmadiyya Muslim Association) and Sue Sampson (Carriers of Hope, Coventry).
Peter Macdonald, Leader of the Iona Community, will share his vision for the Community and the plans for the transformation of the Abbey facilities.
There will be a prayer pilgrimage amid the ruins of the mediaeval Coventry Cathedral; and Evening Prayer is being said in Coventry Cathedral at 4.00pm.
Please bring your own lunch; drinks provided.
Wild geese © David Coleman
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).
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.
Wild geese in flight © David Coleman
Lent is not for the faint-hearted, by Kate Mcllhagga
Lent is not for the faint-hearted.
It demands that we, like Thomas,
put our hand into the side of the crucified Christ.
Lent is a journey towards the cross,
a journey of enlightenment:
from wilderness to feast,
from desert to oasis.
It’s an attempt to identify with the powerless
and the suffering in the world.
Lent is not tidy.
The days grow longer,
the ground thaws, there’s mud and dirt everywhere
and the windows need cleaning.
Lent is a journey.
So at the end of Lent
we should expect to find ourselves
somewhere different from where we started.
Lent can be an opportunity
to explore what is the nature
of the promised Kingdom of God on earth
that we long for;
a time to discern
how we are called to work for it.
No, Lent is not for the faint-hearted!
– Kate Mcllhagga, from The Green Heart of the Snowdrop, Kate Mcllhagga, Wild Goose Publications