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Stocki
Belfast
I am the minister of Fitzroy Presbyterian Church in Belfast, N. Ireland, author of Walk On; The Spiritual Journey of U2, and blog on where my faith and culture meets...
Interests: Jesus, where art and faith inter connect, music, peace and reconciliation, social justice, sport...
Recent Activity
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Twenty years ago this week, I wrote this prayer/poem/reflection as some kind of response to the Omagh bomb. Just months after the hopeful Good Friday Agreement a car exploded, in the centre of Omagh during a busy Saturday afternoon, to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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I have experienced the hand of God, a Godless financial scandal, bombs, terrorists, plane crashes and potential Ebola. I have driven the roads of Uganda’s former killing fields, escaping the violent LRA by that sleight hand of God. I have... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Water? Is there anything in the developed world that we take for granted more? Washed hands and face and teeth. That boiled kettle. Cup of tea. Minutes after we waken up. Without even thinking. We are not even aware that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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I loved you But not anything like you loved me. I loved you Beside me in Ballycastle Forest Those steep steep hills Across Ballycastle beach Pirouetting for pebbles, thrown in the sunset Together at Giants Ring Where you crossed and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Sometimes love lands perfect Like the day we brought him home He knew then who would love him most And he never left your side, alone He lit up at your voice On your knee he sighed content I often... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Michael Fitch A Fitzroy Short Term Mission Team in Arua, Uganda. It was last night relaxation. A sing song and some party pieces. I have been doing this as performance poetry since 1991 when i lived in Central Park... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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How do you measure the success of a short term mission team? In the first two weeks of July my wife Janice and I were leading my 14th short term mission team, our third in Uganda. There were 24 of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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There are many things about the Invictus movie that grabbed my theological attention. They were particularly pertinent to me when I wrote this review as at the time I was preaching preaching from Colossians about the Kingdom versus the Empire.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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I loved Nelson Mandela. He influenced my life in so many ways. I had the privilege of visiting Robben Island so many time and even got to get into his cell. Those visits to Robben Island were powerfully poignant, like... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow morning 21 Fitzers will join Janice, Jasmine and I in Uganda. We are here to cradle and care for one man's dream. On Wednesday morning, we will travel to Arua, to a school that we funded through Fields of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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The Atlas Of Forgotten Places is perhaps the most satisfying novel that I have ever read. It is also the best literary companion I have ever had. Jenny D Williams is a writer of beautiful poetic prose. She has published... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Here are my favourite ten records of 2018 so far. I need to add that I am in Uganda and have not yet heard the new Dawes record. I am sure that would have featured, if I had! 1. SNOW... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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It is the last day of June. The Stockies are thrilled that we will be spending the entire month of July in Uganda! Even better Janice, Jasmine and I have been here, in Uganda, for the 12 days already. So,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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This sabbatical has thrown up a question, that has become a daily meditation. Caught between the wealth of my life back in Belfast and the poverty of my neighbourhood here in Arua, I am asking - What is ENOUGH? This... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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A few nights ago we arrived in Arua, in the very far north west of Uganda. Soul Surmise regulars will know that we love this town. This particular arrival, though, has been a wonderful lesson in my sabbatical. One where... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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If you haven't seen James Corden's Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney on his Late Late Show, you need to. You say that you are not a McCartney fan. I still hold that you need to see this. It is precious... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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It has almost become a catch phrase. As I was leaving Belfast, so many people shouted at me to “kiss the African sun.” It is a poem I wrote a couple of summers ago for my friend Alain Emerson. I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Healing Through Remembering created the idea of a Day Of Private Reflection on Jun 21st, the longest day, every year to honor the people who were killed in the conflict in and about Northern Ireland or affected by it in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Let me tell you this morning about where the Stocki girls are off to today with mad excitement. I am jealous to have been left behind. We will get to Janice and Jasmine’s trip in a moment but let me... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Today, I start typing. I am in a lovely apartment in Kampala. My daughter, Jasmine is on her school work experience in the Fields of Life offices, my wife Janice is reading a novel across the room and I have... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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It was only in a recent interview with Gary Lightbody that I discovered that it was a phrase of Lightbody’s father that gave Snow Patrol their biggest hit, Chasing Cars. Apparently Mr Lightbody senior believed that infatuated romance was just... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Maybe 15 years ago, Cathleen Falsani, then with the Chicago Sun was doing an article on Bono and his faith for Christianity Today. She interviewed me to ask why U2’s lyrics and faith is such an important issues among evangelical... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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It was very exciting this afternoon to open the box of programmes for the U2 Conference that starts in Belfast tomorrow afternoon. I am delighted that we in Fitzroy will be hosting some of the events. I am thrilled to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Jeremy Skillen It is the first day of the week But this cross With this bread and wine Seems like a perfect place to end this week That whatever your thoughts or views Has not been a good week... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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I could not be more excited this morning to be sharing with you my favourite place on earth as in 16 days and i will be right there… Now I have a few close seconds. I love Cape Town and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE