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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, social justice, sport...
Recent Activity
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Lord as we head towards Lent And get involved in 100 Days Prayer for 100 Years history Teach us about prayer Teach us how to pray Teach us through prayer how to live in a country torn be history Lord... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow night (Feb 6th 2016) 4 Corners Festival has a wonderful event where we will be listening to some of Belfast's best young songwriting talent. One of the things that they are all going to do is to sing a... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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When we were planning this year’s 4 Corner’s Festival we were aware that we were one of the first Festivals in 2016; the year that would mark the centenaries of Easter Rising and The Somme. We could not pull back... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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In March 1986 I remember walking into Caroline Music on Royal Avenue and seeing two new releases by new artists on the wall; Steve Earle and Peter Case. I took a chance. It was a good day's investment with returns... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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I remember a friend showing photographs of Belfast as part of a Children’s Talk during a Church service. He had taken a walk around the city but not in the rush of our every day schedules. He had gone with... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Modern sport is not known for its good sportsmanship. But a moment in early January stood out as a glorious exception. It was a Hopman Cup Tennis match between Australian Leyton Hewitt and American Jack Sock. Hewitt’s serve was called... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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I am a huge fan of Manuel Pellegrini. When my favourite soccer teams rivals have managers like Sir Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho he stands out. He is a gentleman. He goes about his business in a quite efficient way... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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LUCINDA WILLIAMS - THE GHOSTS OF HIGHWAY 20 We used to wait a longtime between Lucinda Williams records. Now she brings them out almost prolifically and this is the second in a row that is too long for just one... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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Thin places! It is a thought from Celtic Christianity. There are some spaces where the gap between heaven and earth are thinner. Last night I found myself in one of the very thinnest places I have ever been. That it... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow morning, Fitzroy begins at the much earlier time of 10.15 and more important than that we have to be in our seats at 9.45. The children will go straight to their Sunday groups before the service. Tomorrow we are... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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District 6 is a green gash in the middle of Cape Town. In 1966 the white apartheid government declared it a white area and brought bulldozers in, flattening the houses and shops and sending the black and coloured residents out... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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Recovering On the wagon Always frightened of falling off. It could happen at any time A quick shift in the journey A bump in the road A sudden curve not seen Mind always alert Eyes always focused Heart always steeled... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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A few months ago I caught the BBC documentary More Than A Flag, part of the series True North. The first thing I heard was a young man, driving through East Belfast, saying, “My favourite day of the year is... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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“It’s a mess It’s a start It’s a flawed work of art Your city, your call Every crack, every wall” Last Friday morning at the Press launch of the 4 Corners Festival, in the brand new Girdwood Community Hub, singer... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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On The Week of Prayer For Christian Unity 2016 I had the privilege of being asked to speak at the Ballycastle Churches’ event. The theme was Salt and Light and I asked many questions of the Churches and the followers... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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Back in the day, almost 20 years ago, Paul Archer’s first band Disraeli Gears had a song called Come Out Into The Sunshine. (as a side note Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody confessed on the sleeve notes of their best of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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Goodness. I don’t know if I can do this. This is a courageous Pause For Thought, confessing your guilty pleasures on national radio. I might feel the humiliation more than most. You see I have been Chief Constable of the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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The Art of Listening: Launch of the Fourth Annual 4 Corners Festival (28 January – 7 February) set for 22 January at Girdwood Community Hub The Girdwood Community Hub in North Belfast will host the launch of the annual 4... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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Midwinter can be a lovely time for amateur poets. I love the nakedness of the trees, looking as if God has reached down and pencil sketched them in the cloak of darkness. There are those mornings when that light covering... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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Soul Surmise regulars will know that I am a fan of rock biographies. Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to fill the shelves and this year Santa brought Patti Smith, Tom Petty, one on The Beatles’ Zapple Label and Elvis Costello.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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I wrote this on an American road trip way back in 1993. My friends Dave Adams and David Baldock join me on a big adventure. As we drove across the Californian desert we could see the light of the Nevada... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow morning (11am) in Fitzroy we will be unpacking Isaiah 62: 1-5 with a little mention of James Stewart's Wonderful Life. Into a city full of desolation, isolation and hopelessness how are called to serve the city. We will look... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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“Where there are people there are stories Where there are stories there are songs Where there songs there are people searching For where they belong Listen…” It might have been at last year’s 4 Corners Festival that Fr Martin Magill... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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Friends have shared how their lives flashed in front of them in scary moments. Yesterday morning someone else’s life flashed in front of me. I was in bed… my wife wakened me… “Did you hear that; Bowie’s dead.” As I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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Northern Ireland playwright Philip Orr has not one but two plays based around the events of 1916’s Easter Rising and Battle of the Somme being performed in the next month. Half Way House is on tour all over N. Ireland,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE