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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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Today. 30 years ago. We were all at the Kings Hall in Belfast. It was U2. Joshua Tree. Back in March I was honoured to narrate a BBC Radio Ulster documentary about the concert (link below). Thank you to Karen... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow morning (11am) in Fitzroy we will be commissioning our summer missions folk. We have over 30 in the congregation, youth and adults heading off to do mission somewhere in our world. 17 are off to Uganda on July 3rd.... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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When Southeastern crossed my radar in 2013 I thought I had at last heard the follow up to Ryan Adams’ finest moment, Strangers Almanac with Whiskeytown. Southeastern had that same immediacy and familiarity as Strangers Almanac with at the same... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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Readers of Soul Surmise will already know that I love the TV series Madam Secretary. I was particularly taken by a recent episode and indeed have quoted it in 3 different talks I have given this week. A young women... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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June 21st is the Longest Day. In Northern Ireland it has been set aside, in recent years, as a Day Of Reflection for those who were lost or injured during our Troubles, an initiative of Healing Through Remembering. Today there... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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I will not get all of these books read over the summer BUT they are the pile that I have set aside to attempt to get through. MARTIN MCKEEVER C.Ss.R - ONE MAN, ONE GOD My friend Whitney Wilkinson told... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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You thought God was an architect, now you know He’s something like a pipe bomb ready to blow And everything you built that’s all for show goes up in flames In twenty- four frames I have been using this quotation... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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It was 20 years ago tonight when Radiohead warmed up for their Ok Computer Tour with a wee secret gig at the Mandela Hall in Belfast. It is seen as one of the significant moments of rock in Belfast over... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Alistair Hamill Here’s another of the songs that I have had to wrestle with for tonight. Exit is definitely Bono looking into the darkest parts of the dark of the world around him. The lyrics were inspired by Norman... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Paul McCartney is never seen as the most political or spiritual of The Beatles. He has certainly never written anything lyrical to challenge the political subversiveness of Imagine by Beatle John or the spiritual enthusiasm of My Sweet Lord by... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Alistair Hamill When news broke that U2 were going to take Joshua Tree on tour thirty years later there was much debate if they would do the album end to end or mix it up. I think we in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow morning (11am) in Fitzroy we are stopping to consider a scriptural dog that has been at our heels for a few weeks. Ray Carr preached a few weeks ago and he opened up the opening line of Isaiah 6... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Gary Burnett Joshua Tree was almost a double album. Many of the songs that would have been on it became b-sides for the Joshua Tree singles; Walk To The Water, Luminous Times and Spanish Eyes to name three. The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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In God’s Country has been the song that I have been most reflecting on in the days since Trump’s election as America’s President last November. Surely it is the song that U2 feel has come back around after 30 years... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Gary Burnett March 8, 1987 I was coming out of Church and mentioned to a few folk that the new U2 album was going on sale at midnight in Belfast. A later of us took off in a couple... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Alistair Hamill The title of the next song came from a comment that Bono’s brother made about how is restaurant business was doing. “It’s like I am running to stand still,” he said! In the end Bono used that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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Now this was a first for me on a couple of levels. I had never been to a concert on my own ever before. I was gifted tow late tickets (thank you kind sir!) but Janice couldn’t go so I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Gary Burnett From the Africa of Where The Streets Have No Name, U2 now shift continents and we find Bono in Central America. As well as their trip to Ethiopia, Bono and Ali also did a short tour of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Gary Burnett With Or Without You was the first big single off Joshua Tree and one of my least favourite U2 songs! That is probably because I could never pin down a spiritual meaning! Late last night I was... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Alistair Hamill So, we come to the hymn of the evening. U2 producer Daniel Lanois suggested that Bono wrote a Gospel song. When it came out it had evangelical Christians around the world convinced that Bono had lost his... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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The opening song on Joshua Tree is about culture shock. In 1985 Bono and his wife Ali visited Ethiopia after Live Aid, spending five weeks in a refugee camp. Like all of us who have had that experience Bono has... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Alistair Hamill (Many have asked for my script from Sunday night's U2's Joshua Tree Performed and Surmised in Fitzroy... so, I have attempted to remember what I said and edited it to make it readable on a blog... I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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I wrote this for our Joshua Tree evening in Fitzroy when we performed the entire record and I surmised in between. I was taken with this line about needing new dreams in the song In God's Country. We do not... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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A depth charge per song... from U2's Joshua Tree... that we might touch on at tomorrow's night Joshua Tree Performed and Surmised at Fitzroy at 7pm... All welcome! WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME “We're still building and burning down... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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I am no political analyst but I always have a few amateurish surmises. If ever a blog needs to be called SURMISE it is this one. A few scattered observations: - I expected the DUP to hit back strong after... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE