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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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Some 10 days ago journalist Eamonn Mallie wrote a piece about our current political crisis in Northern Ireland called Grace. It got a lot of traction and started many a helpful and positive conversation. It began with an imaginary, almost... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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The Martin McGuinness who today announced that he was stepping back from politics is a very different Martin McGuinness from the young man who joined the IRA in the late 60s and was high up in the command of the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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I hear a lot of hostility being directed towards our politicians just now. Understatement, I hear you say! There is frustration that they cannot make it work, there is disgust at the scandals and the arrogance and there is an... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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I wrote a poem about my dreams way back in the day. I had a dream about loving wife… dream fulfilled…. I had a dream about playing with my kids on a beach… dream fulfilled… and then I had a... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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With the announcement of their Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Tour, U2 have talking a lot about how they feel that that record of songs has a new resonance in a post Brexit Britain and Trump led America. The world shifted... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Back in 1988 Bono sang on the U2 song God Part 2 “You glorify the past When the future dries up”. So as they announced this week that they were going to do a Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Tour it... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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I watch very few movies these days. Four long hauled flights last year and I did not watch one, preferring music and books. It was the music that drew me to watch Sing Street. My friend Lorraine Macintosh tipped me... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Sunday morning (11am) in Fitzroy we will be looking into the current crisis in our wee country by casting upon the Stormont sectarian meltdown the light of this weeks Lectionary Readings from John 1 and Isaiah 49. We will look... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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I wasn’t a great history student at school. I didn’t see the point at 18. I guess I wish I could go back and do it all again. Anyway, it wasn’t so much the facts or arguments of the 17th... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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Jenna Silverman Wilson composed this poem for the final event of the 2016 4 Corners Festival. Jenna is from Indiana but for almost 3 years lived in Belfast with her husband and children. In that time she gained a Masters... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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4 CORNERS' FESTIVAL presents IAIN ARCHER in CONVERSATION AND CONCERT FRIDAY FEBRUARY 3rd at 8.00... DOORS 7.30 FITZROY CHURCH, 77 University Street, BELFAST BT7 1HL all Festival events are FREE but we suggest donations... I remember regularly introducing Iain Archer... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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Pause For Thought on The Vanessa Show on BBC Radio 2... This week's theme was "What Makes You Happy?!) This morning Pause For Thought is the first I have ever done that was sparked by a social media conversation with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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So it is 30 years ago, in March, since U2 released Joshua Tree and took over the world. Today they announced that in celebration of the anniversary they are going to take that iconic album and play it in full.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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I had the privilege of speaking at the wedding of Ross and Jane McQueen at the end of 2016. These two are adventurers, full of energy, mischief and passion for faith. I needed an image and was immediately drawn to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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There will be more detail, events and contributors to add but here is this year's 4 Corners Festival programme... Keep your eye on the website HERE IAIN ARCHER in CONVERSATION AND CONCERT FRIDAY FEBRUARY 3rd at 8.00... DOORS 7.30 FITZROY... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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In the 40 year of the Troubles, while violence was raging on the streets, most would agree that the conflict was not a Religious War. However, under the streets, metaphorically speaking, there was another war raging in the soul of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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I love the movie Shawshank Redemption. It has of course a very happy ending but not before a large dollop of violence and injustice. It also has an intriguing plot and many talking points for those who wish to go... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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Children's nativity plays are over The food has all been eaten The presents have all been opened The toys have all been discarded The cards and the tinsel have been packed away And the tree is back in the attic... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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It is a line in a song that has tugged like a dog at my heel for six months. My daughter Jasmine introduced me to Needtobreathe and their catchy mantras that so often seep in. Difference Maker is an inspirational... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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(there are reviews of all of these records from 20 - 1 on Soul Surmise... check them all out...) 1. DAVID C CLEMENTS - THE LONGEST DAY IN HISTORY 2. FOY VANCE - THE WILD SWAN 3. CIARAN LAVERY -... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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Rainbow rising like a rocket To rip open the old year sky Burning bright promise of a future Now that’s a flag we all can fly For rejuvenation and redemption All the possibilities of imagination A city coming down out... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2017 at SOUL SURMISE
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(The layering sounds of this record seep further in to your soul every time you play it. No doubt his amazing gig in Fitzroy two days before Christmas helped its subjective jump to my favourite record of the year... BUT... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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Oh my goodness this is so good! At last Foy Vance has fulfilled all that potential. This is one of the great Northern Ireland records and might well lead to Vance becoming one of the great Northern Ireland artists across... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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From Cat Malojian to just plain Malojian to Malojian with Steve Albini, Stevie Scullion’s musical growth just keeps going. Supported by The Northern Ireland Arts Council the trip to Chicago to work with the legendary producer Albini has really paid... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE
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If great music can come out of a remote wee town in Ulster County, New York State at the end of the 60s (I am reading Small Town Talk about Dylan, The Band and Van up in Woodstock) then we... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2016 at SOUL SURMISE