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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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So, yesterday I blogged about the 30th Anniversary of my Ordination. The morning after at 8am I was shaking hands with Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Clonard Monastery. I did say yesterday that my life was 10:10 - “life... Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at SOUL SURMISE
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30 years ago tonight I was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. It is hard to believe. I was the assistant minister in the First Antrim congregation at the time and my over riding memory, among... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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Just a few miles off the coast from Cape Town Robben Island has a history that is almost exclusively bound up with incarceration. A little like the better known Alcatraz, it has for centuries been seen as the ideal place... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Neal Morse has finally got my attention. Not that Neal was trying or worrying that he hadn’t. My music buddy Geoff Bailie has been going on and on about Morse and Spock’s Beard for many years, moving from fan to... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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I used this poem this morning in Fitzroy. I was talking about our prejudices, as a result of the Fall. I was talking about sin that leads to hard headedness and hard heartedness, thinking especially of Americans and gun control... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Quite a week. 17 killed in another mass school shooting in Florida and the break down of the Stormont talks here in Northern Ireland have had me seething with anger. I have heard friends in America share how they are... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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(With Fitzroy's Dave Thompson and creative crew presenting The Gospel According To... Finding Nemo on Sunday night (Feb 18, 2018 at 6.30pm), here is a blog about why we do such events.) The Gospel According To... Series came about, as... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Elizabeth Hanna It was a meal among heroes. The annual 4 Corners Festival Banquet at City Hall was this year all about organ donor families and recipients. The previous four banquets have given us the privilege of entertaining homeless,... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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The voice. It catches you in the very first line and draws you in. It is like Nick Cave’s baritone with better pitch. The songs. Lyrical. Melancholic but endearing. Beautiful in melody and delicate, grace note riven, in arrangements. Doug... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Fear. It has Northern Ireland in its paralysis. In the political talks this week at Stormont, I believe fear prevented courageous moves that would have benefited us all. What if the whiff of compromise loses votes? What if we reach... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Bernie Brown “It's like a dance, it's like a wheel Less like math, less like a deal More like a heartbreak beginning to heal We can start over, we know forgiveness These are hard words to hear in a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Honoured to interviewed for Northern Slant by Alina Utrata about 4 Corners Festival... Could you talk a little bit about how the festival was founded out of your relationship with Martin Magill? How has your personal experience and perspectives informed... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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4 Corners Festival 2018 ended with an act of acknowledgement and commitment. The acknowledgement of our contributions and complacency to a broken world in general and our fractured Northern Ireland in particular. The commitment is that we would leave this... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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It has been an incredible week at the 4 Corners Festival 2018. Full houses have been so much more than entertained by music, drama and book readings. We have wept with deep emotion, been inspired by sacrificial commitment to others... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Bernie Brown I had a dream. My favourite songwriter is at the front of Fitzroy. I am asking him questions about art and faith. I am pretty much choosing the set list. I am stretching him. A song or... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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For some years I have been surmising that we in Northern Ireland have fallen for the most subtle deception of idolatry. We worship at the Altar of Correct Theology. I have been surmising that it has is one of the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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During the 4 Corners Festival from February 5th to 9th there will be Prayer Rooms in each corner of the city... The West Belfast Room is in Clonard Monastery, 1 Clonard Gardens, Belfast BT13 2RL PRAYER FOR THE WEST OF... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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During the 4 Corners Festival from February 5th to 9th there will be Prayer Rooms in each corner of the city... The East Belfast Room is in Skainos Centre, 241 Newtownards Rd, Belfast BT4 1 AF PRAYER FOR THE EAST... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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During the 4 Corners Festival from February 5th to 9th there will be Prayer Rooms in each corner of the city... The South Belfast Room is in Fitzroy Presbyterian Church, University Street, BELFAST BT7 1HL. PRAYER FOR THE SOUTH OF... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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During the 4 Corners Festival from February 5th to 9th there will be Prayer Rooms in each corner of the city... The North Belfast Room is in the Duncairn Centre, Duncairn Avenue, Belfast BT14 6BP PRAYER FOR THE NORTH OF... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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It was a very special night. I don’t mean subjectively, just because what I had wanted for a few festivals finally came about and I had on the stage four great songwriters with the wonderful Stuart Bailie. No, it was... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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The Gospel writer Mark uses the same word for Jesus resurrection that he uses when he raises Peter's mother-in-law up from illness. ... and so tomorrow morning (11am), after I have prayed at 4 Corners Festival radio service on BBC... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2018 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” When Hannah McPhillimy sang these words of Snow Patrol, a couple of years ago, at the launch of the 2016... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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“They were incredible days,” reminisced Monica McWilliams as she shared passionately about the period between the Ceasefires and the Good Friday Agreement. Her excitement as she remembered was palpable. These were glory days and she was enjoying living the memory... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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For me, the photograph above is still surreal. It was a 4 Corners Festival event in 2014. Two things clash in the photo. The three panelists are talking about reconciliation, the possibilities of a peaceful future after a bloody violent... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE