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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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The Derry Girls. What a phenomenon. It is easy to see it as a lovely wee funny show about 4 quirky Irish girls and a their English cousin. Maybe that was the intention at the outset but by the time... Continue reading
Posted 3 hours ago at SOUL SURMISE
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After 26 months Fitzroy Sunday evenings are back. It is still too soon to know if we will ever be back to an event every Sunday night but we are dabbling with a few interesting Sunday nights. On Sunday May... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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(Janice and I handing over 4 Corner's Festival knit items to Damian McNairney of The People's Kitchen) A few years ago Irene Jovaras and Janice Stockman got yarning around the edges of the 4 Corners Festival about their love for... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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Trespasses is another fabulous novel from yet another new, if not young, voice in Northern Irish fiction. Louise Kennedy has been a chef for 30 years and suddenly arrives among us as this very assured, poetic writer of compulsive fiction.... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Soul Surmise readers know how much I enjoy a good rock biography. I particularly love memoirs. Elvis Costello, Robbie Robertson, Bruce Springsteen, Mary Gauthier, Mikel Jollet and Brandi Carlile have excelled at such a genre in recent years. Of those... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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A disclaimer. I hate Eurovision. Apologies to my daughters but the songs all blur into a big quagmire of blancmange. Note my use of French! Tonight is no different. Lots of Capaldi and Sheeran wannabes. In the end who could... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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How bad does your theology have to get before it negates the saving work of Jesus and the amazing grace of God? What a great question. Over the years I have become increasingly uneasy with the Theologist, that is the... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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10 years ago this very afternoon. Manchester City Football Club have unveiled a statue to Sergio Aguero, 10 years ago to the day that he scored the most most unlikely, almost miraculous, goal in the Club's history. 10 years ago... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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I’m the reed by the lough shore That suddenly swishes and sways The deep fibres ripped from root And all that I know gives way. Culture shock silently creeping I’m trying to track where’s next It’s not that I don’t... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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Few other records have so saturated my life as Deacon Blue’s Raintown. In May 1987 I was smitten with it and played it to death pretty much over the following two years. I had the record shop publicity boarding on... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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Grief is disguised as a trickster Conjuring weariness from the invisible But look again Grief has you digging Deep into sacred spaces For precious memories long buried Grief has you pushing and pulling The love lost in the void Bereft... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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For some five years I have wondered about my father’s death. My mum passed away in 2016, the toll of her devotional love and care for dad. Since then dad has been in a Residential home. Dementia had already taken... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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The Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica. What a moving piece of art! My friend, Rab, had spoken to me about it a few years ago. Rab would describe himself as “relatively agnostic but interested in many aspects across religions” so... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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I wanted to thank you all for the support we have felt from you all on social media as we sit by my dad's hospital bed. I felt that it was too wonderful to just throw away in a short... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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It is not every day that you get to meet the Pope. Even less chance if you are a Presbyterian minister. Yet, today, that is exactly what my wife Janice and I did. It was very moving and inspirational. We... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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On Monday morning (April 25th) I am hoping to be ushered in to a private audience with Pope Francis in the Apostolic Palace in Rome. That is an unbelievable sentence for a Ballymena Presbyterian. I will be honest and say... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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I was sorry to hear of the death this week of Liam McCloskey. McCloskey will probably be known in Irish history as one of the 1981 hunger strikers. For me he was an inspiration in forgiveness, understanding and reconciliation. For... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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“I want to go, to the foot of Mount Zion To the foot of He who made me see To the side of a hill blood was spilt We were filled with a love And we're going to be there... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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On the eve of the greatest battle The Colonel, the General, the Field Marshall All in one Not only of this motley crew before him But of all of history All of eternity All of the Universe Created and sustained.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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READ: Matthew 21: 12-17 “Rise up shepherd, rise up Your flock has roamed far from the hills The stars have faded, the sky is still The angels are shouting "Glory Hallelujah" We've been traveling over rocky ground, rocky ground We've... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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Forgive me Mike Campbell. You have ridden faithfully side saddle to one of my main men Tom Petty for nearly fifty years and I have loved you that entire pilgrimage. BUT when you started a band called The Dirty Knobs... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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Janice and I are so heartbroken at the passing of our friend Melanie Clark Pullen. Melanie taught me a couple of BIG things. The first was in a restaurant in London when she was literally a megastar. Millions of people... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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Cross and Empty Tomb - carvings in wood by Jim Deeds I love U2’s song of resurrection - Window In The Skies. It’s a perfect play n Easter Sunday with its “The rule has been disproved, the stone it has... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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How good to have the Cowboy Junkies prolific again. After six years between 2012 and 2018 without a record we have now had three in four years. Beginning with All That Reckoning, one of my favourite Junkie albums in 20... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE
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I have waited four and a half decades for this book. In the 70s I loved Jimmy McCulloch. Oh aye, it was then other McCullough Henry who was from Portstewart. I would get to him later. When I fell in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2022 at SOUL SURMISE