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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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(this was my Belfast Telegraph column on March 6th 2021) It happened this week. It happens, usually one day in March, every year. Janice and I are out for a walk with the dog and I notice it. The sky... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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Imelda May seems to have been everywhere. Here is a tasty playlist of her collaborations... I STILL HAVEN’t FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR - IMELDA MAY (from Joshua Tree - New Roots) ROCK N ROLL MUSIC - RONNIE WOOD AND... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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In the first weeks of Lockdown in 2020, Gary Burnett did a wonderful series in Fitzroy on the theology of Paul. He took 10 themes in Paul's letters and gave 10 minutes teaching session on each. Gary's research in into... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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It was like a liturgical act, embedded with a hard spiritual truth. We were clearing my parents house. It was a beautiful house full of beautiful things but with mum having passed away and dad living in a Residential home... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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I loved David Gray. Century’s End, Flesh and Sell, Sell, Sell were like a prophet spitting out spiritual depth charge after charge. I remember researching my essay on his work in my book The Rock Cries Out and the abundance... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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My dear brother Jim Deeds gifted me this beautiful rosewood holding cross. I had caught Jim doing a Facebook Live from his carving shed where he carefully works wood into beautiful things. I had commented on the wonder of this... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Gordon Ashbridge - "The Wrong Side of the Fence" taken on the right side in Sonop Vineyard Our very first visit to the Sonop Vineyard on the Western Cape Winelands was a more remarkable learning curve than we could... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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One summer in Cape Town (wintertime there!) around 2004 I was led into a wrestling with two Scriptures. A debate arose in my soul over the poverty that Amos raged against and the poverty that Jesus called blessed. I had... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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I took the ear plugs out and told Janice that I was listening to Deacon Blue. “Oh they were just on the car radio” “Riding On The Tide Of Love” “No one of the older ones”. Welcome to the Deacon... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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The social media abuse of footballer James McClean is in the headlines and provoking my surmising. There are a number of surmises below the headline but the first is a simple one. Abusing and threatening people’s lives and families on... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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Lent can be a little directionless. Maybe I am just speaking as a Northern Irish Presbyterian. We are not taught in the art of Lent. It seems to be all about giving things up. A chocolate/chips/alcohol fast for 6 weeks.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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Search me oh God Down to the very marrow of my soul Take every selfish part of me away That would stop me from being whole Help me peer inside my prejudice To judge the incentive of all my actions... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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GOD IS LOVE Stop Say it again GOD IS LOVE Forgive your familiarity Crack the cliche open Attend to the wonder The size of it Hear the words And listen Listen Deep down Be awestruck The marvellous mystery The spectacular... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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Look what I got for Valentine’s Day. The back story is… Van Morrison has been often labeled a grumpy man. Much as I understand his gruff public persona attracting such a caricature, I believe that it is lazy judgement. How... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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It was another personal privilege to get the opportunity to interview Duke Special at the 2021 4 Corners festival. Here are 10 things I learned about Duke Special. HOW GOOD IS DUKE SPECIAL Some time in the late 90s Peter... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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I cannot get enough of these books. Flicking across their pages I laughed, I sympathised, I welled up, I remembered and I raged. Paul Cookson has been writing poetry for decades but it is almost as if his gift was... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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(my BBC Radio 2 Pause For Thought with Vanessa Feltz on February 12th 2021... the weekly theme for the weekend that is in it was The Power Of Love) We live in a world where the first are first. We... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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No Pope Here! That was a slogan I was familiar with growing up. Who knows as a child I might even have shouted it with my mates. There are many who still stand by the sentiment. So, I can hear... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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(I wrote this article for my Belfast Telegraph column, February 5, 2021) It was just a momentary whim. As our weekly Fitzroy Zoom Prayer meeting began I suggested that for the first ten minutes we didn’t ask God for anything.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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The morning after the 4 Corners Festival is usually the early feelings of post Festival blues. I had known this ailment way back in my Greenbelt days and had warned Fr Martin Magill about it at the end of our... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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Fitzroy Sunday Service goes on line at 11am as usual. The Lectionary Reading takes us into the homes of Simon and Andrew where Jesus heals Simon's mother-in-law. That opens up all kinds of fascinating insights... and then with the crowds... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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Damian Gorman says Stories are like Eucharist Broken apart To feed others But maybe I surmised Stories can be like nails Dangerously sharpened And hammered in to others Beware of the stories we tell Stories can save Stories can crucify.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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(My Pause For Thought on Vanessa on BBC Radio 2 on February 5, 2021... the theme was I Am Who I Am...) I am who I am has got me into some scrapes. You see I have a great radio... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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Photo: Philip McCrea - Belfast, Sunday just before sunrise from Cave Hill A prayer I prayed in Fitzroy just before the 4 Corners Festival 2021 where the theme of the Festival was Breathe... Lord, when we think of our city... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE
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Where are you driving to Driving us up the walls Driving us round the bend Driving us down a highway to hell Driving us to our wits end Where are you driving to? Driving a canon through Nightingale wards Driving... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2021 at SOUL SURMISE