Pope John Paul II said that ecumenical dialogue can be thought of as ‘an exchange of gifts.’ Nowhere is this more obvious than when Christians from various traditions are able to learn from each other’s spiritualities, partaking in the insights of others to enrich their own spiritual journeys.
A series of talks on five Tuesdays in May, organised by churches in the Shankill and Falls areas of West Belfast, offer an opportunity for people to explore together the spiritual traditions of the largest Christian denominations in Ireland. The series also includes a night with members of the Tres Dias Community, an ecumenical community that were given the home of the Cornerstone Community at 443-445 Springfield Road on 1 April 2012.
These churches have been involved in building better relationships between Catholics and Protestants during the Troubles.
These talks are not just an opportunity to keep building on those relationships already established, but to draw in others interested in what it might mean to promote unity among Christians in a world where division is more often the norm.
Each session runs from 7.30-9.00 and includes an opportunity for discussion and light refreshments. The schedule is as follows:
Tuesday 1 May
Methodist Spirituality with Rev. Mark Charles in Shankill Methodist Church, 267 Shankill Road
Tuesday 8 May
Presbyterian Spirituality with Rev Brian McMillen in Ballygomartin Presbyterian Church, 132-140 Ballygomartin Road
Tuesday 15 May
Catholic Spirituality with Rev Pat O’Connor in Clonard Monastery, 1 Clonard Gardens
Tuesday 22 May
Church of Ireland Spirituality with Rev Barry Dodds in St Michael’s Church, Craven Street, Shankill Road
Tuesday 29 May
The Spirituality of the Tres Dias Community with testimonies from various members in Forthspring, 373-375 Springfield Road
Rev Mark Charles, Shankill Methodist (028 9074 6955)
Ed Petersen, Clonard Monastery (028 9044 5950)
(image sourced on flickr, by Erwyn van der Meer)