Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Leaning ... to the right or the left?

Not much time for reflection this morning ... only to post a few pictures from yesterday before we head off to the Corrymeela Belfast office for the morning, and then up to Corrymeela after lunch. There is much excitement to finally be heading up there.

Yesterday began with a visit to the East Belfast Mission, and folks were suitably impressed. The story of their Irish language classes with both Protestants and Catholics was one that stayed with folks throughout the day. The classes are growing in popularity and gaining much attention, as seen in the Aljezeera report the previous day. (see link in yesterday's blog). We were also struck by the sheer beauty and functionality of the building, which has won many awards. And, of course one of the first things folks notice is the leaning posts (picture below) ... designed on purpose to symbolize a ship's mast. Linda and I began to think that there was a theme developing in our experience - the appearance of leaning structures - escpecially after seeing the famous leaning clock tower on our bus tour.

After lunch in the mission's cafe "refresh", we headed off to City Centre for a Hop On Hop Off bus tour - the best way I know to get a sense of the whole city in an hour and a half. On our way back to get a cab to Farset, we encountered a gay rights rally in front of city hall. Since both United Church congregations represented in our group (Bedford United and St. John's United in Halifax) are Affirming congregations and take part in the annual Halifax Pride Parade, we were happy to see the support that the community was receiving, and for me it was a welcome change from some of the other sectarian protests that I have seen at City Hall.




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