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Newsletter June 2010

Window in the Wall  

The Loom…a developing ministry to weave relationships

Some of you, who have known us for a long time, will know that Marda used to weave.  You will find it interesting that we will move into a large renovated house and the project will be called The Loom.  Sharon will lead a prayer ministry, Maria will set up her L'Arche office, and we will continue our work with Crumlin Road and others.  Maria came up with the name "The Loom, where relationships will be woven".  Our church started in the local  flax mill.  We are excited!  The house is 1.5 miles down the road from our present home and a block from our church.  In a community where people walk, we now live two neighborhoods away, so closer in, is better.

This house was used as the Vine Community Centre, before money was raised to build the present Vine Community Centre.  Ward will be able to walk to most of the homes that we visit.  We will be able to enhance our relationships with the Crumlin Road Presbyterian church, the Shankill Ministry Fellowship, the Vine Centre, the Edenbrooke Primary School, and the Shankill Women’s Centre by being within the community.  As a community house we will be able to compliment the work of 174 Trust, Shalom House, and the Cornerstone community.

We will use this house along with the director of L’Arche Belfast, Maria Garvey.  L’Arche is an international charity with 137 communities, begun by Jean Varnier, which serves the intellectually disabled.  Her office will be located in The Loom.  She has begun relationships in North and West Belfast and has linked up with a community garden project on both sides of a peace wall producing “a window in the wall”.  She also wants to support a Roots Soup café to provide good food and employment.  She is brilliant and we are very excited to team up with her.

In addition a women named Sharon is taking 24/7 prayer training in Scotland and she will meet with Gillian, our minister’s wife, to begin a prayer ministry in this space.  Crumlin Road Presbyterian Church, L’Arche Belfast, and we are committed to raising the money needed to support The Loom.  Our part of the expenses will be £250 (about $400 a month).  From this new location we intend to continue our work of: coming alongside the people, impacting the community, and enlivening faith.

The last newsletter may have seemed grim and garnered several concerned communications from many of you.  Thank you for being in touch.  As if nothing worst could happen, I crashed and totaled our perfectly delightful Renault Megane vehicle, tootaling along a country road with our good friends Larry and Mary Ann Wight.  The good news is everyone is okay.  The bus and train services are wonderful, so we still were able to get to Corrymeela, the Giant’s Causeway, and Bushmills and return home.  The bad news is that we will need another car.  Larry had planned a rental car for Monday so we also got to visit Newgrange and met up with Shirley and Steve as planned.

Newgrange and Knowth are the evidence of a Neolithic civilization which was settled around the River Boyne five thousand years ago.  The area is the site of many passage tombs, the most famous and most intact of which is Newgrange, which dates from 3200 BC.  County Meath is also the home of Kells, where the famous Book of Kells was preserved.  We left Mary Ann, a calligrapher, and Larry there to explore ancient ruins and high crosses.  The Columba monks from Iona returned to settle in Kells in the 800s with their manuscripts, after Viking raids on Iona.  See our September 2009 newsletter for the story of Iona. 
We anticipate our renewed visas in July and will move by the end of that month.  Visits are welcomed. 

…For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future... Jeremiah 29:11

Email: wardstothers@cten.org
Phone: (028) 90 291986  From U.S. 01144.2890.291986

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