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Newsletter October/November 2013

At Blue Mosque  

Three more sets and two trips. . . one to come

We took Eric and Suzan with us to the last joint worship of "In Joyful Hope"  The Millers had just flown in from California.  This was our attempt to keep them awake to overcome jetlag.  I know many of you are wondering, "take friends to a Catholic Mass to keep them awake!  What were you thinking?"  The novelty counts for a lot.  None of us fell asleep and Fr Michael was gracious as there were many non-Catholics, so he described each part.  It was a good introduction to what we do for our work, which is to try new things, and to encourage others to do the same.

Townsend Street Peace Festival was held for a second year.  Two community workers who have become good friends, one from the Shankill Women's Centre, where we occasionally take classes, and the other from An Culturlann where they promote the Irish language and culture.  Marion and Aisling work for six months gathering funding and community talent.  This year the theme was "Old Belfast."  They had actors dressed as the lamplighter, rag and bone man, chimney sweep, washer woman.  With horse and carts and Forage, a couple making soda bread and potato farl from scratch.  Many of our new folks at the Townsend Church were there to participate, and lend

a hand, since our church are the only buildings left on Townsend Street.

Some of you know Marda treasures her many friendships, made through the Organization of Women Architects.  This year marks the 40th anniversary of the organization.  The celebration committee decided to plan a cruise and include friends and spouses.  The cruise which began in Venice, took 24 of us, and sailed the Mediterranean to Bari, Katalon, Izmir, Istanbul and Dubrovnik.  This was a test of Ward's endurance and gave us a chance to give a talk about addressing the inevitable disabilities of a long life.  Many courtesies were extended to us and we hope we blessed others by going. 

Kathleen returned with us and we had a perfect week of sightseeing with the weather cooperating.  Marda and Kathleen drove north to the Carrick a Rede rope bridge and then on to the Giant's Causeway across the upper trail and down the steps to the causeway rocks, on to Dunluce Castle, then Portrush for dinner at Ramore Wine Bar.  Then with their fab desserts drove to Downhill Hostel, where we greeted William and McCall just back from Barcelona.  We met again Jacque, McCall's mum, a nurse from Seattle.  Sound sleep and the next day, we went up over the Bishops Road to Londonderry, and across the Foyle Peace Bridge, a walk around the old walls, a pop into St Columb's COI Cathedral.  A browse through the renovated Guildhall where they were having a Bee Convention.  Kathleen bought us some Antrim honey.

Kathleen went along with us to the home of Breige O'Hare who is a Catholic lay worker.  Breige served a most delicious Irish lamb stew and showered us with warm hospitality.  Marda is so excited to know Breige who is a spiritual director and open to a friendship and mutual support.  Breige has teamed up with a psychotherapist and Methodist minister who just launched Well.com at the bottom of Crumlin Road.  They envision it as a place of spiritual and psychological healing.  They will practice Celtic daily prayer at 1230 every day.

The conclusion of our summer gallivanting was a weekend in retreat with the local Northumbria Community practicing the rhythms of life together also using the Celtic daily prayers.  So you see all this weaving together is making a wonderful tapestry. 

Thank you who have been aware and either prayed or contributed to our financial situation.  Whereas we still don't have needed monthly donors, we received several special gifts.  If your new year budget has room for a monthly donation please consider doing so or a year end gift to give us funds to make plans.  Thank you for your interest in our work in Northern Ireland.

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

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