Fermanagh Churches Forum

creating community ~ celebrating diversity

FCF autumn programme

As summer draws to an end we turn our attention again to the autumn FCF programme. We begin on Wed September 18th with our annual Good Relations Week conference.

ENNISKILLEN CONFERENCE

 Date: Wed  18 Sept

 Theme:  Making Change For Peace : 100 Years of Democracy in Ireland?

Venue: Killyhevlin Hotel Enniskillen

Time: 10am – 4pm

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Johnston McMaster

One  hundred years ago Ireland, north and south, began their journeys in democracy. In 1919 the Dail or Assembly was formed in Dublin, and in 1921 the Northern Ireland Parliament was opened in Belfast. How has democracy fared in a century? Did violence maim democracy from the start? Has continued violence, constitutional contestedness and a pervasive culture of sectarianism hindered democracy in Northern Ireland? Today there is a democratic recession in many parts of the world, including the Atlantic-West. Will democracy survive here and in the wider world? Then again, maybe there is a better form of governance and organising society to be created. At the moment democracy is the best we have. If peace and democracy are two sides of the coin, how can we make change for peace, build on the Good Friday Agreement of 1998? This conference will explore how we can do that by critically looking at how we can shape a democracy that is inclusive, participatory, deliberative, compassionate and committed to the creation of the common good. That may mean doing politics and civil society very differently. So let’s make democracy truly democratic!

For catering purposes it is necessary to register for the conference . You can do so by email:eccgallagher@yahoo.co.uk

Autumn Seminars

Venue: The Bridge Centre Enniskillen

Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Introduction

Over the last number of years we have marked significant events that shaped Ireland to the present. To date centenaries have been peaceful, mature, balanced and complex. Over the next four years we mark two of the most significant and sensitive events in our shared history, the partition of Ireland and the Irish Civil War. The latter has left bitter legacies with families still divided. Northern Ireland remains a contested and divided society and Brexit has raised old and new issues which will dominate our lives for the next decade and more. Politics have already changed in these islands. How will we mark partition and the civil war? Can we bring an ethical remembering to the events and engage in civil conversations, which means respectfully and honestly and with an hospitable generosity to our contested narratives? This course will explore what led to partition and the civil war, taking time to look at a bigger picture shaped by the Paris Peace Conference 1919, it’s failures and legacies that still threaten world peace, not least in the Middle East. After exploring the events of 1919-1923 and how we might mark the centenaries, we will try to break a great silence, the reluctance to speak of partition, and ask, have we a future? What is it and what might it look like?

 

 

Wed  2 Oct   The Road To Partition : Centuries Of Gestation

 

Wed   9 Oct   The Big Picture : The Legacies Of The Paris Peace Conference 1919

 

Wed  16 Oct   The Birth Of Confessional States In Ireland

 

Wed  23 Oct   A Bitter Freedom : The Treaty And The Civil War

 

Wed  30 Oct   Partition Is The Elephant In The Room : But Have We A Future?

 

We look forward to seeing many of you at these events.

It is not necessary to register for the seminars

 

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FCF Lenten lunches 2019

 As in previous years Fermanagh Churches Forum are organizing a series of Lenten Lunches.

We will share a simple lunch, provided by the church community, followed by Scripture reflection and prayer. There is no entrance charge but a collection will be taken for Christian Aid and Trócaire. Lenten lunches will be held in Enniskillen as follows, all on Wednesdays from 12.30 to 2pm:

 Wed March 13th . McArthur Hall, Enniskillen Methodist Church (Wesley Street entrance)

Wed March 20th St. Michael’s Parish Centre, next to St. Michael’s Catholic Church  

 Wed March 27th Bridge Centre at the Presbyterian Church 

 Wed April 3rd  St.Macartin’s Cathedral Hall  

We look forward to seeing you at these events.

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FCF AGM November 14 in the Bridge Centre Enniskillen at 8pm

 

We are very pleased to welcome as our guest speaker Rev. Dr. Harold Good. The title of his talk will be ‘Healing the Hurt – what has faith to offer?’ Rev Good will reflect on the distinctive contribution Churches can make to healing the legacy of hurt in our community.

As many of you will know Rev Good is an eminent Irish Methodist who in the first decade of the 21st century played a vital role in the Northern Ireland peace process

He served as a minister in Shankhill, Belfast and also at Crumlin Road prison. From 1973 to 1979 he was director of the Corrymeela Community Centre for Reconciliation. In 2001 he was appointed president of the Methodist Church in Ireland. In 2005 he was one of two independent witnesses, the other being Father Alec Reid, who oversaw the decommissioning of arms, a vital part of the peace process. In 2007 he was awarded the World Methodist Peace Award.

We are very pleased it is possible for Rev Good to be with us on this occasion.

 

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Autumn Seminars 2018

 

LET’S DO THEOLOGY IN PUBLIC LIFE!

Public theology is a new name for something people of faith have always done. It is now being re-branded in a situation where religion has become very private or secular and is taken to mean that religion has no place in public life. Public theology is God-talk, values and ethics in the context of the political, social, economic and environmental realities of life in the world. It is applying social ethics to social and public issues, and the faith community making its voice known along with all the other voices in the public square. Sometimes public theology has a critical voice, sometimes it needs to envision an alternative world, and so it can give voice to hope.

 

This course will explore doing public theology in public life. What is it and what are the many ‘publics’ we encounter? Reading the Bible in public will be different from how we read the Bible in church. We will explore how we speak of God and what the ethical values are that we bring to public life. Public theology is what we do with others and this means engaging the secular and our plural world of many religions. Today the faith community may need to do public theology or become anonymous or irrelevant in society.

 

Fermanagh Churches Forum is hosting 5 seminars on Public Theology

Venue:  Bridge Centre, East Bridge Street Enniskillen

Time:  7.30pm – 9.30pm

 

Week 1   October  17th     What on Earth Is Public Theology?

Week 2   October  24th      How many ‘Publics’ do we engage?

Week 3   November 7th   Reading the Bible in the Public Square.

Week 4  November 21st   Speaking Of God and Ethics in Public.

Week 5   November 28th   Doing Public Theology with many Religions and the ‘Secular’.

 

The course will be facilitated by Dr Johnston McMaster

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Lenten lunches and Faith & Friendship

On Wednesday 21st February, the Fermanagh Churches Forum is holding the first of this year’s Lenten lunches from 12.30 to 2pm in St Michael’s Parish Centre, next to St Michael’s Catholic church. As in previous years, we will share a simple lunch, provided by the church community, followed by Scripture reflection and prayer. There is no entrance charge but a collection will be taken for Christian Aid and Trócaire. Further Lenten lunches will be held in Enniskillen as follows, all on Wednesdays from 12.30 to 2pm and open to everyone.

28th February – McArthur Hall, Enniskillen Methodist Church, Wesley Street entrance.

7th March – St Macartin’s Cathedral Hall

14th March – the Bridge Centre at the Presbyterian Church

Please note also that the Faith and Friendship group, an interdenominational Bible study, fellowship and prayer gathering, sharing the reflections of Rev. Ruth Patterson, will meet on Wednesday 21st March from 12.30 to 2pm, at the Riverview Room in the Bridge Centre. All are very welcome. Tea and coffee will be provided – please bring your own sandwiches!

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Day of Prayer in Enniskillen

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Service for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Photo: © Tonya Fitzpatrick, World Footprints. All Rights Reserved

Photo: © Tonya Fitzpatrick, World Footprints. All Rights Reserved

We hope that you will be able to join us once again at our annual Christian Unity Week Service, which will take place on Thursday January 18th at 7.30pm in Enniskillen Methodist Church. The material for this year’s celebration has been prepared by Christians in the Caribbean, and its themes raise some of the contemporary issues addressed by churches in the region.

The reflection will be given by Dr Fergus O’Ferrall, Lay leader of the Methodist Church in Ireland. As you may remember, he gave a brilliant talk to the Forum in October, as part of our Reformation/reformations series.

As always, the service is open to everyone, and a warm welcome is offered to all. Tea and coffee will be served afterwards, giving us an opportunity to meet and talk with old and new friends.

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2017 AGM

We are very pleased to invite you all to this year’s AGM, which will take place on Thursday 16th November at 8pm in the Riverview Room of the Bridge Centre (the hall at the Presbyterian Church) East Bridge Street, Enniskillen.

Our guest speaker will be Jonny Hanson, co-founder of Jubilee, an interdenominational Christian cooperative focused on agriculture and environmental stewardship. Jonny, who was brought up in Monaghan and Malawi, will be talking about the Jubilee Farm project, which integrates care farming, community-supported agriculture and conservation education and engagement, all in a two acre walled garden in the centre of Larne. As always, refreshments will be served and there will be the opportunity to chat to old and new friends.

Please note also that our membership year begins at the AGM and there will be the opportunity to pay your subscription (still only £10) during the evening. If you are not yet a member, this is the ideal opportunity to join us!

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Autumn Seminars 2017

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2017 Fermanagh Churches Forum Conference

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(in association with Fermanagh and Omagh Council and the Irish School of Ecumenics)

Our conference this year will be held at the Killyhevlin Hotel Enniskillen on Thursday September 21st 2017 from 10am  until 4pm and our theme will be Civil Society Engaging with Politics

The conference will explore, through input and interactive discussion, the ideas of common good, equality and democracy as key to the flourishing and wellbeing of all the people of Northern Ireland.The purpose of the conference is to encourage and empower all of us to be engaged in the politics of human and eco flourishing. It is about faith in action as we endeavour to play our part in participatory and deliberative democracy.

Programme

10.00am – 10.25am Registration – Tea / coffee on arrival
10.30am Welcome
10.40am – 11.10am Dr. Johnston McMaster: ‘Saving Democracy For The Sake Of Equality’
11.10am – 12.00 noon Interactive Group Discussion
12noon – 12.45pm Questions and Answers. Facilitated Plenary Discussion
12.45pm – 1. 45pm Lunch
1.45pm – 2.15pm Dr. Johnston McMaster: ‘Is a Common Good Possible In A Contested
Society?’
2.15pm – 3.00pm Interactive Group Discussion
3.00pm – 3.40pm Questions and Answers. Facilitated Plenary Discussion
3.40pm – 4.00pm A Way Forward ?
4.00pm Closing Reflection

To book your place or if you have any questions, please click here to email us.  The conference is free of charge but booking is essential for catering purposes. We need to receive your booking by Monday 18th September.

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Photograph from the Killyhevlin Hotel website at www.killyhevlin.com

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