Fermanagh Churches Forum

creating community ~ celebrating diversity

Enniskillen Inter-Schools Conference

Enniskillen Inter-Schools Conference

 0n Thursday Feb 13th more than 70 students from post-primary schools in Enniskillen and their sixth form teachers attended a very successful event which included a viewing of the film ‘The Quiet Shuffling of Feet’ and a follow-up workshop.

The event was hosted by Fermanagh Churches Forum and members of the Churches Forum participated. It was supported by the Good Relations Department of Fermanagh and Omagh Council.

The 55-minute documentary film ‘The Quiet Shuffling of Feet’ produced and directed by Fergus Cooper, addresses the issue of trauma through the eyes of David Bolton who has worked with the victims of trauma both here and internationally. He published a study on trauma titled ‘Conflict, Peace and Mental Health’ in 2017.

In the workshop participants had an opportunity to explore and share reactions to the film and discuss what they saw as its key messages. In the follow-up question and answer session, chaired by Noelle McAlinden, young people had an opportunity to pose questions to Fergus and David and hear further about their experience both in the making of the film, and in dealing with its subject matter.

Among the issues highlighted by young people were the challenges of living in a post conflict society, the importance of investment in Mental Health and Well-being and the significance of the opportunity which allowed pupils from different traditions to come together to discuss the sensitive subject-matter of the film.

Karen Whaley Psychotherapist from The Aisling Centre also attended and highlighted some of the services, courses and support available locally.

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Enniskillen Christian Unity Week Service Thursday 23rd Jan in Presbyterian Church Enniskillen at 8pm

 Enniskillen Christian Unity Week Service 2020

Traditionally the week of prayer for Christian unity is celebrated between 18-25 January, between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul. Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21)

Each year the Enniskillen Christian Unity Week Service is organised by Fermanagh Churches Forum and rotates around the 4 larger Churches in the town. This year the Service will take place in Enniskillen Presbyterian church at 8pm on Thursday January 23rd. 
Resources for this Service were prepared by Churches in Malta and the theme  is ‘Unusual Kindness.’ 
 Malta  at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, halfway between the southern tip of Sicily and Northern Africa lies at the crossroads of civilizations, cultures and religions. The history of Christianity in this small island nation dates back to the time of the apostles. According to tradition, St Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, reached the shores of Malta in the year 60CE. The narrative describing this eventful and providential episode is conveyed to us in the final two chapters of the Acts of the Apostles which describe the ship wreck and the ‘unusual kindness’ with which St. Paul and his friends were received.
 We are reminded  that in the most difficult situations, inhospitable places and even in the most inhospitable people, there we can find  something of God’s grace and some source of hope.
We are invited in this year’s Week Of Prayer for Christian Unity materials to see God working through people and places which offer unusual kindness -  if only we would do the appropriate kind of looking.
 
The address will be given by Rev Gunther Andrich from South Africa who is now minister of Irvinestown, Pettigo and Tempo Presbyterian Churches.
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 a chance to meet and talk with old and new friends.

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Fermanagh Churches Forum AGM will be held in the  Bridge Centre (Presbyterian Church Hall) Thursday  Nov 14th at 7.30pm. 

We are very pleased to welcome as our guest speaker Rev David Cupples who has ministered in Enniskillen for more than thirty years. The title of his talk will be ‘Making Time and Space for God’ a reflection on his personal experience of the famous 670 miles Camino de Santiago de Compostela walk. Rev Cupples has written a book of spiritual reflections and devotion titled ‘Peregino’ based on his thoughts and reflections while on the two month walk.

 

Refreshments will be served, entrance is free, and all, including new and potential members, are very welcome. The Fermanagh Churches Forum, which was founded in 2002, is a group of Christian believers in the Fermanagh area who seek to promote reconciliation in the community and among the churches

 

 

 

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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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