Belfast Reflections

Its actually my fist time in Belfast, although i have been in Dublin a few times. Belfast is a city of binary opposites held in constant tension with each other. Catholics and Protestants, North and South, Ireland and England. It makes sense that Pete’s book (mentioned below) carries that theme of conflicting binaries held in juxtaposition all the way through the book.

In my sessions yesterday, . .

i ran into a few moments of tension with some of the people. It may be, as some suggested, that they were still dealing with anger issues related to their church experience and I triggered off something in the language i used .. . or it may be that they didnt know me and they heard me presenting one side of the message [in this case, JOY] without hearing me present the other side [SUFFERING] in the same moment. Either that or the fact that I failed to win their trust and aroused their suspicion as someone deeply embedded in the institutions of the church

Usually i am suspected of the opposite – as an outsider of the traditional church. Its possible that I am treated with hesitation by extreme EC’ers for my committment to ecumenical unity and ignored by the Fundies who do not think me heretical enough to bother with.

Anyway, that was just a moment and the rest of it led to some good conversation and getting stuck into Luke 10 to see how the way Jesus outlined ministry can be so different from the way we were taught.


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • I enjoyed the discussion on Luke 10, Andrew. I regret not being able to stick around for the rest of Soliton, but alas, my wife surprised me with tickets to The Decemberists concert in Dublin before she knew of the schedule conflict. Hope the rest of the weekend goes well! Praying for the Soliton crew.

  • The Luke 10 was stimulating even with having interacted with it before. I made a number of personal applications in the process and am grateful for your facilitation. Thanks.

  • Hi Andrew
    When working with Emergent / House Church people or those interested in it one does have to deal with hurt from those that feel hurt by established church, and everything they hear is filtered through that hurt which can be difficult when wanting to move forward. By the way I like how you use the word ‘Established Church’ instead of Organised Church, Institutional Church, Babylon etc. I think I will use it myself, it’s more accurate.

  • Andrew –
    Thanks for your thoughts on community in reference to Luke 10. It has helped me to re-shape my thoughts on how to be effective in a community. I look forward to using it in my future endeavors.

  • Andrew,
    It is a shame that you put the frustrations of others, such as myself, down to “anger issues” related to church experiences. I think there was something much more nuanced going on.
    With circles in mind, here is a quotation from Meister Eckhart:
    Being is God’s circle
    and in this circle
    all creatures exist.
    May we learn to live at peace in the circle. Different but not indifferent.

  • hi andrew,
    sounds interesting – Luke 10 – would you be so kind and share to the continent? 4 people not able to be there? 4 me? 😉
    we let our church die last weekend – it was o.k. at a certain point to give it back – john 12, 24 – we will see, what god grows out of this death – no, we had no truble – just – it had no steady fruit

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