Friday, 27 June 2014

First Sunday Evening on the Nomadic - Our last one for a while

This post got lost in the DRAFTS box from 6 April 2014.
We said our farewell on the SS Nomadic. Ward recited the Call To Worship from the beginning of his book, Plain Drink Tea.  Marda thanked Chris and Susan, and said our goodbyes to all those who welcomed us and provided a Spirit filled prayer walking venue for Sunday afternoons.

This "fresh expression of church" needs support from the traditional denominations as well as from those who seek true spirituality without the trappings of institutional religion.  Patronize the Dock Cafe and pay forward.  Support Chris Bennett as a chaplain to the Titanic Quarter and give generously.  This is Christ's body and the church in action.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

April is here

This Friday, Ward Stothers, with author Bill McKnight to moderate, Rev Jack lamb to bless us and the librarian Mark Knowles to host us; Ward will officially launch his book.   

Plain Drink Tea  is available on and  The book can also be downloaded from Kindle.

With three sections, peace, prayers, and a cuppa, there is diversity you can use to warm your soul and encourage your actions.  An introduction and a postscript completes the story.  We do make a difference each one of us. 

Our Irish journey is taking a turn and we return home to California in two weeks for at least six months.  At this point it seems our base will return to Berkeley. Forays back to Northern Ireland will happen as projects warrant.  We are already talking about next year's Passion Walk in Belfast.  Ward and Bill have a concept for another book and some friends never made the pilgrimage to Ireland.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Blame it on the ipad

I had resolved to post monthly but since buying an ipad the use of my computer has diminished and posting a blog requires photos to keep it interesting and I don't often take photos with the ipad.

However this is a season of change and I want to post the observations.  This photo is of the snowdrops on Lime Tree Walk at The Argory.  Ethel called for us on a Saturday and we rode down to this National Trust property to observe the first flowers of Spring, much like crocuses I suppose but what do I know about flowers?

It was a typical Northern Ireland winter into spring day with storm showers making you wonder what you were doing trying to take a walk in a park?  The property is built on a river and the water was quite high.  The house itself was closed so the visitors are there only to walk and enjoy the grounds of this old estate now maintained and managed by the National Trust.

The difference between days with temperatures between 0 and 5 C and 5  to 9 C is tremendous.  We have smiles again as the weather is warming up.  It looks like we have escaped a winter of snow and ice.  This winter was cold for a long time but no snow nor ice to worry about and we also escaped the flooding that England suffered.

On another topic we have marveled at the quality and increase of art in many places from the cartoonist at the networking gathering that the Mayor hosted for the 4CornersFestival to the Peace Paper making event this week.

This is the finished art of our friend Helen Sanlon commissioned for the Drumalis Retreat Centre.  It's inspiration is an aerial view of the property and it is very beautiful.

Next month I will be able to share my delight at discovering this completed work (I saw it in Helen's studio in bits) with my other artist friend, McCall Gilfillan, as we participate in a Tres Dias weekend cloistered at Drumalis Retreat Centre.  McCall will bring her sketchbook.  Me I want to bring my Bible, listen and hear God.

Saturday, 18 January 2014


This is a drawing that was done at the Mayor's Reception in the Belfast City Hall for faith based groups working for peace in North and West Belfast.  This drawing was made in response to my introduction of our house being called The Loom where relationships are woven.

The event was held as part of the Four Corners Project which was initiated last year by Fr Martin Magill and Rev Steve Stockman to bring the four corners of Belfast together in faith.

It was a year ago that Profs Vicki and Jennifer came to check out whether a Spring Break Study Trip was feasible and they participated in the last event of the Four Corner Project.  They brought students in April 2013.

This year in the first week of March they will return with 12 students for eight days who will put their young minds to observe new and old activities and weave their own thoughts into the peace and reconciliation mix.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Last of 2013

After the party tonight I will cook and I will eat only healthy, fresh, green, locally grown food.
I promise.  We have been eating a lot of kale, really we have.

This is the last day of 2013.  I hope everything that was suppose to get done got done, because the hours are going.  It doesn't help that it gets dark just after 4 pm and it is very cold, down around freezing.

We have had a great year with many visitors.  Jerem and Conor came in January along with Jennifer and Vicki.  Jon Kennedy moved into The Loom in March.  We went home and renewed visas in April.  We've been to Northumbria in June with Lane, and deepened the relationships with the local Belfast based Northumbria Community by regular meetings and going on retreat to Kilbrony Centre Rostrevor.  Then six sets of visitors came in September and October.  We've deepened the relationships with the North Belfast clergy through the 174 Trust clergy forum.  I learned a few words of Irish.  We sang in the Together Stronger community choir.  We lost Jeff and Kenny.  We met challenges with grace and we prayed together most every day.  Praise God at all times.

It feels like months

I posted in October, a visit to Patrick's grave made in September.  After the Nielsen's visit, Suzan and Eric Miller came to tour Northern Ireland.  We four then went on a big trip and joined 20 other Organization of Women Architects friends and family.  We first went to London for a day, to Venice for three days and then onto a big boat for a cruise of the Mediterranean. 
In this photo in front of the Basilica in the Piazza San Marco,  Darlene and Bruce were not ready and four hadn't yet come. We had a meal together and the next day boarded the MSC Divina which seemed like a floating Las Vegas hotel.  The highlight was being with old friends, getting to know many better and meeting new friends.  
The ports were good too:  Venice, Bari, Katalon near Olympia, Izmir near Ephesus, Istanbul, and Dubrovnik. 
This was a test of Ward's mobility.  He fared well and especially enjoyed the warmer weather.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Patrick's Grave

I took Garald and Carol Lynn to Downpatrick to see the Patrick Center built to educate visitors on the life of Patrick (387 - 460 AD)  We parked above the center at the Down Cathedral and wandered into the graveyard where there was a small wooden sign that said 'St Patrick's Grave.' 
Remembering that Randy Lee ran up on a rainy day, I wondered if he got to see this.  The rock has a very old inscription of a cross and the word 'Patri' with the rest worn away.  The plaque says the remains of St Patrick, St Brigid and St Columba, are reputed to be re-interred here in the 12th Century.