Spend time in worship and conversation with Irish Quakers. Appreciate the rich history of Friends in Ireland, enter into the spiritual life of this diverse group as a guest at their yearly meeting sessions and visit some of their meetings.
- Visit Neolithic sites.
- Explore the 350-year history of Friends in Ireland, which began in persecution.
- Reflect on the witness of Friends whose quiet efforts during the Great Hunger of the 19th century helped relieve suffering and challenged its causes.
· - Hear from those who worked during the 20th century 'Troubles' to offer fresh visions of reconciliation.
· - Observe the continuing work towards community reconciliation in 21st century multi-racial, multi-cultural Ireland. Newgrange, in the Boyne Valley of County Meath, built 5,000 years ago
Our pilgrimage will begin and end in Dublin. As we get to know each other we will explore history and culture of the city of Dublin, and also take a day to visit the Neolithic sites of Newgrange and the Hill of Tara, where 142 Kings were crowned.
We will join Ireland Yearly Meeting at their annual sessions, to be held this year at the Dromantine Retreat and Conference Center in Newry, Northern Ireland. The yearly meeting is a microcosm of some of the theological and cultural diversity on the island. We will meet frequently to reflect on our learning.
Our final base will be Moyallon Centre, where we will get to know local Friends, visit meetinghouses in villages and cities, hear about faithful work for reconciliation over the years, and visit some of the places where Friends’ testimonies are visible in community relations. Be prepared to drink many cups of tea as Ulster Friends welcome us, and expect to make lasting friendships.Moyallon Meeting HouseMoyallon centre
We will travel to areas where so-called “peace walls” keep communities segregated, visit places of loss and violence, but also look for signs of hope, and see some the work to bring members of different communities together, including the role of the arts in creating new paradigms and symbols.
We will have opportunities to relax and explore Dublin, Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, as well as visiting the Antrim coast and the Giant’s Causeway. Ballycastle harbourThe Giant's Causeway
A pilgrimage involves preparation, the journey itself and reflection after the event. SOME QUERIES TO BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY:
· - How do I prepare myself for what God has waiting for me in Ireland?
· - What gifts do I bring to reconciliation?
· - How do I overcome inward obstacles - especially assumptions and fears?
· - What would make me a more effective agent of reconciliation in my own community?
· - How am I called to engage in change within my own community - Quaker and beyond?SOME THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS ON THE JOURNEY
· Ireland Yearly Meeting spans two countries, Ireland and Northern Ireland. What holds it together as one yearly meeting?
· Irish Friends now reflect some of the diversity in broader Irish/Northern Ireland society, and much of the theological diversity to be found among Friends elsewhere. How do they nurture unity?
· How can we learn from Irish Quakers, with their cultural and theological diversity, on navigating the differences among Friends - especially in North America?
· In what ways have Irish Friends held up Quaker testimonies and influenced public policy in both countries?
YOUR FACILITATORS Margaret Fraser
has co-led Quaker pilgrimages for both adults and Young Friends on two continents, and three previous international visits to Northern Ireland. She has a growing interest in the ways in which some communities can live together in the midst of significant cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, while for others the stress is too great. She feels happily at home among Irish Friends. Anne Bennett
taught at Queen's University, Belfast, during the Troubles, and for several years afterwards she worked for the international department of Britain Yearly Meeting. She was involved with developing peacebuilding programmes in societies which had experienced violent conflicts including Africa. Asia and the Middle East, before returning to Northern Ireland in 2004 as Director of Quaker House, Belfast.
They are both hoping that their friends will quickly become your friends.
PILGRIMAGE COST: $2,600. WHAT'S INCLUDED:
- 13 nights' accommodation- 3 meals a day - Travel - on buses and trains, and in a van with a local driver- Entrance to places of cultural and historic significance- Travel insurance- Attendance at the residential sessions of Ireland Yearly Meeting- Advance reading materials- Daily reflection and conversation time.
Airfare to and from Dublin is not included
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A deposit of $850 will secure your place. Please make two further payments: $850, due by December 1, 2014, and $900, due February 1, 2015. Please make checks payable to Good News Associates
, and mail them to 13730 15th Ave NE #A302, Seattle, WA 98125.
Once your place is confirmed, make your own airline reservation
. Plan to arrive at Dublin Airport early morning on Tuesday April 7
and to leave on Monday April 20
. Good News Associates 13730 15th Ave NE #A302, Seattle, WA 98125