Date: Monday 2nd December 2019
Our friends at The Amos Trust are hosting a series of Christmas Carol Concerts across the country where Sami Awad from the Holy Land Trust will be speaking along with guest performers.He will also be speaking in Cheltenham, Canterbury, Bristol, West Yorkshire, Manchester, Birmingham, and Leicester. For further details see https://www.amostrust.org/diary/bethlehem-christmas-carol-service-tour-2019/.
Our thanks to all who joined us for this inspiring day held in partnership with Reverend Alex Mabbs/Earth Church and Living Spirituality Connections on 8th June 2019.
In the light of the challenges facing us from the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss, the event explored our spiritual sense of connectedness to the earth and the actions we can take to contribute to earth and human flourishing.
Our keynote speaker, award-winning environmentalist and solutionist Nicola Peel www.nicolapeel.com. “Awesome, inspiring, deeply moving, deeply sad” but, “I was so glad of the solutions put forward” said a participant.
Following Nicola’s keynote talk, participants had the opportunity to attend two out of four workshops. These workshops were:
1. Green Grace. Facilitator: Rev Philip Roderick, founder of Contemplative Fire and the Quiet Gardens movement
2. Top tips for taking personal action to protect the earth. Facilitator: Nicola Peel (see above)
3. “Saving the world is a spiritual matter“. Facilitator: Rev Alex Mabbs of Brighthelm’s Earth Church project.
4. The Great Water Challenge. Facilitator: Sandy Elsworth, geologist.
Deborah Colvin (Sustainability Champion at St James’s Piccadilly) writes:
“I really appreciated the explicit co-mingling/admixture of science, spirit, activism and contemplative approaches in this event… Sandy Elsworth’s Great Water Challenge gave us really good practical information. Water is not considered nearly enough when we are thinking about the environmental crisis.
I would like to see more of this kind of event, with outputs from the groups which go directly to politicians.”
The level of inspiration from this event has been very important in motivating people to take action. If you are interested do keep a lookout for similar events that we are planning in the future.
We were delighted to visit The Grange Community, Gloucestershire again in July to share an overview of our Pathways for Human Flourishing programme. The training
was very well received and enabled the participants to share their understanding of a “Flourishing Community” with renewed depth and understanding.
One of the participants when asked what she had learnt said’ “We learned about the Heart!”And she went on “The Heart is in the centre just like the Sun. The plants would never grow from seed to fruit if they did not have the rays of the sun to give them light and warmth. So does Human Flourishing. We can not flourish without our Heart “
Date: Monday 17th June, 2019
Time: 7 – 9pm
Venue: The Friendship Café, Chequers Bridge, Painswick Road, Gloucester GL4 6PR
Our next Bring and Share Supper Evening will be celebrating the official opening of the Coffee Shop.
Imran Atcha, manager of the Friendship Café and long-time supporter of Spirit of Peace writes:
The Coffee Shop at the Friendship Café finally opens officially on June 17th 2019, after many years of planning and fundraising. The ambition is for the coffee shop to be a social enterprise to bring people from different backgrounds together, to be a friendly meeting place, a training venue and to provide an outlet for locals to find out about different opportunities and services. The launch is appropriately timed to coincide with the next Spirit of Peace ‘Bring and Share’ supper as we have the same aims of bringing people together.
The coffee shop is currently open 10-3 during weekdays, and all profits are reinvested into the Friendship Café charity.
Date: Monday 24th June, 2019
Time: 7.15pm for 7.30pm
Venue: The Christian Community, 73 Cainscross Road, Stroud
Do join us there for an evening of reflective conversation, with an emphasis on deep listening in an attempt to really understand where others are coming from.
We haven’t arranged a theme for the evening, but we often touch on outer events in our community, nation and world, as well as sharing aspects of our inner journeys. The evenings are often very rich and moving.
How can humankind and the Earth both flourish? What practical actions can we take, and how does this relate to our spiritual traditions, especially Christianity?
Date: Saturday 8th June, 2019
Time: 10am – 4.45pm
Venue: Brighthelm Centre, Brighton, BN1 1YD
We are very excited to present our new leaflet here and let you know that bookings are now open.
Please click here to book: https://tinyurl.com/ybzp634o
Spirit of Peace is part of the team that delivers the Oxford Three Faiths Week. This year our theme is ‘Relating Across the Divides’ where we will be learning about the different groups within our faiths and exploring the issues encountered by interfaith families.
Walking to Palestine. A talk by Benjamin Ladrae
Date: 11th February 2019
Time: 7 – 8.45pm
Venue: Friendship Cafe, Chequers Bridge, Painswick Road, Gloucester GL4 6PR
Our next Bring and share community supper will be welcoming Benjamin Ladrae to talk with us about his walk from Sweden to Palestine which attracted world-wide media coverage. His talk in Gloucester will explore one man's mission to try and bring about change in a peaceful way, by raising awareness of the challenging conditions faced by Palestinians on a daily basis.
Benjamin is a friend of local humanitarian worker Ebrahim Musaji, who himself has been on aid missions to Lebanon, Gaza and Syria.
You are invited to bring a contribution of vegetarian/alcohol-free food for the shared supper.
There is plenty of parking to the left of the Friendship Cafe. Do please spread the word around about this event to anyone who you think might like to join us.
Date: Monday 28th January 2019
Time: 7.15pm for 7.30pm
Venue: The Christian Community, 73 Cainscross Road, Stroud
Following on from the theme ‘How can I be right, without making you wrong?’, our January event will focus on Stepping into your world. During the evening we will be exploring how we can temporarily let go of our own perspectives and beliefs, and enter into the mindset of the other in order to understand their world.
We will be serving light refreshments at the beginning and end of the evening and if you feel like bringing a small snack to the share, that would be very welcome. There will also be a collection towards the work of Spirit of Peace.
Purpose of the group
At a recent review, it was decided that although there had been some drop-off in numbers it was important to continue to deepen the conversation and invite new members. The following report was provided some years ago and well-describes the nature and value of the conversations.
Some years ago friends of mine acquired a property near Stroud. The garden was large and completely neglected. They wanted to make a large pond, and somehow got hold of a dilapidated digger and dug a wide hole. Then they waited – and within a year that hole had filled with water; vegetation grew all around the sides- bull-rushes, marsh marigolds and watercress. In the spring it became the home for a family of ducks. Nature, time and good-intention had created something worthwhile and beautiful.
And so it seems, that is what is happening in the Spirit of Peace meetings that have been taking place in Stroud almost every month now, for the last three or four years. Generally about twenty people sit in a circle. About four to six Muslims from the Friendship Café in Gloucester drive over after a long working day. The candle is lit and a Singing Bowl is sounded. There is often a topic. In the early days it was more about explaining the different festivals in the major religions at each season. Now the topics seem to be wider and more individual. For example, "How can I be right, without making you wrong?" "What is belief?" "Is belief the same as faith?" "How does my Faith/faith help me in my life?"
Sometimes someone will open the evening with a short, prepared introduction and then anyone can speak openly if they feel moved to do so- and most people in the circle do. It is a safe space, knowing that no one will interrupt or criticise. Over the years, although there are always new people coming and going into the meetings, a strong feeling of respect and acceptance is present and genuine friendship and understanding. Many find it a relief to be able to express themselves openly at such a deep and personal level. We end after an hour and a half, with a few refreshments – and a warm feeling that we have all experienced a step towards understanding each other a bit more.
Our current co-ordinator writes: We always start with a sounding bowl to takes us into some silence, and then we wait until someone feels inspired to talk. Others then pick up the threads of conversation which have inspired or resonated with them…. and the conversation evolves – hopefully with an emphasis on listening to each other, as well as speaking. The themes we touch on are many and varied – sometimes connected with events in the wider world and in our local communities, or with matters of faith or our inner lives.
THEME: How Can I Be Right Without Making You Wrong?
Date: Monday 3rd December
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Venue: Christian Community, 73 Cainscross Road, Stroud GL5 4HB
A group of us met in October for the first evening of Listening Conversations that we have had for quite a while. We talked about the future of this group; everyone wanted it to continue, in spite of low numbers in recent times. There was a feeling that the group offers an opportunity to reflect on all manner of issues in a way that is quite unique, with its emphasis on listening and contemplation.
We would very much like new people to join us, and for the group to be more diverse. Everyone is welcome to come. If you’d like a taste, to see if it’s for you, do join us at our next meeting on Monday 3rd December, 7-9pm, We will have a theme: How Can I Be Right Without Making You Wrong? Although the Christian Community, 73 Cainscross Road, Stroud is undergoing major building works, we are still able to meet there.