In June, I went to Calvin College, Michigan to witness a birth. On 18th June. REC and WARC united to become WCRC... You can read the official story at http://www.reformedchurches.org/
For me, it's the start of a new element in my life - connecting the Presbyterian Church in Ireland more intimately with the other member churches of this new communion - at least for the duration of my service as one of the four European members of the WCRC executive committee.
What difference would it make to us, to be more consciously connected with other churches flowing from the Reformation? As Ireland becomes more international, might it be a key time for us to relate to churches and cultures that expand our imaginations to assist us in connecting with the new Irish on our doorsteps?
Meanwhile, our local "government" has at last seen fit to produce it's paper on "Cohesion, Sharing and Integration" - which should have appeared at least two years ago. Glad it's here... and hope they mean it! Sadly, I'd have been more inclined to be convinced if it had appeared back then. Still, let's work with what we've got , hey?
For today, I just want to pick up one little statistic in the document:
In 2009, respondents to the Life and Times survey were generally supportive of the rights of EU citizens to live and work here with 69% saying they were very or fairly welcoming of the idea.
Only 69%? Don't they realise this is the same mechanism that opens up the whole European landscape for them too? I guess one third of our population can't imagine ever wanting to live anywhere else than here... What can we do to encourage a more outward view?
I've got so much learning and growing to do myself, it's hard to see how to share what I'm experiencing. Can one person making occasional trips to committee meetings make any difference to a culture of fear of difference, and glorious isolation? God alone knows...