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‘Harder to Make Peace’ – Sidholme Residential

‘Harder to Make Peace’ – Sidholme Residential
January 15, 2018 Judith Simms


Over 100 women [and a few brave gentlemen], met to share worship and learning and fun at Sidholme in November.

Our speaker was Dr Jill Barber, who spoke on ‘Harder to Make Peace’. She led us through a series of interesting and challenging sessions to help illustrate her theme.

*Harder to Make Peace [the expression is an extract from a remark by Gerry Adams about the fact that it is harder to make peace than to make war] – the price to pay for peace is self-giving. Are we in a right relationship with God?  Do we hold each other in that circle of God’s love?

* Courage and Conscience – conscientious objectors and conformity.  Jill reminded us of stories which told of the sacrifice and suffering of COs.    Faced with ethical issues, how do we decide? How many views do we allow for each issue?

*Mind the Gap – living with contradictory convictions – do we model the unconditional love of Christ? Do we listen with respect to those with whom we disagree? Do we support those who need support?

*Peacekeeping and Peacemaking – do we keep the status quo, or do we repair broken states?  How do we ensure reconciliation? How do we work for just and peaceful relationships?

*People of Peace and Protest in the Bible – encouraged us to identify ‘peace’ and ‘protest’ in a number of Bible passages.  Where did Jesus stand?  with whom did he identify?

Jill’s talks ranged through the Gospel story of the woman with an issue of blood, Archbishop Romero, The Synod of Whitby in 664, Bert Brocklesby, Andre Rublev’s ‘Icon of the Trinity’, and many more examples of ways to ‘make peace’. We were fascinated, entertained, and above all, we learned so much!

Around Jill’s talks, we shared workshops on Bible study, liturgical dance, card-making, beading, creative writing, and a prayer walk.  We enjoyed a concert on the Wednesday evening, led by Mr John Stather and the Brunswick Singers,  and excellent meals and care offered by the kind staff at Sidholme.

The residential concluded with a Service of Holy Communion, led by the Reverend Graham Thompson, District Chair, before we all shared a final meal and departed, hopefully wiser, and certainly fuller!