Psalms for the Spirit Ep. 20: How Do We Pay Attention and Not Lose Hope? with Rebecca Dudley

FOR OUR FINAL EPISODE OF SEASON TWO, TODAY’S GUEST is Rebecca Dudley – ordained minister and advisor with the New Zealand Red Cross on legal frameworks protecting people in humanitarian emergencies, speaking in a personal capacity for this podcast. Rebecca spent many years in Northern Ireland devoted to human rights issues, and I know her as a member of the Corrymeela Community. I was so grateful that in the dark winter days (on this side of the world anyway), she offered a Zoom talk which she entitled “The Hope Project.” In this talk she shared her reflections on the poignant question: how do we pay attention without losing hope? I was so taken with her question, and her findings, and of course I was drawn when she mentioned the Psalms as a part of her journey. I asked her if she would talk with me on this podcast about her Hope Project and its connection to the Psalms, which we were able to do just after Easter. Since then, as wave after wave of bad news rolls in, it’s clear that her message is as timely as ever, and essential for our wellbeing as we take in and respond to horrific news on a daily basis. 

In our conversation, we talk about the power of the Psalms to reach across time and culture, about images of hope as bridge and spark and lifeline, about how psychological first aid might support us in times of distress, and how the old spiritual traditions of vocation and intercession can help us find the small thing that is ours to do in this hurting world. 

If you’d like to hear Rebecca Dudley’s original talk on The Hope Project, you’ll find the link here – there is so much there, especially if you resonate with this question of how we pay attention without losing hope.   

So whatever it is that brought you here, I’m glad you’re with us. 

Find the podcast on the Psalms for the Spirit website or subscribe on Apple, Google or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

More about Rebecca:

The Rev. Dr. Rebecca Dudley is a member of the Corrymeela community speaking in a personal capacity for this podcast. In her day job, she is the International Humanitarian Law Advisor to New Zealand Red Cross, where she has been since 2016. She works on the legal frameworks that can protect vulnerable people in humanitarian emergencies; human rights, humanitarian and environmental law. Between 2001 and 2015 she worked on issues of human rights and transitional justice and sexual and gender based violence in Northern Ireland. Prior to that she worked for many years for Christian Aid in London. She has a BA in History from Yale (1983), an MDiv from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (1991), an LLM (2008) and a PhD in international law from Queens University Belfast (2015). She is based on the North Island of New Zealand in Wellington. Rebecca was ordained in 1991 the Presbyterian Church USA, and has also been in good standing in the United Reformed Church in England and Wales, and the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, and is active in her local church in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa NZ. 


Come, Spirit, Come (Psalm 144)

You’re the Hope (forthcoming album)

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Upcoming Retreats at Corrymeela 2022-23

I’ll be leading a series of retreats at the beautiful Corrymeela residential centre in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland, in the coming year – in October, February, and May of 2022-23. We’re getting word out about these retreats early so that you can mark your calendars, register, and book your travel plans well in advance. Spirituality and resilience is a theme that runs through all of my retreats, and we explore those connections through silence and sharing, prayer and reflection, music and art, stillness and movement, solitude and community. If you would like to breathe a breath of fresh air, in body and in spirit, come to Corrymeela this year for one of our retreats – we would love to welcome you, and together we can seek out sources of healing and hope in the midst this hurting world. Go to for more information on how to book your place. 

Contact with enquiries.

New Celtic Psalms Album

We are releasing a new album of Celtic Psalms VERY soon! Preorder your copy here!

Upcoming Celtic Psalms Tour of the Northeast US

From 1-17 July 2022, Celtic Psalms will be visiting communities from Boston to Baltimore and everywhere in between. If you would like to recommend a venue, please get in touch with me and we’ll set something up.


I write about spirituality and the daily walk in Bless My Feet. Sign up to receive a monthly free newsletter with reflection and updates on retreats, podcasts, music, spiritual direction, and other things I’m doing. If you subscribe with a small fee, you’ll receive a few extra emails per month and support me in my spirituality ministry. Find out more here

Whatever it is that brought you here, I’m so glad you’re with us. – Kiran

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