Today’s guest is Ruth Patterson – Presbyterian minister, writer, retreat leader – recognized internationally for her deep spiritual insight and her gently powerful work in peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.
When I first heard about Ruth Patterson, it was with a certain sense of awe, as she was the very first woman – in any denomination – to be ordained in Ireland (well, perhaps since St. Brigit in the 5th century). Not only that, but she speaks with clarity and eloquence, and shows a steady kindness towards everyone she encounters. Ruth is one of those people for whom poetry and meaningful quotations roll off the tongue effortlessly, and whose reflections are profound while also being accessible and applicable to daily life.
The organisation she founded and led for 30 years, “Restoration Ministries,” brings people together across community divides in Ireland around their shared spirituality, and draws on the image of restoration depicted in the Psalms. In this conversation, which we had in the heart of Advent, we talk about the link between the Psalms and the history of Ireland, about the importance of hospitality – towards ourselves, God, others – in moving into a future of restoration, about the journey towards becoming our full selves, and about how awakening to our belovedness is the starting point for healing and wholeness in this world.
So whatever it is that brought you here, I’m glad you’re with us.
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More about Ruth:
Ruth Patterson is a Presbyterian minister, and for the last 33 years has been Director of Restoration Ministries (https://restorationministries.co.uk), a non- denominational, Christian organisation committed to peace and reconciliation. In 1976 she was the first woman to be ordained in Ireland. She was the recipient of the Alumna of the Year 2000 award (Edinburgh University / Royal Bank of Scotland), in 2001 an honorary doctorate from the Presbyterian Theology Faculty of Ireland, and in 2003 was awarded an OBE for her efforts in reconciliation. She has authored five books and numerous articles stemming from her commitment to unity and peace. She produces annual scripture guidelines for Faith and Friendship. She is one of four church representatives to L’Arche International and holds the post of Ecumenical Canon in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. She is on the Board of Oneings, a bi-annual publication of the Centre for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The music in this episode is by John L. Bell (aside from intro/outro). With thanks to John, Wild Good Resources, and GIA for allowing use of these songs on this podcast. If you would like to purchase these songs, follow the links below. Songs are listed in order of appearance.
Come, Spirit, Come (Psalm 144) – intro/outro by Celtic Psalms
Love and Mercy (Psalm 85 – Forthcoming Album)
You can find our published scores, CDs and mp3s through GIA Music
2nd January 2022 “Sing a New Song” Online Retreat Day with Paul Hutchinson (Therapist, Mediator, Storyteller and Podcast Guest from Episode 11)
Silent Retreat 25-27 February 2022 at Corrymeela
This retreat offers a space to be in silence alongside a gathered community. In silence we take the time to still the swirl of daily life and really listen, deeply, to what is going on below the surface. We listen to ourselves – to our own voices, needs, pains, griefs, longings and hopes for the future. And we listen to what God might saying to us and leading us into.
Silence crosses many barriers. This retreat is open to people from a variety of religious and spiritual backgrounds. It is led by Kiran Young Wimberly, Presbyterian minister and spiritual director.
Contact email@example.com to book your place.
I’d love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message via our Facebook page to share with me how the Psalms have lifted your spirits.
Whatever it is that brought you here, I’m so glad you’re with us. – Kiran