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. 

FEATURED MUSIC

Come, Spirit, Come (Psalm 144)

You’re the Hope (forthcoming album)

You can find our published scores, CDs and mp3s through GIA Music

We’re also on YouTube, Spotify, and Amazon

UPCOMING RETREATS

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 Corrymeela.org for more information on how to book your place. 

Contact welcome@corrymeela.org 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. revkiran@gmail.com

SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER

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

Psalms for the Spirit Ep. 19: Persistence as a Sign of Deep Faith, with Munther Isaac

TODAY’S GUEST is Munther Isaac – Palestinian theologian, Lutheran minister, author and academic. This holy week many of us will be thinking of the holy land as we journey towards Easter, and in this conversation we listen to a voice many of us don’t get much of a chance to hear – the voice of a Palestinian Christian, reflecting here on the role of the Psalms in his own life and the affinity his community has for the Psalms – especially as they express complaint and lament on Good Friday, and as they point to a vision of a shared, peaceful future in his land. 

Born and raised in Bethlehem, Munther Isaac speaks internationally and at the local level on issues related to theology of land and reconciliation, and has written extensively on these themes in his books “From Land to Lands,” and “The Other Side of the Wall”.

A few months ago, I was on a panel on reconciliation and worship, and Munther was one of the speakers. Having spent a year of my life during university living in Jerusalem and traveling to the West Bank, I was very intrigued by what he shared of Palestinian Christian theology and perspective, and when he mentioned his community’s connection with the Psalms, I wanted to hear more. So I got in touch, and we were able to find a time last month in early Lent, during the first few weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

In this conversation, we talk about the power of reciting Psalms as a community in times of trouble; about how Good Friday reminds us that even when we feel forsaken, we’re not alone; about how persistence in prayers of complaint and lament is in fact a sign of deep faith; and about the vision of an ideal Jerusalem in which barriers are broken and enemies become friends. 

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 Munther:

Munther Isaac is a Palestinian Christian pastor and theologian. He now pastors the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. He is also the academic dean of Bethlehem Bible College, and is the director of the highly acclaimed and influential Christ at the Checkpoint conferences. 

Munther is passionate about issues related to the Palestinian theology. He speaks locally and internationally and has published numerous articles on issues related to the theology of the land, Palestinian Christians and Palestinian theology, holistic mission and reconciliation. He is the author of “The Other Side of the Wall”, “From Land to Lands, from Eden to the Renewed Earth”, “An Introduction to Palestinian Theology” (in Arabic), and a commentary on the book of Daniel (in Arabic). He is also involved in many reconciliation and interfaith forums. He is also a Kairos Palestine board member. 

Munther originally studied civil engineering in Birzeit University in Palestine. He then obtained a Master in Biblical Studies from Westminster Theological Seminary and then a PhD from the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies.

Munther is married to Rudaina – an architect, and together they have two boys: Karam (8) and Zaid (6).

FEATURED MUSIC

Come, Spirit, Come (Psalm 144)

My God, My God (Psalm 22)

All Who Dwell (Psalm 91)

Peace be with Jerusalem (forthcoming album)

You can find our published scores, CDs and mp3s through GIA Music

We’re also on YouTube, Spotify, and Amazon

UPCOMING RETREATS

4-6 May 2022 Resilient Spirit Retreat at Corrymeela

What keeps our spirits resilient, even in times of upheaval? The past few years have challenged us, and we have also found resilience within ourselves. 

This retreat offers space for reflection and sharing as we explore together what helps us build resilience in our daily lives—what lifts our spirits? What brings us balance? What offers us hope? Through the spacious rhythm of retreat, we learn more about what gives us life, energy and well being, so that we can return to our full lives restored and renewed. This retreat is open to people from a variety of religious or spiritual backgrounds. It is led by Rev. Kiran Young Wimberly 

Contact welcome@corrymeela.org 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, 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. revkiran@gmail.com

SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER

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

Psalms for the Spirit Ep. 18: Awakening to our Belovedness, with Ruth Patterson

TODAY’S GUEST

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. 

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

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. 

FEATURED MUSIC

Come, Spirit, Come (Psalm 144) – intro/outro by Celtic Psalms

You Have Searched Me (Psalm 139)

Love and Mercy (Psalm 85 – Forthcoming Album)

From the Depths (Psalm 130)

You can find our published scores, CDs and mp3s through GIA Music

We’re also on YouTube, Spotify, and Amazon

UPCOMING RETREATS

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 bookings@corrymeela.org to book your place. 

GET IN TOUCH!

I’d love to hear from you. Email psalmsforthespirit@gmail.com 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

Psalms for the Spirit Ep. 17: Delivering us through the Pains of Life and Death, with John Bell

TODAY’S GUEST

For some, Advent is a time of grief and loss. Today’s guest is John Bell – hymnwriter, author, and broadcaster and a guiding light from the Iona Community as he has for decades created resources for the global church in music, worship and spirituality.

I first became aware of John Bell as I was growing up, when I started to notice his name in the credits for so many of the sacred songs that I loved, and then our paths crossed in Northern Ireland some years ago when I was tasked with picking him up for a conference we were involved in. I have a striking memory of him striding out of the ferry in his bright red Doc Martin shoes, and I was delighted to discover that John Bell is warm and personable, has an easy laugh and a wry sense of humour, and speaks with a refreshing frankness while also displaying a clear empathy and compassion for others.

I recently discovered that he had written a book entitled “Living with the Psalms” – so I got in touch to see if he would be willing to have a chat about his insights, and we were able to do so right when the world had its eye on his city of Glasgow during COP26.

In this conversation we talk about how the Psalms – much like the incarnation we celebrate in this season – speak of God’s solidarity with us in our vulnerability, how the Psalms give us permission to express doubt and anger when we come face to face with suffering and injustice, how sacred songs have the power to heal and tend to the brokenhearted, and how the Psalms offer us the precious image of God as midwife – delivering us through the pains of life and death. 

There is some sensitive content in this episode, particularly about tragic loss of infants or children, so please be aware of that as you listen, and make sure you have the support you need in case any of the subjects are difficult to hear about.  

Most episodes of Psalms for the Spirit feature the music of Celtic Psalms, but it seemed only appropriate today to feature the renowned hymnwriting of John Bell – please see below for information on the songs, and thanks to John, the Iona Community, and GIA for allowing the use of these songs on this podcast. 

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 John:

John L. Bell is a Resource Worker with The Iona Community, who lectures, preaches and conducts seminars across the denominations.  He is a hymn writer, author and occasional broadcaster, but retains a primary passion for congregational song.  John is based in Glasgow and works with his colleagues in the areas of music, worship and spirituality. 

Purchase John Bell’s book “Living with the Psalms”

FEATURED MUSIC

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

Be Still and Know (purchase from GIA)

“Be Still and Know” by John L. Bell, Performed by The Cathedral Singers Copyright © 1989, Arr. © 1995 WGRG c/o Iona Community, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive North American agent. Recording courtesy of GIA Publications, Inc., from God Never Sleeps, CD-348. It can also be found on the collection Of Womb and Tomb. www.giamusic.com

The Lord of the Earth (purchase from Wildgoose Resources)

“The Lord of the Earth” from the collection This is God’s World 
Words & Music John L. Bell, copyright © 2011, 2020 ℗ 2020 WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow, Scotland. www.wildgoose.scot

I Love the Lord (purchase from Wildgoose Resources)

“I Love The Lord” from the collection The Truth That Sets Us Free 
Words & Music John L. Bell, copyright © & ℗ 2012 WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow, Scotland. www.wildgoose.scot

We Cannot Measure How You Heal (purchase from GIA)

“We Cannot Measure How You Heal” Words by John L. Bell and Graham Maule, arr. by John L. Bell. Performed by The Cathedral Singers Words © 1989, Arr. © 2011 WGRG c/o Iona Community, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive North American agent. Recording courtesy of GIA Publications, Inc., from The Splendor of the House of God, CD-874. www.giamusic.com

I Will Sing a Song of Love (Purchase from Wildgoose Resources)

“I Will Sing a Song of Love” from the collection I Will Not Sing Alone Words & Music John L. Bell, copyright © & ℗ 2004 WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow, Scotland. www.wildgoose.scot 

UPCOMING RETREATS

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 bookings@corrymeela.org to book your place. 

GET IN TOUCH!

I’d love to hear from you. Email psalmsforthespirit@gmail.com 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