Issue 8 October - December 2010
FAITH LIFE REALITY
Celebrating Diversity The cost of unity Overcoming challenges to love and understanding
Changes and opportunities for Team Hope
A painful history
Responding to revelations about the Bethany Home
ITâ€™S A NEW DAY
The Exchange, Dublin, 10th & 11th November 2010
STIRRING UP AND CALLING OUT THE VERY BEST IN LEADERS! We will be back at The Exchange, Gardiner Street Lower, on the 10th and 11th November, and truly it will be an uplifting and inspiring opportunity for you to Discover what makes this Global Leadership Conference such a rich rewarding event... year after year... after year. Effective leaders are the agents of transformation. They call out what’s wrong, set goals, launch initiatives, motivate, challenge, and move people to action. The Willow Global Leadership Summit is a trusted, high caliber event that’s designed to transform Christian leaders with an annual injection of vision, inspiration and skill development, for the sake of the local church. A dynamic line-up of leaders and thinkers brought to you via VIDEOCAST on a large screen.
“ …eye-opening, inspiring and empowering.”
Attractively priced to encourage as many people as possible to attend
Regular Rate Student Faculty
SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Bill Hybels, T.D. Jakes, Andy Stanley, Christine Caine, Jeff Manion, Adam Hamilton, Jack Welsh, Jim Collins, Daniel Pink.
…both my mind and my “heart were stretched! ”
BOOK TODAY: www.willowcreek.org.uk/gls/
editorial Eat this soup or jump out the window!
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get along with people who agree with you? Life is so comfortable when we surround ourselves with like-minded folks but it is dangerous to confuse conformity with unity. Jesus’ command to, “love one another” is unequivocal and in the final hours of His life, He prayed fervently for unity among believers. (“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one” John 17: 20- 21, emphasis added). But Christians have become adept at finding get-out-clauses; excuses for why we don’t talk to or associate with this church, that group or the other individual. One of the simplest is to judge that someone who is different or who disagrees with us cannot be a ‘true’ believer. Or we justify our lack of grace and humility by condemning others’ behaviour as sinful or worldly.
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Real unity comes at a price If the priority is proving that “I’m right, therefore you are wrong”, we become divided. In the harshest terms, it can create an environment where it is “My way or the highway” or like the Italian proverb, "Eat this soup, or jump out the window!" This kind of response is heartbreaking because it misses the wonder and blessing of unity in the midst of diversity – a body made up of many different parts all working together. Real unity comes at a price - a price that was ultimately paid by Christ Himself on the cross and is the only basis for overcoming our differences. But it will cost us too. (The cost of unity page 10) Am I willing to wrestle with my pride, lay down my ‘rights’, love those who disagree with me and those I simply don’t understand? However high the price, it’s worth it. Disunity will cost us far, far more.
Ruth Garvey-Williams Editor (email@example.com)
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FAITH LIFE REALITY
October - December 2010, Issue 8 ISSN: 2009-2253 Publisher Solas Publishing Editor Ruth Garvey-Williams firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Jonny Lindsay email@example.com Layout and Operations Jonny Lindsay Directors Tom Slattery (Evangeical Alliance Ireland) Mike Mullins (OM Ireland) Dr. Abimbola Afolabi (Oasis of Love) Subscriptions Ireland (32 counties): €10 for four issues / €16 for eight issues Overseas: €15 for four issues / €24 for eight issues All cheques should be made payable to Solas Publishing. Solas Publishing Ulysses House 22 - 24 Foley Street Dublin 1 Tel: 01 443 4789 firstname.lastname@example.org www.voxmagazine.ie Disclaimer The views expressed in letters and articles are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Solas Publishing, Evangelical Alliance, OM Ireland or Oasis of Love. The acceptance of advertising does not indicate endorsement. Print Beulah Print, Drogheda VOX magazine is a quarterly publication, brought to you by Solas Publishing, a joint project of Evangelical Alliance Ireland, OM Ireland and Oasis of Love.
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COVER STORIES The cost of unity – overcoming challenges to love and understanding It’s a new day – changes and opportunities for Team Hope A painful history – responding to revelations about the Bethany Home FEATURES AND INTERVIEWS Clothed with compassion – recycling and rehabilitation in the Liberties. United we fell in love VOX Sport: Ryan Guy’s Ultimate Goal A little dictionary of diversity Cape Town 2010 – a generation defining event Rend Collective Experiment VOX Interview: Scot McKnight
REGULAR FEATURES VOX: Shorts It’s all Greek to me VOX: World News Your VOX: Letters Web Watch
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Faith, Life, Reality – My Story VOX: Reviews Event Listing VOX: P.S.
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VOX:SHORTS NEW WAYS TO MAKE CHILDREN MISERABLE
Results from a newlypublished Irish study into bullying showed that one in four girls at primary school had been subjected to a physical attack over a threemonth period while 7% of boys in both primary and post-primary schools were physically hurt once a week or even more frequently. The 2004 – 2005 study, carried out by Dr Stephen James Minton from Trinity College Dublin, has only now been released and fails to highlight the rising problem of cyber-bullying through text messages and social networking sites. According to The Handbook of Aggressive Behaviour Research, one in four girls (24%) and one in six boys
Walking the Pilgrim Way
(16%) in Ireland have been involved in cyber-bullying either as a victim, bully or both. These incidents ranged from threats, insulting and embarrassing or humiliating messages, to pictures or video clips.
New anti human trafficking group launched
Tirzah - Helping Victims of Human Trafficking was launched on Monday 20 September. This initiative from Evangelical Alliance Ireland (EAI) is a Christian response to the injustices suffered by trafficked victims in Ireland. Over 100 people attended the launch event at the Exchange, Lower Gardiner St, Dublin. Jeanne Whelan, who heads up the new group, said that Tirzah (which means “beloved”) is a group of Christians who passionately desire to pray and to reach out through practical means on behalf of these “voiceless people”. Check out their website at www.tirzah.ie or if you want more information email them at email@example.com
Each year thousands of Irish people walk the Camino de Santiago, but Ireland itself also offers pilgrim ways – opportunities to walk old paths and seek God. One of these is St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Way in West Cork. Around 590 AD, St Finbarr is said to have visited the “Top of the Rock”, an ancient elevated site just north of Drimoleague. Tradition states that Finbarr’s task was “to admonish the people to return to Christ”. Afterwards he made his way to his island hermitage in Gougane Barra. In August, over 50 people took part in this year’s walk, stopping each hour for a Psalm or reading from Matthew’s Gospel. Passing a 4000 year old megalithic tomb in the Mealagh valley was the perfect opportunity to read, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4). The special weekend culminated in prayer and worship at the island hermitage where St Finbarr taught the Scriptures to disciples who carried the message further afield. St Finbarr’s walk spans 37 km and takes two full days to complete. It is challenging in places, but is clearly marked and includes part of the Sheep’s Head Way. For more information contact David and Elizabeth Ross, firstname.lastname@example.org or 086 1735134.
Irish Language Bible free online An Irish language version of the Bible is now available free of charge online. Bíobla Naofa can be downloaded for use with dedicated Bible software, viewed online in PDF format or even downloaded for viewing on a mobile phone at www.anbioblanaofa.org.
Advertising Campaign to promote Alpha A new media campaign will launch in Dublin at the start of 2011 to promote the Alpha Course. Adverts on buses, in cinemas, on billboards and in local radio and newspapers will invite people to attend Alpha courses across the city. Churches across the city are being invited to run an Alpha course and to contribute to the advertising campaign. There are now 120 Alpha courses running throughout Ireland each year. For more information about Alpha visit www.alphacourse.ie
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From October to mid-December, Christian leaders around the world will attend over 170 Global Leadership Summit events in 76 countries. Run by the Willow Creek Association, the events aim to develop leadership skills and encourage leaders to learn, dream and plan together. In its fourth year in Ireland, the Global Leadership Summit promises “two days of high quality, Christ-centred, life-changing teaching” at The Exchange, Gardiner Street Lower on November 10 – 11, 2010. (Early bird rate of €80 now available until October 8. Book online at www.willowcreek.org.uk/gls) Dublin organiser Peter Mercier explained that a team of 38 volunteers has made the event possible. “Delegates hear
Cuts to mental health services despite rising number of deaths by suicide Nurses groups and other health professionals are expressing growing concern about cutbacks to staff and financial resources for mental health services. The Irish Mental Health Coalition has highlighted the massive drop in spending from 13% of the health budget in 1986 to 6.4% in 2009 and 5.4% in 2010. “It is unacceptable that Mental Health Services continue to be an easy target for financial cuts. The people who need the support and skilled care of mental health services are individuals who are emotionally sensitive and vulnerable to mental distress,” wrote Orla Barry, Director, Irish Mental Health Coalition. These cuts come despite figures released by the Central Statistics Office in June, which show a 24% increase in the number of deaths by suicide between 2008 (424 people) and 2009 (527 people). The largest increases occurred in the 25-44 year age group.
from world-class leaders speaking on a wide range of relevant subjects. The conference Dublin – 10-11 November, 2010 also provides the opportunity for meetingSTIRRING with like-minded leaders from AND churches CA UP across the nation,” he said. THE VERY Rt Rev Ken Good, Bishop of Derry and Raphoe,BEST praised the IN LE We will be backfor at the Theway Exchange, conference. "I am very thankful to God in whichGardiner each Stree and truly it will be anto uplifting a 11th November, Leadership Summit provides a timely and significant stimulus you to Discover what makes this Global Leadersh my development as a leader." rewarding event... year after year... after year. Effective leaders are the agents of transformation. They call out what’s wrong, set goals, launch initiatives, motivate, challenge, and move people to action.
“Building Blocks” to equip
The Willow Global workers Leadership Summit is a trusted, high children’s caliber event that’s designed to transform Christian leaders Whatever your levelofofvision, experience, the with an annual injection inspiration and skill “Building Blocks” conferences in development, for the sake of the localheld church.
Dublin and Belfast in November will A dynamic line-up of leaders and thinkers brought to you via provide training, and inspiration VIDEOCAST on a largeresources screen. for Irish people involved in children’s ministry. Ivy Beckwith, authorinspiring …eye-opening, of ‘The Survival andUltimate empowering. Guide for Children’s Ministry Workers,’ is the key note speaker. The BOOK TODAY: range of seminars on offer include: Starting Out as a New Leader, Stuck in a Rut, When Parents Separate, as well as practical skills training in Puppets, Music, Drama, Prayer, Craft, Assemblies and much more. Dublin: Saturday 13 November Belfast: Saturday 20 November For further information see page 29
Irish Christians Online With event listings, news stories, RSS feeds, polls, videos and links, the recently re-designed irishchristians.ie website is well worth a visit. Webmaster Tim Nicholls also runs an online Christian directory, christianireland.ie, which lists anything from blogs and bookshops to internet services and study aids. Check it out!
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GLS A4 Vox Ad FINAL.indd 1
It’s all ελληνικά to me :: Lessons from a Greek Teacher UNITED BY COMMON CONSENT Luke, the author of Acts of the Apostles and eyewitness for much of it, had a favourite adverb (homothumadon) for something done with strong united purposefulness. The word appears eleven times in the New Testament, and only once outside of Acts. Looking at how Luke uses it to describe forceful united action in Acts 7:57, we get a sense of its power: ‘they (Stephen’s executioners) rushed together upon him’, also see 12: 20, 18:12 and 19 :29. Having established its sense of urgent common consent, we can now appreciate Luke’s use of the same word (variously translated) for the vital bond among believers, as in 1:14 ‘with one accord devoted themselves’, also 2:46, 4:24, 5:12, 8:6, and 15:25. These verses cover prayer, fellowship, meeting together and, significantly, dealing with potential division (15:24,25).
For us there just remains the one non-Luke use of the word, it is Romans 15: 5-6: ‘May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus that together . . (united by common consent) . . you may with one voice glorify the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (RSV). Luke has used it to describe the unity of early believers; Paul urges us to act likewise. Warren Nelson, originally from Drogheda, Co. Louth, taught at the Irish Bible School in Co. Tipperary. He now enjoys active retirement and DIY near Tullamore.
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HALVING WORLD POVERTY BY 2015?
2010 is a critical year for the international community’s efforts to make poverty history. In 2000, world leaders from 189 countries agreed eight Millennium Development Goals to halve global poverty by 2015. With five years to go until the deadline, those promises need to be turned into action. Reuben Coulter, Chief Executive of Tearfund Ireland, and Sean Mullan, Director of Evangelical Alliance Ireland, discuss our response. WHY ARE THE MDGS IMPORTANT? For the first time, entire governments are committed to ending global poverty. Achieving these goals is possible. In fact, the UN Secretary General said recently that “falling short of the MDGs would be an unacceptable failure, (both) moral and practical”. WHAT IS THE IRISH GOVERNMENT DOING? Ireland signed up to the MDGs in 2000 and pledged to increase its overseas aid to reach the UN target of spending 0.7% of national income on overseas aid. However, since its original pledge in 2000, the Government has twice shifted the date for achieving this international commitment. As citizens with a Christian commitment, we should urge the Irish government to keep to its promise.
WHAT IS MICAH SUNDAY? (10.10.10) On Sunday, 10 October, 2010, churches all across Ireland will join churches worldwide to pray that governments keep their commitments to tackle poverty and to create a more just world. It’s called Micah Sunday because the Bible verse that inspired this campaign is Micah 6:8 - “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED? Encourage your church to take part in Micah Sunday. Send a message to the Taoiseach and/or your local TDs to encourage Ireland to keep its MDG promise. Find out the Millennium Development Goals, download great resources and speak out by visiting www.tearfund.ie/advocacy.
Time to condemn hatred, aggression and violence
Members of the evangelical community in Ireland rejected the muchpublicised threats of a Florida church to burn the Qur’an (averted just before the 9/11 anniversary). Seán Mullan, General Director of Evangelical Alliance in Ireland, said, “The teaching of Jesus is clear. His followers are to love their neighbour as themselves – this includes loving those who may be their enemies. Burning a book that your neighbour views as sacred is a violation of those commands.” Welcoming the widespread condemnation of case, International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe called for the same level of concern to be shown when acts of aggression are committed against any faith. Describing aggression and hatred as “fundamentally wrong”, Dr Tunnicliffe said, “We plead that the world’s leaders and media demonstrate the same outspoken condemnation when radical actions on an equal or larger scale are committed against Christians. “The list of violent acts committed against Christians in recent years includes brutal killings of 70 people in Orissa, the burning of New Testaments in Israel, the assassination of pastors in Sri Lanka. Will world leaders react with the same kind of justifiable outrage as they have against the proposed burning of the Qur’an? Will they have the courage to speak up, not only out of a fear of repercussions, but simply because it is the right thing to do?”
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ERADICATE EXTREME POVERTY AND HUNGER
ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION
PROMOTE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER WOMEN
REDUCE CHILD MORTALITY
IMPROVE MATERNAL HEALTH
COMBAT HIV/AIDS, MALARIA AND OTHER DISEASES
ENSURE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS FOR DEVELOPMENT
Growth and persecution in Mexico Over 160 Christians from around Ireland gathered in Athlone in September for the annual Church in Chains conference. Al Schreuder travelled from Mexico to speak about the growth of the church in the state of Chiapas. He shared how scores of churches have come into existence among the indigenous people but also how many Christians have suffered for their faith by being expelled from their local communities. He updated delegates on the situation of The Innocent of Acteal – a group of 79 prisoners, mainly evangelical Christians, who have been unjustly imprisoned in Mexico for over 12 years on false charges. The conference heard about the 29 men who were released last year following a decision of the Mexican Supreme Court and also of the continuing struggle for justice for the remaining 50 prisoners. The delegates broke into small groups to pray about what they had heard and also wrote words of encouragement on postcards and greeting cards, which will be delivered to the prisoners.
YOUR VOX letters to the editor Just a quick mail to say I have been really blessed and encouraged by VOX magazine. Had lunch with a friend and another lovely lady we hadn’t met before and she gave each of us a copy of VOX. We were meeting to discuss how we could do more to help combat human trafficking, especially sex trafficking, so it was especially good to see the article on that (Behind Closed Doors VOX July –September 2010) and find out about Tirzah. I’ll be encouraging my friends to subscribe!! Linda de Courcy Dublin From The Conversation blog (www.voxmagazine.ie) Great to see this article (The Tangible Kingdom, VOX July – September 2010) in the VOX! Need more of it... I agree with what they say, but in Ireland we are aware of it but often use traditional language to explain it. Inclusive community, communion with God and misson are so important in our churches and being the church. To set Jesus apart from religion is tricky but beginning with long-lasting relationships with no agenda is the start. Through relationship and allowing people to ask questions, we can then give a balanced / correct understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. For Christians, to be open, attentive, loving and to have a willingness to learn and an ability to have a laugh are all important. The good news is still great news but raising your hand in church and saying a prayer is not enough; how does the gospel relate to the environment, politics, human trafficking, religion, the recession, college life, etc.? How does the gospel affect them personally and the culture they are in? Andrew Parle KIldare It is good to know that there are people who are thinking what I am thinking (The Tangible Kingdom, VOX July – September 2010), people who see beyond the pulpit and four walls of the building (church). A community where there are several churches and pastors/ priests, yet the community cannot feel the impact, means that something is not right. Jesus and His disciples were only 13 in number and we are still reaping the 'dividends' of their work. If the Christians of today are the followers of Jesus (bearing in mind His ministry here on earth) and His disciples, what are their legacies or what have they got to show? How inclusive is the Christian community with its outside community? How do they bless those who are not identified with their beliefs and culture, those who are marginalised or discriminated against? Anonymous
VOX magazine welcomes “Letters to the Editor” (ideal length 150200 words) in response to articles and features or relevant issues facing Ireland in the 21st century. Send your contribution to Your VOX, email@example.com or mail to The Editor, VOX magazine, Solas Publishing, Ulysses House, 22-24 Foley St, Dublin 1
Star Letter! We want to hear from you! In each issue of VOX we will be awarding a prize of a €25 One4all voucher for our favourite letter. So what are you waiting for?
Photo: Aisling Keavey
VOX Award ...with a difference
Saying ‘Thank You’ to Ireland’s hidden heroes On behalf of the Peacehaven Trust Ltd, Ruth Chipperfield nominated Miss Dorothy Blake in recognition for her services to people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland. She writes: Miss Blake is co-founder of Peacehaven in Greystones, Co Wicklow. Both Miss Blake and Mrs Lydia Cochran were past retirement age when God planted this revolutionary notion in their minds more than 30 years ago. Miss Blake's sister Eileen had Down Syndrome and Lydia's son Gordon has a moderate/severe learning disability. The plan, for a small family-type group home, was completely new, in contrast to the institutional care available to people who were at that time called 'mentally handicapped'. The story is long and complex, full of challenges, of the great kindness and support of friends and of God’s miraculous provision. The two co-founders shared their conviction that their vision was God-prompted and they trusted their beloved heavenly Father to see it made real. Miss Blake brought to the project her life's experience, her clear analytical mind, her capacity for hard work, her deep compassion, and her personal grace and humility. She's now aged 99, living in retirement, physically frail, yet still fully involved in the life and development of Peacehaven. Recently at the 30-year celebration of Peacehaven, Miss Blake (though feeling very unwell) delivered a comprehensive speech, including witty asides. The hall was swept with waves of love for this lady, a courageous example of the grace of God in a long life.
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Unit y of
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Ireland is a multinational country thanks to the influx of people from different parts of the world. Take a walk down Henry Street in Dublin and you will see the beauty of different races walking to and fro. This country has benefitted from diversity and change. Different colour is immediately obvious but we are also different in our language, the food we eat and the way we dress. Our value systems are formed from our earliest years. The things that our families have taught us, the way we greet one another, the way we talk to each other - all of these things reflect the way we have been raised and the values we hold dear. Like attracts like. People tend to drift towards people who think the way they think and talk the way they talk. That is why we have churches that are mainly African or Irish or Chinese. Until we get a grip on what the other people are thinking, we cannot understand them. For us to be able to cut across the divides, we first have to cross over to the other person’s culture, language and values to truly understand the other person. Before I came here 11 years ago, I knew so much about Ireland from the Irish missionaries, nuns and priests who have been working in Nigeria for decades. They built schools and hospitals. They crossed over to Nigeria – understanding and appreciating our culture. I can still remember when a white lady greeted me in my own language, using my own dialect. I thought it was an angel talking to me - an Irish woman speaking my language fluently. She had crossed over to me! Many accepted the faith those early missionaries brought with them. Now some have grown up and come to Ireland. Some are the fruit of those Irish missionaries. So what do we do now that we are together here in Ireland? What are the churches doing to be united and to understand one another? Some are making efforts, but many are not. One of the greatest prayers that Jesus made is in John 17. Jesus’ prayer is for all Christians, “Make them ONE”. That oneness comes when we love one another. Love is a gift. It is not what you take. What is your church doing and what is my church doing to love one another and to love our community?
PEOPLE WANT UNITY When I am together with leaders of other non-national churches, I see a desire to unite with the Irish churches, but how do we put it into action? The fear of doing the wrong thing stops them. Some people are reserved because of negative experiences in the past. They are fearful that if they open up to each other, people will use this against them. We can erect barriers because of fear, ignorance or mistrust. Here are some things we can do to break down those barriers. This is the cost of unity!
The fear of doing the wrong thing stops them.
1. Come out of your shell We are bound to make mistakes, but we are better off having tried to speak to someone. If you genuinely love someone, people know that you are for real.
2. Don’t jump to conclusions One pastor had had a bad experience because of some people leaving his church. He thought it was an African thing. As a pastor I know it is a human thing! We need to be careful not to make generalizations or assumptions about each other based on one experience.
3. Make an effort to know and understand If you cross over to the other person, you need to pay the price. If you are waiting for them to come to you, you will wait for a long time. I happen to be a pastor of a church where the majority of church members are from an African background. If we want the Irish to come into our church but we do not do anything to make them feel welcome, if we just sing our own songs and do our own things, people will not feel at home.
If you cross over to the other person you need to pay the price.
4. Support one another How many meetings have I attended that are organised by other churches? Pastors have so much to do within their own churches. It is a high price to pay to leave our own agenda and support something organised by another church. But we need more people who will step out and show love and support for one another.
A VISION FOR IRELAND How many of our churches have leadership teams that include people from other cultural backgrounds? If I do not have any Irish or Asian leaders in my leadership team, why not? Is it because I do not believe they have something to offer? Is it because I don’t trust them? Or is it because I did not invite them to take on a leadership role? I met my wife here in Ireland and my children were born here. When we went to Nigeria to visit my family, after a couple of days my children asked, “Dad, when are we going home?” Ireland is their home. It is my home too, now, and I will do everything I can to make it a better place. I believe the church has a role to play in that. My dream is to see our churches having a mixture of Chinese, Indian, African and Irish all in one church – people appreciating one another, loving one another. If people see this happening in the church, they know that it is Jesus who is bringing us together.
Pastor Thywill Bankole grew up in Nigeria. After moving to Ireland he obtained a degree in Accountancy at NCI. He is a Redeemed Christian Church of God pastor for the Assembly of Praise church, Lusk, Co Dublin. He lives in Balbriggan with his wife and three children.
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D E TH
O L C
with “Clothing is in my blood,” says Philip Moloney. For generations his family sold second-hand clothes at the Iveagh Market in the Liberties of Dublin. When the market closed in 1997 Philip faced double discouragement: not only his own redundancy but also the growing involvement of friends and family in drug use. Recognising the links between unemployment, depression and drug addiction, Philip turned tragedy into opportunity with a simple idea. “I realised our business didn’t need to die. If I started a recycling factory I could give work to my family and friends affected by drugs.”
Philip turned tragedy into opportunity with a simple idea. Over the last 13 years, Liberties Recycling Training and Development (LRTD) has helped hundreds of people to overcome addiction. Around 50 people in recovery are currently employed on the FAS-sponsored Community Employment Recycling project, which offers paid work, training and rehabilitation services. For four hours a day, LRTD trainees sort and load recycled clothes into bales for export to countries, mainly in West Africa, where Philip has forged personal contacts. “I flew to Ghana and found out what happens at the markets. I’ve gotten to know the village chiefs. They buy containers for local traders to sell at low prices. We’ve had the same clients since LRTD started, so we must be doing something right at that end.” That goes for this end too. In the past two years, 23 Dublin employees have found work and six are in further education. LRTD offers classroom training in subjects such as computing, maths and English to the level of Junior Cert. With
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individually tailored rehabilitation plans, each employee works towards personal life goals. John Ellis has trained at LRTD for three years. He dreams of becoming a drug worker and counsellor. “When I started here I had no stable home, no support. I’d put up barriers and backed myself into a corner. But once I began to trust the staff and let people in, I learned there’s another life, another way of doing things. So now I want to say thanks and give something back. I want to show that if I can do it, you can do it.” Walking him along the rough road of recovery is LRTD project worker Paddy Scanlon. “I tell the participants they can be someone if they choose to be. I help them recognise what they’re capable of. They haven’t come through a lifestyle of active addiction without picking up good skills. They may have drunk themselves half to death, pumped themselves with poison, but at the end of the day they’re survivors.” While personal experience of addiction gives Paddy insight into his job, it can be a double-edged sword. “At one level people are attracted because they think I understand. Others shy away because maybe I know too much and they’re not at a place where they want to change. Sometimes you put your heart and soul into it and it doesn’t go to plan.”
I want to say thanks and give something back. Because of the unpredictable nature of drug rehabilitation, applicants to the LRTD course need to demonstrate more than a desire to change. Their lifestyle must be stable, which usually means they
m ho T e
are on a methadone programme prescribed by their GP. Those with a chaotic drug habit are referred to agencies that can help stabilise them. Despite these precautions, some still drop out. Project Manager Niall Morris has seen people knocked off course by personal crises. “We try to keep them stable with routine. Rules like clocking in on time help to instil discipline. But even if people can’t make it, and do have to leave, our door’s still open. There’s always another chance for them here.”
But even if people can’t make it, and do have to leave, our door’s still open. There’s always another chance for them here. For Paddy Scanlon, LRTD offers a unique combination of business and love. “We take people who no one would touch with a bargepole and give them a future. There’s an atmosphere of recovery here. You can feel it when you walk in the door. But they have to follow the rules. Yes it’s rehab - but it’s also a social business. Philip Maloney is quick to remind his employees of that. “If someone’s having a bad day, I tell them to think of the end users of the clothes and how they’re benefitting. It takes the focus off personal problems. I’m from the Liberties. I know how tight things can be. At the end of the day I’m an entrepreneur.” For more information see www.libertiesrecycling.com
BEWARE OF THE BOGUS “Our biggest challenge is collecting enough clothing to keep everyone employed,” says Niall Morris, LRTD’s project manager. “There’s huge competition, some of it from bogus door to door collectors who just take the clothes or sell them on.” A genuine charity should have, on their bags or leaflets: • The charity’s name and address • A landline telephone number • An Irish charity number e.g. for LRTD CHY14553 For the locations of LRTD’s textile recycling banks see www.libertiesrecycling.com
Photos: Vera Mcevoy and Jonny Lindsay
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United we fell… in love Me and my hubby have just celebrated 10 years of marriage. We come from very different backgrounds. Rich and his older sister were raised in a small quiet family in a calm and tidy house. I am the youngest of eight children and was brought up with my 27 nieces and nephews in… well… madness basically! But it was great. The first time Rich came to our house it was Saturday lunch time. As usual my sisters and some of the kids were there. The cooked chicken was in the middle of the table with the paper ripped open. The carton of milk was on the table with the butter and everything else still in its packet. In my mam’s small kitchen the kettle was passed along a little production line to the nearest person to the sink to be filled and back across to be plugged in. Mugs, plates and cutlery were handed across the room to everyone as my mam rinsed some scallions (spring onions) and threw them in to a bowl with the tomatoes and beetroot. The bread was torn apart and passed around. It never occurred to me what Rich was thinking.
Then two weeks later I went to Wales to meet his family. The table was set like I’d never seen it before. EVERYTHING MATCHED. I don’t think my mother had two plates the same. And a jug????? The only jug we had was used to fill the iron. Isn’t that what they were for? There was a spoon and a fork for everything. I remember looked at the amazingly laid table and thought of the mealtime mayhem that Rich had been subjected to two weeks before. That was the beginning of an amazng journey in which table manners became the least of our culture shocks. We’ve had some tough times over the past ten years, and we’ve dealt with them very differently. We’ve had to accept being childless and we’ve both lost one of our parents in that time. But for all our differences and the cultural gaps we’ve had to bridge, our unity in Christ has been one of the strongholds of our marriage. We’ve found that as we aim to move closer to God, we automatically move closer to each other. Talk about a win win. Happy Anniversary Rich; love you xxx Annmarie Miles comes from Tallaght in Dublin and is married to Richard, from Wales. She works for Focus on the Family and loves to cook, sing, read, talk and eat!
Tearfund Ireland Vox ad 195x135_Tearfund Ireland Col ad 190(w)x132.5(h) 16/09/2010 14:51 Page 1
Give a family something to smile about this Christmas Mol and Tol have a lot to thank God for. They’ve experienced the extraordinary love of God’s church family reaching right around the world – from Ireland to Cambodia. Eighteen months ago, they were malnourished and, in their own words, desperate. One key change has been a pair of pigs. Tearfund Ireland’s local church partner gave them livestock – to breed, to sell, to eat. One of many simple – yet lifesaving – ways that we’re helping them to step out of poverty.
You can join with Christians in Ireland to be part of this miracle. A gift of just €34 can provide another family like Mol and Tol’s with two pigs and ﬁve chickens. Please give today. Visit www.tearfund.ie or call 01 878 3200 to donate by laser or credit card. Meet Mol and Tol’s family by watching a short ﬁlm at www.tearfund.ie Join the global conversation:
Registered Charity No. CHY 8600 Photo: Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund
l a G e t a m i t l U e h T
Born and raised in San Diego, California, St Pat’s striker Ryan Guy began playing football when he was four years old. He shares his story with VOX Sports reporter Dan Tabb.
It was my grandfather who sparked my interest in the beautiful game. From the time I could stand he made sure there was a ball at my feet. My first word was “ball”. Following college, I opted to take my chances at playing abroad. I finally landed a contract as a striker/winger with St Patrick’s Athletic. I’ve played [in Ireland] for four years. In my first year with St Pat's I struggled more than I could have ever imagined. I thought I had prepared for coming into a team as an unknown on top of being away from friends and family. I was dead wrong. It is a bit of a cliché, but my dreams had come true and yet I still wasn't happy. My college sweetheart stayed with me during my move to Ireland. Nicole was a Christian and I was a selfproclaimed "agnostic", which basically meant I had no idea what to believe. Now, with time on my hands and the gentle urging from Nicole, I was open to anything that could help me with this feeling of hopelessness. After reading “I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist,” I opened up the Bible. Coming to the Lord was a gradual process but by the end of that first season I had given my life to God. I went home that off-season and publicly named Jesus as my Saviour in my local church and then popped the question to Nicole. We've been married for almost
two years now and ten months ago, we were blessed with a gorgeous baby boy who we named Zander. In my second year with Pat's I scored my most memorable goal to date. It was in our UEFA Cup qualifying run against Olimps of Latvia. No St Pat's team had ever won an away leg of a European competition. In the last ten minutes of the match our centre midfielder put in a good cross and I managed to put away a diving header. We ended up reaching the first round proper of the qualifiers. When I compare the feeling of scoring that goal to coming to freedom in Christ, a goal is brief and an intense flash of euphoria, while Christ brings a less intense but ever-present joy. In difficult situations, such as the recent match against Man Utd, I rely on God. When I was lining up to take my special "somersault throw-in" I didn't have to think about what I was doing because I had complete faith that I would be able to go head over heels and fling the ball on to the pitch. As it turns out, the YouTube videos of the throw-ins have received thousands of hits. When my football career is over here in Ireland I would love to be remembered as a player who brought energy and a little flair to the game. More so, I’d like to be remembered as a Christian who showed others the happiness that the Lord can bring to a man's life. That is my prayer and Ultimate Goal!
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"Team Hope" is a new Irish charity born out of Samaritan’s Purse Ireland. With 11 years' experience of running the Christmas shoebox appeal "Operation Christmas Child", the team has decided to move forward with a completely Irish outlook. “We feel that the time has come for a uniquely Irish voice,” shared International Projects Coordinator Stephen Conway. The new approach has been fully supported by the board, staff and volunteer teams all over the country “It’s new, it’s Irish, it’s Christian and we are looking forward with fresh hope but also with a clear vision to continue the many diverse aspects of our projects that we have always run,” Stephen added. Motivated by the love of Jesus, Team Hope’s vision is to bring the love and hope that only God can give to needy people in Africa, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states together with a longestablished network of friends and overseas partners. Team Hope’s relief and development projects in over 20 countries include water relief, income generation projects and HIV/AIDS assistance. International volunteer teams working in Africa and Eastern Europe and the child and family monthly sponsorship programme all aim to make a real difference in peoples’ lives.
The Christmas Shoebox Appeal seems to unite the entire nation of Ireland. 16 | VOX | Oct - Dec 2010
It’s a new “People have been blessed, love has been spread into these children and their families' lives and hope has been shared with them, giving them a reason to lift their heads.” (Rachel - Burundi, Africa 2009) The team also plans to launch a revised gift catalogue, popular not just at Christmas but throughout the year.
LEARNING TO GIVE Encapsulating Team Hope’s heartbeat “together, bringing hope to the needy,” the Christmas Shoebox Appeal seems to unite the entire nation of Ireland. Schools, churches, workplaces, community groups and individuals all find joy in packing a shoebox full of gifts for needy children. “The countless joy that has been created both here in Ireland and in the receiving countries continues to be an inspiration to so many people, children and adults alike,” Stephen Conway explained. “Over the years, thousands of Irish children have learned about the power of giving through the shoebox appeal. We see
Children, who do not really appreciate the value of money, can understand and identify with a shoebox full of small gifts. the glowing smiles on the faces of youngsters in schools and churches around the country when they get the chance to put 'their' shoebox in the car, van or bus that’s collecting them.” Children, who do not really appreciate the value of money, can understand and identify with a shoebox full of small gifts. They can learn about poverty and their role in bringing help and hope to those in need. “Isn’t it great that they learn so much about giving and enjoy it so much too?”
outside and under it they left her presents - an apple and an orange. This was all they could afford to celebrate the birth of Jesus. That same day, the girl was invited around to her local church, where she received a shoebox filled with gifts. She described just how special she felt each time she saw something new in the shoebox just for her. Her lasting impression was amazement that a stranger could show such love and kindness!
Her lasting impression was amazement that a stranger could show such love and kindness! CHRISTMAS SHOEBOX APPEAL 2010
day! are the comments from parents, teachers and friends alike!
“We want to invite you and people within your church or local community to take part in this year’s Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal,” Stephen added. “It will give you the opportunity to make a special difference in a needy child’s life.” To find out how you can get involved in the Christmas Shoebox Appeal or any of Team Hope’s other programmes email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call Team Hope on (01) 2940222. They can put you in touch with your local Christmas Shoebox Appeal team, who will be delighted to have you involved.
Niall Barry, executive director of TEAM HOPE, says: “I’m really excited by this new opportunity to understand, listen to and serve the church in Ireland. You are central to everything we do and it gives you a new opportunity to engage in bringing the love of Christ to a hurting world. This country has a rich heritage of working into the developing world, from the time of Ireland, ‘the land of saints and scholars’, right up to the present day. In TEAM HOPE, we want to continue in those footsteps. We want to help your church to be ‘salt and light to the nations’ – and we’re here to listen, to partner with you and help you make it happen. Please do get involved and if there is anything we can do, just get in touch.”
Editor's Note: There will be two different Christmas shoebox appeals in Ireland this year. Team Hope is now a separate Irish charity. Samaritan's Purse International will also run Operation Christmas Child in Ireland.
Full details are also available on Team Hope website www.teamhope.ie
WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? A Christmas shoebox makes a lasting difference for the needy children who receive them. Whether it’s in Burundi, Africa, or Odessa, Ukraine, these children so desperately need to know that they too have hope. A shoebox tells them: “Someone loves you”. Two years ago, a girl emailed the office wanting to know where her nearest warehouse was so that she could go and help. Her story unfolded over subsequent emails. She was 16 years old and living in Dublin. She had come from Romania, where she lived in a one-roomed apartment with her parents and sister. For this family, Christmas was just another day of merely surviving. Her parents were very poor and could not make Christmas a special time, although they did try. She remembers that on one particular Christmas day, her parents had brought a small tree in from VOX | Oct - Dec 2010 | 17
A little Dictionary of Diversity - or GOD’S (VERY) PECULIAR PEOPLE
AMEN - Affirmation of assent. Volume is indicator of strength of assent. Pronunciation (Ah-men or A-men ) indicates if assenter is from another region. BAPTISM - Topic sure to get people into deep (or shallow?) water BEGRUDGER - Descendent of those who would not weep when played a lament nor dance when played a happy piece on the pipes (Matthew 11: 16) BREAKING BREAD - Spiritual name for the Lord’s Supper, the Last Supper, Holy Communion, Eucharist, (the) Sacrament, Morning Meeting etc CHURCH - What they call their coming together. If they frown at the word ‘Church’ try any of the following: Fellowship, Assembly, Meeting, Chapel, Friendship Group, New Hope / Life / Joy, House of God, Bible Study Group, etc. CONSERVATIVE / LIBERAL - Well known inherent division in human makeup which surfaces among Political Parties, Trade Unions, Art Classes, Hill-walkers and Motor Dealers. In Church circles the terms are not usually found; instead the words ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are applied. CULTURAL DIFFERENCES - Can involve words, actions, ethics, clothes; in fact, just about everything in church life. Very hard to distinguish from Scriptural Teachings. Particularly an Irish Problem since we have assimilated our theology from Rome, Canterbury, Belfast, Abuja, Edinburgh, Lagos, Grand Rapids and Cologne. DIVIDE and CONQUER - Strategy used since earliest times by Generals, Empire-builders, Demagogues, and Politicians. Also used by Satan against the Church, but not recognized as such, usually described as ‘sticking to one’s principles’, ‘defending the gospel’ or ‘standing up for what is right’ instead. ENTHUSIASM - Enthusiasm without wisdom, the problem of the young believer. Wisdom without enthusiasm, the problem of the old believer.
ETHICS - Moral imperatives. Christian ethics are often about sherry in trifles, lipstick on women, Sunday newspapers, Feature Films, selling theological books on Sundays and dressing up (or down) for church. Not to be confused with War, Famine, HIV-Aids, Pollution, Third World Debt, Man’s abuse of Natural Resources.
LOVE - Something Christians talk about . . . . and talk about.
GIFTS - Five or six dramatic gifts that show how spiritual someone is, not to be confused with -
PRAYER (set) - The practice of praying in the words of someone else, already set down in a book; considered by some to be less spiritual than extempore prayer. Not to be comparing with singing in the words of somebody else set down in a book, this is quite acceptable.
GIFTS - The 25 or 26 actual gifts mentioned in the New Testaments, not to be confused with GIFTS - Natural abilities dedicated to God’s service, not to confused with –
PRAYER (extempore) - Praying for whatever is on your mind in whatever words are in your vocabulary. Very useful for delivering a mini-sermon or laying down the law.
GIFTS - €20 slipped to visiting preacher, who has driven 80 kms and described as being ‘from the Lord’, not to be confused with –
REFORMED OR PENTECOSTAL - Useful labels to stick on opponent. Once adhered you no longer have to listen to what they may be saying. As also Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Catholic, Charismatic, Calvinist, Brethren or Housechurch.
GIFTS - Donations, unsolicited except in a succession of prayer letters.
SEPARATIST - Someone following the delusion of the Perfect Church.
GOSPEL MEETING - ‘Wee’ meeting at which the born-again are told they must be born again.
SOUND - Doctrinally orthodox and reliable. It is conjugated: 1. I am sound 2. You are dogmatic 3. He/She/it is pigheaded.
GREEK, LATIN, HEBREW - Great for supporting your argument. Generally used by those not too proficient in their own Mother Tongue. LEADERSHIP - Taking responsibility in the Church. Beware of many almost synonymous words, such as: Elder(s), Deacon, Minister, Pastor, Priest, Presbytery, Prophet, Those in Charge, Committee, Mission Board, Head Office, Him, My Cousin. LEGALIST - Pious person in the lineage of those who called Jesus a drunkard. LORD told me (The)… - Phrase used to settle arguments. Can mean: (i) He did (ii) I got it from the Bible (iii) I believe it anyway (iv) I have a nice feeling about it (v) I didn’t sleep too well last night
TIMETABLE for end of World Guaranteed, when all else fails, to divide Christians. TRADITION(S) - Usually involves some permutation of ‘This is how we do it’. Can be useful or harmful. In some churches traditions are over a thousand years old, in other churches they are just six months old. WORSHIP - Singing slowly, as opposed to Praise, which is singing faster. Not considered to be the same as: Hymns, Psalms, Choruses or Spiritual Songs, which are usually sung from a book, whereas worship is sung from a screen. P.S. The word ‘peculiar’ in the title, taken from 1 Peter 2 : 9, means ‘His very own’ and does not mean peculiar in the modern sense. But you could have fooled me! Contributed by an intrigued observer.
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“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105
Uncover more than you ever expected Biblical Studies, Theology, Church History, Mission, Leadership and much more
BA and MA in Applied Theology www.ibi.ie
email@example.com VOX | Oct - Dec 2010 | 19
Infant deaths through malnutrition and neglect, unmarked graves, inaccurate records and a lack of care in placements to foster homes in the 1930s and 1940s - the emerging story about the Bethany Home for unmarried mothers run by a Protestant evangelical trust makes for painful reading.
By Ruth Garvey-Williams
In the last 18 months, research has identified 219 unmarked graves in Mount Jerome Cemetery in South Dublin where young children from Bethany Home were buried until 1948. Cause of death ranged from stillbirth, premature birth and common illnesses to the ambiguous “other”, “delicacy” and, heartbreakingly, “marasmus” – an extreme form of malnutrition associated with starvation. Infant mortality rates in Ireland at the time were high, yet Bethany Home far exceeded the average, especially between 1935 and 1939 when 86 young children died. Disturbingly, Bethany Home records do not match up with records kept at the cemetery. Bethany Home was operated by an independent charity between 1921 and 1972. Unmarried women and girls, called “inmates” by the staff, went to Bethany Home to have their babies. The Govern-
ment also used it as a detention centre for non-Catholic women convicted of crimes from petty theft to infanticide. Mothers stayed for the first four months and then left. The babies remained until they could be ‘nursed out’, fostered or adopted and many were sent abroad. Some carers were genuine but others mistreated or abused the children in their charge. Until 1948, Bethany Home was funded by donations, which were clearly insufficient to provide for the basic needs of residents, especially as overcrowding became a problem. It was refused Government funding under the Public Assistance Act 1939. Controversy arose when staff members were accused of “proselytising” (converting Catholics). Government inspectors were more concerned about “objectionable” preaching than evidence of inadequate clothing, food and medical
“In those days, anyone who had a child out of wedlock was the scum of the earth. My mother was 18 when she became pregnant. She was a Protestant and my father was a Catholic so I had to be dumped as quickly as possible. I was born in Bethany Home and my mother stopped there until I was four months old. I stayed until I was seven and a half months. Bethany Home did ‘nursings out’ - they paid people to take care of the children. A few years back I met the son of the family where I was sent. He told me when I arrived my head was covered with scabs and my eyes were sunk into my head. It looked as if I was fresh out of a coffin. The whole household was shocked at the state I was in but they nursed me back to health. Later, my mother’s mother was terrified I would track them down so I was sent to another family. The rest of my childhood was spent in unspeakable poverty. I don’t blame the people who adopted me. They should never have been allowed to adopt any child. The vicar should not have approved the adoption.
The voice of the children Derek Leinster, who has fought for 13 years for his story to be heard, believes the Irish Government and media were not interested because those affected were minority Protestants. Along with other former residents he has been campaigning, without success, for Bethany Home to be included under the Government’s Residential Institutions Redress Scheme (compensation for victims of abuse and neglect). Mr Leinster, 69, was grateful for the opportunity to share his story with VOX readers below.
When I wrote my first book, I had my eyes opened. I did not realise what had happened to the children who stayed at the home, who had their lives snuffed out before the age of five. God spared me. I have a duty to those children to tell the story. One of the problems [at Bethany Home] was getting food. Children died from starvation – a prolonged death. That is some-thing that breaks my heart. As a child, I could never cry. Now I can’t stop crying. We did not understand what was happening to us but the older we got, the more we felt rejected. I love my church! To think that this happened to me through my church is so unbelievable. I felt so ashamed of being a bastard. My first book was “Hannah’s Shame” – my mother’s shame was my shame.” Check out www.derekleinster.com. You can order Derek Leinster’s books “Hannah’s Shame” and its sequel “Destiny Unknown” on Amazon.
It looked as if I was fresh out of a coffIn
I have a duty to those children to tell the story.
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care. Sectarianism was cited as one reason why funding was refused. Once Government assistance was finally granted in 1948, the death and sickness rates at Bethany Home appeared to taper off permanently.
“My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within, my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city.” Lamentations 2..11
Christian leaders respond with sorrow Expressing “grave concern and deep pain” that the Bethany Home was “inadequate to its task”, Church of Ireland Archbishop, The Most Reverend Dr John Neill, said, “My paramount concern is for those women and children who suffered through physical neglect or abuse of any kind. Whilst recognising the apparent poverty of the Bethany Home, the allegations of a lack of human kindness and compassion are deeply disturbing.” The Archbishop acknowledged that Church of Ireland clergy and lay members had been involved in management and that the Protestant community had raised funds for Bethany Home. He added, “The Church of Ireland has repeatedly petitioned the State to have the home brought under the remit of the Redress Board.” Throughout its history, Methodists, Presbyterians, Brethrens and other evangelicals were also involved with Bethany Home. Sean Mullan, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance Ireland, expressed gratitude to the survivors who struggled for a long time to have their story heard. “Though times were tougher then there is never any justification for children being neglected to the point of death,” he said.
there is never any justifIcation for children being neglected
"We deeply regret that there were children who were very poorly treated or neglected when they were young, vulnerable and unable to protect themselves. We also deeply regret that so many stories will never be heard because lives were prematurely cut short.” The EAI called on the State to take responsibility by immediately providing Bethany Home survivors with access to the Redress Scheme, “since it now seems that the State was clearly aware of the problems in Bethany Home and itself used its services”. The question must also be asked as to whether funds are still available from the Bethany Home trust, which might provide additional assistance. “However, we do not make wrong go away by financial payments,” Sean Mullan added. “To come to terms with what has happened, we need to listen to those still able to speak. We also need to work with them to see how best we can remember those who never had the chance to speak. Finally we need to renew efforts to make the protection and care of vulnerable children in our own generation a very high priority.”
CAUSE OF DEATH BETHANY CHILDREN: 1922 – 1948 Convulsions
Whooping Cough 3 Other
*severe malnutrition / starvation
VOX magazine would like to acknowledge the work of Niall Meehan, Journalism Faculty, Griffith College, Dublin, whose research brought to light the unmarked graves in Mount Jerome Cemetery and highlighted conditions in Bethany House during the 1930s and 1940s. His articles are available to read in the “History Ireland” magazine: (September – October 2010) www.historyireland.com
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Cape Town 2010
A Generation defining event? In 1810 the pioneer of the modern missionary movement, William Carey, suggested that a world missionary conference take place in Cape Town. Exactly 200 years later, Carey’s dream will finally become a reality as evangelical leaders from 190 countries meet in the South African city for the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (October 16-25). Topics to be addressed at this significant gathering include the challenge of New Atheism, the impact of hedonism, the reality of Islam, the globalised world, the brokenness of our world and seismic shifts in global Christianity. The nine delegates from Ireland are representative of the broad range of evangelical expressions of mission, particularly in terms of age and vocation. They will form partnerships with those involved in similar ministries around the world as the Congress seeks to build and demonstrate a biblical foundation for church unity. The world of the early 21st Century is very different from that of the early 19th Century. Opportunities exist for communication and collaboration that Carey could never have envisioned. Besides the contribution of the 4,200 delegates in Cape Town, technological advances have 22 | VOX | Oct - Dec 2010
allowed millions more to provide direct input to the proceedings through the “Global Conversation” hosted on the Lausanne website. The Lausanne Congress of 1974 was a landmark event. The Covenant that it produced contains much that Christians will find familiar and central to their faith. Yet it is also littered which statements that continue to provoke and challenge agencies and individuals involved in mission to this day. Such statements include that “in issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship;” “those of us who live in affluent circumstances accept our duty to develop a simple life-style” and “we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive.” Much of this challenge was as a result of the South American influence of theologians such as C. René Padilla and Samuel Escobar. The section entitled “Christian Social Responsibility” (which they coauthored) marked a significant turning point in how many Western evangelicals viewed the area of social action. Yet while social action was very much on the table to stay, its place continued to be debated and discussed. Smaller gatherings over the following decades brought
criticism from some of those in the Global South who believed that a Western dualism (with the social and spiritual split) was still pervading the perception of mission. Cape Town will create a new opportunity to converse and seek God’s guidance for how a unified understanding of holistic mission can be played out in the coming years. With pressing challenges facing the church, it will be fascinating to see how the latest landmark event responds to the extraordinary changes our world is undergoing. In 30 years’ time, a new generation will look back on Cape Town 2010 and ponder how the evangelicals of the early 21st Century responded to the call of God to engage the whole church in bringing the whole gospel to the whole world.
Richard Carson is the Education Director of ACET (AIDS Care Education & Training) Ireland. He recently completed his M.Phil. at the Irish School of Ecumenics (Trinity College Dublin). He is part of the Irish delegation travelling to Cape Town this October.
LAUSANNE? The Lausanne movement was founded upon the initiative of leaders such as Rev. Billy Graham when approximately 2,700 evangelicals gathered in the Swiss city in 1974. Its understanding is that evangelisation involves “the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world.” Check out and take part in the ongoing Lausanne Global Conversation where thousands of papers on a wide range of topics are discussed and debated. Videos of the proceedings in Cape Town will also be posted during the Congress. http://conversation.lausanne.org/en
My top five... Web Highlights from VOX readers www.thesimpledollar.com This guy has an amazing grasp on the realities of living in recession and being faithful stewards. Whether it’s teaching people how to create and maintain a budget or sharing low-cost recipes, Trent always offers easyto-understand and highly relatable advice on the contentious issue of money. If you want to change the way you view finances, this is a great place to start! www.realrobbell.com Rob Bell is a gifted communicator: writing, videos, preaching...he does it all. The resources on his website are incredibly helpful for life, calling and ministry. www.evangelicalinterfaith.blogspot.com For those curious about those of other faiths or healthy, helpful ways to engage with them, this journal speaks from a uniquely evangelical perspective. With support from prominent evangelical scholars, this journal is a great resource.
"It will be fascinating to see how the latest landmark event responds to the extraordinary changes our world is undergoing."
www.300words.posterous.com An online community to encourage writers to keep on writing. Each day writer-contributors are encouraged to submit 300 written words to their community or to comment on others’ writing. www.betterworldbooks.com Have any books you’re looking to get rid of or to find used? Why not support global literacy in the process? This website accepts donations of and sells used books in order to fund literacy programmes. If you’re a book junkie, this is the place both to give and receive! Katie Sturm is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology at Liverpool Hope University. She has many interests, including reading, songwriting, spending time with her husband Aaron and searching for answers to deep questions. She lives in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.
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Faith, Life, Reality My Story
Do you want to share your story in VOX magazine? “My Story” is an opportunity for ordinary people living in Ireland to talk about their journey to faith or the impact God has in their daily lives. We begin with a story from Dublin.
My name is Pat McCann. I was born into a troubled family, and my first ten years were filled with pain: depression, violence, hatred, self-abuse and much more. My childhood years were very unhappy. From the age of 10, I was taking drugs and drinking alcohol. I ended up in prison several times. Life offered no hope. Years went by and life got worse. I tried Jesus but went back on drugs thinking, “What’s the point?” At the age of 38, I got hooked on heroin for about one year. I overdosed and ended up in a coma for two days. One night I was begging on Ha’penny Bridge. Someone came along and threw me into the Liffey. As a result, the doctor said my leg was so damaged they had to remove half of it. I cried out to Jesus, and He gave me grace to recover. I ended up starting a course in Goirtin (rehab centre) and later at Thomas Court. Things were difficult for some time. I kept getting into trouble. The staff were helpful and caring towards us in the centre. I had great fun with everyone there and I enjoyed all the classes very much. Today I am healthy because of Goirtin and Thomas Court. The centres taught me how to cope with my personal problems. I am clean and sober about ten years now. I owe my life to Jesus Christ who died for my sins, to give us new life. In the Bible, Jesus said that He came to heal the sick, not the healthy. Want to share your story in VOX magazine? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or Solas Publishing, Ulysses House, 22-24 Foley St.Dublin 1.
Footprints Bookshop & CityGates Café Bachelor’s Quay, Cork phone: 021 4278369
All Your Christmas Needs in One Place Books DVD Fair Trade Music Gifts Gift Vouchers
Host your Christmas Party in our Function Room or We can Bring a Book/Craft Stall to your Christmas Event Contact us for more details. 24 | VOX | Oct - Dec 2010
It certainly wasn’t a concert in the traditional sense. Playing for a lively crowd at MAD 2010 this summer, Northern Irish worship group Rend Collective Experiment invited the audience to be participants rather than spectators. Afterward Rend leader Gareth Gilkeson and his wife Ali took a few moments to share their heart with VOX Editor Ruth Garvey-Williams.
Tell us about your name. The word ‘collective’ seems important to you. Why is that? Instead of being a one-man show or a band, every individual is equally important. We have different roles. There are six or seven of us in the band itself, but in the collective other friends in Ireland and around the world write stuff for us. It would be unfair to call it a band. We believe the church does not need another band or show. We get caught up in the entertainment mindset, but instead we should all take part. We want to encourage young people when they are looking at us to see a model of church as a team and family. As soon as you put up a stage and lights, people think they are going to watch, and that is not what we want to be about.
What is your passion? We want to lead the church into worship that includes singing to God in fresh and meaningful ways. We also want to try to encourage people who do not connect with church, to give them a song they can sing that they really mean. We are a worship band but we do not do it in traditional methods. We write in ways that we find we can express ourselves; that makes sense to us. We want to make a connection with God, not just sing a song.
Are you planning to go full time? The future looks like it will have to go that way soon. At the moment we work two to three days a week and do this the rest of the time. I’m a drum teacher and Ali is a physiotherapist. We are taking our time and do not want to get lost. The important thing is that we are not a gigging band but a ministry and we serve the church. If we wanted to make money, there are a lot easier ways!
What is the dream? If I could have one thing it would be to be able to influence the church with a lifestyle that is extreme in the sense of following Jesus. We don’t want to be a show but to have people see that our private lives match up. What I would hate is to have us spend time playing to people but not making any useful change. The life that Jesus calls us to is one of sacrifice and discomfort. In everything we do, Jesus has set the bar. We cannot settle for something where we know we are giving second best. We do not write songs because we want to have a hit but because we are trying to connect with Jesus. It makes us give everything; writing songs that are genuinely trying to serve the church rather than sell records.
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VOX:REVIEWS Boda Borg at Lough Key, Co Roscommon Chalk and cheese doesn’t even begin to describe our family. Finding an activity to suit every one of us is a task that would make Hercules flinch. The Boda Borg experience at Lough Key just off the N4 in County Roscommon proved a refreshing exception to the rule. The Swedish-concept Boda Borg tests competitors (in groups of three to five people) to the limits of teamwork, problem solving, physical strength, agility, patience and perseverance. Each of the 15 challenges (sadly one was closed the day we visited) is made up of between two and four rooms. Put one foot wrong and you are sent right back to the beginning again. We swung on ropes, crawled through tunnels, puzzled over logic problems, celebrated our victories (yes… we were the loud ones) and groaned in defeat as we pitted our united wits and bodies against the challenges. After just over two hours, we emerged exhilarated and exhausted with a tremendous sense of achievement, along with a few bruises! While Boda Borg itself is not for the faint-hearted (it is ideal for older children, teenagers and active adults), Lough Key offers a wide range of other activities including gentle woodland walks, picnic tables, children’s play areas, boats for hire, wide open spaces for ball games and a pleasant coffee shop with breath-taking views across the Lough.
Staff at the Irish Bible Institute in Dublin got together to share their top books of 2009-2010. These titles come with their highest recommendation to readers of VOX magazine. Find out more about IBI at www.ibi.ie
It is not cheap (the family ticket is €60) but we felt it was well worth it. There are discount rates for groups. Booking is recommended. Whether you are looking for a fun family day out, a challenge for your youth group or an all-age church outing, I can heartily recommend Lough Key and the Boda Borg experience. Check out the website for full details: www.loughkey.ie Reviewed by VOX Editor Ruth Garvey-Williams VOX rating: *****
Mark for Everyone, Matthew for Everyone and John for Everyone by Tom Wright (SPCK Publishing)
The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission: promoting the gospel with more than our lips by John Dickson (Zondervan 2010)
Series by James Bryan Smith The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows The Good and Beautiful Life: Putting on the Character of Christ The Good and Beautiful Community: Following the Spirit, Extending Grace, Demonstrating Love (Hodder & Stoughton 2010)
The Mission of God's People by Chris Wright (Zondervan, 2010)
Virtue Reborn by Tom Wright (SPCK Publishing, 2010)
Counterfeit Gods: When the Empty Promises of Love, Money, and Power Let You Down by Timothy Keller (Hodder & Stoughton, 2009)
The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity by Skye Jethani (Zondervan, 2009)
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CASTING CROWNS IN BELFAST
Wednesday, 3 November 2010 at The Odyssey Arena, Belfast Christian music's best-selling, multi-award-winning band, Casting Crowns, arrives in Belfast for the first day of a highly anticipated 10-day tour of Europe this November. With dates in the UK, Norway and Germany, the band will feature songs from their new album, Until the Whole World Hears. Their fourth studio recording explores living life with a kingdom focus and loving the world like Jesus did. Tickets from: www.ticketmaster.ie priced from £19.50 - £31.50
SERIOUSLY FUNNY ADRIAN PLASS AND JEFF LUCAS The title is self explanatory: Seriously Funny. The book is a series of letters between Jeff and Adrian covering everything from anecdotes about embarrassing moments at book signings to personal stories about bereavement. Funny at times, making me laugh out loud on the train but also serious, causing me to sob on the bus. Both equally embarrassing for me and awkward for those sitting next to me but I couldn't help but be totally engrossed in what I was reading. Having heard Jeff preach in my home church of St. Marks, I could actually hear him snigger as he recounted a story about a visit to the local movie shop and the 'be kind rewind' stickers that were put on DVDs so as not to waste the outdated VHS paraphernalia. Stories like this are so refreshing amidst the deeper spiritual ones. I think our brains need to take time to read little side notes like this as a small comic relief break between the harder topics of doubt, death and unforgiveness. However, Jeff and Adrian do deal with those issues as well, but I found them easier to digest with chapters filled with humour. What really struck me about the book was both parties' ability to connect with the reader on such a personal level. I found myself relating to many of their stories, thinking, 'I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with that' or 'a similar thing happened to me'. There are no cliches, no one-step plans for an easy life, but rather honest tellings of human experiences and God's hand in them. Be prepared for a serious roller coaster of a read. Roberta von Meding graduated in 2007 with a B.A. (Hons.) in English, Media and Cultural Studies from IADT and has since worked in the media business. She lives in Greystones with her husband Joseph and baby daughter Juliet.
NEW SINGLE CHALLENGES THE UK CHARTS UK Christian band LZ7 launched their single This Little Light of Mine into the UK music charts on September 26. The song first premiered in Ireland at MAD 2009 and the remix was performed at this year’s MAD event in Wicklow to an appreciative audience. Videos of both versions have notched up thousands of hits on YouTube. (VOX verdict – the remix is definitely the better version!) As part of the Manchester-based youth charity The Message Trust, LZ7 hopes “This Little Light” will promote their Shine Your Light campaign, challenging young people across the UK to do acts of kindness and to ‘make goodness fashionable’. (Check out full details of the campaign at www. shineyourlight.com) VOX caught up with LZ7 front man Lindz for a few minutes after the performance at MAD 2010 to find out more about their music and their message. What does LZ7 stand for? It is a combination of my name Lindz
and the number 7 (the perfect number) and it is all about being a person created by God. So what is your passion? What are you all about? We want to give people an authentic opportunity to listen to a real Christian – not hearing about religion but about faith and a relationship with God. We work in schools in Manchester for 12 – 20 weeks a year. We are living the fact that we all really love dance music – we are genuinely into that. Our music is a platform to preach the Gospel. Tell us about the new single. We have been signed with Universal and we are launching This Little Light of Mine into the music charts this September. It has gone mental. The inspiration of the song is to see people doing acts of kindness and to make God famous. We are really going for it. We are not going to water down anything, but we are going to say what we are FOR, not what we are against. VOX | Oct - Dec 2010 | 27 VOX | Oct - Dec 2010 | 27
VOX:INTERVIEW Conversation Starter Scot, you are here in Ireland talking about ‘The Earliest Christian Gospel’. Can you summarise your argument in a nutshell? I think Tom Wright got this right; we equate the word ‘gospel’ with our understanding of the ‘plan of salvation’ which means ‘how I personally can respond to the offer of salvation in Christ’. I think most evangelicals think that is the gospel. As a result of studying the New Testament, I became convinced that there are dimensions of what Paul thinks is the gospel and of what the early apostles in the book of Acts preach as the gospel that simply are not a part of how we preach the gospel. For instance, they were very much focused on resurrection. They didn’t focus on us being sinners and our need to accept Jesus’ death. Instead they proclaimed that Israel’s story (the hope of the Bible story) is now fulfilled in Jesus as Messiah and Lord through his life, through his death, through his resurrection, through his exaltation, through the sending of the Spirit. This is the good news that God has now wrapped up history. If we want to participate in this good news and get salvation, we must repent and believe and be baptised. That was their understanding of the gospel. I think our traditional evangelical gospel touches on some of those dimensions, but there are many aspects that we have simply ignored in Western evangelicalism. In many ways I think we have thinned the gospel down to a superficial level, and I want to create a conversation about what the apostles actually said the gospel was.
Irish Bible Institute lecturer Patrick Mitchell talked to author, theologian and Christian blogger Scot McKnight during his recent visit to Ireland.
them; it’s patronising. So I stayed out of the conversation. But over time I became convinced that women needed male voices speaking on their behalf. I’m convinced that the Bible has so much evidence of women in actual ministry that conflicts with the restriction of women in ministry in our churches. I like to ask a very simple question: ‘Do you allow in your churches women to do what women did in the pages of the Bible?’ If you do, you’re being biblical and if you don’t you’re being unbiblical. In the Bible, women can teach (like Priscilla), they can be apostles (like Junia), they can prophesy, they can publicly pray – all these things occurred in the pages of the New Testament, not to mention prophets like Huldah, a prophetsinger like Miriam and a queen of the land like Deborah. In the pages of the Bible we have plenty of evidence of women in leadership.
I think we have thinned the gospel down to a superficial level.
It’s hard to talk to you without mentioning Jesus Creed. What have been some of the benefits of blogging personally and spiritually? I had really no idea what I was doing at the beginning. The big thing that happened is it became a ministry. It wasn’t just a blog and it wasn’t to promote my books; it was a natural instinct to me to jot out ideas and have kind of extended classroom conversations. Since then it has become a thing in itself. We’re probably going to get about 2.5 million page views this year. I never imagined that this could happen and never imagined the number of pastors who write me letters and with whom I’ve become friends. I think it’s flourished at the hand of God and I am thankful for it.
In the pages of the Bible we have plenty of evidence of women in leadership.
In The Blue Parakeet, you talk extensively about women in ministry. Why is this issue important to you? I’ve had female students who were really fantastic thinkers, sharp communicators and godly Christians gifted by God to teach but could find no place to teach. In the past I’ve had some colleagues that were really strong against women teachers and I respected them, and I thought as a young professor, ‘That’s not a battle I want to fight right now.’ I developed the idea that women don’t need men defending
You’ve said Embracing Grace was one of your favourite books. Why? I felt that this book in some ways was my Mere Christianity. I read two or three pages of C.S. Lewis every day before I wrote Embracing Grace. There is a lot of my life that came to fruition in that book: a lot of thinking, a lot of teaching, and a lot of studying. I think it explains the gospel of salvation in its holistic way.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION Scot McKnight raises two major questions about our understanding of the gospel and the role of women in ministry. Visit www. voxmagazine.ie and click on The Conversation blog to add your comments and discuss these issues with other VOX readers.
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VOX:ADS&EVENTS Events Calendar What’s happening, where and when?
Casting Crowns Concert Wednesday, 3 November, 7:20pm Odyssey Arena, Belfast Your Move Saturday, 6 November, 7:30pm Galway Christian Fellowship (See ad on next page) Global Leadership Summit 10 - 11 November The Exchange, Dublin (See ad on page 2) A Journey to Hope Women's Conference Saturday, 13 November Griffith College Conference Centre, Dublin (See ad on page 5) Mandate Men's Conference Saturday, 13 November The Waterfront, Belfast www.themandate.net
Ballynahinch Baptist Church Co. Down, Northern Ireland
is seeking a
Pastor We endeavour to be a doctrinally biblical and culturally relevant church. Membership is currently 370. The pastor will be part of an eldership team charged with overall church leadership. The Pastor will lead a small staff group, harness the energy of volunteers and, among other things, will be expected to equip, challenge and encourage the church through teaching God’s word, developing members’ gifts and promoting evangelism. Further details can be obtained from the Hon Secretary, Mr Paul Gilmore: Ballynahinch Baptist Church, 24 Lisburn Road, Ballynahinch, BT24 8BL, N Ireland Tel: 028 97566700, e-mail: secretary@ ballynahinchbaptist.org, www.ballynahinchbaptist.org Closing date for submission of CV – 12th November 2010
Bookkeeping & Payroll Services
Building Blocks Training Conference for all who work with children in church contexts. Keynote speaker Ivy Beckwith plus lots of seminars to choose from. Dublin 13th November 9:30-4:00 €35 Belfast 20th November 10:00-4:30 £25 Booking details on www.buildingblocks.ie
• • • • • •
Preparation of Day Books (Sales, Purchases, Payments, Receipts etc.) Bank, Creditors and Debtors Reconciliations Payroll Bureau Services VAT, PAYE/PRSI and RCT Returns Computerised book-keeping services Onesimus Bookkeeping Bureau Tel: 087 9720356 Onesimus@eircom.net
VOX | Oct - Dec 2010 | 29
“My way, your way... or the higher way”
If you’re going to challenge the religious authorities in a conservative religious country it’s probably a good idea to think it through first. Consider the implications. Is it worth it, or will you lose more than you gain? But life doesn’t always present us with the opportunities to think before we act. So Joe* challenged the religious establishment and, eventually, they threw him out. Standing on the outside was probably when he began to examine his options; a bit late maybe, but better late than not at all. Here were Joe’s options: he could acquiesce, say sorry, then keep his mouth shut, accepting that they were in charge and they knew better. After all, who was he to challenge them? Giving in – even after the fact – was still a possibility with attractions. Life could go back to being quiet; he would cease being the centre of attention and return to anonymity. His family would be left alone. He would not cause scandal. The other option was to fight – refuse to accept that they were right. He could call their bluff; speak out publicly; challenge their hold on power and influence in society. Others might join him. He surely wasn’t the only one they had bullied. If he could recruit enough like-minded people, they could start a movement; expose, oppose and depose them. Dismantle the whole system. Punish them for their arrogance and abuse of power.
voice was familiar. “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” the man asked him. The question didn’t seem relevant. Maybe Jesus didn’t see the issue clearly. Or maybe He was the only one who did. "I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretence of seeing will be exposed as blind." Religious/irreligious. Conservative/liberal. Black/white. Traditional/progressive. Spiritual/secular. National/foreign. When I frame social, political, religious or even personal conflict in terms of “us” and “them”, the “good” and the “bad”, the “right” and the “wrong”, the “friend” and the “enemy” – I am exposed as one who has made “a great pretence of seeing” but in reality is blind. Light comes not from our view of them or their view of us but from outside – from the light that has come into the world. That’s what Joe discovered. In the end he didn’t fight the religious establishment or submit to it. Instead he became a worshipper of Jesus – the most radical and subversive choice you can ever make.
Give in or speak out? In the end he did neither. Someone heard what had happened; and went looking for him. He didn’t recognise the face but the
Sean Mullan has been working in church leadership for many years. He is developing a new project in Dublin City Centre called "Third Space".
d’s o G
Please check www.imap.ie for more conference and location details.
Ta k i ng
Resourcing World Mission Together
*Name changed to protect identity
GALWAY NOV 6TH
7.30 pm GALWAY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP New Life Centre, Monivea Road, Galway
CORK JAN 29TH
7.30 pm DOUGLAS BAPTIST CHURCH Douglas Community School, Claremount Avenue, Douglas, Cork
DUBLIN FEB 12TH
5.30 pm THE REDEEMED CHURCH OF GOD
Irish Mission Agencies Partnership
119a JFK Industrial Estate, Dublin 12
Tel: +353 (0) 87 294 9518 • Email: email@example.com • Web: www.imap.ie • 86 The Fairways, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland
PARENTS! GRANDPARENTS! AUNTS! UNCLES! Looking for the perfect gift for a teenager? Want to ensure that the teenager in your family is informed on personal development, social awareness, spirituality and justice issues? There’s only one answer - an annual gift subscription to FACE UP magazine. Face Up is a monthly magazine for teens who want something deeper — and that’s what it provides. Each issue of Face Up informs and entertains on personal development, social awareness, spirituality and justice issues. Past issues have focussed on depression, bullying, self-esteem, work, religion, death and suicide, drugs, alcohol abuse and sexuality. Face Up also contains many of the normal ingredients of teen magazines including human interest stories, lifestyle features, personality proﬁles as well as sports and music coverage. With a strong input from young people themselves, Face Up is not preachy or patronizing but conversational and engaging, in a language teenage readers understand and can relate to. To order Face Up, just complete the reply slip below and return it to the following address: Redemptorist Communications, 75 Orwell Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6
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VOX | Apr - Jun 2010 | 31
RICH BLACK: C:30 M:20 Y:10 K:100 RED: C:0 M:100 Y:100 K:0 GREEN: C:100 M:0 Y:100 K:0
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32 | VOX | Oct - Dec 2010
Published on Oct 3, 2010