A word about riversmeetings
We are a group of Christians meeting in Carrick-on-Shannon.
At the moment we use rooms generously provided by CARRICK-ON-SHANNON FAMILY LIFE CENTRE in Presentation House, Main Street, Carrick. We meet at 4pm on Sunday afternoons and here and there in peoples’ houses. On Tuesday evenings we study the Bible together (generally in the Lis Cara, Oaklands or Summerhill areas). Most meetings have a creche provided for small children, a kids’ church time and are followed by coffee and cake. We would be very glad to see you!
Here’s a contact email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need some more info.
By way of explanation: Carrick-on-Shannon in the Republic of Ireland lies at the junction between two mighty rivers: the Erne and the Shannon. The Erne flows from hereabouts up to Enniskillen , through Fermanagh to emerge in the sea at Ballyshannon, and the Shannon flows south, bisecting the midlands of Ireland, right down to Limerick Bay. So in a sense, we live at a crossroads, (or crossrivers) between the northern and southern counties of Ireland, and the rivers meeting becomes a symbol of reconciliation.
And, of course, living here in the rural south, we inhabit a genuine Catholic community, an authentic faith community… and so any attempt to build Christian fellowship around here in a way that excludes Catholics would immediately alienate ninety per cent of the population. A strikingly dumb move, and rather unloving too?
You can either build bridges or fences, as they say.
So here again, the rivers meet- the rivers of Christian traditions- since a proportion of our family are Catholic anyway, and since we are proud to share services with Christians of any stripe, be they Catholic, Protestant or just plain Other (like us).
One by one the barriers crumble. Jesus ate with outsiders and called them brothers. And that’s how we perceive our role here – to be like Jesus.
We even dare to say that in the Kingdom of God that doctrine comes second to relationship. What do you think? Even if you’re not sure, you have to recognise that we are summoned to unity, and to love one another. It’s an especially potent message in Ireland.
Come to think of it, there is simply no end to the amount of barriers that we manage to raise to exclude others. Protestants (I’m a Methodist) are notorious fault-finders, nit-pickers… refusing fellowship with anyone who speaks in tongues (or who doesn’t), with people who use modern tunes and instruments for singing, forms of ministry, forms of liturgy, forms of music, forms of whatever….
It’s all a bit sad, isn’t it?
And of course, our generation has now to face a much more significant divide -that bewteen Muslim and Christian. Can the rivers meet here? I prophesy that the next twenty years will see fifty mosques built across Ireland to accommodate the new population. Does this upset you or challenge you ?
Let’s make it a challenge. A challenge to love more.
Use the email above or the contact form if you’d like to respond or get in touch.
May God bless you richly as you look
through this blog!