BENEFITING: Fourth Presbyterian Church
Support the Fourth Church Young Adult peacemaking and reconciliation mission trip to Northern Ireland! We've worked hard raise funds for our trip, but need to raise a little more to fully cover our costs. We're hoping to raise $4,000 in the next 2 weeks. Can you help?
Fourth Chuch Young Adults will travel to Belfast July 9-17, 2016 to meet communities and learn about peacemaking and reconciliation from their stories. Through learning about the historic religious conflicts in Northern Ireland, the trip will help us understand how we can build peace and promote justice in our communities and own daily lives.
We will learn from our encounters with both historic and contemporary expressions of Christian witness in Northern Ireland, ultimately gaining resources from dealing with societal division and conflict. We will bring back this new knowledge to our local communities and look to apply it however possible.
Here's what the trip participants have to say about why it's important to them:
Jon: This mission trip is important to me because of the people going and the people we will meet in Northern Ireland. I hope we learn compelling lessons from the communities in Belfast and elsewhere about the healing power of reconciliation, the challenges of bringing groups of people together with histories of violence and conflict towards and against one another, and how such insights might be applied in our own neighborhoods here in Chicago. I'm also looking forward to the food and fellowship!
Elizabeth: I decided to join this trip as reading the current news feels discouraging as an ordinary citizen - how can we tackle such deep divisions in our communities? Northern Ireland provides an example of people and communities overcoming a deep divide and moving forward - I wanted to learn practical lessons we can adapt to our own communities to be part of making things better, not just passive bystanders.
Luke: For me, exploring the history and experiences of a foreign culture helps me to better understand my own culture. I hope that learning about the religious/political/ethnic conflict in Northern Ireland and seeing the peacemaking work that is being done in that context will help me to better support peacemaking efforts in my own contexts.
Emma: During this trip I'm looking forward to exploring and gaining a better understanding of the religious/political/ethnic conflict in Northern Ireland. I am hoping that through this exploration and understanding I will gain a better perspective on similar issues of division and conflict that are having a serious impact on people's lives in Chicago.
Linden: I am excited to learn about the historical religious conflict in Northern Ireland, and more importantly, the personal testimonies of community members trying to reconcile the longstanding differences. I am also eager to become immersed in a different culture and bear witness to unique reconciliation efforts. Meeting with religious leaders and community members will provide us with powerful stories of conflict resolutions. When not engaging with locals, I look forward to embracing the natural beauty of the region, being reminded of God's incredible creations across the world. I look forward to bringing back these stories to Chicago and finding ways to share them in the city. I ultimately want us to apply the lessons learned in order to make a practical impact in our city.
Nora: I am always interested in how religion and culture are intertwined, and in Northern Ireland it's hard to separate culture from religion. I know very little about Northern Ireland and I can't wait to hear stories, listen, and learn from the community. I want to show that as a Presbyterian I believe God has called me to love and listen to ALL - no matter their faith traditions (or lack thereof).
Allison: It is an opportunity for me to observe and share experiences in a country rich in ancient cultures and religions.
Shanna: It will be a great opportunity to learn about how the peace and reconciliation work being done in Northern Ireland can translate to Chicago, a city that is plagued by conflict and violence. I'm also excited to learn about the history of the Celtic church.
Please support our trip and spread the word as you're able. If you'd like to hear more about our plans or our fundraising efforts, you can contact Rev. Layton Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org