On Friday 21 December 2012, starting at 4.45pm, St John's Church in Edinburgh (at the corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road, EH2 4BJ) hosts an Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre event with Ploughshares activist Fr Bill Bichsel and Leonna O’Neill of Faslane Peace Camp. This will be followed by a Christmas Party.
Every time that I think I can no longer be surprised by the behaviour of church institutions, I am proved wrong. Like many others, I was shocked to learn that a conference for arms dealers will take place in Church House. Thankfully, many Christians are still campaigning against the arms trade, militarism and cuts.
We can only guess what was going through the minds of Martin McGuiness and Elizabeth Windsor as they shook hands in Belfast last week. Several commentators recognised the symbolism of a painful process of reconciliation. Lessons from Northern Ireland about the futility of violence need to be applied in other parts of the world, and in other areas of life.