Do we need an Easter Sunday Agreement?
Tomorrow we mark 20 years since the Good Friday Agreement. It was a significant step towards peace on these islands but there is still much to be done to see true reconciliation.
Peter Lynas NI director of Evangelical Alliance commented,
“The link between the Good Friday Agreement and Easter is significant. The Agreement rejected violence in favour of partnership, equality and mutual respect. It provided an opportunity for a fresh start and new hope. But it is in the death and resurrection of Jesus that true reconciliation is possible.”
“The Agreement provided a first step in establishing a framework for peace - power-sharing and mandatory coalition - and we live in a much more peaceful society. But it was a first step, in the same way that Good Friday was not the end of the Jesus story.”
“It is time to consider an Easter Sunday Agreement. The current structures were a necessary stepping stone in the peace process, but there is a danger that they institutionalise segregation and sectarianism. Moving from mandatory to voluntary collation could be the next step on the process.”
“Jesus rose again on Easter Sunday morning. Sickness and death have been defeated. Forgiveness, healing and hope are available to anyone who believes. As a society, we need an Easter Sunday Agreement to complete our journey to true peace and reconciliation.”
“Reconciliation happens despite our differences, not because we have ignored them or resolved them all. It requires our society to face up to the truth of the past and admit our wrongs. It involves accepting forgiveness and forgiving others. It is also not the sole responsibility of our politicians, it is something we can all do at every level of society.”
“Twenty years on we are launching Be Reconciled* - a Gospel initiative to resource and empower the local Church in Northern Ireland in peacemaking. The Church has a leading role to play in cultivating a flourishing and peaceful society for everyone. Central to this vision is the life-changing message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ reconciling God to humanity, to each other, and the whole of creation. It is a contextual response to our troubled communities centred on the reconciling message of the Gospel.”
Be Reconciled will be launched at the Dock Café at 7:30pm on Tuesday 10 April 2018.
Be Reconciled is a biblically-based small group resource created by local Minister Catherine Simpson and developed in partnership with Evangelical Alliance NI.
The resource is open for anyone to use but has been developed with an evangelical audience in mind. Each week features short videos from leaders including Bishop Harold Miller, Rev Dr Heather Morris, Very Rev Dr Trevor Morrow and Peter Lynas.
More information can be found at www.bereconciled.co.uk