photo: Bernie Brown
Sat on a park bench like bookends..." (Paul Simon)
My good friend Fr Martin Magill was 60 back on September 13th. I honestly have no idea what it must be like to be his age! In less than three weeks I will.
We have often found it so interesting, that though not meeting until we were almost 50, our birthdays are so close together. "1961 was a great year", Martin often says.
With such BIG birthdays coming up we thought that it would be a great idea to try and use such landmarks to raise money and profile for a small local NGO.
We chose Embrace NI for its work with refugees and asylum seekers.
We set a target of £1000. We met the target by the time Fr Martin had eaten all of his cake. We doubled our target last week and have passed it again. So today we are doubling it again and announcing a new target of £4000.
So forget sending us tokens and presents. Donate to Embrace NI and check out what they can do for you, your Church and your community.
We have had an amazing decade working together. We have helped create Belfast’s 4 Corners Festival which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in February 2020.
We pleaded for Jesus concept of grace to be used in peacemaking at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis. Both of us can be heard regularly on the radio, we have written together for various publications and we shared a Saturday column, for the first year of Coronavirus, in the Belfast Telegraph.
In 2016 we were overwhelmed when we were presented with the Community Relations Council’s Civic Leadership Award.
Martin is involved all kinds of amazing causes, particularly Stop Attacks and we all still remember his prophetic speech at Lyra McKee’s funeral, when I was fist pumping as I watched on TV.
We both feel that God has really blessed us in our friendship, our lives and vocations. We also feel that they are blessed enough with things and so the idea the BIG 60th Birthday Fundraise
We have chosen Embrace NI because it is interdenominational and helps us fulfil a clear Biblical mandate to take care of the refugee. Watching the news footage from Afghanistan reminds us that all over the world people are fleeing terrible wars, oppression and poverty to find a better, safer life for their family. We are of course aware that Jesus was a refugee too.
We see the work Embrace does, not only in its emergency response to refugees but also their role of educating and resourcing the church as being so crucial.
We therefore encourage you, if you know Martin, if you have benefitted in any way from our individual ministries or our work together to make a contribution to Embrace NI at the link below.