In Journeying Towards Reconciliation: A Song for Ireland, Ruth Patterson examines the possibilities for spiritual healing in Northern Ireland. Almost five years into the peace process, we have made progress in a great many areas. However, from one perspective it looks as if we are still at square one in dealing with some of the deeply rooted divisions.
The call to reconciliation and to the belief that such a journey is possible is so deafening that it is not heard by many. Yet it is vital that we listen, that we hear and that we join in. Everyone has a part to play, no matter how small.
Ruth Patterson believes that Ireland still has an opportunity to fulfil its destiny, still has a song to sing. That song will come from the restoration of relationships, between ourselves and God, and between the alienated parts of our own individual and collective identities.
Ruth Patterson is a Presbyterian minister who has worked with Restoration Ministries, based in Lisburn, County Antrim, since its inception. Restoration Ministries is a non-denominational Christian organisation that seeks to promote healing and reconciliation in Ireland and further afield. It came into being in 1988, during the thirty-year conflict in Northern Ireland. Through a ministry of reconciliation, healing, hospitality and prayer it seeks to provide a place of safety where people can tell their story and be heard, where they can develop a vision, and where they can feel welcomed and loved. Other publications by Ruth Patterson include Proclaiming the Promise (2006) and Looking Back to Tomorrow (2009), both published by Veritas.