14 April 2016

‘1916–2016: Before, Between and Beyond’
– speaking at Rubicon 100 years after 1916

Patrick Comerford

I have been invited to be one of the speakers at Rubicon’s 5th national gathering in the Church of Ireland College of Education, Rathmines, on Saturday [16 April 2016].

Rubicon is a place for discussing and debating the interplay with culture and faith, where the big questions can be wrestled with. The conference brings together leaders from the media, education, politics, the arts, business, social sector and the Churches to learn from one another.

This year Rubicon is exploring 100 years of Irish culture, arts and faith under the title 1916–2016: Before, Between and Beyond. It is looking at 1916-2016; Church State to Secular State, how the Church has evolved, changed and declined over the past 100 years as well as its role going forward.

“Our world is changing in ways that we realise and ways that we don’t. Come and join us for a hope-filled conversation with diverse voices as we explore this cultural moment and the future of Christianity in Ireland. The gathering will be intimate and intentional; a small environment designed to draw together innovators and the best ideas through which we can embody faith in public life,” says Greg Fromholz, one of the organisers.

Rubicon is described as “a yearly boutique conference that gathers to intentionally collaborate and explore ideas about how faith can be expressed within our cultural context. The contributors are numerous and varied and are drawn from the areas of media, arts, sports, politics, entrepreneurism and philosophy in a ‘TED–esque’ format with interaction, table discussion and tea.”

The keynote speaker is Brian Zahnd from Minnesota, pastor and author of Water to Wine, A Farewell to Mars and Beauty Will Save The World.

I have been invited to speak on ‘Ireland: 100 Years On,’ providing a retrospective view of the Easter Rising in 1916 and its legacy today.

The other speakers include:

● Stephen James Smith, Slam Poet, Writer and Performer (‘Dublin We Are’).

● Sister Denise Boyle, Director of Mecpaths, Mercy Efforts to Counter Child Prostitution and Trafficking in the Hospitality Sector (‘Mercy on the Streets’).

● Brendan Joseph, textile design artist (‘Creating the Fabric of Dublin’).

● Dr James Gallen, Lecturer in the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University (‘Gut Legislation: the Law, the Heart and the Mind’).

● Sister Imelda Wickham, Wheatfield Prison Chaplain (‘Behind Bars – Beyond Walls’).

● Ferg Brown, Founder and Owner of Roasted Brown (‘Slow Pour: Building Community one coffee at a time’).

● Rabin Das, Nutrition Lecturer at UCD Sport and Fitness (‘Mitigating against the Cost of Success’).

● Rob Clarke, CEO of Spirit FM (‘Faith and the Airwaves’).

● Natasa Paulberg, Dublin Composer (‘Composing Beauty and Innocence’).

The programme also includes an interview with Shane O’Doherty, author of the autobiography The Volunteer: – A Former IRA Man’s True Story.

The conference’s method of learning is exposure, conversation and collaboration. The organisers make an intentional effort to platform the best and the brightest ideas that are shaping this island and the world and interact with them.

The organisers believe that inherent in Christian faithfulness is the responsibility to create a better world, one that reflects God’s original design and intention. Rubicon is a place where those gathered will be able to explore what that might look like and how God’s intention is showing up in the lives of their peers and the cultural projects they create.

Rubicon 2016 takes place on Saturday from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. and continues on Sunday [17 April] in Holy Trinity Church, Rathmines, when Brian Zahnd will be joined by the worship song writer Jason Upton at the 12 noon service followed by questions and answers.

. Rubicon was founded by Greg Fromholz and the Revd Rob Jones as a Holy Trinity, Rathmines initiative, and is now in partnership with the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough.

Tickets can be booked at www.wearerubicon.com