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.
It has been a momentous twelve months in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and in relation to developments popularly dubbed the 'Arab Spring' or (perhaps more helpfully) the 'Arab Awakening'. Time, we think, to stop for a moment and take stock.
Unity for the Palestinians will be achieved only when the people collectively build a common vision on how to tackle the occupation, says Ghassan Rubeiz, noting the encouraging moves towards nonviolence at the grassroots and among some key protagonists.