Corrymeela is about nurturing respectful relationships so we can live well together. Founded as an expression of Christian community, we continue to be guided by the life and teachings of Jesus. We believe that love, grace and forgiveness are necessary components for a lasting peace, but you do not need to identify as Christian to join us. We look to journey with people of all backgrounds towards a more just and integrated future.
There are many ways to be involved with Corrymeela:
You can come to the centre with a group by booking a residential stay or day visit.
You can volunteer at the centre as opportunities arise.
You can participate in programmes or open events.
You can contribute financially to the work of the charity.
You can promote Corrymeela’s programme work through your own networks.
You can be part of a movement that enables more and more people to live well together.
Some categories of involvement have certain expectations.
Friends of Corrymeela is a term we use for those who support the charity. This refers to those who contribute financially to our work, but also includes those who help in other ways: volunteering, running information sessions in their area, promoting Corrymeela’s work, praying for the community, etc.
Associates are those with a significant connection to Corrymeela who choose to remain in close communication with us and to be involved in aspects of the community’s life, but who – after consultation with the Leader – realise that they cannot commit to the formal expectations of membership for the coming year. Often this is because of a lack of proximity to the centre or to other members.
Provisional members are those who use a year or two of active involvement to get to know the members, history and mission of Corrymeela well enough to determine whether they can commit to membership.
Members are those who publicly commit to being in relationships of welcome, mutual learning and respect with others in this dispersed community. Together, members have responsibility for carrying forward the story of Corrymeela as a community of hope in contrast to the destructive divisions that have marked our society.
In normal practice, a commitment to membership means that members will:
· take part in regular membership gatherings:
· volunteer in some capacity with our programmes or at the centre;
· contribute financially to the needs of the community;
· take seriously the inner work of learning from and with others;
· participate in the worship and spiritual life of the community as they feel able;
· hold themselves accountable to the commitment they make to fellow members.
Although not a requirement of membership, we encourage the development of member–led initiatives that extend Corrymeela’s mission of helping us all live well together. In many cases, these are projects that are independent to Corrymeela but are connected through the member(s). In other cases, projects are initiated by or with members and developed at or through Corrymeela.
In the recent past, such member–led projects have included:
· The Nurturing Hope conference and resource;
· The Corrymeela Podcast;
· Monthly Corrymeela in the City services;
· The ‘Women, Trans and Non–Binary Lives as Sacred’ public theology series.
These initiatives, whether independent or collaborative, allow us to extend Corrymeela’s practice, to address the need for genuine community in addressing ongoing conflicts, and to enable more of us to serve as centres of peace and reconciliation wherever we live, work and worship.
Those joining or continuing in membership commit to one another using the following:
THE JOURNEY WE CONTINUE
The founders of the Corrymeela Community were inspired by the life and teachings of Jesus. They sought a way out of the destructive patterns of ‘us versus them’ and found hope in his message of God’s reconciling love.
Today, as pilgrims of various traditions and beliefs we continue the journey they started, working towards a society whose priorities are justice, mutual respect, the participation of all, concern for the vulnerable and stranger, stewardship of resources, and care for creation.
Together we journey towards reconciliation,
seeking guidance from the teachings of Jesus, the wisdom of other traditions, and the lessons of our encounters;
offering and receiving hospitality;
learning from one another, particularly when we disagree;
addressing our complicity in the brokenness of the world;
remembering our interdependence with all living things;
giving as we can to the needs of the community;
being challenged, changed and healed through our relationships with others;
and attempting to extend to everyone (including ourselves) love, grace and forgiveness.
Membership is not a better category of involvement but requires a deeper level of commitment. Unlike others involved in the community, members can vote at formal meetings of the charity and serve as elected members of the charity’s board of trustees, which we refer to as ‘Council’.
We want more people to feel connected to and involved with Corrymeela. For those considering membership, the most important work is to commit oneself to genuine relationships with other members and to active involvement in Corrymeela’s mission.
If you are interested in becoming a member or have questions about this aspect of the community’s life, contact the Leader of the Corrymeela Community, Alex Wimberly (firstname.lastname@example.org).