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A vertical garden

May 16, 2012

We safely returned to Belfast 10 days ago, and have gotten settled in after 5 weeks in Florida.  Many people have greeted us here by saying, ‘welcome back to the cold’!  The weather, and returning to the routines of life, is indeed a bit of an adjustment after being away for over a month.  Yet we are thankful for the gift of our time in Florida – the experience of meeting other mission servants sent out by the United Methodist Church, the precious time with family and friends, and the hospitality we received at two churches we hold dear – First UMC, Orlando and St. Lukes UMC in Windermere.

View of the Skainos project on May 16th

One fascinating thing we witnessed last week was seeing over a month of progress on the Skainos project site.  On the left side of this picture, you can see many panels facing the road, all of which have been handpainted by a local artist to reflect the various views of the Belfast sky, along with a few splashes of yellow representing the iconic Harland and Wolff cranes.  On the right side of the picture stands the newly planted vertical garden, which is literally making news (see the article below).

BBC article about the vertical garden at Skainos

After witnessing the thought and prayer that has gone into this project over the past 10 years, it is exciting to see it so close to fruition.  A large part of the ethos of Skainos is that of ‘shared space’ – space that will be available to all in the community – no matter your age, your economic standing, your level of education, or your practice of religion.  In a city that has known a large degree of division and segregation, the idea of sharing space speaks to me of the kingdom of God.  Paul speaks of how Christ Jesus has broken down the hostility between us – Ephesians 2.

In a similar manner, the design of the Skainos site shares the possibilities of both beauty and life in the artwork and the vertical garden along the front of the site.  By God’s grace, the activities, projects, and the variety of organizations within Skainos will help bring those possibilities to life in the day to day experience of people here.

Peace be with you.  Britt & Alison Gilmore, along with Ellie, Emily & Jake

One Comment leave one →
  1. Barbara Drew permalink
    May 17, 2012 8:45 pm

    It was wonderful too see you at First Methodist and to know that you are excited and happy in your chosen endeavor…….you probably realized that you are truly missed but we are so happy for you both and the family. Barbara Drew

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