Current Issue No.3

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The Grey Goo of Inclusion

An Open Letter to Kathy Galloway


Leader of The Iona Community,

and member of the clergy presently serving

The people of Scotia.



Here's tae us, wha's like us?


What proportion of The Iona Community; and indeed the community at large in present day Scotland both young and old understand the origins and truth of this quotation, far less share it? What proportion of Scottish society knows of, or cares for the roots of our Spiritual; and therefore political heritage in this age of inclusion?


In politics and religion the inclusion of the spirit of those who by choice do not share the Blessing of inclusion within The Christ of all humanity leads to the exclusion of Self. Be that an individual, community, or nation. This is so as we become like those with whom we identify.

An example of this is the spiritual / political pressure for "Holiday time" instead of Christmas time. A more dramatic example was some years back was the removal of a sculpture portraying The Ten Commandments from outside an American courthouse which had been paid for by the presiding judge. This was the (apparent) removal of the very law of everyone's God! Who is included, and who is consequently excluded by such an act? Why and by whom?


The Pictish Christian Church of Alba, which preceded Columba's Church of Dalriada by over one hundred years did not "include" --- it peacefully converted. It is only by the righteous assertion of our God given heritage, which is inclusive of The True Self that an individual, community or nation can serve others as God intends. We crave a civic as distinct from an ethnic community, and yet present day Christian denominations and party politics reach out to spiritual and political influences in Europe and further afield which seek to include our nation of Scotia yes, but as a dichotomy not as Unity.


As individuals and communities, the only way to Unity which is global from the first faltering step is to Witness; not against, but before other individuals, communities and nations. For the Christian it is The Christ as The All in All Who determines and manifests inclusion, not human will however well intentioned. It is therefore the case that the road to Unity is not peaceful.


The opening sentence of this Witness does not seek to project egotistical self interest, theology, culture or custom. It urges a searching of the heart of our Community and nation for our true inheritance in order that we may share it with all humanity. The first step in this Witness of example, is to encourage others to do likewise comparing notes as we go. This is convergence; leading to inclusion of The Christ -- within, both the individual and the community. The term community referring to family; organisations temporal and Spiritual; and thus to civic community as distinct from ethnic / religious statehood.


Inclusion in the sense of racial, religious or political integration is none other than the grey goo of exclusion and non acceptance of our own God given differences. Spiritual integration, otherwise known as ecumenism is the grey goo of exclusion - of The Christ, and therefore of The Holy Spirit! The exclusion of Spirit renders all human attempts at reconciliation void whether between individuals, communities, nations or global religions as distinct from the one global Faith. The Gift of Jesus Christ is The Gift  -- of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Burns answers his own question which is posed in the first line of this Witness in the second half of his poem:-

Damm few, and they're a' deid, mairs the pity!


How far back would Burns have us reflect? To his times, to Columba's time - or even further into the past - or is it the future? Who knows, Who cares!(rhetorical). What part in the final answer to Burn's question will The Iona Community place before the Nation of Scotia? Where, when, and how? Thank you for reading this Witness.


Ian McLean, An Associate Member of The Iona Community.


Representing The Wind of Change

Postscript 2006. I withdrew; as distinct from departed from membership of The secular Iona Community in 2004

Circulation list and notes .

This open letter is placed before the Leader and membership of The Iona Community as Current Issue No.3 on the under-noted website.   It is also placed before the nation, and the present day clergy of all Christian denominations together with the representatives of the other religions which form part of the community of Scotland. The detailed background which gives rise to this Witness as far as The Iona Community is concerned is published in the under noted sections of the Web site of The Wind of Change at :- (hyphens included)


a .) Current Issues No. 2 , "The Columban Church and The Present Day Spirituality / Politics of Europe." accessed from the navigation bar.

b .) Site update of 1/9/03, accessed from the navigation bar.




Circulation (no particular order)


Kathy Galloway, Leader of The Iona Community

Ruth Harvey, Editor of "Coracle", magazine of The Iona Community.

Wendy Alexander (M.S.P.)   as an individual soul.

Angus MacKay, recent M.S.P   (do)

William Jamieson, Executive Editor, The Scotsman

Blair Jenkins, Head of News and Current Affairs, BBC, Scotland

Kenneth Bryson, News Editor, Scottish Television

Murray Ritchie, Scottish Political Editor, The Glasgow Herald

Andrew Monaghan, Religious Editor, Radio Forth

Colin MacKay, Political Editor, Radio Forth

Stewart MacKenzie, Editor, The Oban Times.

Derek Tucker, Editor, The Press and Journal

Ian McCormack, Editor, The West Highland Free Press.

Alan and Marie-Colette Wilkie, Members of The Iona Community.

John Murdoch, Minister, Lismore and Appin Parish

Freda MacGregor, Headteacher, Isle of Lismore School

Donald Black, Isle of Lismore resident Historian.

Isle of Lismore Community Web site Administrator.


Prayerful friends.







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