2015

Parish Magazines: December 2015 – February 2016

Parish Magazines: December 2015 – February 2016

Download the December 2015 – February 2016 Parish Magazine 764kb Adobe PDF Document] Magazine opens in a new window.

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Curate’s Corner: December 2015 – January & February 2016

Curate’s Corner: December 2015 – January & February 2016

As I am writing this wee message, the weather outside is grey and wet! The lovely weather we had over the past two months seems to have gone and things are back to normal for the time of year. But we do have Christmas to look forward to! For many, this time of year is not a favourite. The weather gets worse, the nights are long and all the fuss and bother of the Christmas season stretches from now until the new year. BUT — Christmas can be a time of wonderful blessings. A time when we get to meet up with friends and family and a time when the focus should be on a baby born in Bethlehem. For our diocese, 2016 marks the beginning of a year of Opportunity, when we will focus on Mission, children and generosity. This can mean different things to each of us, and for me it is a chance to step back and consider how I can best communicate the good news of a baby boy born in Bethlehem who died on a cross outside Jerusalem and who was raised from death and gives us new life. It is the best news any of us can ever hear, but how many of us really take it on board. Because if we truly believe the claims of Jesus Christ and accept him as our Lord and Saviour, then surely we will want others to hear the good news as well. So over the next year we will be looking as a Parish at how best to encourage everyone to embrace the message of the gospel, to encourage our children and to be generous in giving of ourselves and some of our possessions as a response to the love of our God for you and for me. I am looking forward to what we decide to do! I am also looking forward to becoming a granddad and retiring from my job in County Hall. A year of change, and new opportunities ahead. But for now, may you be blessed this Christmas season and remember that even when the clouds are low and the rain is beating on the windows, the sun is still shining brightly when we get above the clouds. And when the clouds of life threaten to overwhelm us, God’s Spirit and the help of Christian friends can lift us above the cloud into the light. God bless, Adam...

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From The Rector: December 2015 – January & February 2016

From The Rector: December 2015 – January & February 2016

Christmas time certainly means very different things to different people. With the religious and spiritual side, people look forward to spending time with family, giving gifts, the food and drink, catching up with friends, Christmas T.V and so on. In my own family, growing up, we would have added Monopoly to the list of “traditions” and with a big family it really did get quite animated. All too often someone would debate the rules especially when one felt hard done by, i.e. Losing the game. Life itself is full of rules and regulations and without them things could and would be chaotic. We need rules in our daily life but of course some are restrictive and unnecessary and so too with faith. Christian faith is not about rules and regulations. The truth of these Christmas celebrations represents true life and peace. Christian faith is centred on the person of Christ who showed us by His life and ministry just how transformational and liberating walking with God can be. The real meaning of Christmas is Christ so perhaps all the other distractions need to take a backseat, not just this once, but always. This is not to say that the lovely traditions of Christmas are not good in themselves, but not if they stand in the way of discovering the true meaning of this season and encountering the hope of the world. It would be amazing to see you out in church during the Christmas season, putting Christ at the centre of all the celebrations. But it is not only in church that we do this, it is everything leading up to this very powerful and meaningful time of year. Surely the birth of Christ deserves much more of our attention that He gets. This year it can, and should be different. Of course Christmas will be different for many of our church family. The passage of time has brought so much change and we are mindful of all of the mixed emotions during such a beautiful, yet provocative time of year. In all of the changes of life God is present and I feel humbled and privileged to share the good times and the sad times with my church family. Wishing you a very blessed and peaceful Christmas and New Year. With Love The Rectory...

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Curate’s Corner: September – October – November 2015

Curate’s Corner: September – October – November 2015

The first two weeks in August saw Marlyn and myself leave the comforts of home for the unknown delights of Rwanda. We were on a journey to renew and build relationships with our partners in Shyogwe diocese in the southern province of this beautiful country. We did not know what to expect (other than the unexpected), despite good preparation with CMS Ireland and our fellow travellers from St. Marks Armagh and St. Donard’s Belfast. We were met at the airport by Bishop Jered and next day seven of us arrived on the outskirts of Muhanga in southern province. Our accommodation looked lovely from outside and we quickly got used to power cuts and no hot water. But the food was very good! Straight into our programme, we visited small churches up long dirt tracks and met with people full of the joy of the Lord. We saw church building with mud bricks, people committed to God and each other, and an enthusiasm for reaching out to others and helping themselves. This is a diocese interested in helping its people to grow out of extreme poverty. They have nothing materially, but the joy of the Lord flows through them and they give thanks for everything. We have learned a lot from them. Our programme included meeting with children and young people, as well as cell groups, Mothers Union and father’s union. I had the pleasure of preaching in St. Matthias’s church on the Sunday with an interpreter, and we even had shirts and dresses made for us by the Mothers’ Union. Overall there are so many highlights and memories. We hope to arrange an evening to show some photos and let everyone know in more detail what we have learned and what we as a parish can do to help these wonderful brothers and sisters help themselves. The diocese has a truly holistic approach to ‘church’ and we really can learn so much from them: not least the way they put into practice the words from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 God bless,...

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Curate’s Corner: June – July – August 2015

Curate’s Corner: June – July – August 2015

Last December I mentioned that Marlyn and I are planning to go to Shyogwe diocese in Rwanda later this year. A number of meetings later, things have moved on and we are due to fly out from Belfast on Saturday 1st August. We will miss the Parish fun-day unfortunately as it will be the same day! Twenty three hours after leaving Belfast, we should arrive in Kigali, the capital  of Rwanda, having travelled via London, Qatar and a touch-down in Entebbe, Uganda. Next day we travel onwards to Shyogwe  iocese and our time in Rwanda will begin in earnest. Programme: For 10 days we will be involved in a variety of projects, visiting the Zion Hill Nursery, a youth vocational  training programme, Pastors training, the bible and development school, a pilot farm, Mothers union crafts and various children’s activities. We have been well warned to  expect the unexpected and to be asked to do things out of our comfort zone without any warning! Prayer requests: 1) Please remember our team members Barry, John, Rhonda,  Eileen, Marlyn, Adam and our leader Gillian. 2) Pray for safety whilst travelling and while taking part in the various activities. 3) Peace in neighbouring Burundi, as trouble has broken out in the lead-up to general elections in June. Bishop Jered, his colleagues and the parishioners of Shyogwe diocese. 4) CMS Ireland and all the other teams going out to Kenya, Uganda, DR Congo, South Sudan, Zambia and especially Burundi. Finally, this is a next step in our partnership with Shyogwe  diocese, CMS Ireland, St. Donard’s parish in Belfast and St. Mark’s Portadown. We trust it will be a blessing to all involved and that we will be challenged in our faith and encouraged by the enthusiasm and faith of our brothers and sisters in Rwanda. God bless, Adam and...

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