Curates Corner

Curate’s Corner: June – July – August 2016

Curate’s Corner: June – July – August 2016

This year as many of you will be aware, has been designated in our Diocese as a year of opportunity. A year when we pay special attention to mission, children and generosity. So what opportunities do you and I have this year? For me, children have become very important, especially one small boy born just outside Glasgow, as Marlyn and I have become grandparents to wee Jack. Over the years we will have the opportunity to help shape a new life, along with the parents and many others of course. We are very excited as I am sure any of you who have experienced the birth of grandchildren will understand. I am also about to retire after almost 44 years as a Civil Servant. Less pay but more time to do other things and be generous with my time! I am looking forward to what God has in store for me and my family as I try and do what he knows is best for me. Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes what initially can seem like a problem can become an opportunity. So for example miss a bus and end up talking to someone who you are able to help with a problem. Or getting sick – but see a TV programme that guides you with an issue you have had difficulty resolving. Simple things like helping a neighbour, giving folks a lift to church and so on can make a big difference to our neighbours. Opportunities to be generous, to help children or to talk about our faith will always crop up, if we are open to recognising them and acting on them. So this summer, look around and seize opportunities as they arise. Use your own special gifts and talents to engage with the world and spread the word. This is God’s world and we are an integral part of it. As we show God’s love, others will be drawn to faith and our community will be enriched. Lives given over to God will also of course be guaranteed to be with our Lord forever. May you feel blessed this summer....

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Curate’s Corner: March – April – May 2016

Curate’s Corner: March – April – May 2016

It was Valentine’s day not so long ago and like many people my thoughts turned to love. More importantly, what should I get Marlyn? For the first time in my life I settled on a bunch of 12 roses, and as I write this wee note they are still alive and looking well. Love is a funny old thing though. On the soaps, people seem to fall into and out of love virtually every day and undying love lasts for a very short time. In real life, many people have fallen in love, got married only for things to go wrong. And so often our love seems to depend on how our other half responds! But imagine a love that has no boundaries, is endless, and absolutely unconditional. Imagine someone who loves you so much he will literally do anything to make it possible for you to have a relationship with him. No matter what you do or how you behave, you will always be loved. Right at the very beginning of time, when God made the universe and created mankind, he set in motion a plan to make it possible for us who are imperfect, to be made perfect and thus be with him forever. The plan is simple yet complex, easy but extremely hard. It involved God sending his only son to live a perfect life on earth and be put to death, then rising from the dead as a perfect sacrifice for all our failings. What love that is! And all we have to do is accept him as our Lord and Saviour. The bible tells us that if we confess with our mouth and believe with our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead we will be saved. ALL who call on the name of the Lord will be saved! No if’s – no but’s, no maybe’s. Simply a guarantee that we will be in paradise forever with our creator, the one who loves us so much he literally died for us. What a love, what a promise — how can we possibly say no? And when we realise how much we are loved, we can face anything the world may throw at us, because nothing can separate us from the love of God. What wonderful reassurance that is and I hope and pray you accept his love and then show that love to those around you. God bless,...

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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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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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