Presbyterian Herald July/August 2022

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New city



The story of a Bangor church



Celebrating the Bible in contemporary language



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Balancing mission: home & away

The story of a Bangor church

14 Helping young people get their teeth into truth A new resource called Bite-size

16 A very unique church year Back together again and getting going again

18 A mind that works differently The church and autism

20 Luther’s legacy

Celebrating the Bible in contemporary language

32 Going deeper and wider as global disciples

Balancing mission: home & away p9

Exploring Digital Dispatches

34 A time to plant

Reflecting on church planting

36 Beyond These Steps

Gauging PCI perspectives following the NI centenary

REGULARS 4 6 8 9 13 23 31 38 40 44 45 47

A mind that works differently p18

Letters News In this month My story Life lessons Mission Connect Norman Hamilton Reviews Life in PCI Crossword David Clarke Ruth Sanderson

Luther’s legacy p20

CONTRIBUTORS Erin Burnett has a Theology degree from Union Theological College and is currently studying for a MTh Practical Theology degree at the University of Glasgow.

Neil Harrison is PCI’s Mission Development Officer and a member of Waringstown Presbyterian Church.

Rebecca McConnell manages Purple Rain, a public relations company. She is also a member of First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church.

Karen Jardine is PCI’s Public Affairs Officer and an elder in Bloomfield Presbyterian Church.

Cover photo: Jamie Trimble July/August 2022 No. 840 Published by: The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Assembly Buildings, Belfast BT1 6DW. T: +44 (0)28 9032 2284 E: W:

Editor: Sarah Harding

The views expressed in the features, news reports, letters and book reviews of this magazine are not necessarily those of the editor. Editorial comment and signed Subscriptions and Advertising: articles do not necessarily contain the official views of the Church, which can only be laid down only by the General Assembly. Acceptance of advertisements Renée Finnegan does not imply endorsement of the goods or services. Advertising will not be Design and Layout: included if the product or service is deemed to be in conflict with the Church’s Edward Connolly official views, or if it is inappropriate for a church magazine. It is not Herald policy Printing: to include any editorial content along with adverts. The editor reserves the right W & G Baird Ltd to decline any advertisement or letter without assigning any reason. Letters may be edited for publication. No correspondence can be entered into regarding nonpublication of advertisements or letters.


The Presbyterian Church in Ireland is a Registered Charity in Northern Ireland (NIC104483); Registered Charity in Republic of Ireland (20015695).

Herald July/August 2022



LETTERS ‘Act for Nature’ day


The Queen’s platinum Jubilee last month represented a momentous occasion, celebrating a monarch who has devoted her life to serving her people for 70 years. After a very difficult two years it ended up being a joyous time for many people, as the celebrations afforded them a renewed sense of togetherness and unity. For the people of Bangor, the Jubilee also meant they found themselves elevated to the unexpected status of ‘city dwellers’. This month we feature a congregational story from the new city – that of Hamilton Road Presbyterian. This church has a long association with the Bangor Worldwide Missionary Convention. And as new minister, Christoph Ebbinghaus points out, the congregation is fully committed to mission at home and overseas: “I always say, as a church we want to go across the street and across the world.” At the Queen’s coronation in 1953, she was presented with a Bible and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, said the following to her: “To keep your Majesty ever mindful of the law and the gospel of God as the rule for the whole life…we present you with this book, the most valuable thing that this world affords.” As Gordon Campbell explains this month, the precious gift of accessing the Bible in our own language can largely be attributed to Martin Luther. Although his September Testament was a volume in German, it represented a translation into the language of ordinary people for the first time. This September, 500 years on from this translation, Union Theological College celebrates the work of Martin Luther with an international conference. Gordon highlights how significant this commemoration is: “Luther had spelt out how fundamental, for human lives, was the Word of God, with the gospel of Jesus Christ at its heart.” Archbishop Fisher quoted from Acts 1:8 during Queen Elizabeth’s coronation to remind her she was not alone in the task ahead. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” It is heartening that these words are not just reserved for royalty. Mission is for us all; whether at home or overseas. And we, like the Queen, are not alone in the task ahead. Perhaps we can take inspiration from an address she gave in 2002: “I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.”


Herald July/August 2022

Dear Editor As more and more signs of the decline and destruction of our planet appear, we still persist in racing for the cliff edge like lemmings. Only a change in lifestyle, in mind-set will save us from catastrophe. The churches still have the capability to reach the millions of minds that need reset. God asked us to look after the planet. It is becoming more obvious that we are not getting it right, so the other obvious thing is to go back to the Creator. God not only intended us to look after his creation and enjoy it, but also to be part of it. We are ‘of the earth’. Being part of creation and fellowshipping with God as he ‘walks in the garden’ is our purpose and reason for being. Readers are invited to join our ‘Act for Nature’ day at Hugh’s Meadow Nature Reserve near Parkgate, Co. Antrim on 23 July 2022. Encounter nature up close and learn about how you can help nature and be part of it. This is one of four events in the UK: in London, Dorset, Essex and Parkgate. During the event there will be opportunities to meet A Rocha UK staff and volunteers, and to ask questions. This is a free event, but please sign up as spaces are limited.

Sign up at: https://www. or on the A Rocha UK website under ‘events’. Join us around 10am for a tour around the site, some moth recording, and a talk on the work of A Rocha UK. In the afternoon we will be looking for butterflies and other insects. Please bring your own picnic to enjoy at our reserve. Light refreshments and drinks will be available. Please get in touch with us at or if you have any questions. Bertie Stirling County Antrim

Support local churches on holidays Dear Editor As another school year draws to a close, our thoughts naturally turn to the summer holidays. After a couple of years of restrictions and limitations due to the pandemic, many are now looking forward to going away on holiday with anticipation. With this in mind, please can I encourage readers to actively seek out and go to the church in the area where you are staying? This not only encourages the minister and congregation that you visit, but also brings blessing to you

Letters to the Editor Write to: Presbyterian Herald, Assembly Buildings, Belfast BT1 6DW Email:

and your family as you share in worship together in a new place. For many of our smaller congregations located in coastal areas around Ireland, this addition of extra visitors over the summer months is a much-appreciated boost to their numbers. And if you are there for an extended length of time, why not get involved in holiday Bible clubs and children’s activities? Come home blessed and refreshed, physically and spiritually. Rev Jim Stothers Acting Secretary to the Council for Mission in Ireland

Please note: Letters are limited to 300 words and may be edited for clarity and length. They will only be published in the Herald if the author’s name and address have been supplied to the editor. On request these will be withheld from print. Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication. The views expressed in the letters are not necessarily those of the Editor or PCI.

Topical Tweets @PCIModerator It was an honour for me to represent the Presbyterian Church in Ireland at the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, to mark 70 years of the reign of The Queen. I thank God for her remarkable leadership. @peterlynas Boris is wounded – perhaps fatally so. As a church minister friend reminded me last night – you wouldn’t get a church call in most denominations based on those numbers. @pciassembly Give thanks for Dr David Bruce’s two years of being Moderator and for all that he has accomplished during his term of office in the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic.

Assembly coverage The 2022 General Assembly took place between Wednesday 22 and Saturday 25 June. This later than usual date meant it was not possible to cover the Assembly in this edition of the July/August Herald. However, comprehensive coverage, including reports of business sessions, alternative presentations and the installation of the new Moderator, will feature in a packed September Herald. In the meantime you can keep up to date with Assembly news and watch the sessions that took place via the PCI website

@CAP_NI The current cost of livingCrisis is impacting us all – in April this year @ONS’s report said 87% of all UK adults faced an increase in their cost of living – but it’s especially hard for those on lowest incomes, who are having to make impossible choices just to get by. @tidesdaily We live in a good world that has fallen and so bad things can, and indeed do happen even to good people ‘without any reason’. Jesus didn’t come to remove suffering or to explain it away. He came to fill it with God’s presence. #tidesdaily

@Tearfund Millions of people are going hungry in drought-affected areas of Ethiopia. As families struggle to feed their children, more young girls are being forced to marry. @SAT7UK Sudan lifts state of emergency. #Pray that Sudan will return to a peaceful transition to democracy that will bring equality to all regardless of race, gender or faith. @ntharrison80 Great to bring a group of @ pciassembly ministers over to a conference @LondonCM for a few days of learning @rickhillni Often when we talk about ministry TO the next generation we should really be talking about ministry WITH the next generation. @BibleSocietyNI Join us as we pray for the work in NI this week: Pray for our Bibles for Babies programme as we send out around 40 Toddler Bibles a week. Pray for those using our new Daring to Hope resource. Pray for our staff team as we continue to carry out the work here. #prayeratwork @wycliffeuk This week we are praying for four language projects in Central Asia that are translating selected Scripture books and passages to be distributed in smartphone apps. #Pray for God’s guidance as speakers of each of these four languages read and listen to these Scripture books.

Herald July/August 2022


NEWS | IN THE ROUND Dr Bruce addresses Jubilee service Then PCI Moderator Dr David Bruce gave the address at a Service of Thanksgiving to mark the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. At the service, which was hosted by the Belfast Lieutenancy and held in the city’s St Anne’s Cathedral, Dr Bruce talked about Queen Elizabeth’s faith, saying, “As a leader, she has above all else been a servant to her King Photo: Patrick Hugh Lynch who is Christ, and so calls us all to the same pathway, to craft a similarly powerful testimony before the world.” Dr Bruce also represented Irish Presbyterians at the Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving, held in St Paul’s Cathedral in London, where he, and other Church leaders, processed ahead of senior members of the royal family at the start of the service.

New appointment at Irish Council of Churches The Irish Council of Churches has appointed Dr Damian Jackson as its new General Secretary. Dr Jackson brings five years of experience with the Irish Council of Churches and the Irish Inter-Church Meeting in the role of programme officer. His primary responsibilities included developing connections between local and national inter-church work and resourcing Churches’ work together on social justice issues, including migration and asylum, anti-racism, housing insecurity and homelessness, and climate justice. Dr Jackson said, “I’m excited to continue the work of my predecessors in the Irish Council of Churches and Irish Inter-Church Meeting and look forward to supporting our member Churches as they seek to use their distinctive voice to advocate for those who are unheard and marginalised in our society today. While churches have much to learn and many challenges to respond to, particularly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, they also have a particular calling to justice and a reach throughout the island that offers great possibilities for positive interventions of hope.”

New heights for pastoral visit Then Moderator, Dr David Bruce, reached new heights when he took to the skies over central London with some of PCI’s forces chaplains in a RAF Puma Mk 2 helicopter. The flight was part of a two-day tri-service visit to the Church’s armed forces’ chaplains in England, where he met some of PCI’s padres in the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and British Army. Encouraging and praying with them, he heard how they support personnel and families in all three services. Praising the work of chaplains, Dr Bruce said, “Chaplaincy by definition is a specialist ministry, be it in hospitals, prisons, colleges, or universities. Forces chaplaincy inhabits a world that most of us never see, and I am full of admiration for the selfless way our men and women serve Christ in all three services.” Accompanied by Dr Rob Craig (convener of PCI’s Armed Forces panel), Dr Bruce began his visit at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, where Rev Dr Philip Wilson, RAF, is station chaplain. Often

known as ‘padres’, Dr Wilson explained that armed forces’ chaplains offer religious services, pastoral support and ethical instruction to service people, their dependants, families, and civilian staff. Available for everyone, of whatever faith or none, chaplains wear uniform, deploy overseas leaving their families behind for long periods of time. To become a padre, ministers go through the same selection and rigorous training as other serving personnel with one important exception – chaplains do not carry weapons. Dr Bruce also met PCI RAF padres Rev Michael McCormick and Rev Jonathan Newell, as well as PCI army padre Rev Ivan Linton, before travelling to Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset. Hosted by PCI’s Royal Navy padre, Rev Dr Brent van der Linde RN, Dr Bruce and Dr Craig spent time with the station commander, had lunch in the galley with some of the sailors stationed there, and met air traffic controllers.

RAF padres Rev Michael McCormick and Rev Dr Philip Wilson, Army padre Rev Ivan Linton with Dr Rob Craig, Dr David Bruce, and RAF padre Rev Jonathan Newell.


Herald July/August 2022

Dr David Bruce with PCI’s Royal Navy chaplain, Rev Dr Brent van der Linde RN, in St Augustine’s Chapel at the Royal Navy Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset.

Dr David Bruce in a RAF Puma helicopter Mk2 as part of a two-day tri-service visit to PCI’s chaplains serving in the UK’s three armed services.


Find out more on



Aaron House open day PCI’s residential home for people with a learning disability, Aaron House, has been reaching out into the local Dundonald community to strengthen the staff team and raise local awareness about the service. Staff from Aaron House, and colleagues from the Social Witness Department, carried out a leaflet drop around the local area in midJune. At the end of the month, the first recruitment day in the Ballyoran Community Centre meant people could fill out application forms and be interviewed for care posts the same day.


If you are 18 years or above, an active member of your church, seeking to grow in Christian discipleship and have a desire to serve in the ministry of a church then PCI’s Apprentice scheme is ideal for you. Apprentice Serve is designed to team up those who would like to serve as a congregational apprentice with churches who would like to host apprentices. Both will be supported as the apprentice plays a key role in the development of some identified aspect of the church’s life or witness. Apprentice Train is new for 2022–23. This bespoke training and development programme is open to apprentices within congregations and will be delivered jointly by the Council for Congregational Life and Witness and the Institute for Ministry (Union Theological College). It will incorporate a mix of theological and practical learning. It begins with a two-day Ministry Intensive at the start of September 2022, and will run one Friday each month from September 2022 to June 2023. Congregations can register their apprentices until 1 August 2022. To find out more, go to:

Daily devotions Tides are short daily devotions written by PCI members. To sign up to receive these free devotions and encouragements straight to your email, go to:

Stay connected To stay up to date with the latest resources, events and training for your congregation’s life and witness, sign up to our E-quip e-zine at www.

Children’s ministry A new children’s ministry resource called ‘Living Stones – building God’s church back up again’ is now live and available for congregations. This free pre-recorded video resource gives you the opportunity to host a gathering for children and families without the stress of having to plan all the content. The resource is based on the story of Nehemiah and will help the children to see how they can play a part in God’s plan of building his church. It includes: • Worship songs to sing along to • Spoken content • Ideas for activities that can be done together, including fitness routines. A leader’s pack highlights how the programme works, the approximate length of the event and also what simple resources you will need for the children to complete the activities. There are also commitment cards – printable templates for children to complete. To access your free copy, go to:

Another look? A resource which could be used to reconnect with church members or those on the fringes of church life is currently available. Priced at 10p a copy, ‘Another look?’ encourages reflection on a variety of aspects of life in light of the pandemic experience. It could be used by elders or others involved in visiting, or as a way of opening up a gentle pastoral or evangelistic conversation. To order go to:

Reconnecting with the older generation

All the

days of my life ‘All the days of my life’ is a six-session, light-touch, Knowing the Lord as our shepherd evangelistic tool specifically designed for use with those in later life. Walking participants through Psalm 23, it aims to bring to light an awareness of God’s presence throughout life as those who use it look back, then to gently facilitate a response of faith and trust in the Good Shepherd. It may be used individually, one to one, or in a range of small group settings in a church, residential facility or private home. Copies cost £1.50 (Euro equiv.) including postage and packaging and can be ordered from the PCI website: www.

Events Onward An event for secondary school-aged young people is taking place at Carnmoney Presbyterian Church on Saturday 29 October, from 7.45pm to 9.30pm. ‘Onward’ is for young people who want to follow Jesus, and are looking forward with a positive and clear vision – living every day for God. More information on the programme to follow at and tickets will be available for youth groups to book from early August.

Bible for All

Union Theological College will host a ‘Bible for All’ series on Thursday evenings this autumn. On 29 September Dr Marty Cowan will talk on ‘How we got our Bible’, 6 October will see a talk on ‘How to read the Bible’ by Dr Ben Walker, while 13 October will consider ‘Those who need the Bible’ with Wycliffe Bible Translators, Biblica and Bible Society for Northern Ireland. The last event is on 20 October and will see Rev Lesley-Ann Wilson consider ‘Telling the story of the Bible’.

Herald July/August 2022



July/Aug 1971

Dipping into the archives to take a look back at what was making Presbyterian headlines and news in history.

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland through the eyes of a student

It is my intention in this article not to condemn but constructively criticise certain attitudes concerning the Presbyterian Church in this Province… My main complaints centre around the Church’s teaching, its public attitudes and its reaction to change of any kind. There is nothing wrong with the fundamentals of the faith which have always and will always depend on one’s wholehearted trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. The main problem lies with the ministers who do not seem to be able to convey the real meaning of Christianity from pulpit to pew. They are invariably caught up in trying to be theologians and teaching religion to the converted instead of being ‘down-to-earth’ and relating Christianity to everyday problems… Ministers must also have the conviction to speak out against what is not for humanity’s benefit as they see it, and then be prepared to accept criticism where criticism is Derry’s farewell to due. There are too many ministers (and elders Magee are obviously considered in this category) in our Church who tend ‘to follow the crowd’ and do T.S. Mooney not stand firm on matters of principle. They must also be available to give help to After 106 years in each section of the community…e.g. there Londonderry preparing men are many teenagers who are very disillusioned for the Christian ministry, on such social problems as drugs, alcoholism, Magee Theological College premarital sex, mixed marriages etc… is now transferring to I would say in conclusion that although Belfast… the Church will always have an influence on More than 300 of the people’s minds, this influence is dwindling very ministers at present on rapidly as the situation in Ulster quite clearly the roll of the Assembly, shows, so that a very definite change in attitudes including eight of the 13 is immediately necessary. surviving ex-Moderators, are former students of Magee…

Second Ballybay

Members of the Dublin and Munster Presbytery of the Women’s Missionary Association pictured with some of their Ballybay hosts in the grounds of Second Ballybay Presbyterian Church, Co Monaghan recently.

Also from July ’71 8

American rocker Jim Morrison dies aged 27

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SDLP withdraw from Stormont

A good Assembly J.C. Faulkner

Another title for this article might be ‘Prospering Presbyterians’ or, better still, ‘Presbyterianism Prospering’. Was it a good Assembly? The Moderator said so and everyone seemed to agree. If anyone asked, “Why?”, the reasons were alleged to be obvious. Big issues had been discussed. There were the inevitable differences, but, in contrast to some other occasions, there were no harsh words or ill feelings… Next year the Assembly will face one of its biggest problems. The ancient formula of address, “Moderator, Fathers and Brethren”, will be out of date. Ladies and youth will be present in the House. Are we to say, “Moderator, Fathers and Mothers, Sisters and Brothers”? Will we go all mod con and say boldly, “Ladies and Gentlemen”? What about, “Moderator and Dear friends”? Many welcome the introduction of women and the voice of youth as new light from a fresh quarter. Let us hope it will be this rather than more fuel for an old fire… Between business sessions friendships are renewed.

Escape from the Planet of the Apes is released in cinemas

MY STORY... Chrissie Irvine, from Newcastle Presbyterian, shares how her passion for music and church has stood the test of time, having just marked 50 years as organist in the County Down church.

A long service of note


usic and the local church have been two main There have been a number of significant highlights in the themes that have run throughout my life. I believe life of the congregation over the years: the installation of Rev music in church is not for mere entertainment, but Ivan Patterson as minister on 23 May 1991, the building and is a vital means by which we can learn of and share opening of the new suite of halls in 2010, the election of Ivan God’s truth as we sing his praise. as Moderator in 2011, and the ordination …I acquired an From childhood I attended Annalong of our current minister, Rev Andrew Presbyterian Church and a local Church Boreland on 4 March 2016. On each of enthusiasm for organ of Ireland Sunday school. Early on I knew these occasions it has been wonderful to I wanted to go to heaven, so accepted my and church music that serve the congregation by preparing special opportunity to come to faith in Christ at music both for choir and organ, so these has never waned. the age of 11 at a children’s meeting. times could be marked by us all lifting our I started playing the piano when I was eight years old and, to voices in praise to God. my delight, actually won competitions at music festivals in those It has been a pleasure working with all three ministers over early years. the years – the character of our friendships perhaps reflecting My passion for music and commitment to the local church the changing stages of my own life: Rev Fullerton looked out came together when, to my surprise, at the age of 14 and for me, Rev Patterson treated me as an equal, and I now feel despite never having had an organ lesson up to that point, I was inclined (not that it’s needed) to look out for Rev Boreland. It is appointed organist of Annalong Presbyterian Church. Initially interesting how life comes full circle. it was a bit of an ordeal, but thankfully I could manage hymns I’ve immensely enjoyed working with the church choir and and simple voluntaries without any disasters. For the next two I’ve made many wonderful friends in the congregation. It is years I received organ lessons in Mourne Presbyterian Church. great that music is an integral part of the life of a Christian It was during this time that I acquired an enthusiasm for organ community. and church music that has never waned. Eventually, I studied An annual highlight of church life, for me, is the Christmas organ in Belfast with Professor Desmond Hunter and acquired carol service. What a delight to celebrate the incarnation of the the ATCL Performer’s Diploma in Organ Playing. Saviour! It was on 1 January 1972 that I arrived at Newcastle Aside from music, I enjoy travelling, photography and walks Presbyterian Church as their organist when Rev Smiley in the Mourne countryside near my home. However, even on Fullerton was the minister. It is hard to believe that is 50 years holiday, such is my love of church music that I love visiting ago. The 70s were busy years for the church: from May to the cathedrals of England, especially York Minster, where the November there were three services each Sunday, and, in the music is often sublime. The sense of worship combined with the summer, there would often have been a queue for the 11.30 splendour of the building frequently makes me think it’s the service. Alongside services, I conducted weekly choir practices. closest experience to heaven on earth! As a musician, it was a joy when it was decided to install a I’ve never regretted taking up the post of organist at new church organ as a memorial to Rev Dr A.C. Anderson, Newcastle. It has been an extremely happy 50 years of service the former minister. The official opening of the memorial organ and I am thankful to God for it all. (built by Wells Kennedy Partnership) took place on Sunday 24 April 1977. It was an honour for me to play the new organ in public for the first time at that service.

Herald July/August 2022



Balancing mission:

home & away

Long before Bangor became a city, Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church has been home to a Worldwide Missionary Convention each summer, which has promoted world mission and inspired many to travel to spread the gospel. Rebecca McConnell takes a look at the congregation’s rich missionary roots.


he church on Hamilton Road in Bangor, adjacent to Ward Park, was established in 1897 and 125 years later, is one of PCI’s largest congregations with over 700 families registered and around 1,400 adult members. Their minister, Rev Christoph Ebbinghaus, moved to the congregation from Belfast’s Kirkpatrick Memorial in January 2021. Just 35 people attended the socially distanced installation service which meant meeting members and leaders was rather challenging in the beginning. “It was a strange time to start a ministry in the second of the strict


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lockdowns. For three months I came to an empty church building and live streamed from there and went home again. It wasn’t until Easter Sunday that I had a congregation to preach to! I had to be innovative in terms of meeting people. I would fill my diary with walks with members of the staff team and elders. It was a good way of getting to know people.”

Balancing local mission and overseas mission is something we are very interested in.

However, one aspect of Christoph’s new charge was familiar – Bangor was once home to the Ebbinghaus family. “We moved to Bangor when I was nine years old in 1981 and our family attended Hamilton Road congregation. I was a member until I left to train for the ministry in 1997. It was while I was at the church that I sensed God’s call into full-time ministry.” Another strong influence from his time in Hamilton Road was the annual summer convention promoting worldwide mission, that is still going strong today. “My parents were big supporters of Bangor Worldwide, I grew up going to

a lot of their meetings. We would have some of the speakers as guests in our home for meals and I enjoyed that. I spoke at it as a younger man, about shortterm teams I was part of with Operation Mobilisation. I travelled to Hungary and the Baltic States of the Soviet Union. The committee is very good at welcoming younger people in to tell their story.” In 1936, a member of Hamilton Road, Herbert James Mateer, proposed that the local Christian Workers’ Union should

hold an annual missionary convention in Bangor. The idea took off and speakers came to North Down from around the world, giving first-hand information on God’s work. After the first Convention was held in Bangor’s King’s Hall in September 1937, it grew in popularity and after the wars, the evening meetings needed a bigger venue. So came the move to Hamilton Road Presbyterian. By the 1980s, all meetings, including the popular morning Bible studies, were hosted in the church. The Convention has inspired many of those who attend to serve in full-time ministry in a variety of capacities. The event also gives a platform for many mission agencies to promote their work and update followers on progress abroad. Since its inception, the Convention has been organised by an interdenominational group of men and women. Its current chairman, Tom Clarke, is the recently retired clerk of session at Hamilton Road and a lifelong member of the congregation. “I have been attending Worldwide for 50 years and joined the committee in 2006. The founders of many missionary agencies have spoken at Bangor, including Brother Andrew (Open Doors), Ernest Allen (Every Home Crusade), Dr Andrew Gih (Evangelize China Fellowship), and George Verwer (OM). Other significant speakers have also included the late Georgi Vins and the late Elisabeth Elliot (1996).” A statue commissioned to mark the 150th year of the birth of Amy Carmichael sits in the grounds of the church, connecting the area where Amy grew up (Millisle) and also the legacy of Bangor Worldwide Missionary Convention. As an elder of 41 years who stepped down in December 2021, Tom is also aware of the challenge on their doorstep to spread the gospel. “There has been an influx of migrants to the area in the autumn of last year. The English Corner, which has been going for nearly two decades, has grown and their English

classes are in high demand.” Seventeen years ago, Gaye Bennett started to work with globally displaced people, initially those from mainland China and Hong Kong. Gradually over the years they have seen other nationalities come to live and work in Bangor. Gaye says, “The intention has always been to assist people with language skills and help them to integrate into the community, but most importantly we have met and shared with them in a personal way to introduce them to Jesus. God has been helping us and equipping us over the years.” In September 2021, a call was put out to the congregation for help developing the English Corner and church members Sarah Kennedy, Elaine Nesbit and Shirley McGonigal responded. This enlarged steering group began to pray and assess the work and asked for God’s direction to help reach out to those coming to live in Bangor. As a result of this, a new more holistic approach was birthed – with a new title: HRPC Globe. As Gaye explains, “People have been coming to Bangor seeking sanctuary

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from Sudan, Kurkistan, Iran, Eritrea and Syria. Some come as families but the majority are individual males staying in hotels in Bangor. “Our goal is to welcome people and love them in the name of Jesus, to share our faith with them. The commitment by teachers to lead the English classes has been incredible, especially with the recent increase in people needing help. Building on that, we have developed football on

Thursday nights in the hall and have a café afterwards to provide food and have music. This allows people to chat and know a bit about different cultures and even try different foods. We now offer a Wednesday lunchtime football club too.” As a keen footie fan, Tom, along with others from the church, referee matches. A joint prayer meeting is held for this work once a month in the neighbouring Baptist church and many of Bangor’s


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Particularly after the pandemic…like many churches in PCI, we need to find our new sense of God’s calling for our future… churches come together to pray for this important work. As Christoph concludes, “Probably because of the size of our venue we have long-term relationships with Faith Mission (Easter) and Bangor Worldwide (August). For us it is more than a venue or a convenience, we are a church that is very committed to world mission, hosting these events is something we love doing. “That connection between Hamilton Road, world mission in general and particularly the partnership with Bangor Worldwide is part of my DNA. It is lovely to be back and learning more about what that looks like these days.” Going forward, the church wants to grow its partnership with Home for Good, a charity dedicated to finding a home for every child who needs one. “Balancing local mission and overseas mission is something we are very

interested in. We have this brilliant history reaching out to migrants in Bangor that is now expanding. I always say, as a church we want to go across the street and across the world. It’s a challenge – some people will be very committed to one and they champion that. “Especially in a large church, we have the possibility to do more than one thing – there are enough people and resources. We should be striving for that. Particularly after the pandemic and the vacancy, like many churches in PCI, we need to find our new sense of God’s calling for our future, for the way forward.” Rebecca McConnell manages Purple Rain, a public relations company. She is also a member of First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church.

Bangor Worldwide 2022 This year’s list of invited speakers includes: Archbishop Ben Kwashie from Nigeria, David Eastwood from OMF Taiwan (who trained at Hamilton Road and they remain a supporter church of his) and Suzanne Potter from Latin Link. For a list of all the events and seminars this summer from 19 to 28 August, visit The opening night will take place in Assembly Buildings, Belfast on Saturday 20 August and will take the form of a ‘Flight around the world in 90 minutes’.


Life lessons Dr Olwyn Mark

Lecturer in Practical Theology at Union Theological College I grew up in a large family, with three brothers and two sisters. My father was a Presbyterian minister, and during my childhood we lived for five years in the States before returning home to Ballyhenry Presbyterian Church in Newtownabbey. After university, I spent three years working in the European Parliament in Brussels before returning to Northern Ireland to work for a couple of Christian charities. I then went back to full-time study and completed my PhD at the London School of Theology before returning to work for Love for Life and subsequently joining the faculty at Union College. We are excited to be launching a new undergraduate degree programme this September at Union. The BA (Hons) in Theology, validated by St Mary’s University, Twickenham, is open to students from all backgrounds to study Christian theology in a community of faith. Undergraduate students will be studying alongside our ministry students and trainee deaconesses, and we look forward to this new chapter in the life of the College. Applications for the new degree remain open until the end of August. We offer a range of postgraduate degrees online, and although very different to in-person teaching and learning, the online option provides students with the flexibility to study at a time and pace that best suits their needs. They also have the opportunity to learn within a diverse and international online community. The BibleMesh platform that Union uses provides a virtual learning environment with video lectures, discussion forums, digital textbooks and extensive e-resources. University can be a time of great excitement and discovery, with new freedoms and opportunities; it can also present unique challenges and struggles. I think it is important that students consider carefully if it is the right route for them, and if it is, to make the most of all the opportunities for growth and development – academically, relationally and spiritually – and to have fun along the way! Getting connected early into a worshipping community is vital for spiritual health and growth. I grew up in a secure and loving home, which is a priceless gift to any child. My parents modelled what it was to follow Jesus and to do so through the highs and lows of life and faith. They always had a missional outlook and global perspective, and released us from an early age to travel and engage in what God was

doing around the world. From my teenage years onwards, I have had the privilege of visiting many parts of the world. This has deepened and enriched my faith and my understanding of the world and the wonderful diversity in it. In a world that is constantly changing and looking for the next new thing, the people in our families, communities and churches who offer a steady, faithful presence are to be highly valued and admired. Faithfulness is not a showy trait, but it offers a constancy and commitment that is essential for strong and lasting relationships and reflects the steadfast love of God. Hymns and worship songs remind me of different occasions and seasons of life. I sang again recently Jesus, All for Jesus, which I remember singing as a teenager, and I still find the challenge of the words as striking today as I did then. It is a worship song that should rightly stop us in our tracks, and cause us to reflect on our heart commitment to the Lord. Another modern hymn that has been meaningful in recent years is He Will Hold Me Fast, particularly around the time of my father’s illness and death and in the years of change and transition since. Taking time out to be still and appreciate God’s creation is very restorative for me, particularly enjoying any one of our glorious beaches. In a world of Snapchat and soundbites, it frustrates me in today’s society when we don’t take the time to listen carefully to others – in order to learn, to understand and seek to empathise with them, particularly those who are very different to us. We don’t have to agree with someone and their ideas in order to show them kindness and compassion, and to dignify them through careful listening. In a culture that ‘cancels’ people, Christians should stand apart as those who offer a warm and genuine interest and welcome to all. I love that church means that wherever you go in the world, you have a ready-made family. There is much we can all do to strengthen the community life in our congregations, but I have known what it is to be welcomed, known, and loved by Christians and fellowships in different parts of the world. In a culture that is often marred by loneliness, to live as a family of believers is a unique calling, and a gift to each member as well as to a disconnected world.

Herald July/August 2022



Helping young people

get their teeth into truth

Graeme Thompson highlights a new resource called Bite-size.


hat is man’s chief end? Anyone over a certain age who has grown up in a Presbyterian church will have answered that question in a blink of an eye: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Perhaps fewer know the second question of the Shorter Catechism, never mind the answer to it. Fewer still may feel confident in guiding a teenager to discover what that question and answer means and how it matters for their life. Yet, if as leaders, elders and parents we are to effectively disciple young people, we must help them handle the basic building blocks of our Christian faith. Is this a dying art, or is there hope? A few years ago, some Presbyterian ministers and youth and children’s workers gathered with Mel Lacy who then worked for Oak Hill College and facilitated a conversation about how we teach doctrine effectively to children and young people. It was observed that following steady decline in the use of


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catechism and rejection by many of learning by heart, with no effective alternative, an emerging vacuum has led to rising levels of biblical illiteracy. Mel that day suggested that it is relatively easy to teach the Bible so it gets into the heads of children and young people, but much more challenging to do so in a way that engages and changes their hearts. When we teach truth to young people, we want them to wrestle with the ‘so what?’ Truth is of little value if it is academic and not applied to their real world experience as God changes their hearts and transforms their lives. The conversation concluded that catechism can usefully help children and young people remember truth, if it creates a biblical world view and impacts how they live. This is most effective

Chunks of truth for life

…an emerging vacuum has led to rising levels of biblical illiteracy.

if supported by a joined-up effort of parents, leaders and other adults who model these truths in their lives. The conversation was also influenced by theologians and youth work thinkers who are grappling with the same questions. One of these is Andrew Root who said, “Faith is passed on, not through doctrine, but through stories framed in doctrine.” In other words, we teach truth best when taught by our lives in community. A good chemistry teacher does not simply teach a chemical equation, but allows students to do the experiment together and understand how the reaction works out in real life. An effective cricket coach will not simply bark directions from the sidelines but will get out on the pitch to demonstrate until the players master the skill. For young people to embrace

Bite-size…can help to create a culture where doctrine is understood and lived out in…a way that shapes young lives. and embody the core truths of the Christian faith, they need to do more than understand the theory, but get how it works out in real life – real conviction comes when they see it lived out in the lives of mature Christians in their home and faith community. The outcome of this process was to create a youth friendly resource that is intentionally shaped by the principles that emerged from the conversation. The first step was to develop a model of ‘worked out’ and ‘lived out’ faith. ‘Worked out’ faith is when the truth (the ‘what?’) is taught in a way that is owned by young people and shapes how they see the world (the ‘so what?’). ‘Lived out’ faith is when they see adults live out that truth in real ways and so learn to do so in their own lives (the ‘how’). These principles and model were foundational in shaping a new resource called ‘Bite-size: Chunks of truth for life’. This flexible discipleship tool can be used in any congregation to help engage young people aged 11–18 learn God’s Word in a way that connects to their lives. The aim of each session is to teach a core biblical truth in a way that can be understood, starting from their lived experience, and ending in their real lives. Each Bite-size module has a core theme, taught over a number of sessions which can vary in length depending on available time, each with five sections and follow up ideas: Starter – to whet their appetite (what do I think about this now?). A way into the topic which starts where young people are and helps them begin to identify why this topic is important. Main course – get their teeth into a simple truth (what do we need to understand?). A key biblical truth or doctrine to be applied to our lives, centring on a Bible verse (supported by catechism as appropriate). Chew it over – savour it slowly ‘til it makes sense (what does it mean?). What this truth means and why it matters in the context of our world, helping young people move from an

abstract to a concrete truth that shapes culture where doctrine is understood and their view of life. lived out in our faith community in a way Family meal – a story about why it that shapes young lives. matters to the church (what does it Paul Tripp said, “When you properly mean for us?). A brief ‘doctrine framed understand the doctrines contained in story’ from a leader or member of the Scripture, they’ll transform your identity, congregation, or maybe a video clip. reshape your relationships and redirect A relatable account of how this truth your finances. Your calendar, your words, helped someone live for Christ. your hobbies and your leisure will look Well fed – digest the truth as fuel different. You won’t think about your for life (what does it mean for me?). past and your future in the same way you Discussion questions to help young once did, and you’ll look at the present people work out what this means in through an entirely different grid.” concrete ways in their personal lives. This is what we want for our children Finally, Sweet – follow-up ideas to and young people, but it must be the help the young people keep the flavour of goal of every Christian to live out the the ‘meal’ with them as they work it into foundational beliefs of our faith in our their lives the following week. lives so that the young will learn to do so The first Bite-size module is on the too – this is a community effort in which theme of ‘Identity’ and gets to the heart each of us plays a part. of some of life’s big questions: Who am I? Who is God? Is God relevant to my Graeme Thompson is PCI’s Youth daily life? This module enables leaders Development Officer. to help young people understand key biblical truth about who they are in light of who God is and what he intends for their lives. The sessions look at how our identity lies in Christ, how we can know a three-inChunks of truth for life one God and how this God created us in his image to show him to IDENTIT Y others and bring glory to God in INTROD UCTION Bi our lives. te-size: IDENTITY Who am gets to the I? Who is God? Is Go heart of some of life’s big d relevan The second Bite-size module questions t to my da Bite-size : ily life? : IDENTIT Y will enab truth abou le t who the y are in lig you to help youn is due for release this summer g people ht of who understan God is an d key bib d what he The four lical intends for sessions their live of Bite-si in time for use in the autumn 1: WHO s. ze: IDEN AM I? TITY teach We belon the follow 2: WHO g to God ing IS GOD? core biblica so our ide God is the 3: TRINITY l truths: session. The theme is ‘Church’, ntity lies loving cre completely ato r Go an an d is a relati d controll d eternally 4: IMAG E OF GO er of every onship of in Christ. D We we thing – we three pe re create rsons bu looking at five different images can trust d to show t one Go him. d – we ca God to oth SESSION n know him ers and bri STRUCT . ng URE glory to him Each sessi the Bible uses to help us in our live on starts s. with a qu Bible. Wi estion to th space think abou to underst out what and this, t, which is thi the understand what the church then answ conversati s means for every ered with day life. Ea critical part is the on, with a n helping the ch eleme different them nt of each question to ask as session pro work follows: Starter: is and how this matters in our gresses the something Main cour to make se: a sim your mouth ple truth water Chew it lives. to sink yo over: sav “w ha t do I think ur teeth int our it slo Family me about thi o wly ‘til it “what do s now?” al: a sto makes se we need ry about nse Well fed to underst why it ma Both these modules are free : “what do and?” tters in the digest thi es it mean Sweet: s truth as church “w ?” fue hat does l for life a little so it mean for mething us?” to help yo “what do and can be accessed through es this me u live it ou an for me t “how can ?” Rememb I keep it rea er, to tak l?” e time to core and the PCI website at www. read and op plan the are identi tional content de whole mo pending fied as fol dule on your co lows: • Core co ntext and in advance. There ntent in bo available is ld time and • Optiona these l content in italic gre en As part of the Bite-size can be used in any Sw ee t, ea for you to easily share ch session provid summary es a TAGL on social of the ma INE which size of group, or even one in point for media and is de has been signed to your youn provided give g people to keep wit a short, memorab le h them. to one, and can be easily adapted to suit particular circumstances. It is only one tool but can help to create a


This modul e Please rea is part of the Bit e-size reso d the Lea ders’ Gui context. de for hel urce produced by Extra reso p with how urc the Presby and clips terian Chu to use this referenced es can be found in the app rch in Irel resource . endix to and this modul most effectively in your e, includi ng the gam es

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A very unique new church year David Thompson and Neil Harrison explore the challenges and opportunities of beginning a new church year in this current season of the pandemic.


t last we are moving beyond the pandemic period into a new season of congregational life and witness in which we can be ‘back together again’ and ‘getting going again’ in outreach. These will be two major themes developed by PCI in the autumn period in support of congregations.

making time and space to linger in the presence of God or be with one another, may be one of the lessons learned. Lingering can sound like a lazy lethargy, but it is much more like loitering with intent, either with God or one another. All of this can sound like an extra demand on our already scarce time, however, the lesson might be not that we need to give more of our time to being together in worship and fellowship, but more of ourselves in the place of worship and space of community.

Loving together Being back together is something that we have eagerly anticipated and will value as never before. Lockdowns and the restrictions involved in observing social distancing kept us apart from one another in all sorts of areas of church life. Our worshipping life, pastoral life, discipleship ministries and the elements of leadership we do best alongside one another, were all adversely affected. Perhaps the pandemic has helped us appreciate that community is at the beating heart of church life and a defining mark of our identity as the people of God. What might be some of the lasting lessons for our congregational life in the future?

Lingering together Whether in worshipping God or enjoying fellowship with one another, the importance of intentionally taking and


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The prolonged impact of the pandemic edged us beyond being the provider of pastoral care in crisis situations to becoming a pastoral community looking out for and supporting one another on a weekly basis. There might be real benefit in reflecting on how we retain these four aspects of pastoral community: • Making and taking time to just talk to one another. • Making and taking time to listen to one another. • Harnessing a range of ways of keeping in touch with one another in person, by telephone call, text or digital connection.

…community is at the beating heart of church life and a defining mark of our identity as the people of God.

• Harnessing the power of a simple, tangible, act of kindness that shows that we are thinking of one another in the church family.

Leading together During the pandemic the need to take decisions came thick and fast and the onus to deliver on them quickly and with care was so important. Coming to decisions in congregational life in a measured and coordinated way involves carefully considering all the angles, listening to different opinions, weighing the possible consequences of doing or not doing something and clearly communicating the outcome and how it has been reached. These are some of the skills that were either learned or honed as we navigated leadership during the pandemic.

Learning together In worship we gather to learn with one another as we listen attentively to God’s Word preached and taught. In other settings for discipleship we have the opportunity to learn from one another as we discuss together the implications of Scripture for a whole range of ages, stages and circumstances of life. Both fell foul of lockdown and restrictions. During the pandemic these smaller settings provided valuable places for maintaining pastoral contact, prayerful support and the personal application of God’s Word to disrupted lives. While many congregations had small groups before the pandemic, the circumstances under which they had to meet for a

long period, has caused a rethinking and reshaping of this means of discipleship. Some congregations moved activities from homes to halls. Others, found a willingness among members to participate online in a way they never had before in person. New ways of approaching spending time together in group settings also developed. What ways in which we had to reshape learning together during the pandemic might we retain?

Listening together So, back together again now, what do we still sense God saying might be different about our church life going forward? Might we be learning that church life can be more unhurried, unpolished, uncluttered by activity, uncomplicated by structures that might not be serving us well, unencumbered by overanxiety about numbers, unfolding stage by stage rather than straitjacketed by predetermined plans on a page? Watch out for the ‘Back together again’ booklet to be released in August 2022 which will more fully address these themes.

Being back together again in church life is great but how about also gradually honing or finding ways to be getting going again in our congregation’s local witness? During the pandemic some congregations were able to show and share the love of Christ in new ways. What might be some of the lasting lessons for our congregational witness in the future?

Profile People don’t know what they don’t know! There can be wonderful things happening in your congregation and you might have much to offer to those in the community, but how will they know about this unless you tell them? This is one way of giving others a glimpse of the beauty of the community of God’s people and it can help to deconstruct any misunderstandings they may have about church.

Might we be learning that church life can be more unhurried, unpolished, uncluttered by activity… While social media brings its problems, carefully managed, it can be a hugely beneficial tool in raising your congregation’s local profile. In addition, you could seek expertise to develop an up-to-date website and consider developing a community newsletter if you have the capacity. Utilising these forms of communication to promote your church services, activities and events, but also to acknowledge achievements worth celebrating in the local community, and other relevant information, will help show that you care about the area in which you are placed.

Provision Congregations contribute so much for the local community; in activities they provide premises. Bowling clubs, uniformed organisations, toddler groups and the like have been part of the interface with our neighbours for decades and provide a valuable resource for, and witness to, the wider community. They create connection and relationships with individuals and families who don’t go to church. Allowing a growing familiarity with your church facilities is helpful when it comes to inviting people along to church services or other events within the church. It is healthy for church leaders to regularly review their provision of organisations and activities by asking questions such as: • Is this group still meeting a real need? • Could it be tweaked to better meet a need? • Are there genuine needs in the local community that are not being met? Can we respond in any way? • How can you ensure that each of your groups is creating opportunities for people to move towards exploring the Christian faith?

the fabric of a local community in very tangible ways. This became very evident during the pandemic as each of these pillars endeavoured to meet local needs. Although these operate beyond the walls of our building, that doesn’t mean we can’t be involved in and with their work. There were great examples of congregations reaching out in partnership to meet emerging needs, such as allowing a school to use church facilities, joining up foodbank collections and hamper distributions, and supporting the lonely through regular telephone calls.

Preludes Churches often have lots of people from the community attending organisations but find it challenging to bridge the gap between that and attendance at Sunday service or other ways of encountering the message of the gospel. Maybe this gap is wider than we realise. Practices such as corporate singing, praying and listening to a sermon are strange for those who are unfamiliar with church. Perhaps we need to think imaginatively about what a next natural step might be for those around the edges of church life – something that acts as a prelude to being drawn into the core activities of church or evangelistic courses.

Preparing While we were unable to gather for activities during the pandemic, individual church members were present in their community more than ever due to furlough and home working. This allowed new and deeper relationships to be built with our neighbours as we journeyed through a genuinely shared experience, opening up great opportunities for community witness in our everyday conversations. Look out for a short, flexible, easy to facilitate one-session resource on ‘Getting going again’ that will be released for free download from the PCI website at the end of October 2022. David Thompson is Secretary to the Council for Congregational Life and Witness and Neil Harrison is PCI’s Mission Development Officer.

Present Churches, schools, community groups, sports clubs and businesses make up

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A mind that works differently Erin Burnett articulates what it is like to have autism and describes the challenges it brings to her faith.


esus instructs us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” – but what if your mind works differently? For as long as I can remember, I have always felt different. It was as if there was an invisible wall between me and other people. I desperately wanted to experience friendship and connection, yet there was something holding me back. At school I would retreat into my own inner world and spend most of the day in silence. Instead of keeping up with the latest music and social media trends, I had very narrow and intense interests – anything from Pokémon to 20th century politics could capture my interest for months or years at a time. I was raised in a Christian household and started to take my own faith seriously around the age of 12 after the Gideons visited my school. Reading the New Testament for myself marked the beginning of an intense, tumultuous and ultimately lifegiving faith journey. I was particularly captivated by John 15:15,


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when Jesus says, “I have called you friend” – this verse was an anchor for me when I was feeling isolated. My social difficulties persisted throughout my school years and I ended up being referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Several rounds of talking therapy helped somewhat, but still didn’t get to the root cause of my disconnection from other people. Towards the end of my time at CAMHS I saw a different psychiatrist who recognised the cause of my difficulties straight away, for which I will always be grateful. After years of struggling to fit in, I finally had an answer: I was autistic.

…it is vital that churches have an understanding of the condition and are prepared to welcome autistic people into their congregations.

What is autism? It is very difficult to precisely define autism, as it is a spectrum condition that manifests differently for each person. The stereotypical image of autism is that of a child, typically male, trapped in their own world and unable to communicate. This is only one of many ways in which autistic people present. The autism spectrum can range from someone who is slightly quirky to someone with profound disability who requires 24/7 care, and every degree in between. The most significant characteristic of autism is social difficulty. Some autistic people are non-verbal, meaning they do not speak, and those of us who can speak find the unwritten rules of conversation hard to follow. Another characteristic is sensory sensitivity – autistic people tend to dislike loud noise, bright lights and other overwhelming stimuli. Despite these difficulties, there are many positive aspects to autism. We have very intense interests and can hyperfocus on topics that intrigue us – this is a useful skill to have in academia or STEM

careers. Getting a diagnosis was life changing for me, as I understood the cause of my difficulties and could develop healthy coping strategies. I was able to identify and develop my strengths instead of getting upset over my weaknesses. Most people are impacted by autism in some way, either by being on the spectrum themselves or by knowing someone who is. It is important to point out that every autistic person presents differently, and I cannot speak on behalf of everyone with the condition. Just like everyone else, autistic people are made in the image of God and have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Listening to the individual is key: if you want to better understand an autistic person in your life, get to know them. Asking about their interests is usually a good place to start – just be prepared for a very impassioned lecture on whatever topic they’re into! Or, if they cannot communicate for themselves, ask the person who knows them best.

Autism and the church Shortly after I got my official diagnosis, I went to study at Union Theological College, where over the course of three years I was able to develop my interest in theology while also gaining vital social skills. For my final year dissertation I decided to research the experiences of autistic churchgoers. What aspects of church are challenging for autistic people, and what parts of faith do they find meaningful? Starting with the challenges, church services can often be tricky for those with sensory issues, particularly churches that have a contemporary approach to worship. Modern worship can be very loud and bright, which may be distressing for autistic people in the congregation. However, this doesn’t mean the church has to change the way it worships – there are simple and effective adjustments that can be made to make worship more accessible for everyone. For example, I once attended a very lively and noisy international church in Japan, and they had a basket of earplugs you could help yourself to in the foyer of the church. It may seem like a trivial gesture, but it meant so much to me – here I am writing about it almost three years later! It is such a simple and inexpensive way to let people with hypersensitivity to sound

I have always struggled with the idea of having a ‘personal relationship with Jesus’. know that they are welcome. Many autistic people struggle with the relational aspect of Christianity. I have always struggled with the idea of having a ‘personal relationship with Jesus’. I find it hard enough to have a relationship with people I can see, let alone someone I can’t physically interact with. I still struggle with feeling like an inferior Christian compared to others who experience an intimate, direct connection with God, but I am learning how I can honour God through other means, like studying theology, and writing and engaging in practical theology. In the words of Matthew Allen, a fellow autistic Christian and Union alumnus, “There are as many ways to know God as there are Christians who love him.” Autism is not directly mentioned in the Bible, as it was only formally recognised in the 1940s, but there are many relevant verses that can be applied today. One of my favourite passages is 1 Corinthians 12:14–27, wherein Paul compares the church to a human body. Each part has its own unique part to play, and no part is better than another: “Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (v22). The church can be a prophetic witness in a society that often sees disabled people as a burden rather than individuals loved by God. God can use autistic people’s special interests for his purposes. For instance, I have always loved everything Japanese, which led to me getting involved with a missionary organisation called OMF. I attended a prayer group comprised of former and aspiring missionaries to Japan, which was really helpful for me both spiritually and socially. I had the opportunity to visit Japan and write a report about the social rejection Japanese Christians experience, something I could empathise with. The paper was published in an academic journal and I had the opportunity to speak about it at an international conference. All this stemmed from an initial interest in Pokémon during childhood!

Living as an autistic Christian Living with autism has its highs and lows, and I’m deeply grateful for all the supportive church communities I have been part of over the years. As diagnostic services improve, the amount of people being diagnosed with autism increases every year – it is vital that churches have an understanding of the condition and are prepared to welcome autistic people into their congregations. I recently published a booklet entitled With All Your Mind: Autism and the church based on the research I did at university. Using a blend of biblical teaching, scientific research and personal stories, With All Your Mind offers guidance on welcoming autistic people into the body of Christ and suggests ways that churches can be more accommodating. I do not intend my booklet to be a prescriptive textbook; rather, it should be a conversation starter. As an autistic Christian, I have a deep desire to be part of something beyond myself, to follow the teachings of Jesus and establish the kingdom of God on earth. I may struggle with certain aspects of faith, but this I know: God is love, and autistic people are just as capable of giving and receiving love as anyone else. Erin Burnett was born and raised in Belfast. She has a theology degree from Union Theological College and is currently studying for a MTh Practical Theology degree at the University of Glasgow. Erin’s book, With All Your Mind: Autism and the church, is priced at £4.50 and available from http:// erinburnettauthor. To see a review of With All Your Mind, go to page 38.

Herald July/August 2022


Luther’s legacy Gordon Campbell looks at how influential Martin Luther was in bringing the Bible to ordinary people, and highlights an upcoming conference commemorating 500 years since he published a New Testament in contemporary language.


ive hundred years ago this September, at the 1522 Leipzig Book Fair, a new volume went on sale with an inaugural printrun of 3,000 copies. This was a New Testament in German, printed not by any recognised press from a great city but by a newly-established printer from smalltown Wittenberg. It was an immediate bestseller: copies were snapped up and it quickly sold out; public clamour for more led to a thoroughly revised reprint coming out in December 1522. Although no translator’s name even appeared on its cover or inside, every purchaser of this September Testament (as it was dubbed), or its December reprint, knew they were getting their hands on the work of Martin Luther. Luther’s name would adorn later editions soon enough, as early-modern Europe’s book markets were flooded with New Testaments and Bibles from printers and publishers far and wide and a genuine Luther Bible needed distinguishing from pirated versions.


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Luther’s 1522 September Testament launched the project of democratising access to Scripture for German-speaking people. From being read in a scholar’s study, a monk’s cell or a nobleman’s chamber, and usually in Latin, it would now enter the homes of educated citizens who could afford a copy, to be read aloud in German to the household. Before Luther, there had been 14 Bibles in High and four in Low German, none of them fully satisfactory. Now, here was a New Testament in contemporary German, reflecting both the language and discourse of public service in Saxony, and German as spoken in the street. In early

Luther had spelt out how fundamental, for human lives, was the Word of God, with the gospel of Jesus Christ at its heart.

1522 Luther binge-translated a first draft in just 11 weeks, while sequestered in a castle and protected from a rising tide of opposition to his reforming activity in both Empire and church. Luther worked from the latest and best Greek New Testament edition available, by Erasmus, with the Latin Vulgate used throughout the Western church also in his memory and on his desk. Back in Wittenberg, with his team of collaborators, months of revising and reworking the text for publication would follow. From this beginning came an enterprise that would keep Luther and his associates busy for the next 25 years, until his death in 1546: a steady supply of ever-improving New Testaments and Bibles, in High or Low German, came from Wittenberg, with all profits reinvested in a sustained publishing drive that the September Testament had launched. Why all this effort? For Luther, the state of the church and the salvation

of ordinary people were at stake. In his Freedom of a Christian (1520), Luther had spelt out how fundamental, for human lives, was the Word of God, with the gospel of Jesus Christ at its heart. To come to saving faith in Christ, or to come to love and serve Christ more, people needed to hear it – in their heart language. In church, this was not happening. Change was needed. Luther’s September Testament targeted people’s understanding. His main concern was how his translation sounded. In the early-16th century, books were heard while read aloud since relatively few people could read, or read well. Luther wanted the words of the evangelists or apostles in the cadences and rhythms of everyday speech, so that they would roll off the reader’s tongue, appeal to listeners’ ears, lodge in their memory and provoke or sustain faith in Christ. The text had no verse numbers and little punctuation. Instead, to facilitate reading aloud, and to help the reader scan the sense or pause for breath, slashes divided each paragraph of every chapter into units. To help readers interpret what they read at their kitchen table, important aids were built-in: a general preface, introducing the whole New Testament to readers, and other prefaces to most

individual books; and throughout the text, context-sensitive marginal notes on significant or difficult passages. From the start, Luther Bibles would be study Bibles. Reading the book of Revelation presented a particular challenge. During the Middle Ages, Revelation had been extensively illustrated as an aid to interpretation for private devotion or for study in monasteries. Uniquely for Revelation, Luther therefore chose to target not just listeners but viewers. Instead of marginal notes, he provided 22 full-page visual aids: interpretative woodcut illustrations by the celebrated artist and now publisher, Lucas Cranach the elder. Within weeks, the potency of these images would also bring the September Testament notoriety, since several depicted a papal tiara, in conjunction with Revelation’s monsters or Babylonian harlot. The cartoons caught the public imagination and created further

So rich a legacy deserves to be commemorated and explored. ecclesiastical and political waves, with Luther temporarily agreeing to substitute toned-down images for the December reprint. By a ripple effect, translations in other languages, including English, swiftly followed Luther’s New Testament. For undertaking the illegal and dangerous work of translating the New Testament into English, William Tyndale was in continental exile and visited Luther in Wittenberg in 1524. Tyndale’s 1525–26 New Testament shows a striking debt to Luther’s German that later English translations would also display: a revision of Tyndale in light of the latest scholarship would be the basis for the Geneva New Testament (1557) that mirrored Luther’s emphasis on the spoken Word, while the full Geneva Bible (1560) would further develop helps for interpretation. Luther’s theological writings, or the ideas they expressed, are well known.

Somewhat overlooked, by comparison, is just how influential Luther was in placing the Bible in the hands of ordinary people and thereby spreading the gospel or reforming church and society, not merely in the German-speaking area but throughout Europe, with the effects of Luther’s extraordinary Bible work still felt today. So rich a legacy deserves to be commemorated and explored. This September’s quincentennial of his September Testament offers a suitable occasion for marking the event and reflecting on some of its many ramifications. Five hundred years on, this September, Union Theological College will host and organise an international conference: ‘Martin Luther. Bible translator, illustrator and publisher. 500 years’, as a team of scholars gathers in Belfast to investigate and assess Luther’s achievements and heritage. Each conference session aims to make cutting-edge research accessible, with contributors tackling key aspects through presentations, conversation and Q&As: Luther’s own contribution and its wider European impacts, notably on the English New Testament and Bible; past and present implications for Bible translation more generally; and theological implications from all this for public life and discourse. This is an in-person conference, but all conference sessions will be accessible live online and for a limited time afterwards for those unable to attend in person. A series of digital exhibitions, curated by the librarian of the College’s Gamble Library, Joy Conkey, has been rolled out progressively since January and may be accessed on the College website. Each digital exhibition showcases Bibles or related items from the Gamble Library’s special collections. The first introduces Luther’s Bible work. Another takes the early

Herald July/August 2022


English Bible as its focus, particularly the largely forgotten Geneva Bible that was English-language Presbyterianism’s Bible for over 80 years. Other digital exhibitions are devoted to the King James Bible, the Bible in Gaelic or in Scots or resources that explain the Bible.

Somewhat overlooked… is just how influential Luther was in placing the Bible in the hands of ordinary people… To coincide with the conference, the Gamble Library’s new exhibition facilities will also host a physical exhibition. Visitors to the College during the two days of the conference can look forward to discovering Bibles and related works of special significance, whether from the collections or on loan from other libraries, and take home a souvenir guide. The exhibition will remain open for individuals or groups to book a visit during the autumn. Conference-goers will also be able to engage with contemporary Bible translation, distribution and promotion through exposure to the ongoing work of three partner agencies: Bible Society for Northern Ireland, Biblica and Wycliffe Bible Translators. During the conference, together they will present their work in translating the Bible and its impact on people, with opportunities for visitors to get involved. Professor Gordon Campbell is principal of Union Theological College.

Conference Martin Luther. Bible translator, illustrator and publisher. 500 years The conference will investigate and assess Luther’s acheivements and heritage, including his impact on the English Bible and Bible translation. 12-13 September 2022


Herald July/August 2022

Later this autumn… The College’s Institute for Ministry will host a series for individuals or groups – The Bible for All – which will help participants go deeper in their engagement with the Bible, in four related ways: 29 September

How we got our Bible

Rev Dr Marty Cowan Marty will tell the story of how God’s Word in Scripture has come down to us today. 6 October

How to read the Bible

Rev Dr Ben Walker Ben will offer practical advice and guidance on getting the most from our Bible. 13 October

Those who need the Bible

Bible Society for Northern Ireland / Biblica / Wycliffe Bible Translators Our partner agencies will explore the impact of the Bible in people’s lives and opportunities for getting involved in Bible translation and distribution work in today’s world. 20 October

Telling the story of the Bible

Rev Lesley-Ann Wilson Lesley-Ann will share her passion for oral Bible storytelling and help us discover the power of learning and speaking Scripture. For further information on any of the above events, and to register for them, see the Union College website (, telephone the College office (028 9020 5080; from ROI 048 9020 5080) or simply call into the College in Botanic Avenue. Also in the autumn, and with Luther’s groundbreaking New Testament as the inspiration, writers for PCI’s Bible reading resource, Tides, will offer ways of engaging with the whole New Testament. To join the thousands who already use this resource, simply sign up via

A new degree at Union this September On 19 September, a new BA (Hons) in Theology will be launched at Union.

Following a few days of induction events the previous week, new undergraduate students will join ministerial and postgraduate students on campus for an exciting new chapter in the life of the College.

Validated by our partner institution – St Mary’s University, Twickenham – this three-year degree will kick off in Semester 1 with three modules: Introduction to Jesus and the Gospels; God, Christ and Salvation in Early Christian Thought; and an Introduction to Christian Ethics. Alongside lectures and seminars, students will have an opportunity to engage actively with various activities of College life that enrich the College community, including times of gathered worship.


Mission Connect

Serving the community

The need for intentionality Chris and Rachel Humphries

Mission news from workers around Ireland and the world.

Serving the community Jason Sime Faithfulness and thankfulness Rev Daniel Reyes-Martin With a hand to the plough Roberta Irvine The end of a chapter Rev Colin Megaw

Every aspect of our Church’s mission depends to some extent on United Appeal. Hundreds of projects and programmes at home and overseas are helping to advance God’s kingdom, showing God’s love in action to hundreds of thousands of people.

Being a Taking Care trainer Jacqui Montgomery-Devlin

Including July/August prayer diary

The need for intentionality Chris and Rachel Humphries Global mission workers in Portugal


t the end of April/beginning of May, we had a visit from a pastor called Ronaldo Lidorio, a church planter with many years’ the then Moderator, Dr David Bruce, to Porto as part of experience planting churches in Brazil and in other countries his overseas tour to Portugal. Unfortunately, Chris tested around the world. Over the course of several days, he shared with positive for Covid-19 on the day he arrived, so he was unable to us various strategies and insights from his experience that have meet with him in person. However, we give thanks that Chris was helped in the establishment and strengthening of the local church. able to spend some time chatting with him via a Zoom call and One of the strategies he shared was the need for intentionality. it was great to be able to share how God has been working here As church planters, we spend a lot of time fostering good in Porto and to glean some insights for ministry in a European relationships with others, but this is always done with a gospel context. intentionality in the hope of deepening and strengthening faith, During his visit, the and in the hope of planting Moderator had the new gospel seeds. And so it is There is a need for a healthy dose of prayerful opportunity to meet with in the work of CPV – forging trust and confidence in the Lord, recognising a representative from GBU new relationships with others, (Grupos Biblicos Unidos) whilst also helping to shepherd that he alone can change hearts and which is the Portuguese and disciple those who seek movement of the student to live for Jesus in a context lives by his grace… body of IFES. He also visited that is increasingly hostile and Comundide Pedras Vivas (CPV) indifferent to Christianity. In on the Sunday and met many of our members over lunch. Finally, all of this there is a need for a healthy dose of prayerful trust and he also travelled to Lisbon and spent some time with several confidence in the Lord, recognising that he alone can change other ministers from our partner denomination – the Christian hearts and lives by his grace, but also recognising that God often Presbyterian Church in Portugal. As a church, we give thanks for acts in response to the prayers of his people. the encouraging time he spent with us and were challenged afresh to think about how we, as members of CPV from various cultures and backgrounds, fit together as the body of Christ. We Please pray: were also challenged afresh to continue in our efforts to plant • Pray for the ongoing work of church planting and revitalisation missional churches here in Portugal and how each of us has a part in this land of Portugal, for more workers to be raised up and to play in God´s mission to the world around us. new works to be established. After almost two years, it has been great to see the return of the • Pray for CPV and its members as we seek to form discovery many Christian conferences. Recently, a conference took place in groups with those who are interested in exploring the Christian Braga, a city just north of Porto, which focused on the planting faith. and revitalisation of local churches. The speaker at this event was

Mission Connect | Herald July/August 2022

Serving the community

Jason Sime

Community mission worker in Alexandra, Belfast


took up the role of community mission worker at Alexandra the rising cost of living without putting too much strain on our Presbyterian in north Belfast in October 2021. My role is about existing pool of volunteers and resources available. helping the congregation to become more mission and In May, I organised a youth night for north Belfast with the aim outreach focused, and to find ways we can practically serve our of bringing smaller youth groups together for a time of praise and community. Bible teaching. The event was Since my appointment I have a success with over 70 young We have introduced ‘all together’ services. tried to focus on these two people from seven north areas. I have become involved Belfast churches attending. These services tinker with the traditional in our regular ministries, The following week we ran format of church to try to make it more including Good News Club, messy church for the first time, Boys’ Brigade, Ignite youth bringing families from the area accessible to families and those who have fellowship and the ‘Wee Café’. together to make crafts, learn Not only do I get the chance about Jonah and have a meal not been to church in a long time. to work with our children and together. young people, but this lets This summer we plan to run me get to know the families we are working with and to develop a holiday Bible club and a project for young people. We hope to strategies for engaging with those loosely linked with the church. build on connections we have made over the year and reach out This year we have introduced ‘all together’ services. These services to new people in our community. tinker with the traditional format of church to try to make it more accessible to families and those who have not been to church in a Please pray: long time. • Pray that God will guide our strategic thinking and that we can I have also sought to help the congregation serve the help lead people to him. community. In March we had six members complete training to • Pray the work will have a meaningful impact on our community, become Christians Against Poverty (CAP) money coaches and that the new projects will be blessed by God and be successful in we hope to run the ‘Money’ course a few times a year. We are building his church. also working with Redeeming Our Communities with the aim • Pray for discernment for Jason as he chooses which outside of running a school uniform project in the lower north Belfast organisations to commit time to as part of his role. area. We hope these projects can help people better cope with

Mission Connect | Herald July/August 2022

Faithfulness and thankfulness

Members of Mullingar Presbyterian Church

Members of Corboy Presbyterian Church

Rev Daniel Reyes-Martin Mullingar and Corboy


he last time I wrote in the Herald, in early 2019, our family As we look forward, we ask the Lord for guidance as to the had just moved to Mullingar and Corboy and we were future of the double charge (Corboy, Co Longford) and Mullingar settling in, rubbing our eyes for we could hardly believe how (Co Westmeath). The present setup with two churches 28 faithful the Lord had been in bringing us here. Three and a half minutes apart (34km); a ‘parish’ that goes as far as Castlerea (Co years on, and we continue to be Roscommon, 96km away) so thankful to the Lord and the and a membership spread There is a…vision in Corboy Church to share out within a radius of 55km two congregations. The Covid-19 pandemic for Christ’s Word in Longford town, the biggest in from the manse is not ideal as Corboy and Mullingar churches we seek to do more effective the county, with about one third of the county’s outreach. Included in this is was a challenge and we had to move online for a long time. the fact that there is a desire/ population and yet, no Presbyterian witness. However, we were so thankful vision in Corboy Church to that our clerk of session, share Christ’s Word in Longford who owns a streaming company, so freely gave of his time and town, the biggest in the county, with about one third of the professional expertise. county’s population and yet, no Presbyterian witness. As the Lord Pastoral work became challenging when restrictions came in leads us, we pray he will provide the help, resources and personnel due to the fact that we are two churches in two counties, with necessary for this task. Please pray for us. members living in four counties in total. With families living so far To God be the glory. “This is God’s work. We rub our eyes. We can apart from each other, it was essential for me to pastorally visit hardly believe it” (Psalm 118:23). them, even if the pastoral work was limited to a brief chat, reading God’s Word and praying outside their homes. Now that the restrictions are over, we are thankful to the Lord for not only keeping his people together, but also adding to our Please pray: numbers some new families, some of whom started ‘attending’ • Thank the Lord for keeping us throughout the time we were during the lockdowns at our online services and now meet apart and bringing us together again, extending our church regularly with us in the church buildings. Some new members will family and vision. have been received to the Lord’s Table by the time you read these • Connect with us in mission, praying for what the future of the lines. Our Oodles and Doodles, Bible studies, women’s group, work in County Longford may look like as we seek to reach this youth and children’s work are back up and running with new town sharing the gospel of our Saviour and Lord. enthusiasm by those who help in them.

Mission Connect | Herald July/August 2022

With a hand to the plough

Roberta Irvine

Deaconess in Elmwood Presbyterian Church, Lisburn


n a Presbyterian podcast during Covid-19, I shyly shared My thankfulness for all that God has been to me during my 11 how each day I would put my hand to an old plough and a half years at Greystone would exceed the word count for which sat in the farmyard and, considering Luke 9:62, “Pray the entire Herald. What are my prayers for the new season ahead? that I would serve God wholeheartedly and to his instruction that Ploughing soil is like turning a page (or the furrow) over. As I turn day.” I did not foresee then that my service to God at Elmwood God would call me to plough I will need that same ‘hand to The Holy Spirit ploughed deep into our souls a new furrow at Elmwood the plough’ resolution. Presbyterian, Lisburn. Praise God that as I begin and spirits with precision and direction. I shared how our ancestors at Elmwood my new normal must have come in from is the humility of being part ploughing new fields with sore shoulders and tired eyes as new of the workers in the field, of hearing the Word of God and of a rocks or unexpected stones had been before them. My placement heavenly Father whose guiding heart is close to the harvest. at Elmwood will be new to me and take me a while to become familiar with, but the idea of a deaconess is not unfamiliar to them as they have already had Elizabeth Matthews and Margaret Robertson serving with the church family there. As I prepared to leave Greystone and begin at Elmwood, the Please pray: season was marked by blessings and surprises. The blessings of • Pray for Greystone Road, that their strength in worshipping and Greystone friends reminiscing together or sharing their hopes for sharing the gospel may grow and grow to God’s glory. God’s direction ahead and the unexpected blessing of a retreat. • Pray for Margaret Robertson, my predecessor in Elmwood, that Covid-19 had deleted the deaconesses’ traditional retreat time in she would know a new chapter of blessing and God’s timing in the autumn, but Cleopas was organising a retreat. Would we like her life. to go? Yes, please! So, in the last days of the work in Greystone, I • Pray for the new team at Elmwood of Rev Andrew Thompson, with other deaconesses, sat as Sharon Garlough Brown read from student assistant Graham and myself as the deaconess, that we the Bible in the ‘Water from the Well’ retreat. In the times of silent would be a team united in purpose, prayer and unity to Jesus’ prayer after each session the Holy Spirit ploughed deep into our glory. souls and spirits with precision and direction.

Mission Connect | Herald July/August 2022

The end of a chapter Rev Colin Megaw

Former chaplain at Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre


he process to become the Presbyterian chaplain to visitation ministry, special seasonal services and the writing and Juvenile Justice in February 1987 was quite formal, with a videoing of a Juvenile Justice ‘Restore’ course, which can be viewed representative from by everyone via YouTube, titled the Northern Ireland Office ‘Woodlands Juvenile Justice In my experience, chaplaincy ministry has accompanying the Ards Restore Course’. Presbytery interview panel. Please continue to uphold always been esteemed and valued by the NIO The successful candidate was Lesley-Ann and her colleague and Department of Justice… required to sign the Official chaplains for the next chapter Secrets Act. Since then, I have of ministry to children and their seen many changes within the Youth Justice system and readily families, staff members and visitors to Woodlands Juvenile Justice testify that these reconfigurations have introduced many positive Centre. developments to the benefit of staff and children. As lead chaplain for 35 years, I spanned six directorships within Pictured above are (left to right): Jill, Colin, Lesley-Ann and Gillian. the Justice Centre in Bangor and during my tenure I met with countless children from throughout Northern Ireland and beyond. In my experience, chaplaincy ministry has always been esteemed and valued by the NIO and Department of Justice chiefly through the Youth Justice Agency. I have very much appreciated the prayer support of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland for all the denominational Please pray: representatives that make up the chaplaincy team. As Rev • Give thanks for Colin’s service over the past 35 years in Lesley-Ann Wilson succeeds me, our joint prayer is that the Woodlands. denominations will enthusiastically avail of the prayer cards and • Pray for wisdom and guidance for Lesley-Ann as she begins her the Woodlands House of God model. role as chaplain at the centre. As the outgoing lead chaplain, I leave a legacy of a consistent

Mission Connect | Herald July/August 2022

Being a Taking Care trainer

Jacqui Montgomery-Devlin PCI’s head of safeguarding


ould you be interested in becoming a volunteer trainer in child safeguarding, with the Taking Care office? Head of safeguarding, Jacqui Montgomery-Devlin, asks Patricia Gowdy about her role as a Taking Care trainer.

need to communicate this with leaders. Some times of the year are busier than others, e.g. the start of the new session with new leaders, however, if we value our leaders, we owe it to them to provide relevant and timely training.

Why did you decide to What do you get out of become a Taking Care doing this for PCI? I believe it is important to create an trainer? I could be flippant and say environment where...all children I retired as a primary school travel expenses and the teacher in 2012 and was occasional box of sweets! feel safe and valued. looking for some type of Actually, I really enjoy visiting voluntary work. I didn’t want to other churches and seeing be directly involved with children – done that and have the t-shirt. how they manage things, and not just their child protection I had been a member of the senior policies. Leaders welcome the training, and that is my reward, as leadership team and a deputy designated well as knowing that I am serving the Lord in this way. teacher, so was well versed with many aspects of child protection and also What would you say to anyone considering becoming a comfortable talking to groups of adults. volunteer trainer? Within my church, I was child Do it! Trainers come from a variety of backgrounds with a protection coordinator, so, after prayerful wide range of skills. The most important skill is to be able consideration, I applied to the Taking to communicate clearly. The Taking Care office provides Care office to become a volunteer trainer. comprehensive training and excellent PowerPoint presentations Ephesians 4:11–12 tells us: “Some should with accompanying notes. You will be trained to deliver the Patricia Gowdy be apostles…some pastors and teachers, to training. We can serve and volunteer confidently, knowing that equip the saints for the work of ministry”, and that is what child God has prepared the way for us: “We are his workmanship, protection trainers are endeavouring to do – equip those who created in Christ Jesus for good works.” work in our children’s ministry. If you think you would be able to serve the Lord in this way How do you manage delivering the training amongst all your as a Taking Care trainer, please contact Jacqui Montgomeryother commitments? Devlin at: When I retired, I had plenty of time. Not so much now but, for me, it comes down to how important I see my role as trainer. Jesus instructs us to “suffer the little children to come unto me and Please pray: forbid them not.” I believe it is important to create an environment where parents can trust and where all children feel safe and • Pray for God to raise up new trainers in child safeguarding. valued. PCI has put structures in place to facilitate this, and we

Mission Connect | Herald July/August 2022


Please pray for... n MISSION IN IRELAND – Pray for the many holiday Bible clubs and outreach events congregations are holding this summer, that many people will come to faith.

n IRISH MISSION – Give thanks for Philip Whelton and his work in reaching out to others. Pray for opportunities to share the good news.

n UKRAINE – Pray for protection for people in Ukraine and an immediate end to the war. Pray for the millions displaced, for the ongoing work of Christian Aid, Tearfund and Hungarian Reformed Church Aid, supported by the Moderator’s Appeal.

n AARON HOUSE – Pray for the recruitment of new care staff for this residential home for people with a profound learning disability. Pray that God will lead the right people to Aaron House with a heart to provide exceptional care.

n MISSION IN IRELAND – Give thanks for the service of Rev Jim Stothers (acting Mission in Ireland Secretary) and Rev Robert Bell (acting Chaplaincy Secretary). Pray for Rick Hill as he takes on the role of Mission in Ireland SecretaryDesignate and for Dr David Bruce who will be returning as Mission in Ireland Secretary, following his two years as Moderator.

n HOME MISSION – Thank God for new faith in Aghada and Trinity Cork congregations post-Covid. Ask for the Holy Spirit to bless them. n ROMANIA – Pray for Steve and Rosie Kennedy in their work with Cluj Christian Fellowship. Pray too for the summer outreach activities they are involved in.

n HOME MISSION – Pray for Steve and Rosie Kennedy n GLOBAL Arklow congregation MISSION – Pray for in Co Wicklow. Give each of our global mission workers, may they thanks for the ordination of new elders, have an opportunity for a break from their for new families attending church and for work at some point over the summer. increasing numbers at Wednesday kids’ n HOMELESSNESS – Pray that God will club, Friday youth club and Coffee Dock. watch over those who will sleep in the open Give thanks too for the opportunity to teach tonight and pray for those who work among English to Ukrainians. homeless people. n PORTUGAL – Pray for James and Heather n CHAPLAINS – Give thanks and pray for the Cochrane as they lead the church plant work and witness of PCI’s full-time and partcalled Comunidade Pedras Vivas in Senhora time forces chaplains, and for the safety and da Hora, and seek opportunities to build protection of all who serve in the forces. relationships and share the gospel with local people. n URBAN MISSION – Pray for God’s blessing on Rev Mervyn Gibson, the elders and n TAKING CARE – As members of Westbourne congregation in Taking Care continues east Belfast as they worship together and to grow, we look to reach out to their local community. the future with adult safeguarding. We n MIDDLE EAST – Give thanks for those thank God for the graduating this summer from Jordan policy and guidelines Evangelical Theological Seminary. Pray which have been that the Holy Spirit will work through each produced and graduate over the years ahead and that many prayerfully support more people in the Arab world will come to those who will now faith in Jesus Christ. Sonya Anderson provide training and advice on all aspects of n DEACONESS – Pray for wisdom and safeguarding. guidance for Rosemary Spiers, serving in Greenwell Street congregation in Newtownards, as she builds friendships and has conversations with women from the church and community at various ministries. n LEADERS IN TRAINING – Pray for leaders from partner Churches which PCI supports while they undertake further study aimed at helping their personal development for future ministry and leadership within their Church and context.

n URBAN MISSION – Give thanks that South Belfast Friendship House has reopened and for Carol Reid, the new children’s worker there. Pray for their summer outreach programme, for many to come along with open hearts and minds. n SPECIALIST SERVICE AGENCIES – Pray for continued support for the work of the Bible Society in Northern Ireland, the National Bible Society of Ireland, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Feba and SAT-7.

n HOME MISSION – Pray for the congregations of Athy and Carlow to have a fresh vision of Jesus Christ, so that they may be living witnesses in their local communities. Pray especially for the new youth projects and those involved. n CHAPLAINS – Gary Aitcheson is a parttime prison chaplain who provides pastoral care and reaches out to prisoners and staff. Pray for opportunities to share God’s love and the hope of the gospel with prisoners, and for open hearts and minds. n CAROLINE YEOMANS – As Head of Disability Services and Senior Manager, Caroline oversees the work in Aaron House, Lawnfield House, Willow Brook/Topley Terrace and Peacehaven. Pray for Caroline as she seeks to provide an excellent standard of care across all these services. n HOME MISSION – Pray for the congregations of Ballina, Ballymote and Killala in Monaghan Presbytery as they continue to meet to worship God. Pray that they will know God’s presence, blessing and leading during this time of vacancy. n DEACONESS – Paula Burrows serves God in Ballygrainey Presbyterian. Pray that the church family will continue to grow in their love of God and their love of one another. n MENTAL HEALTH – Pray that God will be close to those suffering from depression and other mental health problems. n HOME MISSION – Pray for Ballyhobridge, Clones, Newbliss and Stonebridge Sunday schools. Give thanks for two young people recently admitted to full communicant membership and for attentive listening to the exposition of the Word each Sunday. n DEACONESS – Sonya Anderson serves in Shore Street Presbyterian Church, Donaghadee. Pray for opportunities to connect with families with young children and wisdom for how best to support them in the early years. n INDIA – Give thanks for PCI’s long-standing partnership with the Church of North India and pray that God’s love will shine through its leaders and members and that many others will be put their hope in Christ. n HOME MISSION – Pray for Rev Jean Mackarel and the congregations of Drumkeeran, Killeshandra, Cavan and Bellasis in Monaghan Presbytery, as they continue to witness to their faith in Christ.


Political aftermath

Norman Hamilton considers the implications and aftermath of the recent elections in Northern Ireland.


ven though I am not a prophet or the son of a prophet thought of or seen as a morality free zone, nor to be in hock to (to quote from Amos 7), nor am I like one of the sons the latest wave of popular opinion or the loudest voice. Whilst of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what there is plenty of scope to debate and even disagree over what the people of God should do in perilous circumstances is morally and ethically right, even that debate must allow for (1 Chronicles 12), I am a committed follower of Jesus Christ. what is sometimes called ‘the common good’. That flows from Therefore, I sense the need to carefully think through the the need to love all our neighbours well (including our political implications of our recent election in Northern Ireland, its adversaries), as an outworking of our own love for the Lord. It ongoing dramatic aftermath, and the potentially longer-term is very hard to see any biblical justification for supporting any stalemate it has brought about. brand of politics based on ourselves alone. There is a myriad of facts and figures being used to underpin Finally, it is important to recognise the biblical truth very different political stances and decisions – even in spite that nations rise and nations fall – that there can be no of the warning attributed to Disraeli in the 19th century that presupposition that Almighty God intends our land, or any there are “lies, damned lies and statistics”. Opinions, arguments land, to remain as it was or is. Job 12 is a sobering reminder of and analyses abound. However, there are just how fragile nations and their leaders very few modern day ‘sons’ of Issachar are. It is very hard to see any really to help God’s people (or indeed wider So, where might such principles lead society) actually understand these times biblical justification for us? A few pointers to help us get started. from his perspective. This, of itself is deeply Few of us see ourselves as prophets, yet concerning, for there is much more to such supporting any brand of we are all electors, and can make clear, understanding than what the sociologist biblically informed choices as to whom to politics based on or political commentator or informed select for leading our land when we go to ourselves alone. journalist can offer. It seems that we no the ballot box. Who we elect is much more longer expect the needed gifts of wisdom, important than what is promised in any truth and understanding to be given to us through the active manifesto published by any political party. Personal integrity is work of the Holy Spirit. As a result, trustworthy guidance, exceedingly important. based on biblical and Christian principles, is almost nonWe may have no special insights to the times in which we live, existent. That troubles me greatly. yet each Christian believer is explicitly called by Jesus to show Yet there are some clear starting points for developing a light and be salt in society – which means no compromise with Christian response to the current quagmire. anything that is dishonouring to our Lord. The first is that we are all fallen people living in a fallen We may not be in a position to make big political decisions, world. Sin taints everything. Romans 3 makes that abundantly yet we can talk easily in prayer with the sovereign God of clear: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, the nations. And we should discuss openly and thoughtfully no one seeks for God.” Therefore, almost by definition, with our family, friends and colleagues about what is best for there is no guarantee at all of a perfect or maybe even a our land – based on our best understanding of what the Bible fairly good way ahead. There are downsides and potentially teaches. unforeseen consequences built into every option and every Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have an identity opinion. Humility is to be sought, and valued. in Christ that utterly transcends politics, allows us to put first Secondly, what we know as ‘common grace’ must also be things first, and delivers us from fear and panic about our readily acknowledged. This is the favour and grace of God political future. For that deliverance, we can, indeed should, be to every member of the human race (e.g. Matthew 5:44). profoundly grateful. Therefore, even though we are all fallen people, we all still receive blessing from God. He is most assuredly not disengaged or absent from everyday life and decisions, including political ones. Good decisions and good policy making can still emerge, Rev Dr Norman Hamilton even from unexpected sources. Thirdly, it is crucially important to affirm that doing what Very Rev Dr Norman Hamilton is a former is right uplifts a nation, whilst doing what is wrong drags it Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in down (Proverbs 14:34). We must never allow politics to be Ireland.

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Going deeper & wider as global disciples Neil Harrison highlights the resource ‘Digital Dispatches’ which is available for use in congregations.


number of congregations are growing their involvement in global mission using a regular resource that gives a window into the work of PCI global mission workers (GMWs). PCI currently has 25 GMWs in 10 countries across the world. ‘Digital Dispatches’ are short film updates recorded by each GMW, three times per year. The footage is edited centrally by PCI and made available on the PCI website and social media channels. Each worker gives a short update on their mission work, finishing with a few current prayer requests. The short format means they are suitable for use in a prayer slot during a church service,

This resource has been a great motivator to global mission concern and this is demonstrated through prayer and giving. a midweek meeting or within a group or organisation such as Presbyterian Women. The accessibility online allows them to be easily shared via a congregational email or through social media. The regularity allows congregations to build a ‘deep’ relationship and grow


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their understanding of the work in one particular location of interest. At the same time, with around four new Digital Dispatches being released each month, congregations also have the opportunity to ‘go wide’ in raising their awareness of what God is doing in different parts of the world. In today’s increasingly smaller world, as followers of Jesus we have the opportunity to be global disciples as never before, playing a part in what God is doing both near and far. Digital Dispatches can be easily used in a variety of church contexts to help your congregation’s involvement through raising awareness and prayer for what God is doing across the world as we seek to go deep and wide in global mission. It has been encouraging to see many congregations making good use of this resource. For more information and to access Digital Dispatches visit: digitaldispatches For more information on PCI’s global mission workers, including their monthly bulletins visit:

Annalong Presbyterian, Rev David McCullagh Our congregation had limited knowledge of the breadth of work of PCI’s global mission workers. For a season during the pandemic, we watched a different three-minute clip each week, progressing around the world from the closest global mission workers to the furthest away. We also placed the prayer points mentioned in the video on the screen so that people could pray in their prayer times specifically for what was asked. This has grown hearts of support for God’s work in the world. I believe that the Digital Dispatches videos have also helped our congregation meet our United Appeal target of honour for two years in a row and last year exceeding it. This resource has been a great motivator to global mission concern and this is FOR demonstrated through prayer and giving.


Ballyhenry Presbyterian, Rev Niall Lockhart Digital Dispatches allow for a short and very watchable engagement with the diversity of situations our partners are working in around the world. Particularly at the height of the pandemic these helped to broaden our vision and to understand that God is at work in a big world. Digital has become more a part of our life as a congregation in the past two years – so having good quality resources like this is really helpful. I want to express a genuine ‘thank you’ for these resources – it is a real help to keep us outward looking in these times. Being aware of what we are actually already committed to is a long journey and Digital Dispatches are a real help.

PCI Global mission workers 2022 BRAZIL Naomi Keefe Outreach programme, The Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPB), Recife

Templepatrick Presbyterian, Rev Richard Kerr The short clips are brilliant. We used them extensively over the past two years and have found that our people are now more aware than ever of our global mission workers. Recently we used one and it was amazing in terms of how well it linked with the theme of the service. It’s great that the clips are now building on what we know about the GMWs and their work. The clips we used always led into prayer for the person/people and the ministry they are involved in. Not only corporate prayer, but also informing personal prayer. We have found that our United Appeal giving has increased and I think that Digital Dispatches has enabled that. Church members are unlikely to go out of their way to find this information so this is an excellent resource for bringing regular updates into church services.

First Dromara Presbyterian, Rev Scott Moore I really appreciate the videos and have been able to use them in public worship, particularly during evening services. Our congregation supports missionaries around the world, but the truth is, their knowledge of PCI people has been limited. Being able to see faces and hear stories was good, especially before the prayer of intercession slot, and also on the run-up to United Appeal awareness. Some congregations struggle to grasp why United Appeal is important, but I think the videos help to show the global mission partnership that comes from individual congregations and their giving. My thanks to those who have produced this resource for us to use.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA Volker and JinHyeog Glissmann Consultant to Theological Education by Extension in TEEC – South Africa (Volker) Music Teacher in Phoenix International Primary School in Blantyre – Malawi (JinHyeog) GREAT BRITAIN Edwin and Anne Kibathi Ministry among East Africans in East London KENYA Stephen and Angelina Cowan Outreach and development work, Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA), Tuum Naomi Leremore Development of Theological Education by Extension materials, PCEA, Nairobi Gary and Mary Reid Outreach and development work, PCEA, Olkinyiei NEPAL Peter and Jayne Fleming Integral Development Advisor UMN, Kathmandu (Peter) Teacher, Kathmandu International Study Centre (Jayne) PORTUGAL James and Heather Cochrane Church planting – Comunidade Pedras Vivas Christian Presbyterian Church of Portugal (ICPP) in Senhora de Hora, Porto Chris and Rachel Humphries Church planting – Comunidade Pedras Vivas Christian Presbyterian Church of Portugal (ICCP) in Senhora de Hora, Porto ROMANIA Csaba and Ilona Veres Co-ordinator – SERVANT Mission of Diakonia, Cluj Mera children’s project Steve and Rosie Kennedy Outreach ministry with Cluj Christian (Steve) Fellowship of the Tóvidéki congregation of the Hungarian Reformed Church (Transylvania District) (Rosie) RUSSIA Two global mission workers Theological education SPAIN Derek and Jane French Student outreach with Grupos Biblicos Unídos (GBU), Bilbao ZAMBIA Diane Cusick Early Childhood Development Officer, Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Zambia Synod

Candidates preparing to serve HUNGARY Nigel and Antónia Craig International church planting and pastor in Debrecen University Tiszántúli Church District of the Hungarian Reformed Church

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A time to plant Martin McNeely reports on PCI’s recent Church Planting conference in Dundalk.


f I was told two years ago that we would have had 100 Presbyterians gathered in Dundalk enthusiastically uniting around the idea of planting new churches, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. But that’s what happened in May with our first ever PCI Church Planting conference. The idea behind the conference came from a desire to highlight planting more prominently in PCI. Planting churches has been part of our DNA in the past – think of the church extension work just under 50 years ago, of which my congregation in Ballykeel was a part. But in recent times, the momentum has only been shown by works in Donabate and Maynooth in the Republic. However, with impetus from around the world and new signs of life in Belfast as well as Dublin, our Church Planting panel felt it was the right time to light a new fire for planting in Ireland through PCI. We met in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, with keynote speaker Scotty Smith, author and founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. During the conference, Andy Carroll and Keith McCrory talked about their own experiences in Donabate and Maynooth and James Cochrane and Derek French spoke about the challenges of isolation as they plant in the Iberian Peninsula. They brought a sobering reminder of how challenging gospel work is in secular mainland Europe. Scotty inspired everyone with two addresses from the book of Ephesians. One of his key points of emphasis

New life 34

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was that it was “through the church” (Ephesians 3:10) that the power of the gospel is shown to the world. He emphasised time and again the beauty of grace from Jesus Christ. It is when we understand the grace of the gospel at the deepest level that we not only get our inspiration but our strength to plant new communities of Christ.

Planting churches has been part of our DNA… Seminar time allowed delegates to find out more about practical aspects of planning to plant. One guest, John Duffy from Colin Glen Christian Fellowship, Belfast, spoke of the importance of sensitivity in language, culture and local politics. Later in the afternoon, planters Josh McCance (Balbriggan), Peter Burke (Grace and Hope, Carlisle Circus) and Dave Dickinson (Central, Belfast) spoke of their experiences. Overall, it was a brilliant day. It was so encouraging to note a good number of people were there from the Leinster region. For us as organisers

this was important, in that we felt it was important to recognise the vital recent work which had gone on in the wider Dublin area. Given the size of Dublin, it reflected our hope that new Presbyterian plants would emerge in the region. Equally, it was encouraging to hear from Northern Irish delegates who were dreaming of new church plants in their own areas, as well as towards the north west. Of note, some interest emerged for work in the Irish midlands, but it was also noted how little representation there was from Munster and Connacht regions – a cause for more prayer. Where to now? Clearly there are lots of follow-up phone calls and cups of coffee to be had with ministers, elders and potential team members in presbyteries across Ireland in the next 3–6 months. This will help to give direction as to other helpful ways we can gather people regionally to stimulate the church planting conversation. It is also worth reflecting on what the Lord is doing through other denominations and mission agencies – and ways in which we might learn from others. As a panel we are specifically working at two strategic

New people

New PCI church plants

pathways which can guide individuals who feel called to plant, as well as congregations who are considering planting.

Church planting…can only take place when a local elder or member feels the burden of God to share the gospel… where it has not been shared before. The Church Planting panel are calling for the denomination to keep praying for new life, in new people, in new places. Church planting will not take place because of a centrally planned event. It can only take place when a local elder or member feels the burden of God to share the gospel in a place, through community, where it has not been shared before. From there, kirk sessions and presbyteries pursue the process of discerning God’s will and resourcing the vision. Along with my co-convener, Tom Gilliam, I am thankful to the Lord as his Spirit holds forth grace and salvation in “fullness, evidence and efficacy to all nations” (Larger Catechism Q35) including, we pray, our own. Martin McNeely is minister of Ballykeel Presbyterian Church and co-convener of the Church Planting panel.

New places

Grace and Hope Community Church is a church plant from West Kirk Presbyterian Church led by Peter Burke. It began weekly services in 2022 and meets in the Carlisle Circus area of Belfast. Grace and Hope seeks to help people know and grow in the amazing grace and hope of Jesus. To share the amazing grace and hope of Jesus, in the local area, it works closely with the International Meeting Point. It has been exciting and inspiring to see people from all over the globe gathering together to praise the name of Jesus each Sunday. Balbriggan Church is a church plant from Donabate Presbyterian Church, located in North County Dublin and led by Josh McCance. After forming into a community of Christians who met regularly to pray and read the Bible together, they began weekly services in January 2020. They currently meet in a community centre in the heart of the town and seek to share the good news of Jesus with this community. Balbriggan is Ireland’s youngest and most ethnically diverse town and that is represented by the people regularly attending the church plant. Central is a church plant from Carnmoney Presbyterian Church into the city centre of Belfast led by Dave Dickinson. It launched in 2016 and gathers every week in May Street Presbyterian Church building on Sunday mornings. Its vision is to join with God and others in the transformation of the city as disciples who make disciples. Central exists to equip, encourage and stir up a community of Jesus to live lives of worship, community and witness scattered throughout the city to be a redemptive presence and has grown to become a diverse and vibrant community of believers.

Comments from delegates “I was really excited about the passion for reaching areas that aren’t typically Presbyterian – that’s the stuff that gets me up in the morning.” Scott McMenemy “There appears to be a whole new heartbeat for church planting in PCI.” Graham and Marie-Clare McClellan “What is in your hand? What have I to give to build the kingdom? I’m going to take time out to pray and see what the answer is.” Dorothy Armstrong “Go where the kingdom is at work.” Brian Millar


Karen Jardine outlines the key findings from a series of seminars linked to the centenary of the creation of Northern Ireland. Aimed at gauging a range of views in PCI, ‘Beyond These Steps’ looked at the future of this island, in view of its past.


n Friday 17 September 2021, Union Theological College (UTC) hosted ‘On These Steps’, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s contribution to events marking the centenary of the creation of Northern Ireland and partition of the island of Ireland. ‘On These Steps’ was notable for a number of reasons, not least because it was one of the only events during the centenary year which saw participation from the NI Executive parties, and the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom. It also provided an opportunity for PCI to publicly acknowledge, and speak into, the shifting relationships between the governments of the UK and Ireland, as well as with the NI Executive, due to changing demographics, and the outworking of the UK’s decision to exit the European Union. However, it was also recognised that ‘On These Steps’ was only ever the beginning of a conversation, and one which needed to reach out into other parts of PCI. This led to the development of ‘Beyond These Steps’ – a seminar series bringing this conversation to Presbyterian people in PUL (Protestant/ Unionist/Loyalist) communities, hosted in Ballykeel; border communities, hosted in Monaghan; and to young adults within the denomination, hosted in Assembly Buildings. In the words of the Moderator, this was an opportunity to “engage with


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a variety of people to look head on at the future, while reflecting on the past”. Each ‘Beyond These Steps’ seminar followed a similar pattern. The Moderator (in Ballykeel Rev T. Davidson) provided an opening reflection linking the event at UTC with the conversation that was about to take place. This was followed by a panel discussion which involved Presbyterian people – ministers and members, alongside a ‘critical friend’ who could bring an external perspective. Members of the audience at each seminar were also invited to share reflections, ask questions and contribute to the discussion. We are grateful to the Department for Foreign Affairs for funding this programme. A full report on ‘Beyond These Steps’ will be offered to a future General Assembly but this article provides an opportunity to begin to share what has been heard so far. Rev Dave Clawson (West Kirk), Rev John Coulter (Ballysally) and Rev Marty McNeely (Ballykeel) were joined

…there is disillusionment with… the Church, with a sense of diminishing loyalty amongst young people to PCI…

by Debbie Watters, chief executive of Alternatives NI, for a conversation about PUL communities, held at Ballykeel Presbyterian Church in December 2021. The challenges are immense, including social deprivation, continued influence of paramilitary organisations, endemic suicide and associated mental health problems, and a political pessimism. The fear that exists within communities is equally as real in terms of a loss of identity and culture, as is the feeling of disenfranchisement from any form of institution, including the Church. But in this context lie immense opportunities for local congregations and people of faith to bring gospel hope. Trust must be earned and relationships must be built, requiring a posture of humility and an attitude of listening and seeking to understand. The place of uniformed organisations within congregations was championed as a positive opportunity to engage with children, young people and their families, often providing a safe space for engagement and interaction, alongside positive role models. Themes emerging from this conversation included the importance for those working in PUL communities of being seen, heard and supported within PCI; of empowering local church leadership and elders; connecting with, and listening to, the local community; recognising that demographic changes are occurring throughout NI, as is the

narrative around future/changing relationships north/south, east/west, that simply cannot be ignored. On 16 March 2022 a small group of young adults gathered to share their perspectives, including Stephanie Houston, children’s ministry associate at High Kirk; James Boyd, an elder in First Armagh; and Dr Barbara McDade from Stranmillis University College. One key message is that the cost of living crisis and financial circumstances are having a more immediate impact on the thinking of young adults today, rather than the constitutional question. Short-term contracts and rising costs significantly impact the ability of young people to become financially independent and move out of the family home. Social media use, prevalent across that generation, creates an expectation of instantaneous actions and results whilst also precipitating a sense of boredom and dissatisfaction. More widely there is disillusionment with institutions, including the Church, with a sense of diminishing loyalty amongst young people to PCI as a denomination. Violence on the streets which accompanied opposition to NI Protocol in spring 2021 acted as a discouragement to young people to engage seriously with the issues. The role of the Orange Order, particularly in rural communities, in terms of providing opportunities for young people was acknowledged. A challenge was laid down in a comment that suggested young adults need something that will help them understand and navigate the increasingly contested public square through the lens of Christian witness and worship. Former MLA, and outgoing chair

of the Ulster Unionist Party, Danny Kennedy, was joined by Councillor David Maxwell (Fine Gael, Monaghan County Council) and Ruth Garvey-Williams (editor, Vox magazine) in the Monaghan Market House at the end of April, where the focus of the conversation turned to border communities. There is a clear difference between the lived experience of southern Protestants and those that lived on the northern side of the border over the past 50 years, but the issues that have been raised by the decision of the UK to leave the EU, and the subsequent Protocol agreement are significant. Recognising the need for pragmatism in politics, caution was urged in relation to dealing with and remembering the past with sensitivity. While the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement was not perfect, some of the

It is important to ensure that ‘reconciliation’ is not simply the purview of ‘nice middle class’ people.

hope that was generated around the time of its signing has been squandered and it will be difficult to recapture this spirit. A key question emerging from this event was the need to re-humanise the conversation, presenting a different posture to the prevailing lack of civility in political discourse. It is important to ensure that ‘reconciliation’ is not simply the purview of ‘nice middle class’ people. It must be something that is accessible to all. Crucially however, it is important not to confuse political reconciliation with gospel reconciliation, and the gospel message of hope is something unique that Christian people can bring to these conversations. There is one more seminar to come, which will take place in Union Theological College, where it all began, just as this edition of the Herald is going to print. Asking the question, ‘What Next?’, the listening and learning from each of these engagements will be presented to key listeners and decision makers within the denomination. This is only the beginning of a conversation, one which may make us uncomfortable, and may ask us, in the words of the psalmist, to ‘search our own hearts’. But it is a vital conversation to engage in if we are to begin to better understand ourselves and our place on this island we all call home. As geo-political dynamics around us shift, our call to culture and the communities in which we live, work and witness remains the same: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Karen Jardine is PCI’s Public Affairs Officer.

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Unless otherwise stated all resources are available from your local Faith Mission Bookshop or online

With All Your Mind: Autism and the church Erin Burnett

Hymn of Heaven Phil Wickham FAIRTRADE SERVICES



Phil Wickham is a singer/ songwriter well known for his contribution to raising the banner of hearts full of praise in acknowledgement of who Jesus is – our Redeemer and Lord. His 10th studio album, Hymn of Heaven, has a title track loaded with inspiration aimed at making God’s kingdom evident to others in our everyday lifestyle of faith. As Wickham sings of our hope of eternity to be spent worshipping God, he explains, “The song is about bringing heaven to this moment with the way we act, the way we speak, and the way we live. It’s letting Jesus be the King in his rule.” The Kingship of Christ is echoed in His Name is Jesus which asserts “Name another King like this…Who is this King?…There’s never been a King like this.” It is an album comprised of lyrics which focuses our thankfulness through lifting up the name of Jesus in recognition, and reverence, of him as Lord of all. Songs such as It’s Always Been You and Reason I Sing have been created for reaffirming our commitment to being identified with Jesus, as his followers, and carrying out our mandate to make disciples in his resurrection power – and name. This is soothe listening interspersed with upbeat tempos like Battle Belongs, House of the Lord and God of Revival. Whatever your preference of musical beat may be, this undoubtedly is a compilation of songs to help us “Sing to God, sing in praise of his name”, as written in Psalm 68:4. RF


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This small, yet mighty, book, based on the author’s own story, and stories of others, offers a deep and personal insight into autism and more specifically, ways that churches can be more welcoming and accommodating for autistic people. I say small and mighty because it is 57 pages long, but each page is filled with heartfelt wisdom for readers to learn from. Absolutely, we come away with a good understanding of what autism is, but we are also offered an opportunity to explore how autistic people may view the Christian faith in a way that differs from ‘the norm’ and how we need to ensure that autistic people in our churches are included. Indeed, the entire book points to the instruction that we, as Christians, have been given: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27). Chapter two is dedicated to what the Bible teaches us about inclusion. There are numerous references for further reading and learning throughout the book, from people such as: Lamar Hardwick, ‘the autism pastor’; Eileen Lamb who runs a website called The Autism Café; and, of course, Grant Macaskill’s book Autism and the Church. I would love to read more from Burnett in the future. I think she has a wealth of knowledge and insight to share and for us to learn from. The challenge for us, is to put into practice the heartfelt recommendations found in this powerful little book. CS

Thinking About Abortion: Where do we begin? Ben and Valentina CadouxHudson, Dr Chris Richards EVANGELICAL PRESS



With significant changes in legislation across the island of Ireland, and the high-profile leak of the US Supreme Court’s decision to make changes to the Roe vs Wade judgement, it can feel like abortion is never out of the headlines. This book is a timely resource for Christians who want to approach this subject thoughtfully and prayerfully, but also practically. The authors bring their professional and personal experiences to bear, moving this sensitive issue from an abstract consideration to a compassionate and considerate response. Ben (a church pastor) and Valentina Cadoux-Hudson share their story of giving birth to a muchloved son with a pre-natal diagnosis of severe disability, while Dr Chris Richards (a Presbyterian elder) is a consultant paediatrician. The book has three sections, relating the issue of abortion to the current culture, and then to the Bible before connecting these two together for practical application. The story of Laura, who found herself pregnant, had an abortion, and later went on a journey of recovery, is woven throughout to help ground theoretical concepts in lived-experience. The authors present complex concepts in an accessible way, signposting to plenty of additional resources. Those that read this book will finish it not only better informed but also equipped to respond in a way which brings the grace and truth of Christ to bear on this sensitive subject which touches the lives of many. KJ


KJ – Karen Jardine is PCI’s Public Affairs Officer SH – Suzanne Hamilton is an administrative officer for the Herald

Hope from the Margins: Church history informing mission today Dr Laurence Graham INDEPENDENTLY PUBLISHED



Dr Laurence Graham is a former President of the Methodist Church. He has served mainly in the south and west of Ireland and most recently as a minister and church-planter in innercity Dublin. This book is concerned about mission, and is a version of his PhD at Queen’s, now entitled ‘Hope from the margins’. Starting with the New Testament and Christ’s clear command to his disciples to tell others about him, it traces the story of the church through times of persecution up to the conversion of the Emperor Constantine. It explores the growing power and influence of the church in the era we now call ‘Christendom’ and the attendant perils it posed. There follows a selective account of how the gospel spread to far-flung corners of the world, including Ireland and Scotland, and the part Irish missionaries played in bringing people to faith in Christ. The final chapters examine mission in our world today where we have seen a collapse in the Christendom model of church power, prestige and influence to something more akin to New Testament times. In the final chapter, entitled ‘From the margins’, the author draws from his own missional experience to illustrate challenges and possibilities Christ gives us today. This book is of huge relevance and importance and we should thank the author for its sound learning and for its challenge and encouragement. GB

CS – Clare Smith is a psychotherapist and member of West Church, Bangor JC – Joy Conkey is librarian at Union Theological College GB – Dr Godfrey Brown is a former Moderator RF – Renée Finnegan is an administrative officer for the Herald

Lion Elevation Worship




This latest offering from Elevation Worship is an eclectic mix of highenergy rock ballads and quieter songs of personal devotion. It is apt that the music in this album contains such contrast, especially when you consider that the album is called Lion, yet the cover picture is of a lamb – reflecting both the contradicting power and gentleness of Christ. Speaking of the album, the band says,

Iron Sharpens Iron Michael A.G. Haykin UNION PUBLISHING



This thought-provoking book stands in stark contrast to common views of friendship in today’s social media dominated, superficial world. Haykin examines the friendships of 18thcentury pastor-theologians Andrew Fuller and John Ryland to show that friends can be a vital means of grace in the Christian life, encouraging holiness and growth in Christ-likeness.

“There’s a lyric in the song Lion that sings ‘Like a lamb you suffered, but the lion has arose’. Thank God for Jesus! Who did the unexpected when he took hell’s keys, not with a forceful militant attack, but through his own crucifixion. The Lion conquered by suffering as the sacrificial lamb.” The strong drum beat and catchy lyrics of this track ensures this is bound to become a favourite. Lion is in complete contrast with the album opener, Bye Bye Babylon, with its indie-folk vibe. One of my favourites is the toetappingly good What I See, featuring Chris Brown. This energetic track is a call to see how the resurrected Christ is still at work: “Come alive, wake up sleeper. He is risen. We are risen with him. Paradise flung wide open.” The band writes, “We pray this album finds you on good days and bad ones. On mountains and in valleys. With such a mix throughout the 15 tracks, there is always going to be a song to match your mood, and bring your thoughts back to praising the glory of God. SH

After providing an overview of friendship in the West, Haykin discusses friendship in the Bible, then identifies some well-known Christian friends from church history. After introducing Fuller and Ryland, including some of the theological controversies they were involved in, Haykin examines a number of their friendships. He begins with Ryland’s friendship with John Newton, an older Christian who was like a mentor. Haykin also includes details of how Fuller’s friendship with Edward Sharman was respectfully ended due to Sharman’s Socinian beliefs. Fuller and Ryland were purposeful in their friendships, making the effort to discuss the things of God, pray, read, and fast together. Clearly there are definite benefits to godly friendships. Although no practical steps instructing readers about how to make and maintain Christian friendships are given, a list of further reading includes books which apply the principles demonstrated by Haykin. JC

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100th birthday in Trinity Boardmills Frankie Fox, an elder of Trinity Boardmills in County Down, has celebrated his 100th birthday. He is pictured with his wife Anna, Rev R. Patton, then Moderator Dr David Bruce, George Hanna as well as Adrian and Angela Patterson.

100th birthday in Craigy Hill Lily Thompson, a member of Craigy Hill Presbyterian, celebrated her 100th birthday recently. She is pictured with the then Moderator Dr David Bruce, Zoë Bruce and Rev Ben Preston (minister of the Larne church).

Installation in Killyleagh Quilts travel from Urney to Zambia A cross-community craft group based in Urney Presbyterian Church has donated quilts to be used by children in Zambia. The donation of the quilts is the result of innovative thinking when the initial project, started six years before, failed to materialise. In 2016 the 2 O’Clock Club started to join hexagons together to make The NI Big Sock to be entered for the Guinness Book of World Records. This was a Northern Ireland-wide project but unfortunately it was not completed and the crafters were left with approximately 14 metres by 10 metres of patchwork. The Urney Crafters subsequently decided to make quilts of varying sizes to use up the material, hoping that they would eventually be used in a deserving cause. After much searching for an outlet, they contacted Gareth Hayes from Hope DropInn, Newtowncunningham in Co Donegal, who said they would gladly accept the quilts for a young girls’ home in Lusaka, Zambia, which they had officially opened the day before. Wonderful timing! They then met with Pastor Gareth and Pastor Elijah, who run Hope Mission in Lusaka, who spoke of the work they are undertaking and how they are also supporting children in a Street Orphan programme called Hope Mission Zambia, providing food, shelter and pastoral support. The group was delighted to be able to present 20 quilts to Gareth and Elijah, who assured everyone that the quilts would be taken to Zambia as soon as possible and given to the young girls as their own personal quilts. This was a wonderful outcome for all concerned.


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Rev Jonathan Boyd (centre) has been installed as the new minister of Killyleagh Presbyterian Church, the first person since 1831 called to lead a united Presbyterian church in the Co Down town. Pictured along with Mr Boyd are Rev Nick Cooper (moderator of Down Presbytery) and Graham Furey (clerk of session).

Presentation at The Mall, Armagh Billy Scott and Lord Kilclooney were presented with gifts from the congregation of The Mall, Armagh, to mark 50 years from their ordination as ruling elders in the congregation. They were ordained on 7 May 1972, and continue to serve in the congregation to this day. They are pictured with clerk of session Colin Berry, and minister Rev Peter Gamble.

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Retirement in New Row Birthday milestone in Drogheda Then Moderator, Dr David Bruce, sent a 100th birthday card to one of Drogheda Presbyterian’s honorary members. Whilst officially Church of Ireland, Maud Keery has attended and supported Drogheda Presbyterian for many years. Pre-Covid, she attended three out of four Sundays and was an encouragement to all, young and old. Drogheda minister Rev Damien Burke is pictured presenting the Moderator’s card to Mrs Keery at her birthday party lunch.

Rev Robert McMullan and his wife Christine recently attended a farewell afternoon given by the congregation to mark his retirement after 23 years of ministry in New Row Presbyterian Church, Coleraine. Pictured are: Ruth Cochrane, Adrian Cochrane (clerk of session), Mr McMullan, Mrs McMullan, Dr Rob Craig (pastoral assistant) and Rosie Dickie (church worker).

Retirements in Ballyblack New elders in Arklow The ordination of Pauline Canavan and Paddy Fortune into the eldership in Arklow, Co Wicklow took place recently. Pictured are: Ms Canavan, Rev Michael Anderson (minister of Arklow), Rev Gary McDowell (moderator of presbytery), Mr Fortune, Margaret McKenna (acting clerk) and Rev Lorraine Kennedy-Ritchie.

Ballyblack Presbyterian Church recently presented gifts to two longstanding elders on their retirement. Adelaide Rankin and John A. Rankin OBE had served for a term of 26 years and 37 years respectively. Gifts and certificates were presented by Rev Andras Gilicze assisted by Alex Warden (clerk of session). The minister emeritus of the County Down congregation, Rev William Haslett, also took part in the service. Pictured are: Mr Gilicze, Mr Rankin, Mr Warden, Mrs Rankin and Mr Haslett.

New communicants in Edenderry Sixteen people have declared their faith, taking their first Communion and becoming full members of Edenderry Presbyterian Church, outside Omagh. Pictured in the front row are: Amy Ruthledge, Kathryn Bingham, Catherine Fyffe, Alex Mitchell, Sarah Hamilton and Natalie Pinkerton. Second row: David Pinkerton, Ellie McIvor, Jessica Hawkes, Ryan Mitchell and Jake Ruthledge. Back row: Lewis McIvor, Lewis Moody, Ryan Hawkes, Rev Bobby Orr (minister of the County Tyrone church), Jamie and Robbie Mitchell.

Herald July/August 2022



New elders in Cloughwater Presentation in Adelaide Road Stuart Ferguson, clerk of Dublin and Munster Presbytery, has been presented with a ceramic photo of Adelaide Road Presbyterian – the Dublin church he was a member of for over 50 years, serving as elder, treasurer and administrator. He is now a member of Arklow.

Hall dedicated in Clontribret The newly refurbished and extended church hall at Clontibret (Braddox) was recently reopened and dedicated to God by the then Moderator Dr David Bruce. Pictured are: Rev David Hagan (minister of Clontibret), Rev Noel McClean (former minister of the Co Monaghan church), Dr Bruce, Ross Gray (clerk of session), Christopher Gray (building contractor) and Rev Jonathan Porter (moderator of presbytery).

David Galbraith, Andrew Mauger and Stephen Simpson have been ordained and installed by Ballymena Presbytery as ruling elders in Cloughwater Presbyterian Church. They are pictured in the front row with Rev Brian Smyth (moderator of presbytery) and Rev Joseph Andrews (clerk of presbytery). Back row: Rev Alistair McCracken (minister of the County Antrim church), Ivan Davison, Rev Daniel Kane, Rev Darran McCorriston and John Wright.

First Castleblayney and Frankford presentations Presentations were made recently to three leaders of the youth fellowship and youth club in First Castleblayney and Frankford, in recognition of their dedicated service over several years. Pictured are: D. Holmes-Greer (clerk of session, First Castleblayney), Dr Stuart Henderson (leader), Dr G. Clinton (vacancy convener for the County Monaghan churches), Louise Henderson (leader), William McBride (leader), and T. McBirney (clerk of session, Frankford).

Brigader Brooches in Granshaw A number of girls received their Brigader Brooches at Granshaw Presbyterian Church’s GB display. Pictured receiving their brooch from a parent are: Katie Crothers, Lois Love, Beth Boyd, Katie Clugston and Alethea Hamilton.


Herald July/August 2022

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New elders ordained in Loughbrickland

Nine sensory lighting units have been presented to Blossom Children’s Ward at Craigavon Area Hospital by Anaghlone PW. The gift was enabled by a retiring offering after the PW service at the County Down church. Pictured with nursing staff is Christine Martin, from Anaghlone PW.

Three new elders have been ordained and installed at a special service held in Loughbrickland Presbyterian Church. Pictured in the front row are: Kenneth Quinn (elder in Scarva Street), Robert Baird, Caroline Ledlie and Edgar Patterson (the three new elders in Loughbrickland) and Jim Potts (elder in Anaghlone). Back row: Rev Brian Martin (minister of Garvaghy and Anaghlone), Rev Colin Harris (moderator of Iveagh Presbytery), Rev Gordon Best (clerk of Iveagh Presbytery), Rev Patricia McBride (minister of the County Down congregation), Rev Mark Gray (Bannside minister) and Freddie Cairns (Loughbrickland clerk of session).

First Ballymena retirement

Castlederg retirement

Rev William Sinclair recently retired after almost 16 years of faithful ministry in First Ballymena Presbyterian Church. He was presented with a gift from the congregation by the clerk of session Tom Heaney. Mr Sinclair and his wife Alison are pictured with Mr Heaney and Barbara Heaney.

Dr Patricia Hale has retired as Cradle Roll secretary at First Castlederg after 20 years’ service. She is pictured receiving a gift from Rev Robert Orr (minister of the County Tyrone church) and Lavinia Nelson, the new secretary.

Anaghlone light presentation

New elders for Armagh Road Presbyterian Church, Portadown Four new elders have been ordained and installed in Armagh Road Presbyterian Church, Portadown. Ruth Stirling, Irene Bowman, Dawn Conner and Nigel Conner are pictured in the front row along with Rev Christina Bradley (minister). Pictured in the back row are: Dr Tony Davidson (convenor of presbytery commission), Sadie Somerville, Adrian McMullan, Tom Savage, Rev Philip McClelland, Rev Peter Gamble (clerk of presbytery) and Rev Graham Mullan (moderator of presbytery).

Herald July/August 2022



100th birthday celebrations for Mosside member

100th birthday in Drumbo Anne Campbell, a member of Drumbo Presbyterian, celebrated her 100th birthday recently. Mrs Campbell, who still attends morning worship in the County Antrim church every Sunday, is pictured with then Moderator Dr David Bruce and Drumbo minister Rev Adrian McLernon.

Kathleen Hodges, a long-standing member of Mosside Presbyterian Church, celebrated her 100th birthday recently. Then PCI Moderator, Dr David Bruce, and his wife Zoë were present to celebrate the occasion, alongside family members. Due to a recent illness, Mrs Hodges was an inpatient in the Causeway Hospital, but that did not stop the celebrations. Thanks go to the ward and kitchen staff in the Causeway Hospital and to all involved in making this day one to remember.

CROSSWORD Puzzle no 270 1


solution on page 50 3










15 17



16 18








26 27


compiled by Harry Douglas


Herald July/August 2022

ACROSS DOWN 1 A flying boot? (10) 1 Serving at tables (11) 2 State of poor health (7) 7 Lazy biblical blooms? (6) 3 Male deer (7) 8 Papal envoy (6) 4 Biblical desert (5) 9 A state of unfairness (10) 5 Female farm animal (5,4) 10 Type of fuel (3) 6 Doubting disciple (6) 12 Monarchies (8) 11 The lack of (7) 15 This could be a killer (initials) (2) 13 Home area of Jesus (7) 17 Fish eating bird (6) 14 Go here for a relaxing day out (3) 20 There is no ‘I’ in this (4) 16 Fiercely enthusiastic (6) 23 Requirement (4) 18 An energetic school subject 24 You would burn these off in 18 (initials) (2) down (8) 19 Sailing boat (5) 26 Someone to look up to (4) 21 OT priest (3) 27 It’s on the front of a book (5) 22 He was in 4 down for a long time 28 Definitely not a hit (4) (5) 25 Deliberately crash into (3)


The preacher... on lifestyle David Clarke Themes in Ecclesiastes

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Ecclesiastes 9:10

while they live” (v3). A celebrated criminal lawyer may have been overstating the matter when he observed, “There is in the heart of the worst criminal a secret garden, a kind of shining ur generation has spawned a host of new professions, individual paradise. And there is in the heart of the most honest from personal trainers, to sports psychologists man a cesspool filled with hideous reptiles.” Yet the Bible points and life-coaches. When a young man approached us to our corrupt and fallen nature. Luther remarked that we Socrates, 400 years BC, asking for guidance on life, are ‘Incurvatus in se’ (curved in upon ourselves). We are made he was given the famous answer, “Consult one who has lived”. of crooked timber. John Calvin remarked that even in every Our author had lived, and pondered long on life’s lessons. Christian there is something reprehensible. Before proffering some lifestyle hints, he states, “I reflected on Live with hope. “Anyone who is among the living has hope all this” (9:1). – even a live dog is better than a dead lion” (v4). This Arab Remember the hand of God. “The righteous and the wise proverb reminds us that even the ‘king of beasts’ is inferior and what they do are in God’s hands” to a feral dog, because the latter still has (v1). Some question whether this book life. Hope, as William Barclay noted, is …the supreme motive ought to be in the Bible, since there is “characteristically the Christian virtue”, little ‘good news’ in it. Others note how he for diligence in this life is which along with faith and love form the seems to recommend a hedonistic lifestyle: because beyond it there three pillars of the faith. “Nothing is better for a man than to eat Put on a happy face. “Eat your food is eternal life. and drink and be glad” (8:15). But the with gladness...always be clothed in white, worldly-wise mask slips from time to time. and always anoint your head with oil” (v7). On four occasions the phrase “this is from the hand of God” The white garment and the oil were signs of rejoicing. Daily, occurs. The young are encouraged to “remember their creator” we have to “put on a face to meet the faces that we meet,” as (12:1) and the menace of judgment is not ignored (12:14). T.S. Eliot put it. Much better to spread sunshine than gloom. We are not at the mercy of cruel fate. Life is not “a long Besides, less muscles are employed when smiling as opposed to fool’s errand to the grave.” The God of the Scriptures is one of scowling. Let it be said of us, as a Boston newspaper once said compassion and tender mercy, whom Jesus encouraged us to call of Bishop Phillips Brooks, “It was a dull, rainy day, when things ‘Father’. That is not to suggest that all will be well in the best of looked dark and lowering, but Phillips Brooks came down all possible worlds, since “no man knows whether love or hate through Newspaper Row and all was bright.” awaits him” (v1). The person of faith lives with uncertainty but Always do your best. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it still can say, with a great covenanting preacher, “I sleep upon the with all your might” (v10). This call to make the most of this life pillow of his omnipotence, and I am content.” assumes there is nothing beyond it, “for in the grave where you Face the inevitability of death. “All share a common are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge destiny…the same destiny overtakes all” (v2). Many jest about nor wisdom.” Certainly, “The night is coming when no man can death, following the film director Woody Allen who quipped, work” ( John 9:4); but the supreme motive for diligence in this “It’s not that I’m afraid to die, it’s just that I don’t want to life is because beyond it there is eternal life. It was that motive be there when it happens.” Death is not just democratic, that led the valiant Henry Martyn, facing a terminal illness, to unavoidable for us all, but also discourteous, often bashing in remark, “Now let me burn out for God”. when least expected. The observation in the Jewish Talmud that, “Man is born with hands clenched; he dies with them Very Rev Dr David Clarke is a former PCI Moderator and minister wide open. Entering life, he desires to grasp everything; leaving emeritus of Terrace Row Presbyterian Church, Coleraine. the world, all he possessed has slipped away,” ought to rebuke our acquisitive spirit, and the pride with which we strut upon life’s stage. Samuel Rutherford would frequently advise his correspondents, “Forefancy your deathbed”. Confront the evil in your heart. “The hearts of men moreover, are full of evil, and there is madness in their hearts


Herald July/August 2022


Markethill Presbyterian Church is seeking to appoint a suitably gifted, passionate and enthusiastic

Youth and Community Worker To engage with the youth and young adults within our church in a creative way so that they will come to know that Jesus is the way and the truth for their lives and will commit to following Him. To work within our local community and build relationship with individuals and groups who may have little or no connection with any church.

MINISTRY SUPPORT & DEVELOPMENT WORKER Full-time (37½ hrs/wk) 3-year contract Salary: PCI APP Band B post, starting at £24,307 (+ pension plan) This unique opportunity will attract a dynamic, experienced and spiritually mature person ready for a fresh, varied and challenging role as a key member of a ministry team seeking to implement an unashamedly ambitious and intentional mission plan based on thorough planning and effective communication strategies.

Salary: £24,307 to £28,527 (PCI Band B) (37.5hrs / week which may include evenings and weekends)

The nature of this post will require evening and weekend work.

If you would like more information about this exciting opportunity, please contact

Obtain a full job description and application form from the congregational website or from:

A job description and application form can be obtained by email from Closing date for application is 30 July 2022

The Rev Dr Colin D. McClure The Manse 5 Whitla’s Brae, LARNE BT40 3BY Tel. 07984 030881

The position is a full-time permanent role.

Closing date for applications is 5pm 31 August 2022

Trinity Presbyterian Church, Ballymoney seeks to appoint a

Musical Director FAMILY SUPPORT WORKER (20 hrs per week)

Bannside Presbyterian Church is looking for someone who will assist the Minister and Kirk Session in the development of youth and family ministries within the congregation. For further details, job description and application form please contact: Rev Dr Mark Gray 1, Old Rectory Park Banbridge BT32 4QA or email


Herald July/August 2022

– to lead and coordinate music – – encourage a multi-generational music ministry – – continue to develop the Choir and Praise Group – Applicants must be willing to work within the Christian ethos of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. This is a part-time role, with working hours usually on a Sunday, however these may vary depending on the needs of the Church. Salary of £5,000 per annum. For the full job description and application form please contact: Clerk of Session Mr W.R. Quinn, 48 Newal Road, Ballymoney, BT53 6HE Email: Telephone: 02827663136/ 07831831175


The garden

Ruth Sanderson


am not a gardener. I like gardens, I can admire them; I to shaded parts of the garden. He stopped mowing the lawn, enjoy sitting in them (preferably with a glass of something instead, strimming paths through ever lengthening grasses. cold on a hot day). I have always seen them as extensions He lifted up paving stones to do away with the tidy pathways of our houses, a green living room in which to tan or have down either side of the garden. He broadcast wildflower seed a barbeque. But I couldn’t have told you one end of a flower everywhere. from the other. I once dug up some courgettes to see where the The garden looked like a bomb had gone off. “Have faith!” vegetable was – little did I know they weren’t a root vegetable. I he’d say, looking at my ashen face, “You’ll see – it’ll be great!” had never mown a lawn or planted a shrub, never pulled a weed To say I was skeptical was an understatement. I just couldn’t out or even really come in to contact with a wheelbarrow – understand why he had taken our neat, perfectly lovely garden, until, that is, I met my husband. which had been carefully manicured over the years, and turn it The first time I was brought back to ‘meet the parents’, I into what looked like a straggled bit of wasteland. The problem was wowed by my future mother-in-law’s amazing kitchen was, he had the vision and I didn’t. garden. She grew everything. Onions, kale, asparagus, tomatoes, Little by little, shoots started to appear in the areas where radishes, peppers, beetroots, cucumbers, beans – you name it, there was once concrete path. New plants started to emerge in there was rich abundance in almost every the places which had been shaded out by season. That night at dinner we enjoyed the …sometimes we fail to trees. Little by little the straggly grasses salads and vegetables which had only half filled out and other tall flowers began to see God’s plan in the an hour before still been in the ground, emerge. metres from our plates. This morning, in the early sunshine, gardens of our lives. Growing up surrounded by that I wandered down the winding mown obviously rubbed off on my husband. path and my breath caught in my chest. I Although, to say he is a gardener is a bit of a misnomer. It’s like was surrounded by oxeye daisies, fox and cubs, tall lupins and comparing an astronaut to a hang-glider. He is a plant scientist foxglove. Irises popped their heads above the lilac frothing and now runs a botanic garden. He is less of the opinion that grasses and day lilies swayed in magnificent splashes of yellow. gardens are nice things to be tamed and enjoyed on our terms, Hollyhocks are about to burst open and the wild sweet pea and more that they are exciting, dynamic ecosystems and that which has climbed everywhere is a giant seething mass of there is no such thing as a weed. He likes to see how plants magenta. The very best thing though, was the sound. The whole react and evolve over time and circumstance – which means place buzzed with bees and insects, a dragonfly flitted past and almost no mowing and certainly no weeding! butterflies went from bud to bud. Little birds filled the garden When we moved to our new house, we inherited with it, a with melodious song as they feasted on insects. It was more neat, well-ordered garden, clearly much loved and much looked beautiful than I could ever have imagined it would be. It was after throughout the preceding decades. There was a formal alive, not just with flora but all the tiny creatures who called it lawn, borders of shrubs and perennials. I thought it was great – their home. low maintenance and tidy! However, my other half had different It reminded me that sometimes we fail to see God’s plan in ideas. We spent the first year discovering all the hidden bulbs the gardens of our lives. We want neat borders and predictable which would sprout up through the year. First came the bulbs. We pull up what falls outside of our self-imposed borders snowdrops, then the hyacinths, then daffodils and primroses, and order it just as we would like. We panic when things fall tulips and poppies, irises, day lilies, hydrangea. Great! I thought, into seeming chaos. But be reassured, God’s plan for our lives the status quo is pretty lovely – no need to do much. Yet, I is always so much better, far more beautiful and alive than we should have known my husband. He dug up parts of the garden could predict if it was left solely up to us. Sometimes we need to to make it rise and fall in undulations leaving great mounds of trust in the gardener, the one with the true vision, who wants to earth in the middle of the lawn… He bought a chainsaw and make us more beautiful and alive than ever before. slashed away most of the well-established shrub beds, cut down a couple of trees which had canker, letting streams of light in

Herald July/August 2022


CHURCH RECORD VACANT CONGREGATIONS, MODERATORS AND CLERKS OF KIRK SESSIONS (Information supplied by Clerks of Presbyteries, Conveners of Assembly Commissions and Councils).


Application forms are available on request from the Clerk’s Office or may be downloaded from the PCI website. BALLYGRAINEY: REV R.S. HAMILTON: Mr Brian McDowell, 263 Killaughey Road, Ballyhay, Donaghadee, BT21 0ND.

RATHFRILAND, FIRST: REV C.G. HARRIS: Mr David Scott, 13 Sleepy Valley, Rathfriland, Newry, BT34 5HL.

BALLYRONEY and DRUMLEE: (Reviewable Tenure – 7 years) REV A.M. BORELAND: (Ballyroney) Mr David Peters, 30 Seafin Road, Ballyroney, Banbridge, BT32 5ER. (Drumlee) Mr Graham Truesdale, 128 Lackan Road, Ballyward, Castlewellan, BT31 9RX.

TOBERKEIGH and RAMOAN: REV JOHN STANBRIDGE: (Toberkeigh) Mr Jim Kane, 67A Ballinlea Road, Ballinlea Upper, Ballycastle, BT54 6NN. (Ramoan) Mr Robert Getty, 23 Carrowcroey Road, Armoy, Ballymoney, BT53 8UH.



BELMONT: REV T.J. STOTHERS: Mr Christopher Steele, 1 Hawthornden Drive, Belfast, BT4 2HG. BURT and INCH (Home Mission): REV JAMES LAMONT: Mr James Buchanan, Heathfield, Speenoge, Burt, Co Donegal, F93 W3K6. CARRICKFERGUS, JOYMOUNT: REV G.A.J. FARQUHAR: Mr Stephen Drake, 8 Bluefield Way, Carrickfergus, BT38 7UB. CARNMONEY: REV P.G. McCREA: Mr Paul Elliott, 52b Connor Road, Parkgate, BT39 OEA. CASTLEBLAYNEY FIRST, CORVALLY (Home Mission) & FRANKFORD: (Parttime (60%); Reviewable Tenure – 7 Years) REV DR G.W. CLINTON: (Castleblayney, First) Mrs Daphne Holmes-Greer, Tighnabruaich, Killygola, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan. (Frankford) Mr Thomas McBirney, Mulladuff, Newtownhamilton, Newry, BT35 0LG. (Corvally) Mr Fred Eakin, Sreenty, Corduff, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan.

CLADYMORE and TASSAGH: REV R.I. ABRAHAM: (Cladymore) Mr David Wilson, 73 Kilmachugh Road, Mowhan, Armagh, BT60 2EN. (Tassagh) Mr Philip Crozier, 68 Bachelors Walk, Keady, Armagh, BT60 2NA. DROMORE and DRUMQUIN: REV E.T. FRAZER: (Dromore) Mr Lynden Keys, 25 New Park Road, Dromore, Omagh, BT78 3JU. (Drumquin) Dr Paul Booth, 231 Tummery Road, Irvinestown, BT78 3UF. GORTNESSY: REV A.J.A. ROSBOROUGH: Mr Ross Hyndman, 32 Temple Road, Strathfoyle, Londonderry, BT47 6UB. RICHVIEW: REV N.S. HARRISON: Mr Victor Garland, 25 Abingdon Drive, Belfast, BT12 5PX.


DUNFANAGHY and CARRIGART: (Home Mission) 50% Congregational Ministry, 50% CMI Mission Project REV DR BRIAN BROWN: (Dunfanaghy) Mrs Ethel Montgomery, ‘Millrace’, Marble Hill Road, Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal, F92 N2WO. (Carrigart) Mrs Joy Buchanan, Figart, Carrigart, Co Donegal, F92 N2WO.

BOVEEDY: REV DR T.J. McCORMICK, Minister of 1st Kilrea.

DUN LAOGHAIRE: (Reviewable Tenure – 7 years) REV A.J. DUNLOP: Mrs Dorothy Shanahan, 1 Holmwood, Brennanstown, Cabinteely, D18 T2T5.

KATESBRIDGE: REV N.J. KANE, Minister of Magherally.

GARVAGH, MAIN ST and KILLAIG: REV DREWE McCONNELL: (Garvagh, Main St) Mr Alan Farlow, 39 Ballynameen Road, Garvagh, BT51 5PN. (Killaig) Mr Ivan McKane, 27 Cashel Road, Macosquin, Coleraine, BT51 4PW. GLENWHERRY: REV S.D. KENNEDY: Mr Andrew Hoey, 49 Ballynulto Road, Ballymena, BT42 4RJ. GREYSTONE ROAD, ANTRIM: REV STEPHEN SIMPSON: Mr James Warwick, 3 Dunsilly Road, Antrim, BT41 2JH. KILLEAD and LOANENDS: REV D.J. STEELE: (Killead) Mr Tom Lewis, 65 Ballyrobin Road, Antrim, BT41 4TF. (Loanends) Mr Peter Leitch, 212 Belfast Road, Antrim, BT41 2EY. KILRAUGHTS, FIRST and ARMOY: REV R.M. MURRAY: (Kilraughts, First) Mr Maurice Christie, 10 Kilmandil Road, Dunloy, Ballymena, BT44 9BH. (Armoy) Mrs Heather Morrison, 82 Carrowreagh Road, Armoy, Ballymoney, BT53 8RS. LECKPATRICK and DONAGHEADY: REV S.J. RICHMOND: (Leckpatrick) Mr Sam Clyde, 36 Woodend Road, Strabane, BT82 8LF. (Donagheady) Mr Ernie Colhoun, 44 Lowertown Road, Ballymagorry, Strabane, BT82 OLF. LECUMPHER AND MAGHERAFELT, UNION ROAD: REV J.A. MARTIN: (Lecumpher) Mr Sammy Thompson, 10 Ballynagowan Road, Desertmartin, BT45 5LH. (Magherafelt, Union Road) Mr Ian Francis, 32 Caraloan Road, Magherafelt, BT45 6NW. MOUNTPOTTINGER: (Reviewable Tenure – 7 years) REV J.W. FRAZER: Mr Gordon McConnell, 247 Orby Drive, Belfast, BT5 6BE.


NEWMILLS and CARLAND: REV A.S. THOMPSON: (Newmills) Mr Roy Wilkins, 38 Dungannon Road, Coalisland, Dungannon, BT71 4HP. (Carland) Mr Howard McLean, 16 Ballynorthland Demesne, Dungannon Park, Dungannon, BT71 6BT.

Herald July/August 2022

CAHIR: (Home Mission) REV WILLIAM MONTGOMERY, Minister of Fermoy.

TYRONE’S DITCHES: REV J.K.A. McINTYRE, Minister of Bessbrook.

3. DECLARED VACANT BALLEE: REV D.A. McMILLAN: Mr John Quigley, 81 Queen’s Avenue, Magherafelt, BT45 6DB. BALLINA, KILLALA & BALLYMOTE: (Home Mission) REV D.J. CLARKE: Mr Geoffrey Shannon, Robin Hill, Carraun, Corballa, Ballina, Co Mayo, F26 A070. BALLYMENA, FIRST: REV N.A.L. CAMERON: Mr Tom Heaney, 109 Loughmegarry Road, Ballymena, BT43 6SP. BELLAGHY and KNOCKLOUGHRIM: REV J.B. MULLAN: (Bellaghy) Mr Harry Ferson, 12 Railway Terrace, Castledawson, Magherafelt, BT45 8AY. (Knockloughrim) Mr Wilbur Bownes, 10 Meadowell Fold, Westland Gardens, Magherafelt, BT45 5DP. BELVOIR: REV B.J. WALKER: Mr Brian Dunwoody, 19 Drumart Drive, Belfast, BT8 7ET. CASTLEROCK: REV D.H. BROWN: Miss Heather McSparran, 26 Freehall Road, Castlerock, BT51 4TR. COLERAINE, NEW ROW: REV R.D. GREGG: Mr Adrian Cochrane, 12 Cambridge Park, Coleraine, BT52 2QT. CRUMLIN: REV BEN JOHNSTON: Mr James Livingstone, “Edin”, 56 Largy Road, Crumlin, BT29 4RW.

Editor’s Note: Information for this page is supplied by the General Secretary’s Department. Vacancies for conveners of commissions, councils and committees of the General Assembly are online at CUMBER and UPPER CUMBER: REV S.W. HIBBERT: (Cumber) Mr Eric Christie, 43 Gorse Road, Killaloo, Londonderry, BT47 3SS. (Upper Cumber) Mr Jack McFarland, 12 Cregg Road, Claudy, Londonderry, BT47 4HX. DROMARA, SECOND: REV D.H. GILPIN: Mr Herbert Chambers, 29 Stewarts Road, Dromara, BT25 2AN. ENNISCORTHY and WEXFORD: (Home Mission) REV M.R.J. ANDERSON: (Enniscorthy) Mr Ian Gibson “Tanglewood”, Monart, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. (Wexford) c/o Mr Ian Gibson. FAHAN (Home Mission) and WATERSIDE: REV G.A. McCRACKEN: (Fahan) Mr James Lamberton, 1 Deanfield, Limavady Road, Londonderry, BT47 6HY. (Waterside) Mr William McIlwaine, 19 Glenaden Hill, Altnagelvin Park, Londonderry, BT47 2LJ. GLASTRY and KIRKCUBBIN: REV N.W. McAULEY: (Glastry): Mr Will Taylor, 43 Manse Road, Kircubbin, Newtownards BT22 1DR. (Kirkcubbin) HILLTOWN and CLONDUFF: REV KENNETH NELSON: (Hilltown) Mr John Ervine, 51 Rostrevor Road, Hilltown, Newry, BT34 5TZ. (Clonduff ) Mr Cecil Brown, 39 Bannfield Road, Rathfriland, Newry, BT34 5HG. HYDEPARK & LYLEHILL: REV C.K. McDOWELL: (Hydepark) Mrs Lynas Alexander, 22 Broadacres, Templepatrick, BT39 0AY. KELLS: (Home Mission) REV ALAN McQUADE: Ms Ruth McCartney, Shancarnan, Moynalty, Kells, Co Meath, A82 PF60. KILMAKEE: REV ROBERT LOVE: Miss Aileen Irvine, 5 Aberdelghy Park, Lambeg, Lisburn, BT27 4QF. KILREA, SECOND: REV DR CLIVE GLASS: Mr John McIlrath, 9 Moyagoney Road, Kilrea, Coleraine, BT51 5SX. LOWE MEMORIAL: REV DR D.J. McKELVEY: Dr Moyna Bill, 6 Old Coach Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6PY. MONEYDIG: REV DR S.D.H. WILLIAMSON: Mr Steven Torrens, 115a Agivey Road, Kilrea, Coleraine, BT51 5UZ. NEWINGTON: REV DR I.D. NEISH: Mr John Lynass, 8 Bushfoot Park, Portballintrae, BT57 8YX. NEWTOWNARDS, SECOND: REV DR W.J.P. BAILIE: Mr Ivan Patterson, 11 Heron Crescent, Newtownards, BT23 8WH. NEWTOWNARDS, REGENT STREET: REV P.T. DALZELL: Mr Ian MacDonald, 11 Stanvilla Road, Newtownards, BT23 8HE. PORTAVOGIE: REV G.J. SIMPSON: Mr Trevor Kennedy, 1 Cairndore Road, Newtownards, BT23 8RD.

Clerks of presbytery please note: Only material received by the General Secretary’s Department by 12 noon on the first Friday of the month can be included in the Church Record.

VINECASH: REV P.W.A. McCLELLAND: Mr Thomas Graham, 38 Richmount, Portadown, BT62 4JQ. WHITEHEAD: REV N.W. DUDDY: Ms Helen Graham, 4 Kilcarn, Islandmagee, BT40 3PJ.

TEMPORARY STATED SUPPLY ARRANGEMENT BALLYCAIRN: REV WILLIAM HARKNESS: Mr Brian Milligan, 19 Glenariff Drive, Dunmurry, BT17 9AZ. BELLVILLE: REV D.S. HENRY: Mr Mervyn King, 29 Ardmore Road, Derryadd, Lurgan, BT66 6QP. CARNLOUGH-CUSHENDALL and NEWTOWNCROMMELIN: REV J.A. BEATTIE: (Carnlough-Cushendall) Mr Norman McMullan, 91 Ballymena Road, Carnlough, BT44 0LA. (Newtowncrommelin) Mr James Gillan, 67 Gracefield, Ballymena, BT42 2RP. GRANGE with CRAIGMORE: REV R.S. AGNEW: Mr Jamie Harris, 32 Portglenone Road, Randalstown, BT41 3BE. NEWTOWNSTEWART and GORTIN (Home Mission): REV R.N. ORR: (Newtownstewart) Mr James Baxter, 22 Strabane Road, Newtownstewart, Omagh, BT78 4BD. (Gortin) Mr Adrian Adams, 32 Lisnaharney Road, Lislap, Omagh, BT79 7UE. RALOO and MAGHERAMORNE: REV D.R. CROMIE: (Raloo) Mr Geoff McBride, 72 Raloo Road, Larne, BT40 3DU. (Magheramorne) Mr Morris Gardner, 89 Ballypollard Road, Magheramorne, Larne, BT40 3JG. WARRENPOINT and ROSTREVOR: REV S.S. JOHNSTON: (Warrenpoint) Mr Denis Brady, 28 Seaview, Warrenpoint, Newry, BT34 3NJ. (Rostrevor) Mr Terry O’Flynn, 15 Aurora Na Mara, Shore Road, Rostrevor, BT34 3UP.

THE ELDERSHIP Ordained & Installed: AUGHNACLOY: David Samuel Bell, Paul Roland McClean, Edgar Leslie Mullan BALLYMAGRANE: Nigel William John Robinson, David Wilson BESSBROOK: Robert Carthill, James Neagle GARNERVILLE: Richard Cherry, Ossie McClean, Greig Mentiplay, Heather Woods LOUGHBRICKLAND: Robert Baird Caroline Ledlie, Edgar Patterson PORTADOWN, ARMAGH ROAD: Irene Bowman, Dawn Conner, Nigel Conner, Ruth Stirling SESKINORE: Margaret Joyce McCracken, Robert James Riddell, Shirley Anne Riddell Installed: GARNERVILLE: Annette Wright Died: BALLYMENA, FIRST: James McDowell GILLYGOOLEY: Beverley Fleming RAVENHILL: Don Kerr, Kirker Walker, Harry McKinney

RATHCOOLE: REV A.K. DUDDY: Mr Ken Neill, 307 Merville Garden Village, Newtownabbey, BT37 9TY.


SAINTFIELD, FIRST: REV B.A. SMALL: Mr Paul Jackson, 20 The Grange, Saintfield, BT24 7NF.

Ordained & Installed: Robert William McFaul, as Minister of Clogherney & Sixmilecross, on 20 May 2022

SPA and MAGHERAHAMLET: REV D.F. LEAL: (Spa) Acting Clerk – Mr Stephen McBride, 28 Ballynahinch Road, Castlewellan, BT31 9PA. (Magherahamlet) Mr David Whan, 74 Castlewellan Road, Dromara, BT25 2JN.

Installed: David Joseph Gray, as Minister of Cooke Centenary, on 15 May 2022

STRABANE and SION MILLS: REV COLIN McKIBBIN: (Strabane) Mr William Watson, 44 Orchard Road, Strabane, BT82 9QS. (Sion Mills) Mr Colin Campbell, 26 Albert Place, Sion Mills, Strabane, BT82 9HN.

Resigned: James Robert Burnett, as Minister of Lowe Memorial, on 29 May 2022 David Joseph Gray, as QUB, SUC & UTC Chaplain, on 14 May 2022


Herald July/August 2022



Please note: Adverts must be received in writing (email or post) by the first of the month preceding publication to guarantee inclusion. Adverts received after that date will be published if space permits. Advertising rates can be found on the website – – or telephone the Herald office on +44 (0)28 9032 2284 for more information.

Northern Ireland

PORTSTEWART: Excellent 3-bed house available April to August 2022 (3-minute walk to Promenade), NITB approved, no pets. Call 07803 184539.

PORTSTE WART: Excellent 4-bedroom cottage bungalow available June –S ept. Call 07513 826551, Email: pabloguy50@ Facebook : @ campbellandcorentalproperties

LUXURY 4-BEDROOM TOWNHOUSE available for holiday let in Portstewart. Sleeps 8 and is just a 2-minute walk to Promenade. Quiet location with parking. Enclosed back garden. WiFi available. No pets. Contact Sylvia 07515 712917.

NORTHERN IRELAND, NEWCASTLE, CO DOWN: 4-bedroom self-catering accommodation available for weekly lets (sleeps 8). Parking and large enclosed garden. 5-minute walk to beach and shops. No pets. 07810 883975.



PORTRUSH: Excellent 1-bed apartment (sea views) available high & low season, NITB Approved, no pets. Call 07803 184539.

CO DONEGAL: Afternoon Teas at Malin Presbyterian Church Hall, Co Donegal. Only on the following 4 Saturdays – July 23 /30 and August 6/13 from 2pm–5pm. Contact Helen 00353 86 0826386.

Ross Morrow A.L.C.M., L.T.C.L.

Piano Tuning Services available throughout Ireland

Tel: +44 (0)28 9268 9468 Mobile: 07788 746992

Janet Allen

Music Tutor

Teaches theory and piano Contact

+44 78078 98824

CROSSWORD Solution to No 270

ACROSS 1 Waitressing 7 Lilies 8 Nuncio 9 Inequality 10 Gas 12 Kingdoms 15 TB 17 Osprey 20 Team 23 Need 24 Calories 26 Icon 27 Title 28 Miss

DOWN 1 Wellington 2 Illness 3 Roebuck 4 Sinai 5 Nanny goat 6 Thomas 11 Absence 13 Galilee 14 Spa 16 Ardent 18 PE 19 Yacht 21 Eli 22 Moses 25 Ram

Richhill Methodist

Worship Director (Part-time) Start Date: Early Autumn 2022 Contract: 10hrs per week Salary: £7,800 We are seeking someone to both lead and develop the worship and the worship teams within our Church. If you would like a full job description please apply to or speak to Nick on 07515 577759 Applications should be returned by Friday 5 August, 2022

Church AV Specialists

PA systems • Loop systems Projectors & screens • Installation & repairs

07855 450887

CARS WANTED Old to nearly new – anything considered. Please phone Karl anytime, six days a week

07989 948476


Herald July/August 2022

Applications are invited for the following full-time vacancy at High Kirk Presbyterian Church, Thomas Street, Ballymena.

Associate for Children’s Ministry Application forms and job specifications are available from the church office. The closing date for this position is 11am on Wednesday 27 July 2022. This is a full time 37.5 hours per week post and the successful person needs to be flexible as it will include evening and weekend working. (Salary scale B1 £24,307.00) Apply to: Office Administrator, Church Office, High Kirk Presbyterian Church, 65-71 Thomas Street, Ballymena, BT43 6AZ. Telephone: (028) 2564 4834 or email:

We have the following opportunity based in Derryvolgie Halls, Belfast

CHAPLAIN IN RESIDENCE Location: Queen’s University Belfast E2 Salary Scale: (£29,728–£35,761) Per annum Working Hours: 37.5 hours per week


The successful applicant will provide a chaplaincy service to the staff and students of Queen’s University Belfast, Stranmillis University College and Union Theological College. The Chaplain will endeavour by engagement with students and staff, to commend the Christian faith in word and action, and to offer spiritual support to all who seek it. The post holder will be an ordained Minister of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, or a Licentiate, eligible for Call, and have a significant record of working with young adults in developing their Christian experience. The Chaplain will also oversee Derryvolgie Hall of residence, and it is a requirement that the Chaplain lives in the staff house provided there. Essential Criteria: A Third level qualification A knowledge of current issues affecting staff and students. A vision for appropriate outreach to young people and for their spiritual development. Proven experience of personal Christian witness in a diverse environment Proven experience in delivering pastoral care Evidence of managerial and administrative skills Available for flexible and non-social working hours Willing to attend Committee, Council and Presbytery meetings as required Willing to work within QUB’s “Honorary agreement for chaplains and religious representatives”.

• • • • • • • • •

Application Packs may be obtained from the Personnel Department, Assembly Buildings, Fisherwick Place, Belfast BT1 6DW Tel: (028) 9041 7255 Email: Recruitment information may be viewed at Closing date for receipt of applications is 12pm on Friday 2 September 2022 WE ARE AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES EMPLOYER


£2,500–£5,000 depending on experience 5 hours per week (Sunday mornings, and evenings as per Church schedule)

In conjunction with the Congregational Minister to lead and enrich the worship of the Church through piano and organ music, and the coordination of musicians and choir members, in a manner which is in keeping with the ethos of the Church. Essential Criteria: Awarded grade 6 in piano or equivalent qualification OR 4 years’ recent experience of playing a piano as a suitable equivalent. Extensive knowledge of Christian Worship music, both traditional and contemporary. A minimum of 4 years’ recent experience of playing a piano. A minimum of 4 years’ recent experience of playing a pipe organ. A minimum of 3 years’ recent experience of leading and conducting an adult choir. To be able to commit to working within the Christian ethos of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Willing to work additional hours when required e.g. Christmas, Easter, Harvest and Weekday evenings.

• • • • • • •

Completed CVs should be emailed to not later than 4pm on Friday 29 July 2022.

The love of Christ compels us 2 Corinthians 5:14

Hamilton Road Presbyterian 19th - 28th August Be a part of the UK and Ireland’s biggest world mission event. Join us for 10 days of prayer, praise, seminars, kids and youth events. For more information visit -

Featured Events Weekday Bible Studies Mon 22nd - Fri 26th August @ 11.30am With Dr Zack Eswine ‘Jesus won’t quit on you’ Around the World in 90 minutes on Flight BW208 Saturday 20th August, 6.30pm Held in Assembly Buildings Belfast. Travel at supersonic speed to the Far East, the Middle East and Africa. Tour guides include David Eastwood, David Garrison and Archbishop Ben Kwashi with in-flight music provided by New Irish Arts.

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