Aldersgate Sunday - 24th of May 2020

Methodist Church in Ireland ~ Aldersgate Sunday – 24th May 2020 

Responses to the President’s Invitation to the Connexion

The Favourite Hymn: And can it be (closely followed by Love Divine)

Our Oldest Member: The oldest Methodist in the connexion is Mrs Agnes Thompson from Dundonald, who is in her 105th year

24th May Birthdays:

  • Anton Scheele from Carlow -  a member of the World Development and Relief Committee and involved in FAID a deaf school in Lebanon, a WDRF partner organisation
  • Jonathan McKeague a member of Glacknadrummond MC in Innishowen
  • Rebecca McGuffin the President’s daughter in law

Anniversaries: James and Helen Dumigan were married on 24th May in Seymour Street MC in Lisburn and still worship there. This year they are celebrating their 50th (Golden) wedding anniversary.

Prayer for the World: written by Jean Kingston (Dublin) – a Local Preacher

Heavenly Father we pray for the nations of the world. Lord you gave the stars their place and set boundaries for the sea, halt this virus in its tracks we pray. Help all government leaders, all staff in laboratories and those working in hospitals and communities. Assist us with your mighty arm, that the world may combat the progress of this Covid 19 virus and give you the Glory. God of all comfort, who sends The Comforter, help and comfort all who have lost loved ones and are broken hearted. Lord Jesus who placed hands on fevered brows, bring healing now to the many in Intensive Care Units, hospital wards, makeshift wards, refugee camps and bedrooms at home. Wonderful Lord, you went to the garden of Gethsemane and agonized, in that awful wait angels attended you. Help all who are frightened. Those who are compromised and vulnerable and those who go to the frontline in fear and trembling, send angels to strengthen them we pray. All powerful God, who came and lived in the confines of this world, help us to live as joyfully as you did in the confines in which we presently find ourselves. In you we place our hope. Amen

Covid-19 Story of Hope and Encouragement: written by Doris Carruthers from Newbuildings MC

Just before the lockdown was announced I was given a book entitled, “Horseman to the King.”  Its a book about John Wesley. As a 77-year-old the last time I saw this book was when I was in Sunday School in Newbuildings Methodist Church.  Imagine my surprise. I enjoyed reading it again. Lockdown was announced. When I heard that churches had to close, I was devastated. My knowledge of social media was very basic. So, you see my journey has been one of learning. The first few weeks were not easy, a lot of highs and lows, at times more lows, and a lot of prayer. On Sunday 3rd May God took over and I was able to establish contact with services from a lot of Churches and Ministers across Northern Ireland, which was unbelievable. While that was good, I have to say I still miss the fellowship of God’s people worshipping together – a serious loss I believe. The weather has been beautiful. As one who has loved working voluntarily in the community for many years, I found this very difficult.  Visiting homes and helping people where there was a need, especially among our senior citizens, all had to go.  This was a big loss. To be told because you are over 70 you have to stay at home and are only allowed out for exercise - this was devastating. Once again God pointed out to me, whatever the future holds for me, I am safe in his hands.  So armed with this word I have been spending days in the garden, with the sun shining. The words of the old Gospel hymn stay with me as I work, “I came to the Garden alone”.  It’s a wonderful hymn, By the way, I am not a gardener! Looking back to how the Wesley’s travelled on horseback the length and breadth of the country spreading the Gospel, I find it amazing that today I can have the Gospel brought to me via Social media and I don’t have to leave my own home! That’s truly amazing.