May 2014

"Jesus replied: "Love The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like it: "Love your neighbour as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments" Matthew 22: 37-40

Flower Festival Brookeborough

Wonderful few days! On Friday 23 May we were at the Opening of a Flower Festival in Brookborough, part of that congregation's celebration of their 175th anniversary.

On Saturday we celebrated in Waterford as the church was re- dedicated after significant re- furbishment. This work is a sign of that congregation's commitment to the city and to being a blessing in that city, it's very exciting ...Sunday was fantastic too...I will tell you about that later.

On Thursday night I was asked on Twitter if the Methodist Church had made any statement in the light of remarks made by Pastor McConnell. We had made a brief statement in response to a question from the Nolan Show and I promised to post it.  The statement is as follows:

"While The Methodist Church in Ireland along with other Christian churches would appeal for the removal of the death penalty on the young woman in Sudan who converted from Islam to Christianity, it would nevertheless never seek to denigrate or demonise all Muslims or their faith."

I am very grateful to Anita Gracie for this wonderful "wet feet" story:

I was sad  to hear the news of the fire at Whiteabbey Methodist. The Church is not the building, but buildings hold meaning and that building is well used in the life of its community. So this happening is very tough for the Methodist people in Whiteabbey and a lot of hard work lies ahead.

It was great to be at the University of Ulster, Belfast campus yesterday evening for the Chaplaincy lecture. The influence of the ecumenical chaplaincy team is clearly valued as an integral part of the life of the University

Mission Volunteers

With the wonderful Volunteers In Mission team who are working very hard at Forthspring. The television in the background was donated through fund raising by young people from Burnt Hills United Methodist Church

Girls Brigade Londonderry

In Londonderry evening of 9 May for the Girls Brigade Display on Clooney Hall. Frances, who is retiring as Captain, has served her Lord through GB for 40 years- wonderful witness

On May 10th  legislation on interchangeability of ministry was passed at the Church of Ireland General Synod. The equivalent legislation has already been approved by the Methodist Church in Ireland. This is a truly significant moment on the history of both traditions

One of the great things about this year is the variety which each day brings. It has been an inspiring and hope-filled 36 hours. Tuesday began with a visit to the Northern Ireland Hospice and the NI Children's Hospice, hosted by the chaplaincy team. It was inspiring to see even something of the work which staff and volunteers do - and to have the privilege of meeting some of the folk in Hospice.