President's Blog

Today (22 Sep) I had a wonderful visit to Mrs Eileen Kingston, mother of Gillian, in Shinrone, N Tipperary this morning. She is in her 101st year and now I think I know where her daughter gets her energy from!

Many congratulations to Mrs Betty Callender. She comes from a very appropriately named church...Centenary Methodist Church, Bangor... because Betty is 100 years young today. It was delightful to visit her and her family with her Minister, Rev Brian Anderson, on afternoon 12 September

On behalf of myself and the Methodist Church in Ireland I extend sincere sympathy to Mrs Eileen Paisley and her family on the death of Rev Dr Ian Paisley. I ask your prayers for for them in their grief. Dr Paisley was a preacher and political leader who moved on the world stage but retained his roots in home soil. He had remarkable ability as an orator to communicate with the masses and at the same time take an interest in the life of the ordinary person on the street.

My preaching scarf set me thinking along the track of ‘beginnings’. It begins with God’s act of creation. I’m greatly encouraged, and I hope you will be too with our new beginnings, but we don’t need to try to achieve our hopes and dreams all at once. It took him some time to create what he did. We can be creative too with our new beginnings, but we don’t need to try to achieve our hopes and dreams all at once. ‘One step at a time’ would be a good motto. Another thing – God wasn’t successful in everything he did. People did not choose to do what he willed for them.

What I thought was the flu turned out to be man flu, something not so life threatening! Just as well as I was meeting the new Chief Constable of the PSNI on Thursday, connecting with different groups in Belfast on Friday to pray for a peaceful 12th, and walking up the aisle with my lovely daughter at her wedding on Saturday. A fantastic week.

Action for Children Clooney Hall Derry

Spent a great morning in Clooney Hall Centre yesterday at the 10th Anniversary celebrations of Action for Children. They are helping over 500 children and their families who need support in L/derry.

Amazing Grace Country Inishowen

A road sign I came across yesterday on the Inishowen peninsula. We need to camp out in 'Amazing Grace Country', not just pay a visit once in a while. I pray for more grace in all of us, especially in this week in Northern Ireland.

Coventry Cathedral

Coventry Cathedral on 30 June was where I shared in the ordination service for deacons with the Methodist Church in Britain. What a place to be ordained for ministry to broken and divided communities with the gospel of peace!

Poor Louis Suarez! I'm not a Liverpool fan but I do feel some sympathy for him: 'tossed out like a dog' as his Uruguayan team mates are putting it. Such awful consequences for a moment of madness. It's not the first time, though. You would think that he'd have got help by now to stop him reverting to a biting reaction on the pitch when things get so fraught. Maybe he has got help and it hasn't helped enough! Mind you, while I have no time for FIFA, I think they did the right thing this time.

Going to see someone by the same name as my wife, who is also very important, today at Hillsborough Castle. Then I'll be at the presentation of Youth Link certificates in Belfast this evening.

It's been an interesting past few days. My first engagement was in Manorhamilton last Thursday for their church's 50th Anniversary. A great night.

Farewell events over the weekend and last night for 2 colleagues: Revs Richard Bryant and Louise Donald. We're going to miss them!