President's Blog

I am a digital immigrant. I learnt this on a recent, brilliant "Continuing Development in Ministry" Day facilitated by John Alderdice.

Apparently those born after 1980 are digital natives, for having grown up with this technology it is truly intuitive for them. For those born before that we are digital immigrants, for us, this is a new land which we have to learn.

Here is a "wet feet" story from Comber. Chris Mathison writes "For several years we have opened the church on Monday mornings for tea/coffee etc. It has proved successful in providing fellowship for the church and we have had others dropping in. However our intention all along was that it would be an outreach to the community. At the end of last year one of our members shared that she felt that we should take the cafe to the people. So on the Monday before Christmas that is what we did; we set up tables by the pavement and served tea, coffee, shortbread and mince pies.

On Sunday 12 January I was in Sydenham Methodist in the morning and at a Circuit service with Bangor and Holywood in the evening. Both of these contexts were encouraging places to be, in both there was a sense of life and a desire to follow where God is leading.

Throughout the month of January Irish Methodists are being asked to focus on the theme of “Covenant and Choosing”, in services each Sunday in the month and then in a “Night and Day” of prayer at the end of the month. Resources and information have been sent to every minister and are available on this web site.

Knitted Christmas Tree
Here is a great "wet feet" story in which boundaries are crossed and friendships developed.

This day last week I attended the "Whats now for multi-ethnic churches" Conference. One of the people who told me their story that day was Sue Hogan. I asked her if she would write some of what she told me so that I could share it with others. There is much to be learnt from her experience as we continue to learn about what it is to be a welcoming multi-ethnic church and much for which to be thankful. 

Sue shares part of her story here

The beginning of September can be a challenging time in church life. For some of us there can be a sense of excitement as we think about what God may do this year and as we plan and hope and pray. For others of us our hearts sink a bit, Summer is over and the year ahead stretches out, busy and challenging. And God invites us to follow Him into September, and the sense that God is stirring us up applies to September as well as June; and the truth of God’s encouragement not to be afraid stands.

The “Malarone” tablets are almost finished! We have been back from Ghana for almost a week now and I find that my mind is full of snap-shots, pictures and impressions I have carried home with me. My husband Neil and I travelled to Ghana with Rosamond Bennett, who is the CEO of Christian Aid Ireland. Christian Aid had offered to take me to see some of the work which their partners are doing.

I am writing from the heart this morning (Saturday 13th July) because my heart breaks when I see what happened in Belfast last night. First of all I need to say that there were many things about yesterday which are worth celebrating; Londonderry’s March, with the new banner depicting the Peace Bridge, and similar Demonstrations across the country. Those experiences point us to the day I long for, a day when we can celebrate our different heritages, without rancour; a day when to celebrate one heritage does not mean “putting down” the other.

On the Wednesday afternoon of Conference I took some time to pray and prepare for the Installation service that evening. Those of you who were at Conference on Sunday afternoon when thanks were being expressed, will be aware of just how many people worked incredibly hard and prayed in preparation for and during Conference. That afternoon, I had a sense of God speaking peace (I do have a tendency to worry!) and saying “All you have to do is turn up”. It was a reminder that the work is God’s and our task is simply to step into what God is doing. That is still my sense.