Fifty years ago in the summer of 1969, Neil Armstrong stood on the surface of the moon, the first person to ever do so. The then US President, Richard Nixon responded, ‘the greatest event in human history occurred when man put his foot on the moon.’ Astronaut James Irwin who stood on the moon in 1971 and who became the first person to drive a vehicle on the lunar surface disagreed with the President. ‘ the most significant event in the world is not that man stood on the moon, but that God in Christ stood on the earth.’
That is the meaning of Christmas, God touching down on earth. God’s touchdown in Jesus Christ is what we celebrate at Christmas. It is not just a commemorative celebration but a present reality as we allow Jesus to touchdown in our lives our families, our communities and our land. His touchdown makes all the difference.
May I wish you a very happy Christmas and hopeful New Year.
The Church of Ireland Youth Department together with Missional Generation will be hosting an amazing training day for clergy, school chaplains and youth workers on Thursday 16 January 2020 at the Oak Centre in Dunboyne.
The day is funded through the Comhar Grant which encourages dioceses to work together. The first part of this collaboration with Ben was the Dioceses of Meath & Kildare and Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh producing an App of a virtual (VR) tour of both Drumcliffe Church and Kildare Cathedral. Ben will explore with us how these resources and many more can be used in youth ministry, school’s work, RE and in our churches. The first twenty people to book will receive a whole host of resources for Ministry.
Kilmore’s first Diocesan Confirmation Day was held on Saturday 9th November 2019 in Killeshandra Church Hall, Co. Cavan. A group of nearly 40 young people (along with clergy and leaders) who are preparing for confirmation at this time joined together to get to know one another and be encouraged in this big step in their journey of faith.
Simon Henry, National Youth Officer of the Church of Ireland Youth Department, was our speaker for three sessions. He spoke to the confirmands about the importance of Confirmation as a public and personal taking on of the promises of their baptism – sharing his own testimony of God in his life growing up in the Church of Ireland. He also shared about prayer and the Bible in an inspiring but also practical way, and concluded by encouraging the teenagers to play their part in the Church, not just before, but after their confirmations. We concluded with a time of worship as we considered our need for the help of the Holy Spirit to believe in and follow Christ each day. The sessions were interspersed with games and breaks, which all helped everyone to relax and get to know each other.
Thank you to Simon and all those who made the day possible, including those who brought the young people and Canon Alison Calvin & Killeshandra Parish for the use of their wonderful hall. A similar day aimed at those in the Elphin & Ardagh part of the diocese, with Simon again as the speaker, will take place on Saturday 7th March 2020 in the Cooper Memorial Hall, Riverstown.
We pray for all young people who are considering or preparing for Confirmation. Make ready their hearts and minds and bring them to a true and lasting faith in you. By the power of your Holy Spirit, help them to live out their confirmation declarations and promises for the rest of their lives, keeping their eyes firmly fixed upon you. Amen. (prayer from CIYD’s ‘Praying for Young People & Youth Ministry’ booklet)
Survey finds that 72% of Cavan people want to know God personally
A recent survey around Cavan town has found that 72% of people would like to know God personally.
The survey was carried out door to door and on the streets during the last week in September and first week of October by volunteers wearing distinctive blue sweatshirts, drawn from a range of denominations in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. They were mobilised by the charity, Through Faith Mission, and came at the invitation of Church of Ireland Bishop Ferran Glenfield of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh.
During the fortnight they were based at the Cavan Royal School and endeavoured to share a simple message of the Christian good news in door to door teams and engaging people in the town centre .The teams visited 891 homes where 128 people completed surveys, another 62 people completing surveys on the street.
The volunteers found that:
- 61% of people believed in a personal God.
- 26% believe we return to earth in another form after death
- 19% believe we all go to heaven
- 62% believe Jesus is the son of God
- 10% believe he is a prophet or messenger of God
- 80% of people have prayed at some time
- 72% would like to know God personally.
Commenting on the findings, Rev Nick Jones, Rector of the Drung group of parishes, noted: “The survey seems to confirm the well know survey that even the atheist prays when in difficulty, with 80% saying they pray at some point in their life. However only 61% believe in a personal God.
“The most encouraging statistic for me was that 72% of people said that they would like to know God personally and the good news is that we can indeed know Him through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. “He walked this earth 2000 years ago and we have eye witness accounts telling us all about his life, death and resurrection.” I would love to help anyone who wants to know Him personally, we run a course called Christianity Explored and everyone is welcome to join us, please get in contact if you have questions or would like more information about knowing God personally. We are currently running a Christianity Explored Course in the Ballyhaise Community Centre on Sundays at 4pm, which is open to everyone and where no questions are off limits. Thank-you to everyone for taking part in the survey.”
One of the TFM team leaders, David Bolton, added: “It was a real privilege to serve here in Cavan and our volunteers were so pleased at the warm and courteous welcome we received from almost everyone we met. I would also like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to our survey. We we very much encouraged to find that so many people still believe in a personal God, that Jesus is the only son of God and that so many people pray and are interested in knowing God personally.”
The short gospel booklet handed out by the team, ‘Knowing God personally’ can be downloaded for free at;- www.agape.org.uk/Resources/gospeloutlines/Knowing%20God%20Personally.pdf
Further enquiries should be directed to Rev Nick Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org
MINUTES of the 150th annual meeting of the Synod of Kilmore held jointly with the second ordinary session of the 33rd Synod of Elphin & Ardagh in The Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 10.00am.
Ms Maud Cunningham
Mrs Sarah Taylor
20A Market Street,
T: + 353 49 5559954
F: + 353 49 5559957
The Church of Ireland, as an authentic part of the universal church of God, is called to develop growing communities of faith, in and through which the Kingdom of God is made known, and in which the whole people serve together as followers of Jesus Christ for the good of the world to the Glory of God.