Returning to Church

Dear Friends,

As the lockdown eases, I have met people who have expressed to me their desire to be together in church on Sundays. The good news is that we will be allowed to return to worship together in July in both the South and North of Ireland with an attendance ceiling of 50 and 30 respectively. Plans are underway for that to happen in order to make our church buildings safe places to gather for worship. Like shops and public buildings we will be observing: Social Distancing, Hand Hygiene and Coughing and Sneezing Hygiene.

So what will it look like when we return to church? You should expect:

• Hand sanitisers at the entrance which we urge you to use.
• To be guided to an available pew.
• Face masks and gloves to be worn by people if they wish.
• To bring your own Prayer and Hymn Books.
• Service sheets to be available.
• In the absence of Sunday Clubs, due to social distancing advice, to bring something to occupy children who will be welcome to worship.
• Bread only to be distributed at Holy Communion for the time being.
• To place contributions to the ministry of the church in available baskets.
• The names of those attending church to be taken incase people need to contacted about Covid-19.

We would ask you NOT to attend church services if:

• You feel generally unwell or are undergoing a course of medical treatment.
• You are displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
• You have been diagnosed with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection in the previous fortnight.
• You are aware that you have been in close contact with a person who has a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection in the previous fortnight.
• You have been advised by a doctor to self-isolate.

In anticipation, I want to thank those who have made it possible to open our local church buildings. Due to social distancing guidelines, however, it may not be possible to reopen all our churches in July. I ask for your patience in this and for you to attend those churches that are open. With a further easing of restrictions, hopefully it will not be long before all our churches will reopen.
I close with the words of the Psalmist:
I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’

+ Ferran

Revd. Richard Waller Commissioned as Mothers’ Union Chaplain

This Sunday the 24th May, Revd. Capt. Richard Waller was commissioned as the new Mothers’ Union Chaplain at a Diocesan Mother’s Union Festival Service held on the Diocese of Kilmore, Elpin and Ardagh Youtube channel.

During the service, Revd. Richard preached on Hebrews 6 vs 19 – We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  In his address, he reflected that it was this hope that inspired Mary Sumner, the founder of the Mothers’ Union, who was passionate about transforming the home lives of families. He commended the continued work of the Mothers’ Union in seeking to give hope, confidence and support to others.

Revd. Richard is originally from Pudsey near Leeds, Yorkshire but came to this island as a Church Army evangelist on the outreach team at Willowfield church in Belfast. He began training in ordained ministry in 2015 and was appointed as Bishop’s Curate to the Kildallon group of parishes in September 2017.

Crosslinks Summer Series: Love Thy Neighbour

Crosslinks is hosting an online summer series over three evenings in June. We will be encouraged by mission stories from church leaders, supporters, partners and those recently return from the field. Rev Nick Jones will open God’s word for us as we think of how we can ‘Love Thy Neighbour’.

The Summer Series will be premiered on the Crosslinks in Ireland Facebook page on Monday 8th June, Tuesday 9th June and Wednesday 10th June at 7.30pm. For further details contact ireland@crosslinks.org or call 028 9079 6028

New online class from the CITI: Spirituality for Christian Discipleship

CITI is delighted to announce a new initiative aimed at offering resources for Christian discipleship to lay people. Over four weeks in June, institute staff will offer a one-hour virtual class online.  This four-week course offers resources for your spiritual life and opportunities to learn new practices of Christian discipleship to resource your faith during social distancing.

Weekly meetings through Zoom led by members of CITI’s academic staff will include a presentation and interactive discussion about practices of Christian spirituality and will conclude with an exercise or activity for you to try at home. By gathering, praying and learning with the same group of Christians weekly, you will also receive encouragement and fellowship and offer these gifts to others.

Monday mornings
11.00am–12noon
Beginning 8 June

Email admin@theologicalinstitute.ie to sign up.

When you sign up, you will be given an easy link to enter the online classroom.  The class is free during Covid–19 restrictions but is limited to 25 participants.

8 June: Knowing God: An Invitation to the Journey of Discipleship
Revd Canon Dr Maurice Elliott

15 June: Spirituality in a time of abstinence: lockdown with Mary Magdalene
Dr Brigid Nichols

22 June: Spirituality and Failure: Seeing Ourselves in a New Light
Revd Dr Patrick McGlinchey

29 June: The Psalms: Biblical Company for the Journey of Faith
Dr Katie Heffelfinger

Please share this with friends, fellow parishioners and neighbours who may be interested.

Run and Plant 380

Over the next few weeks Rev. Alastair Donaldson has committed to running 4.5 miles a day to raise money for Irish Church Missions in Dublin. The idea came after a number of races he had signed up for over the next few months had been cancelled because of the Covid-19 restrictions. So to give himself a challenge he decided to remotely run 380km over the months of May and June excluding Sundays.

If you would like to support him financially or run along with him you can find out more info at: https://www.give.net/RunandPlant380