Praying for the persecuted church

The Church of Ireland’s Council for Mission has launched a prayer appeal to support persecuted Christians around the world. The council’s secretary, the Revd Patrick Burke, explains its approach.


The time has come for Christians in the safety and comfort of the West to speak out about what their brothers and sisters are facing in other parts of the world, and to speak out strongly and keep speaking out until the violence ends.

The suffering of Christians around the world is truly shocking. Open Doors estimates that over 100 million Christians are being persecuted globally. Last year, at least 7,100 Christians were killed for their faith and over 2,000 churches were attacked or confiscated. As these crimes take place in countries either ravaged by war or under oppressive regimes, the true figures could be much higher.

The Church of Ireland Council for Mission’s prayer appeal to support persecuted Christians follows a resolution by our General Synod in May which expressed solidarity with brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted for their faith and committed to supporting them in prayer.

In speaking out, we want to begin with prayer. We are God’s people and it is only right that all we do has its beginning by calling upon Almighty God. We are asking all clergy to include this issue in their intercessions at public worship every Sunday, and all Christian people to include it in their private devotions every day. We are also encouraging members of the Church of Ireland to become more informed about persecution through the work of organisations such as Open Doors and the Church’s associated missionary societies.

CMS Ireland has close partnerships with the Diocese of Egypt and the Dioceses of Ibba, Kajo-Keji, Maridi and Yei (in South Sudan). Its Firm Foundations initiative sponsors theological training in both countries and in Ethiopia and Uganda for church leaders who minister in contexts of persecution. Crosslinks similarly supports theological training in Egypt and Pakistan and asks for prayers for safety and opportunities to work effectively where teaching the Gospel is not tolerated. USPG regularly encourages prayer for persecuted Christians in Egypt and Pakistan.

Prayer changes communities and nations. It is our hope that this appeal – alongside other initiatives in the coming months – will encourage Christians experiencing persecution and inspire the wider Church to deepen its love for our brothers and sisters who are under threat because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

http://www.anglicannews.org/comment/2016/07/praying-for-the-persecuted-church.aspx

Centenary Commemorations

On Sunday 3rd July, Cloonclare Parish Church, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim hosted an Ecumenical Service of Commemoration to mark the centenary of both the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Battle of the Somme. The Service was led by Rev. Brendan McCarty assisted by Albert Dawson and was attended by Bishop Leo O’Reilly of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Ferran Glenfield of the Church of Ireland, local Parish Priest Fr. Oliver Kelly and Rev. Jeremy Nicholl of the Methodist Church. Members of the Organisation of National Ex-servicemen (ONE) and British Legion where also among the congregation.

Albert Dawson began the service by reading excerpts of letters from soldiers on the frontline of the conflicts. This was followed by a bidding prayer remembering those who have suffered through war and those who have given their lives or were injured in the service of others. The singing during the service was led by the Manorhamilton South Gospel and Margaret Connolly read the lesson from Mark 13 as Gaeilge.

After the prayers a wreath was laid by Mr Thomas Heraghty to commemorate the many men and women from Leitrim and the island of Ireland who gave of themselves for an independent Ireland and for a free Europe. This was followed by a minute’s silence.

The guest speaker was Professor Eunan O’Halpin, Professor of Contemporary Irish History at Trinity College Dublin who shared some interesting reflections on the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme and how these events have been incorporated into the narrative of Irish History. He reminded the congregation of how groups and individuals can attach different meanings to such events. The task of contemporary society is, therefore, to appreciate that there are completely different ways to remember and commemorate them.

The service ended with the Grace led by Bishop Ferran Glenfield and Bishop Leo O’Reilly and the evening concluded with a wonderful reception in the Bee Park Community Centre.

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Left to Right: Albert Dawson, Revd. Isaac Hanna, Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Bishop Ferran Glenfield, Revd. Brendan McCarthy, Fr. Gerry Atwell, Fr. John Quinn, Fr. Oliver Kelly, Revd. Jeremy Nicoll.

 

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Bishop Ferran and Bishop Leo together with the guest speaker Professor Eunan O’Halpin, local clergy and members of ONE and the British Legion.

Diocesan Youth and Children’s Co-ordinator Job Available

The Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh

Seeks to appoint

Diocesan Youth and Children’s Co-ordinator

(2 posts both 18.5 hours per week)

 

Ideally 1 post based in Kilmore

(Fermanagh/Cavan/Leitrim)

 

1 Post based in Elphin and Ardagh

(Sligo/ Roscommon /Longford)

 

The Appointed coordinators will:

  • Nurture and foster Christian faith development in children and young people
  • Train, support and encourage youth and children’s leaders and volunteers
  • Build relationships with clergy and youth and children’s leaders in order to discern individual Parish group needs
  • Work with the Diocesan Youth Council and Children’s Ministry Network Co-Ordinator to organise Diocesan events

 

Interested applicants should request an application pack from:

 

Ven. Isaac Hanna, Drumcliffe Rectory, Drumcliffe, Co. Sligo.

T: 071 9163125
E:
drumcliffe@elphin.anglican.org

Summer is Here!

Bishop Ferran has drawn attention to the importance of ministry among our children, young people and families. Summer is a special time for many outreach events for children, young people and families. Do join in prayer in preparation for the following:

Summer Madness – July 3to 7, Glenarm, Co. Antrim.

Lord, we thank you for the joy and vitality of being young. Life when we are young is full of possibilities and adventure. Be with those who travel with expectation to Summer Madness. Give them the gift of good weather and good friends. May the Good News of Jesus, capture their hearts and imagination, We ask this in His name. Amen.

Holiday Bible Club – Billis Hall, Co. Cavan, 27 June – 1 July

Holiday Bible Club – Killeshandra Hall, Co. Cavan, July 27-31

Holiday Bible Club – Florencecourt Hall, Co. Fermanagh, July 25-29

Our Father, we thank you for the children you have given us. We pray that as they attend these clubs, help them to have fun and friendship. Above all help them to put their trust in your Son, Jesus Christ, that their faith may be real and infectious. Help us in the church to nurture and grow their faith, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Messy Church – Drung Hall, Co. Cavan, 30 July

Messy Church – Derrylin Hall, Co. Fermanagh,  16 July and 20 August

Lord Jesus you entered into our messy world to bring shape to our lives.
May your love, forgiveness and peace be on those who attend these Messy Church Days. Especially we pray that families may see you at work in their Homes and lives. Amen

Church Weekend Hunt Hall, Mohill, Co. Leitrim, August 12-14

Lord we give you thanks that the church in Mohill is celebrating 200 years of Witness in the town. Be with them this weekend as the are joined by a team From Drumglass Parish, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. May it be a special time of blessing for all concerned

Lord God, creator and savior of the world, we rejoice that you can make all things new. Bless, we pray these and other endeavours for you this summer and may many embrace the warmth of your love. In the name of Jesus, we pray.

Discussion Paper – Rural Isolation

The Church and Society Commission of the Church of Ireland has published discussion papers on organ donation and rural isolation to inform members of the Church as they consider both issues. The Commission commends the papers for study and discussion in parishes across the island.

The paper on organ donation summarises statements made by the Church and its central committees on donation and consent for donation (including presumed consent) in recent years.  This includes the General Synod’s endorsement for thefleshandblood campaign, which encourages organ donation as an act of Christian giving, and links to information on becoming an organ donor.

The rural isolation paper outlines some of the factors contributing to increasing levels of isolation in rural Ireland, which may be experienced by couples and families as well as individuals.  It also includes links to advice and resources on improving mental health and reducing financial stress.

Both discussion papers will form part of a series which will cover a number of important current policy issues from a Christian perspective.

Discussion Paper – Organ Donation and Consent

The Church and Society Commission of the Church of Ireland has published discussion papers on organ donation and rural isolation to inform members of the Church as they consider both issues. The Commission commends the papers for study and discussion in parishes across the island.

The paper on organ donation summarises statements made by the Church and its central committees on donation and consent for donation (including presumed consent) in recent years.  This includes the General Synod’s endorsement for thefleshandblood campaign, which encourages organ donation as an act of Christian giving, and links to information on becoming an organ donor.

The rural isolation paper outlines some of the factors contributing to increasing levels of isolation in rural Ireland, which may be experienced by couples and families as well as individuals.  It also includes links to advice and resources on improving mental health and reducing financial stress.

Both discussion papers will form part of a series which will cover a number of important current policy issues from a Christian perspective.

New Confirmation Resource

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For the last number of months, Amy McCrea and Andrew Frame from the Church of Ireland Youth Department have been working on a new Confirmation Resource called ‘I Believe’ to be used by Rectors and those involved in preparing young people for Confirmation.

‘I Believe’ has been created in response to a perceived need for this type of resource. The Youth Department are regularly asked for help or advice on Confirmation Preparation and the alternatives currently available are either outdated or not specifically relevant to Confirmation in the Church of Ireland.

The resource is 12 sessions long and is based round the Confirmation Service, the Ten Commandments and The Apostles’ Creed. Topics include ‘Who is God?’, ‘Why we need a Saviour’, ‘The Sacraments’ and ‘Serving God/Serving others’.

Each session offers a blend of teaching, games, worship and prayer activities and discussion questions. The sessions are aimed to last between forty and ninety minutes at the discretion of the facilitator and the resource offers the flexibility for sessions to be tailored to the needs of the particular context.

In commending the resource, Bishop Pat Storey (CIYD’s President) wrote, “it is current, fresh and orthodox in its presentation and teaching.” and also “this is the first all Ireland resource specifically written for the Church of Ireland. It is our hope, as a Youth Department, that this will be of great help to clergy and youth leaders, from Derry to Cork, and everywhere in between!”

As well as a well-designed Leader’s Manual, an interactive Participant’s Guide has been developed to complement the course and it is hoped that young people will enjoy using this as they undergo their Confirmation preparation.

The resource will be launched at General Synod in May. Each Parish will receive a complimentary copy of the Leader’s Manual and a Participant’s Guide. Further copies will be available for purchase through the CIYD office and other outlets.

For The Farmers

On Sunday the 8th of May members of the Arva and Kileshandra group of parishes gathered in the beautiful sunshine at Carrigallen Mart for their annual tractor service. The tractor service is a great community event when folk from all faiths come together to ask for God’s blessing on their work and a large crowd arrived with tractors of all makes and sizes to pray for the season ahead. The service was led by Rev. Hazel Hicks and Shane Connolly and Brian McNally read the lessons. The guest preacher was Dean Raymond Ferguson who reminded us that our lives don’t consist of the abundance of our possessions but should be placed in the lasting joy we find in Jesus Christ our risen Saviour. After the sermon Rev. Ali Calvin and Rev. Hazel Hicks led the congregation in prayers for safety and protection on farms, for good weather and for farming families. Fr. Dan Sheridan led the grace before the evening concluded with a wonderful tea and a good opportunity to catch up with people we may not have seen in a while.

FOR-THE-FARMERS-DKEALeft to Right: Rev. Hazel Hicks, Dean Raymond Ferguson, Rev. Ali Calvin, Fr. Dan Sheridan

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Revd. Tanya Woods Instituted as the Rector of the Annagh Group of Parishes

On Friday evening 22nd April family, friends and parishioners past and present gathered to celebrate the institution of the Revd Tanya Woods as Rector of the Annagh Group of parishes (Belturbet, Cloverhill, Drumaloor and Drumlane). The service, which took place in a packed Belturbet Parish church, was led by Bishop Ferran Glenfield assisted by Archdeacon Craig McCauley with Maud Cunningham acting as stand in registrar.

The parish praise band led the congregation in worship and the Belturbet Community choir were a fantastic contribution to the singing on the night. It was fitting that the music was a real highlight of the evening given Revd. Tanya’s interest in church music. Scripture readings were read by George Davidson and Canon Liz McElhinney whose reading was delivered by recording.

The address was given by The Venerable Craig McCauley, Archdeacon of Kilmore. He said that the symbols used in the Service of Institution remind us that ministry requires a person to be servant-hearted, pastorally minded, bible focused and prayerful. He said that the readings chosen by Revd. Tanya highlight her understanding of ministry as a call to preach Jesus Christ and his grace and to encourage us into a living faith. He said ministry means reaching out beyond our boundaries to build relationships to bring the gospel message to all. But he reminded us that ministry is a collaborative effort. The role of the minister is to equip, teach and encourage parishioners but the ministry of the church is to be carried out by all.

The Act of Institution was then carried out by Bishop Ferran Glenfield, after which words of  welcome were given to Revd. Tanya by Father Gerry Comiskey, Parish Priest of Drumlane, Canon Mark Lidwell on behalf of the Diocese of Kilmore, Sylvia Quinn (GFS Central President) and Violet Morton (GFS Diocesan President) on behalf of the GFS, David Coles on behalf of the Annagh Group of Parishes and Mavis Mcgee on behalf of the Mother’s Union.

Refreshments were served in the Seven Horses Hotel after the service. The warmth and the atmosphere of the evening were a real affirmation of the ministry of Revd. Tanya who has been serving as Minister-in-Charge of the Annagh Group of Parishes. We pray that the Lord continues to bless Tanya and her family as she continues to preach Christ and serve as Rector in this Group.

 


Left to Right: Dean Nigel Crossey, Bishop Ferran Glenfield, Revd. Tanya Woods, Archdeacon Craig McCauley.


Belturbet Community Choir and the Parish Praise Band

 


 

For further information contact the Diocesan Communications Officer:
Jennifer Horner
Tel: (042) 967 5822
Email: dco@kilmore.anglican.org
Web: www.dkea.ie