Bishop’s Reflection – Service of Peace & Reconciliation

REFLECTION GIVEN BY BISHOP FERRAN GLENFIELD AT THE SERVICE O PEACE AND RECONCILIATION AT ST. COLUMBA’S DRUMCLIFFE, MAY 20th 2015

Isaiah of Jerusalem,was God’s spokesman in the Royal Court, during the time of:
Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah in the 8th Century BC.
His writing is profound and poetic. A single strand binds his book together:
The King who reigns in Zion. It is a complex theme,full of tensions. Sometimes the King is God himself. At times, he is the current King of the House of David.
Othertimes, he is the King who is yet to come.Nonetheless, the King reigns and rules in human history.For Isaiah, it is not the past but the future that dominates the present.

Isaiah spoke truth to power: to the temporal and spiritual rulers of Judah and to the regional powers of his day: Egypt, Assyria and Babylon. They all were accountable to God, as we are today.He knows the secrets of our hearts and we all will give account to him for our attitudes and actions, rulers and peoples alike
Isaiah’s message was unpalatable: Judah would be sent away in the judgement of God. They had failed to live out their vocation, their reason for being, to reflect and demonstrate the justice and righteousness of God in the world. So Isaiah predicted the trauma of exile, when everything would be lost.

But God’s justice gives way to mercy and trauma to transformation, in the poetic lines of Isaiah 32, which we have just heard read. The Spirit of God would transform:
The Creation; the desert becomes a fruitful field.
The Country: justice and righteousness would be earthed in the nation.
The Community; peace would emerge from the soil of life, people would live
in trust and security.

The history of Ireland and the UK in the past 100 years has been marked by trauma and trouble. Today we acknowledge the transformation in our relations. This transformation, I believe, is a work of God, the Spirit, who brings:
Healing out of hurts,
Reconcilation out of wreckage,
Trust out of turmoil.

This is a Milestone moment. When we remember and revisit the horror of the recent past. When we savour the comfort of the present. When we hope for a better future together, as we wait upon the Lord. They, Isaiah wrote, ‘ who wait for the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint’. Amen

Easter Message from the Bishop

Easter is about death and resurrection. All around us in Spring we can see these two principles in action. This is no casual accident, for God has put them there in creation for all to see. On reflecting on death, the poet W.B. Yeats wrote:

‘ Nor dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
A man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all.’

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ makes all the difference to how we view death.
Jesus promised his followers that their destiny was linked to his own. His resurrection showed that what he had promised, he was able to perform.
That is the Christian confidence for the future, and for the present.
Because Jesus lives ,I can face today and tomorrow.

May I wish you a very blessed Easter,

+ Ferran

 

Queens Chaplaincy Internships 2015/16

We are looking for two Hub Ministry Interns who will help deliver, develop, shape, and support every aspect of our worship, community and outreach. Is that you….?

Areas of Ministry include:

  • UP – Worship 101, Church of the Resurrection, Bible Study, Prayer Groups
  • IN – Living in community, Weekly Gathering, Residentials, Hospitality, Guys & Girls Ministry, Youth & Kids
  • OUT – Late Love & Street Pastors, Foodbank, North Belfast Messy Church, Queens Elms, Hub Café.

You can download more information by clicking on the links below:

To apply:

Queens Chaplaincy Open Day 2015

Are you considering applying to live in the chaplaincy for the 2015/16 year? Have you already applied?

This year, we’ve decided to throw the doors of the Hub open on Saturday 18th April, from 12-3pm.

There will be a chance to see around the residential houses, have a cup of tea or coffee in the Hub Café, and get the answers to any questions you may have.

If you’re considering dropping by (even if you’re not 100% certain), please take a minute to fill out a quick form to help us plan for the day.

 

Click here to fill out the form!

New Dean of Kilmore, Revd Nigel Crossey

Revd Nigel Crossey, Chaplain, St Columba’s College, to be Rector of Kilmore Group of Parishes and Dean of Kilmore, Diocese of Kilmore.

Revd Nigel Crossey, Chaplain to St Columba’s College in Dublin, has been appointed Rector of the Kilmore Group of parishes and Dean of Kilmore. A native of Belfast, Nigel read Classics at Christ’s College, Cambridge before studying for ordination at the Church of Ireland Theological College in Dublin. Nigel subsequently completed his Master of Theology degree in Cardiff University.
Nigel was ordained for Drumglass Parish, Dungannon, in 1984 before becoming Rector of Magheraculmoney Parish, Kesh, in Clogher Diocese. Since 1993, Nigel has served in chaplaincy roles in the UK and Europe, most recently as Chaplain to St Columba’s College since 2009.

Nigel is married to Yvonne (currently an Assistant Housemistress in the College) and they have four children in their twenties. Nigel will take up his appointment in September, after the end of the current academic year. Speaking of his appointment, Nigel said that he was delighted to be appointed to this new chapter in ministry and that he and his wife were looking forward to their move to Cavan: “My wife Yvonne and I both look back with great fondness to our time in rural ministry in Fermanagh. It is equally clear that there are many opportunities and possibilities to be explored with the people of Kilmore and Ballintemple, and in the wider Diocese. We look forward as Christ leads his people and us in faith together.”

On the Front Line – 1 Day CIEF Conference

14th March, 9.30 – 5.30.

The Church of Ireland Evangelical Fellowship wishes to extend a very warm invitation to a Day Conference entitled ‘On the front line, Mission and the Local Church’.

Taking place in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh and surrounding venues, on March 14th (9.30am – 5.30pm), this special day will focus on the opportunities of mission locally and highlight how we can best respond.  A wide range of speakers will contribute to our collective thoughts including Rev’d Dr Mike Ovey (Principal of Oak Hill College, London) and Rev’d Dr Heather Morris (Home Mission Secretary to the Irish Methodist Church).

This is a special day for anyone who has a heart for mission in a local context.  It should be a day to encourage us all in what we can do in our local church as we seek to reach out with the message of the Gospel.  Everyone is invited to attend as we hear of good news stories and be more inspired for service.

Further details and booking information can be found on the CIEF Website (www.cief.net) or by contacting Patricia Halliday

Tel 028 9266 5310 or 07713 257 691 or ciefmembmail@cief.net

 

Full details of the conference and other speakers in attached brochure.

Lissadell Church to be featured on RTE1’s Nationwide Programme

Lissadell Church to be featured on RTE1’s Nationwide Programme, Friday 19th December @ 7pm

Lissadell Church, in the Diocese of Elphin, recently hosted a successful Christmas Tree Festival and Craft Fair weekend.  An estimated two thousand people visited the church and adjoining Lissadell Centre over two days to enjoy the spectacle of over fifty Christmas trees, every one carefully decorated by local church organisations, schools, community groups and businesses.  Each tree gave an insight into the character and work of those who had prepared it, and highlighted their creative skills.  Many visitors also availed of the opportunity to write down a personal prayer and add it to a special prayer tree in the church.    The weekend concluded with a well attended cross-community Carol Service on the Sunday evening.  The Bible readings were read by local politicians, teachers and Scout leaders, while the carol singing was led by the award winning Murley Silver Band from Fivemiletown in Co Tyrone.  Prayers were led by local clergy from both the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic church.  In all, more than €6000 was raised over the weekend, which has been divided evenly between Acquired Brain Injury Ireland and parish funds.

Speaking after the event, the Rector of Lissadell, Archdeacon Ian Linton commented, “We are thrilled at the way in which the local community responded and came together for such a memorable weekend.  This is perhaps the first time we have ever had to transport people by bus to allow entry to Lissadell Church!  We feel privileged to have had the opportunity to retell the Christmas story in Lissadell, with the church building looking its very best.  We are also very pleased to support the important work of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, whose work enables people with neuro-rehabilitation needs to maximise their abilities and enhance their life experience in the community.”

Christmas Message from the Bishop

In the seasons of Advent and Christmas, the writings of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, have been prominent. In one of his prophecies, Isaiah describes
the promised Messiah, the Christ, as “ Wonderful Counsellor”. He will teach people about God and the way to God. In his unique life Jesus was a masterful teacher.
As we come to the close of another year and are about to enter a New Year,
I leave you with words from Isaiah, Chapter 30, verse 21….. “your eyes will see your teacher, and your ear shall hear a word behind you saying, this is the way walk in it.”
Can I wish you a blessed Christmas and may we listen to his voice and walk his way together in 2015.

+ Ferran

Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh.

Diocesan Synod, Bishop Ferran’s Presidential Address

Members of Synod, I want to welcome you today. This is a triennial Synod and I want to acknowledge those who have served in various capacities in the past three years. To those elected and appointed for the incoming three years I offer my thanks and prayers. May I also welcome our guests from other churches, commissions and fellowships. You are most welcome. It is also good to have many of our friends from different church agencies who provide a valued role in our Synod at their stands.

Last year, as I started my episcopal ministry among you, I determined to do three things: to look, listen and learn. In so doing, I invited various stakeholders in the Dioceses to a series of Conversation Days: clergy and laity from each parish, lay and parish readers from across the Dioceses and young people from YKEA. What emerged from these conversations was a vision of what God was doing among us and where that was leading us under God. I have written about this in The Scribe, shared it at Council meetings and among Clergy and Lay ministers.

Now I want to share this Vision with you and it begins with God.

What is God’s vision for His church? To answer this we need to go back to the beginning of the church in the New Testament. In the Book of Acts, the early church, in spite of its excesses and failures, laid a template of what it is to be a living church. In Acts 2: 42-47 we see the marks of a living church.

A living church is a learning church. Its pastors teach and preach from the Scriptures. Its parents teach their children the Scriptures at home. Its members read and reflect on the Scriptures daily in order to grow in the faith.

A living church is a caring church. Those early Christians loved and cared for each other. Their lives were marked by generosity.

A living church is a worshipping church. Their worship was formal and informal, reverent and joyful. The quality of their worship acted like a magnet and drew others in.

A living church is an evangelizing church. The early church reached beyond themselves into an uncertain world. In fact in only thirty years the early church changed the world for all time with the message and love of Jesus.

God’s vision of His church has to do with relationships. A living church is an Apostolic church, which relates to the teaching of the Apostles. Secondly, a living church relates to each other, it is a caring and sharing church. Thirdly, a living church relates to God, in worship and service. Lastly, a living church relates to the world beyond in witness and action.

This is God’s vision for the church, our church and the churches in Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh.

Vision is about seeing clearly, seeing things as they are and seeing ahead. Opticians talk about 20/20 vision, meaning clarity of vision which the average person sees at 20 feet or 6 metres. Having looked at God’s vision for the church in the New Testament and having listened to what came out of the Conversations, which were reported in The Scribe and Councils, I want to offer you a 20/20 Vision for the church in Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh. The 20/20 Vision looks something like this:

Each local church should be a community which nourishes growth through worship, the Scriptures and prayer.

Each local church should be welcoming, caring and generous in raising and resourcing ministry and mission.

Each local church should be a place where ministry and mission is for all: clerical and lay, young and old. People should be trusted and trained for service within and outside the church.

Each local church should be world looking, visible and active in the community and beyond.

Each local church should be connected in prayer and partnership with each other and the worldwide church.

Each local church should prioritize children, from pre-school to third level, passing on the faith to successive generations.

Diocesan administration and structures should be relevant, accountable, representative and supportive of the local church. Diocesan resources should be released to this end.

This 20/20 Vision is a journey of what we want to be and look like by the year 2020.

How will it be realized? Already, I have asked a number of small working groups to think through the areas of administration and both clerical and lay ministries. Other groups will follow. Each working group will report back to the Diocesan Councils, who will then take the necessary decisions to forward the 2020 Vision proposals.

As your Bishop, I intend to visit each group of parishes in 2015, to share the vision and encourage a response on the ground. All this will not happen overnight; the issues will be considered, discussed and prayed through together.

It is the direction in which we are going, over the next five years to 2020. This is the Vision, the 20/20 Vision.

To return to the present, I want to thank various people.

I want to thank our clerical team for their selfless service for the Lord. I make an appeal to all to support and encourage them in their demanding work. We are privileged to have such a team in the Diocese, with privilege comes responsibility.

We said farewell to some of our clergy in the past year. To our beloved Dean Raymond Ferguson, whose godly ministry touched so many.

To the energetic Canon Derek Swan who in retirement has taken on a fresh challenge in Tuam Diocese.

We welcome the Rev. Linda Frost, ordained to serve in the South Leitrim Group of Parishes and the Rev. Ian Horner, ordained to serve in the Bailieborough Group of Parishes. Olivia Downey, an ordinand from our Diocese, was ordained in Tuam to serve in the Westport Group of Parishes.

Likewise I pay tribute to our expanded group of Diocesan Lay Readers whose ministry is vital in the Diocese. They are complimented by a growing number of parish readers whose ministry is greatly valued. The recent Resources Day brought together around one hundred people from across the Diocese, eager to develop skills, to receive training and information in order to resource their local church.

I want to convey our thanks to the Diocesan administration team. To the two Archdeacons, Craig and Ian, to Brigid, Maud and Ann as secretaries and to the treasurers: Des Lowry, William Forster, Canon Billy Stafford and John Davies. Their tireless work on our behalf is considerable and appreciated. To the many who contribute and colour the life of the Dioceses, on Councils, Committees, School Boards, and ministries – we say thank you for your devoted service. Today we remember with gratitude Dorothy Burns from Longford, who served the Dioceses faithfully for so many years. We also pay tribute to Robert Thompson from Killesher Parish who has stepped down from the Kilmore Council after many years of sterling service.

I have been focusing much of this address on Vision. I leave you with words from Proverbs 29:18 in the Old Testament. They are words for our time from The Message:

If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But if they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.

 

+ Ferran

Bishop Ferran giving his Presidential Address to the Synod.

Bishop Ferran giving his Presidential Address to the Synod.

 

Discussions during Synod.

Discussions during Synod.

 

The Very Rev. Dr. Chuck Owens, addressing the Synod.

The Very Rev. Dr. Chuck Owens, addressing the Synod.

 

 

 

Letter from the Bishop | Scribe Oct 2014

Have you noticed that people and places in the Dioceses have been in the news in recent times?

Take the focus on Longford for example with the passing of the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds.

The challenges of up-keeping Crom Castle in County Fermanagh were also the focus of media attention. Viscount Crichton whose family have been living in Crom for 350 years was the subject of a documentary “Keeping the Castle” shown by the BBC.

Sadly Florence Court (in Florencecourt Group) on the other side of Lough Erne was in the news because of an arson attack on a beautiful rustic summerhouse.

Sligo, too, was the centre of attention with the annual Fleadh Cheoil, which brought traditional music to its streets. Over in Roscommon, Boyle was featured in an Irish Times’ piece about the plight of “forgotten towns”. Nearby Carrick-on-Shannon in County Leitrim felt the pinch of redundancy as the MBNA Bank reduced its workforce in the town.

People and places feature heavily in the story of God in the Bible. Out of the debris of Eden when people turned their back on the Creator God, He takes the initiative. From an elderly couple, Abraham and Sarah, God promises a people who will have a place on the earth. Israel, the people of God as they became, are to be a blessing to the peoples of the earth.

Jesus takes up this theme in His Sermon on the Mount, found in the Gospel of Matthew. Speaking to His people, the Church, Jesus describes their essential character. They are to be salt and light, metaphors, which indicate their influence for good in the world.

As salt, the Church was to penetrate the world, to savour and to restrain the world’s tendency to deteriorate. Light illuminates the darkness, which permeates the world.

Through the Dioceses, each church, a distinct local community of faith, exists to be salt and light: as salt being distinct yet part of the community bringing flavour and keeping things from decay. Likewise, light shines as a beacon of truth and love for Jesus.

How can we be salt and light among the people and places where God has located us? Prayer functions like salt through which God works in a community. Outreach and social action also act like light in a place.

Reaching out to people draws them into the light of Christ. Working together for the good of all in the community is a practical example of what matters to Jesus.

Salt and light, that’s what Jesus says we are and what we should be among the people and places he has placed us.

+ Bishop Ferran