At the time of writing on the 12th March, the Covid -19 virus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. That means that it has spread across the world and is impacting more than one hundred countries. I am writing to assure you that we in the Church of Ireland are taking this virus seriously and are seeking to limit its spread as part of civic society in Ireland. Already guidelines have been issued to reduce physical contact, by not shaking hands and by not receiving wine at Holy Communion. We are also asked not to gather indoors with more than one hundred people. Most of our church services have less than that threshold and will continue until directed otherwise. Our rectors have only limited access to hospitals and nursing homes. Schools have also been closed as from the above date. As the impact of the virus is likely to spread the guidelines will probably be extended. This will be done on a national basis following the advise of the HSE.
In the meanwhile we can support one another by keeping in touch by phone and online. By following the advice to wash our hands regularly and to limit unnecessary physical contact especially if we feel unwell. We are in the season of Lent a time of self discipline and I would ask you to exercise self discipline to allay the effects of this virus The Church of Ireland website offers a whole range of resources to help us keep our spiritual discipline. I offer this pray which is on the website:
Almighty and All-Loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We pray to you through Christ the Healer,
for those who suffer from the Covid-19 virus in Ireland and across the world.
We pray too for those who reach out to those who mourn those who have
died as a result of this disease.
Give wisdom to policy makers, skill to health care professionals and researchers;
comfort everyone in distress and give a sense of calm in these days of uncertainty and fear.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord,
who showed compassion to the outcast, and accepted the rejected,
love to those when no love was shown. Amen
‘WALK WITH ME is a tool for churches and organisations with a passion to see young people stepping closer to Jesus.
It enables them to support young people, aged 14+, to meet in ones or twos with a committed Christian for an hour every couple of weeks to catch up, discuss the bible, and pray.’ An app as well as online and local support will be provided to help mentors and young people.
If you would be interested in learning more about WALK WITH ME, particularly if you would like to be part of it as a mentor or participant, please contact Damian on email@example.com or check out walkwithmejourneys.org.
Download the Step by Step guide and PowerPoint presentation setting out how it is hoped WALK WITH ME will work, along with a sample postcard to invite people to be involved. If you would like hard copies of these, they are available in a starter pack – let Damian know if you would like to receive one.
World renowned youth minister and professor Ken Moser speaking to a gathering of volunteer youth and children’s leaders in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon.
Looking ahead to St Patrick’s Day, the Church of Ireland Council for Mission has produced an all-age family service resource – Celebrating St Patrick’s Radiant Faith – for use across the island of Ireland. This resource includes prayers and actions that focus on how St Patrick’s ministry reflected the themes of the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission, and how Christians can follow his example and live out their faith in Jesus today.
The Five Marks of Mission are:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom;
- To teach, baptise and nurture new believers;
- To respond to human need by loving service;
- To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation; and
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
The resource relates each of these to St Patrick’s life i.e. in his return to Ireland to tell people about the love of God in Jesus Christ, his teaching on the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, leaving his country to follow God’s call and serve the people of Ireland, and his experiences both as a slave and a shepherd.
The Revd Adam Pullen, Chairman of the Council for Mission, said: ‘The radiant faith of St Patrick, our patron saint, led to his proclamation and sharing of the good news of Jesus in faith, action and symbol. I hope that all who use this imaginative and interactive resource, prepared by the Council of Mission, will find it to be an encouragement as we celebrate St Patrick. May it help us as we radiate our faith in prayerful and practical ways across this island.’
The resource is available to download from the following link: http://bit.ly/2EerGLV
The Children’s Ministry Newsletter for Lent and Easter is now out, including craft ideas for knitting, ‘Lent in a Bag’, ‘Holy Week in a Box’ and a Lego challenge for Holy Week and Easter. Tom Tate, a part–time children’s and youth worker from Co. Dublin, also writes on the Church, children and mental health.
http://bit.ly/2KOaD5tThe Book of Common Prayer (BCP) was brought into the smartphone era with the launch of the Daily Worship app at this year’s General Synod. The app is an initiative from the Church’s Central Communications Board in close co-operation with the Church’s Liturgical Advisory Committee. Daily Worship presents Bible readings, prayers, canticles and Services from the BCP in one place and in a simplified format. These are available for each day of the year, covering five Services: Morning and Evening Daily Prayer, A Late Evening Office, Compline, and Holy Communion. This app aims to help us in our personal and communal prayer lives – bringing us closer together as a church family and to the God whom we worship.
The Church of Ireland’s Church and Society Commission launched a leaflet on the spiritual care of people living with dementia at the Church of Ireland General Synod, in Limerick, on Thursday, 4th May. The leaflet is also available online at https://www.ireland.anglican.org/resources/435/spiritual-care-in-dementia
Speaking of the launch, the Revd Adrian Dorrian said: “Dementia continues to be an issue that impacts our Churches at every level. This leaflet provides some useful information for pastors, church visitors and family members. It’s also a very real sign of the Covenant between the Church of Ireland and the Methodist Church. We are very grateful for permission to reproduce this material.”
Ms Maud Cunningham
Mrs Sarah Taylor
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