Bishop Miller brings a ‘Farewell Charge’ to Down and Dromore

Bishop Harold has addressed the diocese of Down and Dromore for the final time as bishop.

In the last in his series of ‘Farewell’ messages at Bible Week, Bishop Harold charged the leaders of the diocese to minister to the high standards set by Paul in his farewell speech to the Ephesian elders (Acts 20: 17–38).

Such ministry, he said, “comes out of mission, not the other way round.” It should be incarnational and willing to suffer for the Gospel. It should be a teaching, pastoral and evangelistic ministry, led by the Spirit and full of grace. And it should be warm–hearted, relational and faithful to the end.

After he had finished speaking, Bishop Harold led the people in prayer for the ministers of the diocese, then the ministers in prayer for the people. And finally, he invited all to kneel with him as he prayed for the diocese in the words of ‘God be with you till we meet again’ sung by the Revd Sam Johnston.

It concluded a powerful evening and a special week of worship, teaching, ministry, and hospitality in Shankill Church, Lurgan. Bishop Harold hosted a drinks reception each evening as a way of meeting and thanking some of the people who serve so faithfully in our parishes and beyond.

In his first ‘Farewell’ message on Tuesday, the bishop called for a new generation of leaders who would be courageous like Joshua and mentored by older Christians, as Joshua was by Moses.

On Wednesday he invited everyone present to receive an anointing for the calling that God had placed upon their lives. As in 2 Kings, Elisha desired a double portion of the spirit that was upon Elijah, Bishop Harold consecrated some oil as ‘the oil of the double portion’ and the six bishops present anointed members of the congregation one by one.

On Thursday, Bishop Harold spoke on ‘The Great Commission’ in the longer ending of Mark’s Gospel. We learned that we are called to have a message for the whole world, without discrimination, and that Jesus is Lord of all.

Each evening also featured a greeting from an overseas bishop. The first, from the Bishop of the Arctic, the Rt Revd David Parsons, was brought by his predecessor, Bishop Darren McCartney, who is back in Down and Dromore as a rector. The others were brought in person by Bishop Mouneer Anis (Egypt), Bishop Moses Zungu (Maridi) and Bishop Bill Love (Albany).

It was only the third time that all three bishops from the companionship link between Albany, Down and Dromore and Maridi had been together in the same place. Both Bishop Moses and Bishop Bill expressed their heartfelt thanks to Bishop Harold and Liz for their friendship, hospitality and encouragement in the Gospel. They also thanked the diocese for their prayerful and practical support and welcomed the continuation of our fellowship with its exchange of ideas and people.

Standing room only in St Anne’s Cathedral For the Soul of the Nation prayer gathering this week

Cathedral Discovery Space is popular

The Discovery Space in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, was opened to the public on the 5th of August, 2015. It allows visitors to see places in the cathedral that are not open to the public. We are 800 years young & constantly evolving! Engage all of your senses & learn about the dynamic life of the Cathedral.

Meath & Kildare local ministry ordination

The Ordination of Carol Hennessy will take place on Sunday 15th September in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Trim at 4pm. Carol is being ordained as a deacon in the Ordained Local Ministry and will be attached to Geashill Union of Parishes, working with Canon Isaac

From the Desk of the Irish Methodist President

The President writes – “One of my holiday adventures this year was to stand on the hilltop overlooking Belfast Lough at the Co Antrim War Memorial (Knockagh Monument) taking in the enormity of the sacrifice made by so many and the glory of the view that stretched to the Mourne Mountains. This start of a new Church session is a vantage point. What do you see looking back? What are you seeing as you look forward?

“The great adventurer Sir Francis Drake inspired the prayer “O Lord God, when thou givest to thy servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same unto the end, until it be thoroughly finished, which yieldeth the true glory; through him who for the finishing of thy work laid down his life, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.” It a good prayer for this point in the Church year – but another of Drakes may be even better: “Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wilder seas where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land we shall find the stars.” Remember, a ship in the harbour is safe but that’s not what ships are for. God Is Our Adventure. Every blessing.

The President’s Diary:
Sunday 1st September Glengormley am, Carrickfergus pm; Monday-Friday Various meetings and visits; Sunday 8th September Broomhedge am, Cullybackey pm

40th anniversary of episcopal ordination

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the episcopal ordination of Bishop Joseph Duffy on 2 September 1979. We thank Bishop Duffy for his ministry and pray that the Lord will continue to grant him good health and every blessing.

Presbyterian community outreach

Tim Vaughan, is a community outreach worker in Garnerville Presbyterian Church and his ministry includes Knocknagoney Primary School programmes and classes.

Former C of I parish buildings to be site of new Northern Regional College

Photo above – Professor Terri Scott (right), principal and chief executive of Northern Regional College accepts the keys of St Joseph’s College in Coleraine from retiring principal Mrs Mary Millar

The existing Northern Regional College is to relocate to the former St Joseph’s College premises in Beresford Avenue while its new Coleraine campus is being built.

The college has embarked on an £84 million capital investment programme, funded by the Department of the Economy, to develop new campuses on its current sites in Union Street, Coleraine, and Farm Lodge, Ballymena.

The new purpose-built Coleraine campus will be on an extended site which includes the former Church of Ireland buildings on Brook St.

NRC’s principal and chief executive Professor Terri Scott said the projects will significantly benefit the local economy and open up exciting new career opportunities for students of all ages.

“During the construction project, employment and apprenticeship opportunities will be created in the college’s catchment area helping to increase the local skills base and both investment and learners to the area.

“The new Coleraine campus will serve the Causeway Coast and Glens area and, throughout the project there will be many exciting opportunities, not only for our learners, but for local schools to engage with the project.

“We will work with the Council and other stakeholders to ensure that our provision meets the local employment needs while also providing pathways to higher education opportunities.”

She added: “The new campus will open on to Anderson Park, creating an attractive outdoor space. Our staff and students, as well as the local community, will all benefit from the college’s stronger links with the town centre.”

The existing college buildings at Union Street will be demolished and, during the 2020/2021 academic year when the new campus is being built, classes will be temporarily transferred to the former St Joseph’s College premises, which closed this summer as part of phased restructuring of post primary education in Coleraine and Portstewart (its last intake of pupils was in September 2015).

Northern Regional College (www.nrc.ac.uk) is currently accepting applications for courses in a range of subject areas.

Food for thought
Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” CS Lewis