Bringing Christ’s healing presence to those in need;
in body, mind or spirit
Pat’s Autumn prayer letter
My Dear Friends
How quickly the summer flies through. It has been quite an amazing season this year, and it isn’t over yet! It seems just a moment since we were searching for green buds on the trees to indicate the arrival of spring, and watching for the appearance of the swallows and martins. Gardening activities arrived with a burst of enthusiasm, and my keen gardener surprised me one day by saying that he had been attacked by a robin! I laughed, but, in justification, the scene was described in detail. There he was, quietly potting up some plants near the greenhouse when a robin flew aggressively at him, time and again, until he retreated some distance. He waited and watched to see what would happen next. After withdrawing to a high wall to observe him for a while, the robin flew into the greenhouse, then out and away. A careful examination of the shelves near the door revealed a small bag of fertiliser which was open at the top and now contained a beautifully constructed mossy nest. Over the next number of weeks, we watched discreetly from an upper window as the robin and his mate collected grubs and other delicacies for their clutch of four. We had our own home grown ‘spring watch,’ and our delight was great when they all successfully fledged. Will the robins nest in the greenhouse again? I certainly hope so. If the swallows and martins can fly such an amazing distance to summer with us each year, I am hoping that the robins will remember their secure, if unusual, home, and return to the second shelf on the right, lean-to greenhouse, Echo Sound.
Prior to going on a Wilderness Experience in Israel during February I had no idea that an estimated 500 million birds migrate through the Rift Valley, and that the same swallows and martins who spend their summer with us, have travelled through Eilat on their journey north. My mind finds it hard to comprehend how such small birds can travel so incredibly long distances and return annually to their chosen nesting ground. One can only marvel at their memory resource and built in navigation system, and be drawn to their Creator God, who cares for them, and us, as individuals. We become forgetful if we fail to acknowledge the Almighty’s hand in His creation. This became very apparent on our Wilderness experience, when, after our evening meal, we discussed the events of the day. Our local guide, a Jew called Michael, remarked, ‘When we passed through the Red Sea’. It was quite a notable comment and I wondered when he had done that, but it soon became apparent that he was talking about the Exodus, when the children of Israel were fleeing from slavery in Egypt. But he had said, ‘When we passed through the Red Sea’. He was so closely identifying with his Jewish ancestors. I was drawn to a verse in the book Exodus: On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ (Exod 13:8) Remembrance of the Exodus became the central feature of Israel’s worship as father told son how God had fulfilled His promises to them. We too should take the remembrance of what God has done for us in the past seriously, because, it is in celebrating His goodness that we increase our faith and build on sure foundations.
During the Spring/Summer session we held three fundraising events. The first was a very successful Sale and Auction at Down Parish, followed by a Coffee morning and Plant Sale at 162, and near the summer solstice, we held an evening with Downshire Brass at Echo Sound. If you have never experiences the latter, then look for the date next year, because it was an outstanding evening, with the timeless pleasure of excellent music, with the backdrop of the tide gently rising on the lough shore.
We held two seminars, one on ‘Daniel in the Lions’ Den’, led by Mark Hamilton, and the other led by Desi Maxwell entitled, ‘God according to God’. Quiet Days were held for Ards Methodists celebrating John Wesley Day; an Armagh Ecumenical Group; and two more which were open to anyone.
Prayer, which is essential to the ministry, has become an increasing feature of life at 162. As our year has become increasingly busy Frances and I took some time out to engage in a Fellowship of Contemplative Prayer three-day silent retreat at Dromantine in June. During this time the office was manned by volunteers.
Looking forward to the late Summer/Autumn programme we are delighted to welcome three groups at 162 in order to view the premises and garden, and learn about the ministry. Members of the Prayer Group from 1st Presbyterian Church, Lisburn; and the Ladies Guild from Donaghadee Parish will both come for afternoon tea; while the Men’s Society from Inch and Kilmore will visit on the evening of 13 September for supper. We are always keen to welcome people to the healing ministry
Seminars will be held on 19 September at 10.30am, on ‘Ruth’, led by Dr James McKeown; on 3 October at 2.00 pm by Katie Shott, entitled ‘Autumn in Vogue’; and on 17 October at 2.00 pm by Mark Hamilton on ‘David and Goliath’. Please book with the office (90795832), and come and bring your friends. We are always keen to receive new people.
Churches Council for Health and Healing are also holding a seminar at Cairnshill Methodist Church on St Luke’s Day, 18 October at 10.00 entitled ‘Healing through Forgiveness’, led by Canon John McCammon.
Our annual Table Quiz at the Lakeside Inn, Ballydugan, will be held on 1 September at 7.30pm. this is always an evening of challenge and a lot of fun. The Book Club have been discussing ‘The War Room’, a novelisation based on the film by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick, which will be shown at the Tudor Cinema, Comber, on Thursday 6 September at 7.30 pm. This has a great story line and we invite you to join us for this. Tickets can be obtained from the office (phone 90795632).
Frances is holding a Bulb Planting Workshop at 162 on Saturday 22 September at 10.00 am, which will help you with your winter/spring garden planters, and you will have one to go home with. As places are limited, please book by calling the office (90795832).
We have booked a table at the Ladies’ Night at the Secret Garden, Dundonald on Friday 28 September at 7.30 pm, for the sale of sweets, preserves and plum puddings. Our final fundraising event of the year is a Coffee Morning and Sale at 162 on Saturday 1 December at 10.00 am. Please support us in these events as they help ‘keep the show on the road’, and enable us to offer our services free at the point of need.
We have two Advent Quiet Days timetabled for Wednesday 5 December and Saturday 8 December at Echo Sound. Special diets can be catered for if requested in advance and booking is essential because of limited space (phone 90795832). If you would like a day for a group (6 – 20 people), then please contact us.
In our increasingly disturbed and troubled world it is good to keep our feet on the right track. Therefore, you may find that it is good to have a spiritual director or accompanier who will assist you on the path of spiritual growth. At CMH we have two people who offer spiritual direction. This usually involves setting aside an hour every month or five weeks for a quiet meeting and prayer. If you would like to explore this, then please give me a call at the office and we can set up a meeting to discuss the possibilities. For example, the spiritual director might recommend valuable readings, suggest ways of prayer and encourage participation in different devotions — activities you might not previously have thought of. The outside help and advice a spiritual director offers can often help you both deepen and mature your faith much more quickly than if you were doing it all alone.
Counselling as well as prayer ministry continue in our house at 162, and I am very grateful to our specialist volunteers for giving their time freely to help others, and a special word of thanks to Mrs Polly Graham, counselling supervisor and to Dr Heather Ferguson Brown for running our Counsellors’ Peer Support Group. We are very grateful to Canon Walter Laverty and Rev Alan Parkhill for leading our Tuesday Services, and to Miss Anna Quigley and Mrs Eve Parkhill our organists. Heartfelt thanks to our prayer ministry teams, Emergency Prayer Line and intercessors who work tirelessly for those in need. Finally my sincere thanks to Frances, who has consistently supported and maintained my sanity when things have become hectic, and who manages me, and my diary, beyond the call of duty.
Isaiah reminds us that our very names are engraved on the palms of God’s hands (Isa 19:16). He was talking of Israel who were in exile, but we are that close to Him. Often we do not remember that, but God does not forget Israel or us, His creation. Each new moment is an opportunity to remember Him and all that He has done for us and be grateful.
It is our special duty to serve you under God, and if you have any suggestions for teaching activities or seminars, then please do let us know. We would love to connect with you and your group and extend the healing ministry of Jesus in your location. Distance is no object.
Wishing you every blessing
LOOK up “Diary dates” until the New Year………
Quiet Days may be booked for groups of 6 – 20 people at Echo Sound. Phone office 90795832 Reserved on receipt of £25
Fundraising Events in September….
Alison’s Quiz Night Saturday 1st September at 7.30 pm. Tickets £5 including a light supper from the office or from Alison Cotter.
Cinema Night at the Tudor Cinema, Comber. Thursday 6th September. Tickets £10 from the office.
Craft Night on Friday 28th Sept 2018 at The Secret Garden, Dundonald Nursery.
Downshire Brass Band Night….a wonderful evening in warm sunshine.
Make sure you come mid-June 2019.
The new Chairman is Canon Chris Matchett, Rector of St Mark’s Parish Church, Newtownards. His appointment was welcomed by everyone at the AGM.
Chairman Dermot O’Callaghan tendered his resignation in May 2018 after five years to concentrate on another area of Ministry. On 3rd May the Board elected a new Chairman and new Board members and this was approved at the AGM.
Pat preached in the new Archdeacon of Dalriada
The Rev Paul Dundas, rector of Christ Church Parish, Lisburn, was appointed Archdeacon of Dalriada by the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy. Paul succeeds the Very Rev Stephen Forde, who was installed as Dean of Belfast in St Anne’s Cathedral. The photographs say it all…
Frances Gibson, receiving a cheque for £550 from Tim McGarry at Belfast Cathedral for the work of the Church’s Ministry of Healing The Mount. This was the first distribution ceremony for Dean Stephen Forde, the proceeds of the 41st Black Santa Sit-out last December.
After only just five years, the loan of £157,000.00 has been repaid. This has been a remarkable achievement for all concerned.
To God be the Glory, great things He has done, and continues to do……..
Shrubs and plants. Rab has a selection of shrubs which can be ordered by email ,phone or calling with Frances, and then collected at 162. If you are looking for something in particular, just email through the web site and leave a telephone number.
——for you in God’s Mission in 2018 by being part of the Prayer Line, Emergency Prayer Line, Prayer Teams for Services and Individual Ministry (Training and experience will be given), and in administrative tasks such as preparation of publications, catering teams and house/garden maintenance.
Telephone the Office for information 9079 5832
you are always welcome to call in for a natter and coffee/tea at 162
or come and spend time in the prayer garden an oasis overlooking the City