The Church’s Ministry of Healing – The Mount
162 Upper Knockbreda Road, Belfast. BT6 9QF
Office – 02890795832; Counselling – 07842925433
My Dear Friends
Our House of Prayer, frequently just called ‘162’, has been our work place for eighteen months now. It is very adaptable and can rearrange from accommodating a large crowd to the seclusion of one-to-one prayer or counselling sessions. There is a peace in it which is palpable, which we attribute to the prayer which goes on in house and by the team who pray daily for the rooms and ministry which takes place and significantly for the thanksgivings offered for healings received. In fact going to work is more like going home, for there is peace and tranquility which enfold all who come within our doors. We are reminded frequently of Jesus’ words: ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt 11:28, NRSV) Over the last term the numbers of visitors have increased greatly, and there is hardly a day when we do not feel ‘engaged’. The numbers attending the Tuesday Holy Communion services are increasing gradually and more people are availing of the opportunity to receive Laying on of Hands and anointing after this service. The numbers attending the monthly Prayers for Israel and the Nations are still small, but we are becoming better informed and feel that it is an essential part of the healing ministry.
The autumn term had varied activities both in house and out and about. The house Chapel was the venue for a family when, as part of a thirtieth wedding anniversary celebration, the parents renewed their marriage covenant. It was a joy and privilege for us to be part of that. A Prayer Ministry Course was held at Strean Presbyterian Church, Newtownards which was well attended and I have been asked back to preach in March. The Thursday night Healing Service at the special Mission week at Christ Church, Kilkeel was a night to remember when one of our supporters, Chris Grant, gave his testimony of healing from non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and our prayer team was kept very busy. Chris also gave his testimony at the second year medical students ‘Alternative Healing’ course. The Advent activities were completed with an evening Healing Service at St Malachy’s Parish, Hillsborough.
Our volunteers were privileged to hear Rev Desi Maxwell give two seminars on the Book of the Revelation. His talks were healing in themselves as he brought clarity where previously many of us had found confusion, and he left us with an enthusiasm to follow up and read the recommended books. We have planned another ‘Volunteers’ Seminar’ with Desi on Wednesday 17 February from 10.00 am – 12.30 pm followed by lunch. This time the subject will be the Lord’s Prayer. These seminars are very popular, and need to be booked early as numbers are limited. (Booking with Rosie, 90795832.)
‘Out and about’ I led a reflective evening for the ladies of Lisburn Christian Fellowship Church; and spoke at St Columba’s Knock Ladies Fellowship and at St Matthew’s Shankhill Mothers’ Union on the healing ministry of Jesus. St Mark’s Armagh gathered a large group for discussion on the problems with Alternative Therapies including traditional charms for all sorts of ailments.
At Echo Sound we hosted the quieter activities. A team from Holywood Parish prayerfully prepared for their time working in Delhi, India on the Asha slum project. Separately a group recalled and relived their pilgrimage to Israel. Two Advent Quiet Days were a particular benefit to our supporters and teams, and we also accommodated a Parish Staff planning day and an Alpha Away Day.
On the fundraising scene we have had some very good events. September started with a Table Quiz at the Lakeside Inn, Ballydugan. This was a packed evening with very testing questions. One person at our table was very disappointed that we failed to get any correct answers to the questions on sport, music or the soaps! Fortunately some people did not have that problem and the winning table had a very respectable score. Despite our lack of knowledge the evening was full of humour and a great time was had by all. The next event was the BBQ and Belfast Fireworks on 31 October at 162. This year the weather was rather pleasant and some of our guests settled into the garden to enjoy the panorama of the firework display, while the less venturesome packed into the front rooms for the spectacle. It really is a great observation post and leads naturally to blessing the city. Just over a week later we were at St Margaret’s Downpatrick for a Coffee morning and Auction of ‘Interesting Items’. It was the wettest day in the autumn, but people’s generosity was not dampened when John Thompson, the auctioneer, started. What people did not spend on bidding on items was collected in a plastic bucket marked ‘Donations’ and we came away very well pleased with the day. This was followed by a Coffee Morning and Plant Sale at 162. To complete the fundraising year we were hosted by St Dorothea’s for a Christmas Wreath demonstration and tuition. This was a delightful slowing down time in the middle of frenetic activity, and we all went home with excellent creations of floral art with roses and orchids which lasted to well after Christmas. I am delighted to say that because of the fundraising and our normal activities this year we have been able to pay back £20.000 more of the loan, leaving £80k still owing. We have managed to repay £67.5k in the eighteen months we have been in 162, which has been a tremendous blessing from God. Nearly half way in eighteen months to freedom from debt; may God be praised.
Looking forward into the New Year the regular programme of Stitch Glue Sip and Chew begins on 4 January with the Tuesday Prayers for Israel and the Nations beginning on 12 January and Holy Communion and Laying on of Hands beginning on 19 January. Friday Healing Services at St Anne’s Cathedral resume on 8 January at 1.00 pm. The Counsellors’ Peer Group meets on Wednesday 10 February at 12.00 noon. I am delighted to be invited to speak to the Methodist Retired Clergy group on ‘The Christian Healing Ministry’ on 16 February and on the same topic to a Luncheon Club held in the GAA Club in Rostrevor the following week. We are having two Lenten Quiet Days at Echo Sound on Wednesday 2 March and Saturday 4 March from 10.30 am until 4.30 pm. The cost is £25 and your place is secured by booking with Rosie in the office (90795832). Rosie and I are leading a seminar (or ‘in conversation’) on the subjects of Anointing and Cleansing on Wednesday 9 March at 10.30 am at 162. Clogher Diocesan Healing Committee has organised a Healing Day on Sunday 13 March entitled, ‘He Touched Me’, followed by an evening Healing Service.
Among its many responsibilities the Board has been studying governance, and it has been articulated that we should not to be caught up in ‘being busy’, but that we need to remember our goals and do our utmost in God’s service. What an encouragement and blessing this Board is to us, ensuring that while we fulfil our legal responsibilities our priorities are God-ward.
So many individuals need to be thanked for their contribution to our advancement and growth, but most of all our thanks and praise are due to God for his many blessings received both individually and corporately.
Please do check out our website: www.cmh-themount.org to keep up to date as it changes regularly and let us know if there are any topics you would like to have a seminar or discussion on. Alternatively if you would like a course or Quiet Day for your group please let us know.
With many thanks for all your support and wishing you a blessed New Year.
Your sister in Christ