Friday 31st of January to Saturday 1st February are the dates you need to know for the confirmation overnight in Glendermott Parish Hall - from (Fri) 7pm - (Sat) 4pm.
The overnight promises to be great fun while also exploring faith and what getting confirmed actually means to you personally! For this you will need to bring a Bible...
We will aim to kick proceedings off at 7pm on the Friday and you will be picked up the following day at 4pm. You WILL NEED a permission form - you can download the proper one by clicking here!
The cost is £10 and for that you even get fed with pizzas and sweets... What more could you ask for!!!?
This event is open to people who have been confirmed in the last couple of years or are just even thinking about getting confirmed in the next couple. Though we are not strict about the age limit, the majority of young people will be aged around 11-14 so you may want to consider that!
We are really looking forward to this, and can't wait to see you there!!
When: Friday 31st January to Saturday 1st February Time: 7pm until 4pm the following day Where: Glendermott Parish Hall Who for: Anyone considering confirmation, or who has been confirmed in the last couple of years (age range around 11 – 15) Why: To explore faith in a relevant and fun way with young people who are about to be, have been, or are considering getting confirmed. How much: 10.00Euro/Sterling per person – leaders go free. Remember: Bring a Sleeping bag APPROPRIATE PJ's and creature comforts!
When we go to the Czech Republic we go to a ministry called Hand of Hope (http://handofhope.eu). This is a Christian ministry based in Slavikov which is in the middle of the country. It is about 90 minutes from Prague. Hand of Hope is overseen by Youth for Christ Europe, and managed by Simon Marriott, who originally comes from Lurgan, Co Armagh.
Summer 2013 saw a team head to the Czech Republic to work with orphans in partnership with Hand of Hope, this team was an amazing experience for all those who went - they were the ones who were blessed and encouraged by the people they met and the children they grew to love.
The powerful experience which impacted those of us who went is one of the main reasons why we are heading back this Summer in 2014! (Read here).
This Christmas many of the children Hand of Hope worked with over that summer will be spending a day many of us spend with our families, with carers in a childrens' home, without any guarantee of even getting a present with their name on it.
On a day when we unwrap presents and spend time with family, the orphans in Czech Republic will have none of that. For Christians Christmas day is about far more than family and presents - it is about the greatest gift of Jesus Christ coming in the form of a baby. Yet we here in Ireland and Northern Ireland get the double blessing of celebrating that amazing gift WITH our family, friends and church brothers and sisters.
This Christmas consider supporting the work of Hand of Hope as they seek to run a camp for these forgotten children - taking them in over Christmas and the new year, and giving them gifts, spending time with them as a family would and telling them the Gospel story!
This is amazing stuff - and I encourage you all to support this brilliant venture. How many of us at 3pm want to be anywhere other than with our family on Christmas day? Yet I have a funny feeling they would rather spend it nowhere else... Hats off to Hand of Hope! May God bless this work!
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This Christmas and New Year we’re planning to run another kids camp. It’s for the kids that remain in the orphanage throughout the Christmas holidays, who never experience what it’s like to be part of a family celebration.
This is always a special time when we get to not only demonstrate God’s love through inviting them to spend Christmas with our families but also through gift giving and all the other trimmings that go along with the christmas festivities. It’s a time when we get to share the good news of Jesus’ birth and the possibility of knowing God as your father and being part of His family with other brothers and sisters in Christ. We also share the Hope we have in Christ and how that can transform the pending New Year, with all their apprehensions and anxieties.
We would love you to consider partnering with us to run this camp by giving a donation to help pay for presents (€20), or food and accommodation (€50) for the kids. If this is something you’d like to do you can donate by clicking the button below.
The annual leaders retreat was slightly different this year in that we combined forces with Clogher and Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh dioceses to hold the first West of Ireland youth leaders retreat. Around 55 people in total arrived at Jacksons Hotel in Ballybofey on the Friday night and after booking in were introduced to our speaker for the weekend Alain Emerson (pictured right), with our worship lead by Alice and Chris from Garvagh.
Alain is a friend of mine from school days in Lurgan, but that's not the reason he was invited to speak. He is a man of integrity, honesty and one after the heart of God - all qualities which lead to his invitation. A former Irish Premier League footballer with Loughgall and Crusaders; a guy who keeps his eyes on Jesus, even through toughest times; and someone who at the age of 34 is assistant pastor in Emmanuel Church in Lurgan, this is a man who is worth a listen, and who has something of relevance and importance to say to those of us looking to go deeper in our faith.
He did not disappoint.
The statistics of people who fall away from God, even though they have been youth leaders or 'sold out Christians' in their youth are shocking, so Alain aimed to instill in each of us the disciplines and qualities which will protect us from becoming one of those statistics, or in other words the methods and attitudes which will ensure we remain in the vine (John 15). He asked us to consider our posture towards God - how do we position ourselves in relation to Him? What is our intention and motivation and understanding of God the Father. In realising we are sons and daughters, then we can begin to change how we view God, and in finding our 'chair' (see the video below) - we can become transformed into His likeness.
The over riding feeling from the weekend was that the church of Ireland has a generation of leaders in their 20's and 30's who are seeking to go deeper with God. They are craving more of the Father, and they are investing serious time and energy in the generation coming after them. They are doing this out of a relationship with a God who has invested in them. These young leaders are the missionaries to the young people noticeable by their absence in the pews, they are the workers, planting the seeds and gathering the harvest. However they vocalised a sense of isolation and disconnection from parish life, a sense that they were on the fringes or the edge of church. This can not be right. The easy thing to do is to blame them for this 'young people don't come to church anyway' - this would not be wise...
As a church we send mixed messages about the role of young people - we proclaim that young people will save the church from decline, while blaming them for not coming and refusing to change to appeal to them... it is just illogical!
In a free market economy, where we change our electricity with a click of a mouse, or swap banks in 20 minutes on the phone, what else do we expect young people to do when they don't like something... the culture they live in today says 'shop around...' Of course they will do the same with church until they find somewhere welcoming, somewhere which values them, somewhere which engages them into the teaching and love and presence of God. Any business losing customers would change to get them back, though we are not a business - we could learn a thing or two from the business world on this... As a church we send mixed messages about the role of young people - we proclaim that young people will save the church from decline, while blaming them for not coming and refusing to change to appeal to them... it is just illogical!
The weekend also revealed a willingness to be involved in decision making like Synod, yet at the same time suggested that there was little knowledge or understanding around it's purpose and function. What is Synod anyway?...
Perhaps most striking of all was the challenge from Alain to the leaders to be in the presence of God - stating that God is all about presence before principles - that with the children of Israel, God decided to come among them, evidenced time and time again throughout the Old Testament, and ultimately in the person of Jesus. Alain challenged us to be in the presence of God - to seek after that before the blessings and promises of God, much like Moses when God said in Exodus 33.3: Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey.But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”
God keeps His promises, but because the Israelites are so stubborn, or 'stiff necked', God says He will not go with them... wait for the response from Moses...
15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
The challenge is obvious - the promises of God only come second to being in the presence of God. Alain made the point well that if we find ourselves in places seeking after the promises and not the presence, then we are to look elsewhere, to go elsewhere.
55(ish) leaders tells us that we are blessed as a church, that there is reason for hope and celebration. However the challenge remains that while our leaders and young people may remain in the vine, they may not remain in places refusing to seek after the presence of Almighty God.
Thanks for the weekend must go to CIYD, Barbara for all the admin and packing the goody bags, and Sharon Hamill (former Northern worker for CIYD) for her vision for this event, which secured the funding and suggested the speaker. Thanks also to Andrew Frame and Amy McCrea (both CIYD staff) for coming and to Jonny Phenix (Clogher DYO) and Rev Ali Calvin (Rector in Kilmore diocese) for bringing their youth leaders. It truly was a refreshing weekend, which left us all with a little more to think about, and a little further on in our walk with God.
[gallery title="West of Ireland youth Leaders Retreat" width="130px" height="130px" columns="5"] [gallery_item title="Quiz Winners (plus some extras)" src="/images/dry/news/QuizWinners.jpg"]Quiz Winners (plus some extras)[/gallery_item] [gallery_item title="Cake time with Ruth, Andrea and Stacey" src="/images/dry/news/Ruth-Andrea-Stacey.jpg"]Cake time[/gallery_item] [gallery_item title="Alain Emerson, our speaker" src="/images/dry/news/Alain1.jpg"]Alain Emerson[/gallery_item] [gallery_item title="Rachel and Mellissa enjoy some down time" src="/images/dry/news/Rachel-Mellissa.jpg"]Rachel and Mellissa enjoy some down time[/gallery_item] [gallery_item title="Most of the gang!" src="/images/dry/news/everyone.jpg"]Most of the gang![/gallery_item]
Remember StreetReach On The Move? Well it's back!!!
We call this a reunion - BUT it is for ANYONE and EVERYONE to come and see what all the fuss is about, and to look forward to next years event!! Come, taste and see!!!!
It will not be quite as big - but hopefully will be just as fun and brilliant!
Keep Sunday 15th December free from about 3pm onwards, because we are about to hit the streets of Derry/Londonderry again with the amazing Love of God!
We hope to gather in the diocesan centre for about 3pm IN OUR BLUE TSHIRTS, get geared up and head onto the streets to give out free gifts with Bible verses on, to remind people of the AMAZING reason for the season!
We will then get back to the lovely warm, cosy diocesan centre for some hot chocolate, food and a little chance to say thanks to God for His faithfulness and love as we remember Jesus coming to the world!
We know not everyone will be able to make it, but we hope there will be a few surprise guests to keep you all intrigued!!
See you soon - and check out the event on facebook to let us know if you will make it!
Guiding in Northern Ireland has had a new divisive and secular Promise imposed upon it against the wishes of its members! Please read and sign this petition for the reinstatement of the old Promise within Girlguiding Ulster, alongside the addition of a truly inclusive alternative for those uncomfortable with making a promise to God.
Despite the deep concern about the new Promise from Guiding and churches here, there are no plans to change it. Indeed, the most recent Guiding UK advice on understanding the line ‘Be true to myself and develop my beliefs’ in the new Promise makes no mention of God as core to developing belief. It does, however, encourage girls to ‘not be influenced by others around you’. There is deep concern that a promise to ‘be true to yourself’ is essentially self-centred and undermines the important role of family, community and faith in positively influencing children and young people.
Therefore the way of life for Guiding in Northern Ireland is under threat. Only an overwhelming show of opposition to the new promise will save Guiding here as we know it. Your signature is needed!
Please sign this petition, post the petition link on your Facebook page, social media or newsletter and forward this to all those with a stake in Girl Guiding here –to members and leaders past and present, parents of Rainbow, Brownie and Guide members and select vestries, elders and other leaders.
If you are aged 18 or over and are based around the Derry/Londonderry area, and are keen to get a qualification in youth work through Youthlink, then please read on.
Every Tuesday night from the 14th January to the 4th March in the diocesan centre (to be confirmed), Youthlink will run a course in youth work skills which will result in you achieving an OCN level 2 certificate in Youth Work. This qualification can then be used on CV's as it is accredited, and successful completion entitles you to then apply for the OCN level 3 course which is recognised by employers and puts you on a pay scale.
The course is free to anyone who applies, however we can only take a maximum of 22 people so it will be on a first come first served basis.
The following is from Youthlink's own website:
Level 2: Introduction to Youth Work
The programme is designed for:
those aged 18 and over;
individuals or groups working to develop their youth work skills or youth ministry practice;
people from all walks of life who want to develop their understanding of and ability to work effectively with young people.
This programme consists of 30 hours of actual tutor /participant contact time. In addition, participants will be expected to spend a minimum of 20 hours working with young people in a youth work / youth ministry setting over the duration of the course. Further time may be needed for individuals to complete associated tasks – approximately 10 hours. The programme is a competence-based programme and is assessed through portfolio building and a witness testimony from the candidate’s supervisor.