31st May 2020
PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS SITUATION, ALL GATHERINGS FOR WORSHIP AND ALL
ORGANISATIONS ARE TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED.
For PCI Sunday service see the Presbyterian Church in Ireland website – News page
or on the PCI Facebook page
Also see Faughanvale Presbyterian Web page and Facebook page for further updates
plus Prayer Points below.
Please also see Video Clip encouraging you to continue to Worship / Pray at home,
which we will update each week.
Unfortunately, no pastoral visitation is currently allowed in the hospital, nursing
homes or members homes. However, if you have any pastoral needs, please contact Rev
Lindsay Blair, Tel 028 71810255 or email@example.com or please contact
your district elder
Limited Church Opening
The Kirk Session met last week, by Zoom, and have decided that the Church Building
will be open on Monday evenings from 7pm – 8.30pm. This is to give members the opportunity
to leave off FWO or other donations etc. and will initially be manned by the Elders.
This will commence from Monday 1st June 7.00-8.30pm.
Children and Youth Resources
https://www.facebook.com/ScriptureUnionNI - See Primary Sessions Who us
& Post Primary Sessions – Living Free Plus family devotions etc.
Illustrated Ministry – Colouring in etc. https://www.illustratedministry.com/blog/
Please note, Children’s Day would normally have been happening in June. We hope to
do something special for the children on-line shortly – watch this space.
Community Support and Food Parcels
Eglinton Churches Together/Community Centre volunteers have been asked by Council
to distribute a small number of food boxes. They are intended primarily for those
who have received a Shielding Letter from their GP (i.e. those deemed most vulnerable
due to underlying medical conditions). There is no automatic entitlement to food
parcels to anyone over the age of 70, as some have thought. Each letter has contact
details to request a food box or other support. Please do not hesitate to contact
one of the co- ordinators listed on our leaflet and we will help as best we can.
Coronavirus – The Global Impact - Coronavirus knows no borders and is having a growing
impact globally with more than 3.5 million people infected and 250,000 having died.
It is the poorest countries that are most vulnerable in this pandemic and the outcome
could be catastrophic within a matter of months if action is not taken now. PCI’s
Global Mission Standing Committee has approved the release of £60,000 (€68,118) towards
the emergency response of PCI’s relief and development partners, Christian Aid and
Tearfund, and to partner churches and organisations. Aware of the significant economic
challenges being faced here at home during this crisis, it has been decided that
a Moderator’s Appeal in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic is not being launched at
this time, but this will be given further consideration later in the year. If, however,
anyone would like to give more immediately, please do so, as you feel led and are
able, through the Coronavirus Emergency Appeals of PCI’s relief and development partners’
by going to their websites: www.christianaid.ie or www.tearfund.org Please also be
encouraged to pray for our partners, for all those with whom they are working on
the ground, and upon whom COVID-19 is impacting most severely, beyond the shores
NI Proposed Abortion Regulations: The UK Government’s vote on abortion regulations
in Northern Ireland planned to proceed on 14th May has been put on hold. Please pray
that serious reconsideration will be given to this very important matter.
Faughanvale Presbyterian Church - An announcement regarding Church finances:
I hope that you and your family are safe and well.
While we appreciate that for all of us at present there are more pressing matters,
I have been asked to write to you about the continuing needs to provide income for
the church. Although services and all other activities are currently suspended,
most of the routine expenditure incurred by the congregation remains unabated and
the bills have to be paid. However, without income from FWO and Maintenance Account
envelopes, the relatively small amount of reserve funds available will diminish very
quickly and there is a real possibility that there will be insufficient funds to
meet our commitments in the near future.
We appreciate that many members of the congregation will have greatly reduced income
during this emergency and that many members will simply not be able to contribute
as before. However, insomuch as you are able, we would appeal to you to (preferably)
make contributions by Standing Order direct to the congregation’s bank account (if
you are not already contributing in this way) or consider making periodic payments
online (perhaps reflecting contributions you would normally have made through weekly
envelopes) or to continue to fill your weekly envelopes so that the congregation’s
funds can be replenished as quickly as possible when we are able to meet again.
If you would like to set up a Standing Order or make a payment online, please contact
either the Treasurer, Sammy Cochrane (telephone 07840 679538, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
or myself (telephone 0771815 3848, email email@example.com) for the bank details
that you will need. Alternatively if you wish to forward a cheque, please sent it
to Sammy Cochrane at 293 Clooney Road, Limavady, BT49 9JE
Sunday 31 May 2020 – Saturday 6 June 2020
“These three remain…” is an initiative of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland to
draw congregations and their members together in God to express his life and witness
in this moment. Content is also available on the PCI website and social media channels
to resource the church for its continuing ministry and mission.
In this moment A prayer for a church apart when it is usually assembled
Sole King and Head of the church,
in this our annual week of General Assembly,
we bow before you, a church strangely apart.
This year there will be no opening night,
sharing of bread and wine in silent communion,
rousing singing at the Wednesday night rally,
catching up with familiar faces in the coffee queue.
We are experiencing a twenty first century disruption to our Presbyterian ways,
caused by threat to public health, rather than theological principle.
And yet, this year,
we find ourselves curiously more drawn together than ever,
not in one place, for one week,
but as one people, to witness as one,
the Presbyterian Church in Ireland,
in shared circumstances across the whole island.
We look again to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for in you, and for you, all things were created,
even life in lockdown and vaccines for viruses.
You reign in heaven and earth,
unpanicked in the face of pandemic.
In these uncertain times,
still shaken governments north, south, east and west,
bow envious of the power of your kingdom,
which doesn’t falter and cannot fail.
You hold all things together,
even when they feel like they might be falling apart.
And you are the head of this body, the church -
our church, as we like to call it,
even though we know it is really yours.
Yours to lead, guide, direct, correct in this moment,
because, glorious firstborn from among the dead,
in everything you have the supremacy.
The prayers of Let’s Pray this week have been provided by the incoming Moderator,
Rt Rev Dr David Bruce and focus on the meeting of the Standing Commission of the
General Assembly and the Councils of the General Assembly.
Sunday 31 May
Sunday 31st May Enjoying God
As congregations gather online for worship today, pray for the outgoing Moderator,
Dr William Henry as he leads his final service for the wider church. Pray that this
would be a significant moment as the church reflects on his theme, ‘Enjoying God’.
Pray for the Clerk of the General Assembly, Rev Trevor Gribben and the Deputy Clerk,
Rev Jim Stothers as they prepare themselves for meetings of the Standing Commission
of the General Assembly during this week. Pray that even though the full General
Assembly cannot meet, God would guide this Commission in its work.
Monday 1st June New Moderator
Pray for the Moderator-Designate, David Bruce, his wife Zoe and their family, as
David is installed as Moderator this evening. Pray that the service will prove to
be an uplifting moment for him and the wider church as he takes on this new role
for the year.
Pray for Global Mission Workers, and PCI’s Global Mission Partner churches who will
have hoped and planned to send delegates to the General Assembly this week. As they
may be watching the opening night event online, pray for an increasing sense of fellowship
and belonging across the Presbyterian family.
Tuesday 2nd June Standing Commission of the General Assembly
The Standing Commission of the General Assembly will meet today and tomorrow. Pray
for its work in determining ways forward on some essential items of business, and
for wisdom in considering how the church may manage its work through the current
Pray for David Bruce as he responds to invitations to represent the church’s views
on a wide variety of issues in the media this week. Pray for PCI’s Press Officer,
Mark Smith as he prepares press releases, and offers advice to those asked for comment
on behalf of the church.
Wednesday 3rd June Standing Commission of the General Assembly
The meetings of the Standing Commission of the General Assembly continue today. Pray
for Conveners of PCI Councils and Committees who may be speaking to reports, that
they be given clarity in presenting their work for decision, and that these decisions
would honour God, and assist the church in fulfilling its calling in the world.
Pray for those responsible for the management of the finances of the church, both
treasurers in congregations and PCI’s Financial Secretary, Clive Knox and the Committees
he supports. Pray that the financial capacity of the church to continue its work
would not be curtailed during the current crisis.
Thursday 4 June PCI Care Homes
Pray for the vital work of the Council for Social Witness, and specifically its work
in Residential Homes which may be vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Give thanks for
the dedicated and skilled work of staff in PCI’s care homes, and for their dedicated
Pray for the work of the Council for Congregational Life and Witness, in seeking
to support and resource the work of local churches throughout Ireland. When conferences
and other meetings cannot take place, give thanks for the new and imaginative ways
the Council is seeking to do its work.
Friday 5 June Global and Irish mission
Pray for the work of the Council for Global Mission, and specifically in its current
support for Global Mission Workers, some of whom have returned to Ireland while others
remain in their overseas locations. Pray for the safety of overseas staff, far from
Pray for the work of the Council for Mission in Ireland acting in support of the
Home Mission, Irish Mission, Chaplaincy and other aspects of the Church’s outward
face at home. Pray that the important work of reimagining PCI’s mission in light
of current events will bear fruit in coming years.
Saturday 6 June Online worship
As the first of the new Moderator’s online worship services will be available tomorrow
morning, pray for the team working on these services each week, including the technical
people, musicians, readers and other participants. Pray that God would be honoured
through these services each week.
Thank God that He is Lord of his Church – that nothing can change this, and that
even though there has been much to disrupt what we do, he remains in control of everything.
Pray that his people would be given the gift of faith to “be sure of what we hope
for, and certain of what we do not see”. (Hebrews 11:1).