As I write to you for this summer edition of In Focus we have, from Holy Week to the end of May, been in a really busy period in Donaghadee Parish. As In Focus shows, much has been happening and our parish magazine is a great way of keeping up-to-date with all that is happening! Thank you to my secretary Dorothy Bell for the great job she does in producing In focus and to Mike Mc Neice and Ali Finlay for the excellent photographs!
Our magazine celebrates parish life! We have walked with Christ through the darkness of Holy Week and worship on Easter day was overflowing with joy at knowing that the risen Jesus was with us. We had three excellent days of 24/7 prayer in the church and I know that many found the church space to be a peaceful place to bring their burdens for others or to come and to be ministered to.
We celebrated the life of Jesus through Holy Baptism in the lives of a baby, a primary school child and a young adult! This was a wonderful picture of growing in faith at any age in our Parish family!
And on Sunday 18th May we celebrated a Service of Confirmation when eight young people and two adults affirmed their baptismal promises to follow the Lord Jesus, and our Bishop laid hands on them and prayed that the Holy Spirit would daily fill and strengthen them.
The theme of the service was “New Life in Christ” and if we want any phrase to sum up what being apart of a church community is about, it is this.
St. Paul; says:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away;
behold, the new has come.
2 Cor 5:17
A fresh start; new possibilities and daily hope. The Confirmation Prayer sums up what it means to be a Christian:
May your fatherly hand ever be over them.
Let your Holy Spirit ever be with them.
Lead them to know and obey your word,
and keep them in eternal life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
It was wonderful to see so many young people stepping out in faith at our Confirmation Service this year. It will be important in the months ahead to integrate them into the life of the congregation, to begin a group that will provide for their spiritual needs in order that we do not lose them from the church family. It is always a pity that people so often drop away from church after both baptism and confirmation.
I invite all who receive In Focus to not just read about what happens in Donaghadee Parish Church but to be a part of what God is doing IN Donaghadee Parish Church. You will receive a warm welcome!
Your friend and Rector
IAN R GAMBLE