Continuing the theme of resurrection, today the tide brings in the encounter between Jesus and Thomas. Thomas is usually associated with doubting, but we display similar tendencies each and every day. We know who Jesus is, we know the power of the Holy Spirit, but often we live practically as if Jesus and the Holy Spirit are just confined to the pages of an old book.
John Dickinson today reminds us,
There is a higher blessing than to have proof, for Jesus said – “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
In Hebrews we read,
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Blood Transfusion Service
The church halls will be used on Monday 20th April for a blood donation session, because of the Coronavirus restrictions, you will only be able to give blood with a prior appointment. Give thanks that even though we cannot use our building at this time, it is going to be used for this good cause. (Please Note - This use of the building conforms with the Government and PCI advice, and the Blood Transfusion Service have undertaken to disinfect the building after it has been used by so many people.) Please keep praying for all those who are providing Care and Key Services day by day, and also pray for their families who they return to each evening.
General Assembly Cancelled
A Virtual meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has voted to cancel this years General Assembly due to be held in June. More details about this can be read at the link below.
These Three Remain - Podcast
The third episode of the “These Three Remain” podcast is available at the link below and explores how we can equip and support those from our congregations who find themselves on the frontline of this crisis. PCI’s Discipleship Development Officer Rick Hill is joined by Dr William Henry (Moderator), Karen Jardine (Public Affairs Officer) and Rev Christoph Ebbinghaus (Kirkpatrick Memorial).
Peter & Anna Crawford
Peter and Anna were due to move to Greece at the beginning of May, their latest Prayer Letter is now available, here is an extract from it.
Police Line - do not cross
Our morning walks by the river are a gift from God these days. The wide expanse of the water, the cloud formations, and … oh, the birdsong. We walk as far as the Police line that says go no further, (the decking at this point is not wide enough for social distancing) back to our lockdown life of working through zoom and skype like everyone else, but also having more time for praying and reflection and refocussing on the Lord. This latter aspect has been so refreshing, and we are grateful to God to have this place by the river, and to be able to stay on in Parque das Nacões for the time being.
The ‘police line’ also means now’s not the time to cross over to Greece. We had planned to move in the first week of May, and even had temporary accommodation there sorted out. Now we will wait and reevaluate again in mid June. For now God has given us plenty to do.
Anna is currently ‘accompanying’ a number of young women coping with the uncertainties and anxieties of life in lockdown. We have been able to have more regular times with ‘Sarah’, mentioned in our last update, and it has been good to see how much she is growing in her understanding of who Jesus is. Our Alta Cristã church plant group also continues to grow with pre-recorded songs and messages on Sunday, and a live interaction with prayer and Bible study on Wednesdays which Peter has been leading.
For your Prayers (Peter and Anna)
For family as we keep in touch differently. So Sunday Easter lunch becomes a family affair over Zoom. Please pray for God's continued hand of blessing and guidance, on Colin, Sharon and Gabriel, and Judith and Alvin and wee Charles.
For guidance for Greece that our move would happen in God's time, not ours. We are grateful that its not a rushed affair as it would have been had we moved in May.
For Luciana and George in Athens - friends who have now also become colleagues as they recently have joined ECM Ireland - as they help us in our practical preparations before we go.
For continued growth in our knowledge of this mysterious God who is moving in unusual ways during this current crisis.
For the conversations we continue to have with friends and colleagues, both in Portugal, and further afield in France, Germany, Malta and Greece that we might be an encouragement and blessing.
Many of you pray for Colin Jenkins and his work in Cork with the Christian Seamens Friends Society. Colin gave an interview to Life FM the Cork based Christian Radio Station on 8th April 2020. To find out about his work with the mission watch the video below.
Charlotte Stevenson has written a blog about, “These Unwelcome Times” which has been published by the Farming Life. Read the full article at this link
Alico Crafts 077 5916 6404 International Award Winning Cake Designer will deliver to Portstewart.
If you tried to access the colouring-in pages yesterday on your Mobile Phone, you may have been disappointed. Either go to a computer or try the link to the file below. (I am using parts of the Website creation software that I have never used before, and sometimes the technology doesn’t work as expected.)
Just in case you are missing Portstewart, this is how the coastal path was looking on Wednesday 15th April 2020.