Today is Ascension Day, we have just completed another period of 40 days, this time since the resurrection. Luke tells us in his 2nd book that Jesus appeared for 40 days after the resurrection. Then he ascended into heaven but told his disciples that they were to wait until they received the Holy Spirit. It was to be 10 more days until Pentecost. Those dramatic events at the beginning of Acts when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and thousands came to faith.
Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 1:1-5 (NIV)
“His timing is perfect.”
Try telling that to my son who has missed the end of his P7 year, school trip and all the fun promised post-AQE! Try telling my friends who have had to postpone their lovely June wedding. Try telling the newly 40 year old me, who missed birthday celebrations with family and friends. Try telling yourself in whatever you’ve missed, because we’ve all missed something.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. 27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.
Installation Of New Moderator
The formal election and installation of the new Moderator of the General Assembly will be held at 7.00pm on Monday 1st June 2020. This will be live-streamed from the Assembly Hall and therefore available for everyone to watch by following the link that will be on the main PCI website (www.presbyterianireland.org).
Please note this link will be ‘active’ on the PCI website from about 6.45pm on Monday 1st June.
More details and the full News Release from PCI is included at the end of the blog today.
Eileen sent this beautiful rendition of the 23rd Psalm. It is a solo quartet in 4 part harmony.
Home... but never alone
A Member of Bloomfield Presbyterian Church & busy working mum Deborah Sloan reflects on how spending time at home in Lockdown has increased her awareness of God’s presence & brought lessons that might not have been learned any other way
Read the Article here https://bit.ly/360rGfG
Two Tribes : thinking theologically about ‘us’ and ‘them’. Reimagining Faith asked Union College to help reflect on these times. Rev. Prof. Drew Gibson is a Professor of Practical Theology at Union Theological College Belfast. He has written about the importance of unity within the church during these challenging times:
More details about Virtually Keswick Convention – an exciting, new five-day online event this Summer. Check out this launch video by James Robson, Ministry Director.
Follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. Virtually Keswick Convention will feature teaching, sung worship and seminars for adults, youth and children. The engaging sessions will be available free online for everyone.
While we are on the subject of Keswick, why not have a relaxing evening and watch this late evening concert recorded at Keswick 2019. Enjoy the Banter and the Blessing! Colin Webster and Phil Moore Concert
Lots of videos, answering deep questions are available from Solas on YouTube
Also lots of information available on their Website, Solas is the organisation that David Robertson came from when he spoke at the 8 Churches event at the University.
This message comes from the Bangor Worldwide Missionary Convention.
It will not come as a surprise that this year Bangor Worldwide will take on a very different format. Our launch which was planned for Wednesday 27 May is still taking place, albeit online. Below is the link to our promotional video and we ask if you would kindly share this with your congregation via your websites, social media etc inviting them to join us at 7.45 pm. The launch will be streamed on Facebook, Vimeo and YouTube. There will be singing, reports from around the world and Rev David Meredith, Missions Director, Free Church of Scotland will be speaking.
Bangor Worldwide Launch Wed 27 May @ 7.45 pm
Tom Clarke, Chairman explains how Bangor Worldwide will take place 21 – 29 August: “In the light of current government restrictions around Coronavirus and the uncertainty about when these might be lifted, both here and across other nations where our speakers were due to travel from, the organising committee has decided to proceed with the summer Convention albeit with a different format. All the talks from various mission personnel and our weekday Bible studies will be posted online for free for people to watch and engage with.
With a history going back to 1937, we are delighted to continue our support of mission work throughout the world and will be gathering video content to stream on our website. The complete details of the online programme are still being worked out and more information will be released during an online launch due to take place on Wednesday 27th May.”
Times that have been submitted for yesterday’s puzzle.
And a new puzzle for today.
The easing of Lockdown restrictions means that Golf Courses are allowed to reopen.
Yesterday was very close to the last “Banksy” it is in one of the boarded up windows of the building at the end of the Crescent, I think it may have been an Old Dance Hall but I am not sure.
Well done to everyone who guessed correctly.
It is a simple but sometimes puzzling question. Where is this building under construction in Portstewart?
If you look closely there is at least one clue in the photo.
New Moderator to be installed on 1 June
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland announced today (21 May) that Rev David Bruce will be installed as the denomination’s new Moderator on the evening of Monday, 1 June, in a special event, which will be livestreamed from Assembly Buildings in Belfast.
The installation will take place on what would have been the Opening Night of this year’s General Assembly. The annual meeting was cancelled last month due to the current Coronavirus emergency and a small 25 person Standing Commission of the General Assembly has been appointed to transact necessary business, including the installation of the new Moderator for the year 2020 / 2021. Traditionally, the service from the historic Assembly Hall, would have been attended by upwards of 900 people from across Ireland, including past moderators, civic dignitaries, and representatives from other churches across Europe, Africa and Asia.
This year, apart from technical support, only four people will be physically present – the outgoing Moderator, Rt Rev Dr William Henry, Moderator-Designate, Rev David Bruce and the Clerk and Deputy Clerk of the General Assembly, the Revs Trevor Gribben and Jim Stothers. Other people will be participating remotely in the livestream from the Assembly Hall, leading in prayer and praise and reading from the Scriptures. Also taking part, but remotely via a video conferencing platform, will be the members of the 2020 Standing Commission, which has been set up to conduct all necessary business of this year’s Assembly. Monday evening will be one of their main tasks - electing the incoming Moderator, PCI’s most senior office-bearer and principal public representative.
Speaking about the installation, Rev Trevor Gribben, Clerk of the General Assembly and General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland said, “If we think back to that cold winter’s evening of 4 February, when our Church’s 19 regional Presbyteries met and nominated David Bruce as our next Moderator, who would have thought that so many of the things that we have taken for granted, would have changed so much in such a short space of time?
“As I have said before, our General Assembly has been part of the rhythm of our Church life since 1840. It is the Presbyterian family coming together, and as far as I am aware a meeting has never been cancelled, only postponed, due to a different kind of national emergency in 1940.”
Mr Gribben continued, “Yet, unprecedented times often call for unprecedented responses, and like many organisations, we have found it necessary to find different ways of working to do what needs to be done, and this includes the installation of our new Moderator.”
Outlining the service of installation, Mr Gribben explained that the four people present, along with the couple of technicians in the Assembly Hall, would follow all appropriate health and safety precautions, including observing government guidance on social distancing in the large hall, which normally holds over 900 people.
The Installation, which is being livestreamed and can be watched by following the link on the PCI website (www.presbyterianireland.org), will start at 7pm with an introduction and call to worship from the outgoing Moderator, Dr Henry. He will give a short address about his year in office and his theme, ‘Enjoying God’. Following a worship song from members of Dr Henry’s home congregation, Maze Presbyterian near Lisburn, the Clerk of the General Assembly will then formally propose David Bruce as Moderator, with the Deputy Clerk seconding the nomination. The members of the 2020 Standing Commission will then be asked to elect PCI’s new Moderator for 2020 / 2021.
Following the election, Dr Henry will then pray for David Bruce, installing him as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. He will then take the Moderator’s Chair for the first time and give his address. During the evening, Scripture readings and prayers will be led remotely by the Chaplains of both the outgoing and incoming Moderators. The installation will close with a final hymn and the Benediction, which will be pronounced by the new Moderator, by then, the Rt Rev Dr David Bruce, the 175th person to hold the office.
Trevor Gribben concluded by saying, “This is always a special moment in the life of our Church and for our new moderators and their family. This year, by necessity, it will also be a different kind of ceremony for a particularly unique time in our history. We very much hope that many will join us by watching the livestream on the night.”