Report and pictures by John Kelly
A mission team comprising Roger Murphy and the Rev Paul Hoey presented the ‘Touch Wood’ theme during a week of mission and outreach at Aghalee, Ballinderry and Broomhedge Parish churches.
Explaining how people use the term ‘Touch Wood’ in a superstitious way, they emphasised that the wood that people need to touch is the wood of the cross of Jesus that brings peace and assurance for the future.
The mission aimed to present the Christian faith in a positive way and to take the Christian message out to where people are.
Rev Hoey said: “Fun, food and faith have been the three things that went together during the week. There was something for everyone and for people of all ages and backgrounds. People heard the same message of God’s love and our need to respond to that love whether they are in the church or outside.”
There have been many highlights to the week. During the tea break at the Bowlers Knockout Night at Aghalee, the Rev Paul Hoey conducted an interview with Dennis Thompson (a member of Broomhedge Parish).
Dennis told how his then six-year-old son Ross was involved in a near fatal road accident in 1994 and lay in a coma for a week. He explained that the Rev Peter Galbraith had left a note saying that he had called with Ross and wrote on the note “What a friend we have in Jesus.”
Dennis explained how he came to faith as a result of this assurance and spoke of the joy of seeing his son’s amazing recovery. Ross is now nearly 19.
On the Tuesday afternoon 60 members of Ballinderry Parish packed the lovely home of Cecil and Daphne Davidson for the ‘Seniors’ Lunch’. After a beautiful meal, John and Heather Tuft sang ‘Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling’ accompanied by Daphne Davidson on piano after which everyone joined in the hearty singing of some well-known gospel hymns. In a brief address, the Rev Paul Hoey and Roger Murphy spoke of the Christian faith and the assurance of knowing that one-day we will see Jesus face to face.
At a well attended ‘Lads Night In’ at St Matthew’s, Broomhedge, Roger Murphy spoke of the choices we make in life – where to live, where to work and who to marry. He emphasised the need to choose God’s will – not ours and seek His plan for our lives. After Roger’s challenging address, the ladies served refreshments.
The week of events also included a ‘Couples’ Night’ at Edenmore Golf Club, a ‘Kidz’ Time Out’ with John O’Neill and Karen Webb in Broomhedge Church Hall and a ‘Praise Party’ with Johnny Parks and Band in Ballinderry Parish Hall.
On Saturday morning there was a ‘Bacon Buttie Bash’ in Aghalee Parish Hall and a ‘Family Tea and Quiz Night’ in St John’s Parish Centre, Moira.
The week of outreach concluded on Sunday with morning worship in Aghalee and Broomhedge Parish and morning and evening worship in Ballinderry Parish.