Church of Ireland parishes in Connor are being encouraged to translate the Hard Gospel in their own area using Hard Gospel Sunday material designated for Sunday September 9.
As part of the initiative, talented songwriters are also encouraged to compete for a €1,000 prize by submitting compositions based on the theme of ‘loving God and loving your neighbour’ for the Hard Gospel Hymn-writing competition.
Speaking at the launch of the Hard Gospel Sunday pack, the Project’s Director Revd Earl Storey said: “The material which has been sent to every parish in the country will help people work out the deep relevance of the Hard Gospel in their own unique setting and I hope it will also help engender a sense of love for ones’ neighbours which may lead to new horizons and adventures for the parish in the future.
“The Hard Gospel is not just for parishes dealing with sectarianism, the Hard Gospel touches all areas of difference which we are all called to deal with everyday, north, south, east and west.”
The Hard Gospel Sunday material includes activity sheets for schools, a welcome poster for immigrants and service material, complete with hymn, prayer and sermon suggestions. The date for Hard Gospel Sunday was designated by the House of Bishops and is designed to compliment the beginning of the school calendar and also compliment existing initiatives such as ‘Racial Justice Sunday’.
The deadline for the Hymn-writing competition is Saturday December 1 and the winner will be announced on January 1 2008. The winning entry will also be premiered by the Discovery Gospel Choir at the Hard Gospel Immigration Conference on Saturday January 19, in the Emmaus Retreat Centre, Dublin.
The winning hymn will also be published and circulated for use in Church of Ireland churches throughout the country. Any entry must therefore be suitable to be performed in a variety of settings and on a variety of instruments.
Entry forms have been sent to every parish and completed forms must be sent to: The Hard Gospel Project, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6. For more information on Hard Gospel Sunday or the Hymn-writing competition check the website www.hardgospel.net.