The 54th Annual Craigs’ Quiet Day was held on Thursday September 11, the facilitator being Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor and Bishop to her Majesty's Forces.
Set within the context of Holy Communion in Craigs’ Parish Church, Bishop David addressed the disappointingly small number who attended on the themes of vocation, prayer and risk.
He said the Divine call to Israel 'I have called you by name you are mine' should strike a chord with all. There is something within human nature that rebels against disorder and unruliness as the end of things. This is the seed of any vocation.
The human spirit hankers after meaning and purpose. Vocation is thus the link with what the Bishop referred to as 'the signal of transcendence'. In accepting vocation there is still a need to move deeper and see what we are meant to be, ultimately to be more like Christ.
The Bishop warned of the tendency to let the job and activity part of vocation exclude, consciously or otherwise, the primary call to be silent and discern God's voice.
Speaking on prayer with Colossians 3 as his basis, Bishop David quoted Evelyn Underhill 'Only a priest soaked in prayer, sacrifice and love, with adoring worship, can help others apprehend HIM'.
Prayer is the shy, stuttering and diffident conversation wherein we make God's acquaintance, seeking strength and grace as the steady anchors through confusion. Prayer, said the Bishop, must be at the very heart of vocation, never to be seen as a cop out of busyness, or as a sign of weakness and dependency. Prayer by its very nature involves risk, especially as intercession, where we enter into the life and world of another and make ourselves expectant and at the same time vulnerable.
There was plenty of space for reflection throughout the Quiet Day, both in the church and in the tranquil setting of Craigs’ Church. All who gathered enjoyed a most delicious lunch provided by the ladies of Craigs’ Parish.
This year's Quiet Day was noted for the absence of Canon Denzil Caldwell who passed away earlier in the year. Denzil was a pillar of Ballymena Clerical Union and a veteran of the Quiet Days, having secured across the years a fine list of speakers from all walks of Ecclesiastical life.
Ballymena Clerical Union will next meet at 10am on Thursday October 9 at Templepatrick Parish Church.