The Rt Rev Ken Good, Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, was the speaker at a Connor Clergy Quiet Morning in Christ Church, Lisburn, on March 7.
Bishop Ken spoke on the theme of leadership, and, with reference to the story of Moses and the burning bush, put it to clergy that they could at times feel ‘isolated, in a wilderness, or stuck.’
During the first of two sessions, he encouraged clergy to write a prayer to God, asking them to respond to the Lord’s request that they, like Moses, turn aside.
Almost 40 clergy from the diocese attended the Quiet Morning, which began with refreshments, followed by a short service led by the rector of Christ Church and Archdeacon of Dalriada, the Ven Paul Dundas.
A lesson was read by Mr Richard Cotter, Diocesan Finance and Administration Manager, and prayers were led by the Rev Derek Harrington, curate of Christ Church Parish. The Rev Dr Ian Mills, curate at Larne, Inver, Glynn and Raloo was at the organ.
Welcoming Bishop Ken, who will retire as Bishop of Derry and Raphoe in April, Archdeacon Dundas said: “We are delighted you are with us today and are conscious of the changes coming up in your life.”
Addressing his fellow clergy, Archdeacon Dundas said: “I pray that today will be a time you spend with Jesus and also those you share ministry with. I pray this is a time to go deeper into our worship with God, a time of peace, a time to listen, to grow and to flourish.”
Bishop Ken remembered the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, who is currently receiving treatment for prostate cancer, adding that he thought of and prayed for Bishop Alan regularly. He paid tribute to Archdeacons Paul Dundas, George Davison and Dr Stephen McBride for doing an ‘excellent’ job as commissaries to the Bishop, and he also commended Christ Church as a church with a ‘healthy feel, which was clearly well cared for.’
Referencing the earlier reading from Luke on the Transfiguration, Bishop Ken said the Quiet Morning was ‘a gift from the Lord.’ “It may not be a mountain top experience, but the Lord may wish us to receive today as a gift from him,” the Bishop said.
His second session found Moses after the Exodus, stuck with ‘too much management and not enough leadership.’ Bishop Ken said all clergy were trained to be managers, but in a time of change, leadership was very important.
“The ability of a leader under God is to rally people to see where you are going, and have them go with you,” he said.
Outlining the qualities of leadership, Bishop Ken told clergy: “I hope this provokes you to ask, ‘Lord, what do you want me to do in leadership in my parish?’” The second session ended with a period of contemplation.
Bishop Ken was thanked for his time and for his words by the Archdeacon of Belfast, the Ven George Davison, and clergy enjoyed fellowship over lunch, provided by the ladies of Christ Church, before returning to their parishes.