A Commissioning Service took place in All Saint’s, Antrim, on June 16 for those participating in CMSI teams or mission placements over the summer months.
The service, led by All Saints’ curate, the Rev Aaron McAlister, and CMSI staff, provided an opportunity to look ahead to these visits and to ask God’s blessing on those taking part. It was also a time for friends and family to show their love and support, as they helped to send out the team members and volunteers.
Next Thursday (June 27), a team from St John’s, Moira, along with a London-based member of CMSI’s global family, will travel to Nairobi in Kenya. They will spend time with the Urban Development Programme of All Saints’ Cathedral, helping deliver training as part of the Days For Girls initiative.
The coming weeks also see the latest visit in an ongoing partnership between Limavady Grammar School and Kajiado Diocese in Kenya. A team of 31 students and teachers from Limavady will spend three weeks working on various projects alongside their counterparts at Oloosuyian Girls’ School.
In July, a team of four will visit Kitwe in the Diocese of Northern Zambia, where CMSI Mission Partners Keith and Lyn Scott are based. The team, representing parishes in Antrim, Belfast and Cork, will input to teaching and ministry in and around St John’s theological seminary.
In addition to these team visits, two individuals will also spend time in Nepal as part of their own Short-Term Experience Placements in July.
Lesley Burton, a paediatric physiotherapist and a parishioner of St Mark’s, Dundela (Belfast) will spend three weeks in Kathmandu, supporting SD Church’s ministries among children with disabilities and adults who are undergoing medical treatment.
The Rev Heather Cooke will travel to Nepal with Lesley and will spend two weeks with SD Church. Heather’s late husband Edwin visited Nepal with CMSI teams in 2009, 2011 and 2013 and his home parish of St Brigid’s in Glengormley has hosted a number of visitors from SD Church in Nepal. The close, personal connections with Nepal had impacted Edwin deeply and Heather was keen to make her own visit to widen and deepen the partnership.
Every year, CMSI facilitates numerous visits and placements between Ireland and its Global Partners, in both directions: sending individuals and teams to support the global Church and learn from our partners; hosting global visitors in Ireland to bless and inspire people here.
Speaking about the commissioning service, CMSI’s Personnel Manager, Gillian Maganda said: “It’s always a privilege to be involved in commissioning our teams and STEP volunteers. During the process of recruitment and training, we get to know these individuals well and it’s a joy to be part of their journey in mission.
“These visits provide significant opportunities for transformation and blessing; we pray that each of our summer visitors to Kenya, Zambia and Nepal will know God’s presence with them throughout the whole experience.”