I hope this finds you well.
On Sunday 2nd August we returned to ‘in-church worship’. It has been so lovely to be able to return to worship in the church building, to see our friends face to face (albeit behind masks!) although I am aware for some of us, it has been quite a while since we have been able to meet up in person. There is no pressure on anyone to return to church as we can continue to meet online for our ‘scattered but together’ worship in the comfort of your own home, available each Sunday at 10.30am via Facebook and on our website, and by telephone. We have not yet started congregational singing in our church services, but you can sing along with the videos online!
Bishop David McClay and his wife Hilary came along to St Molua’s to meet with a few parishioners on 28th August as part of a diocesan wide visit to every parish. (You may recall I mentioned his visit on Sunday 30th August in church.)
It was Bishop David’s plan to visit all parishes after his consecration, but then lockdown hit, and those plans had to be put aside. Towards the end of August he arranged to visit each area deanery in turn, allowing a short time in parishes to meet clergy, staff and a small number of parishioners. This was certainly very different to the visits he originally planned, as he would have loved to have had time to join in services of worship and to meet and chat with individuals afterwards over the obligatory cup of tea. The purpose of this short visit was simply to say ‘Thank you’ to parishes for all they have done during lockdown and continue to do for our local communities. He shared from scripture, reading Psalm 122, and prayed for God’s blessing and protection over our parish. He talked about the importance of churches truly being parishes in these days, looking out for all people that live in our areas.
The Autumn edition of Contact magazine will soon be ready. In this edition you will find many articles with autumn and harvest themes as we give thanks to God for all that is good. A limited number of copies have been printed for delivery, alternatively visit the magazine page of our website: https://stmoluasonline.com/parish-magazine/
In St Molua’s we plan to give thanks at our Harvest Thanksgiving Service on Sunday 27th September @ 10.30am. This will be a rather different experience to previous years as we will not have a range of fresh produce on show, the service will be shorter, and there will be no lunch afterwards! How we miss those great times of fellowship… Everyone is still very welcome to attend the service, but please be advised that will be a limited seating capacity due to social distancing. If you plan to attend, might we suggest you bring along some non-perishable items for Dundonald Foodbank, but rather than bringing these items forward during the service, you deposit them in the tubs as you enter or leave church. Thank you.
You may have seen this lovely photo of our church that was sent to me at the end of July. I posted it on Facebook, but thought I’d share it again here.
Images of rainbows have been very popular recently, especially when we said thank you to the NHS and all essential workers. Rainbows are often seen after a storm when the sun breaks through the clouds and are such a wonderful reminder of God’s promise! God does not promise that we will never experience storms, but that He will be with us through them.
You may also have seen the video reflection from Audrey, our Church Warden, on the beautiful stones that have been placed at local beauty spots, again to say thank you.
When I was down in Donaghadee I saw this beautiful stone that caught my eye, again a rainbow, with words from Isaiah.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
A wonderful promise from God.
May you and those you love be blessed today and always.
Stay safe folks!
Yours in Christ, Emma
PS – We ran out of space to include everything in our magazine! There are events coming up that we didn’t have room to publicise, but you will find the information on Facebook and on our website: stmoluasonline.com
See the links below. Also check out the Down & Dromore website for regular updates. downanddromore.org
To mention a few:
New Wine – Kingdom Women – this coming Saturday 12 September
ONLINE from 10.00 am:
Diocesan Alpha Course
Starting Tuesday 29th September:
And what about getting creative…?
Down & Dromore Youth and Children’s Department have launched a competition entitled ‘Butterflies of Hope’. It is open to ALL ages. Click the link below to find out more information, and watch the short video. Let us bless one another and our community with messages and symbols of hope. There will be prizes for the best church display! www.downanddromore.org/news/2020/08/butterflies-of-hope-competition