Church News, Community News

Christmas Hamper Thank-you Letter

Following our successful Christmas hamper appeal we received the following letter from Lisburn SAFE thanking the church for our efforts during the appeal.

 

To whom it may concern.

Thank you very much for your contribution towards the Christmas Hampers Scheme for Lisburn SAFE. Without your contribution the scheme to provide hampers for older people could not take place. We appreciate your continued support and will publicise this in all material.

Lisburn SAFE is a Lisburn PCSP funded Community Safety project which supports vulnerable and older people in the community. It is especially active at this time of year so appreciates any support.

We again take this opportunity to say thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan McMullan

 

Church News

Health & Safety Announcement

I think we would all agree that everything we can do to reduce the possibility of anyone being injured is a good thing. Over the last few years Health&Safety has become a major cause for concern for all organisations and in response insurers and legislative bodies are doing everything they can to reduce risk. This includes all public places of assembly including churches, and we have to ensure that auditable records and procedures are in place.

Our Church has taken H&S seriously and set up a H&S sub-committee to carry out risk assessments including fire risk at regular intervals, define risks, categorise them and where necessary request action to reduce the risks, both within the church buildings and grounds. It is important that everyone who enters our Church is taken care of. We ask each organisation within the church to complete a risk assessment form for the activities they do onsite and any risks our facilities may cause them.

The H&S sub-committee would also be grateful for all members of the congregation to report any potential risks they find in the buildings or grounds so that an assessment is made of the risk.

Church News

Christian Aid Week 2014

Christian Aid week is taking place between May 11th and May 17th this year. During this time collections from the public will be going towards Christian Aid week ending Saturday May 17th 2014. On Saturday May 10th there will be a car wash and coffee morning at the church between 10am and noon to raise funds for the Kenya team and graveyard committee.
Christian Aid is a Christian organisation that insists the world can and must be swiftly changed to one where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty.
It’s core values are Love and solidarity, Justice and equality, Cooperation and partnership, Accountability and stewardship. It works globally for profound change that eradicates the causes of poverty, striving to achieve equality, dignity and freedom for all, regardless of faith or nationality. It is part of a wider movement for social justice.

Christian Aid’s essential purpose is to expose the scandal of poverty, help in practical ways to root it out from the world, and to challenge and change structures and systems that favour the rich and powerful over the poor and marginalised.
Church News, Youth News

Journey Of A Lifetime

As some of you know during September I went on a solo road trip across part of America. I travelled from San Antonio to New York, covering a distance of 2663 miles and having a real adventure on the way; no accidents, no incidents and only pulled over by a State Trooper once.

Why would someone undergo such a journey on their own? The craic, the freedom, something different, the adventure. Travelling on your own makes you think, (you have no choice) you have to think about the journey, about your money, about the road ahead. Even at 24 years old having that time alone makes you think about what you want to do with your life and in my case with my desire to go into the ministry it makes you think about your hopes, dreams and ambitions.

I started in the south of the USA in San Antonio, Texas. The south is hot 44 degrees during the day and I needed that panama Stetson to keep the sun off. I was determined to make the most of my holiday not just for myself seeing as much as I could and meeting as many people as possible, but also for spending time with God and working on my decision to apply to the ministry.

In San Antonio I went to GracePoint Baptist Church. The church has an amazing mission statement, to help lead common people into an uncommon life in Jesus Christ. Churches in America have a real community passion, they are actively working to engage with the people in their areas not just preaching the Gospel in words but making it mean something practically. The pastor was talking about problems and fixing problems and how fixing everybody else’s problems can look so easy and obvious but looking inward at our own problems isn’t so easy. By nature we are fixers, we don’t like to see people in pain, hurting or in need so we try to do something about it. But when it comes to our spiritual lives we end up misdiagnosing the problem and prescribing solutions that will never fix. We all have a deeper wish that sees us yearning for other things and it’s clothed in the words “If I could just ..” and that blank, we fill that blank with any false Saviour and idol that we want.

San Antonio is a place full of history; Texas was birthed at the Alamo. America places such a value on its history, embracing it with reverence and respect and as something that can be learnt from and remembered in a positive way; a young history that helps to unite the people together under the Star Spangled banner.

As I travelled from San Antonio to New York I wasn’t always on the main highways but sometimes on the back roads. America is a country full of ironies. The wealthy are extravagantly wealthy but the poor really are in desperation. There are shanty towns, people basically living in sheds with corrugated iron roofs. It really struck me how here we are generally too blessed to be stressed and how we can view America quite blurry eyed as this country of huge wealth and prosperity. It may be the land of the free but that is twofold, you are free to make your fortune and free to starve.

Memphis was the next Sunday stop. I had endeavoured to go to church every Sunday and that week I went to Hope Presbyterian. The morning service was a celebration of 25 years of the church in the community. The connections this church has fostered are amazing; with all sections of the community: Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, Black, Hispanic and White. They have taken on the challenge of being a church for everyone and anyone. It was a blessed service seeing how that church has accomplished so much in 25 years They have been working as a church for the un-churched, to reach out. The church is huge, it has a seating capacity for 5000 people which was full, as it is nearly every Sunday. I went back that night to see how different their “youth” service is. It’s a service that tries to take what the normal man finds common; musically and culturally, to take that and put it into a church setting. It’s a church that makes you feel comfortable; I don’t think anyone there would feel uncomfortable with being in that church even if it was their first time. Their night service was called Stirring and the message focused on the life lessons we take from school: understanding authority, respecting authority, exposure to the basics and that we learn to work and play well with others. The church really focused on how everyday life affects our faith lives and how in turn our faith should impact our everyday life.

My travels took me all through the East of America; into Nashville, Louisville, Washington D.C, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New York. America is an amazing country; staggeringly beautiful and intimidating in its vastness. I really enjoyed my holiday it was brilliant travelling through a distinctively different country, though when you’re in Texas it feels like home only with a bit less green. I want to thank you for your prayers when I was away and for your continuing prayers and encouragement as I continue through my ministry application.

God bless,

Philip Poots

Church News

2013 Marriages

In 2013 the following marriages too place at Hillhall Church:

 

14th June 2013

Darren Neil Phillips & Selina Katherine Marie Parker

 

27th June 2013

William Connor & Jillian Katherine Greege

 

18th July 2013

Andrew Ian Purse & Hayley Noelle Adams

 

7th December 2013

David Alan Graham & Claire Ellen Alaine Reid

Church News

2013 Holy Baptisms

2013 Holy Baptisms

 

In 2013 we
were delighted that the following children took part in Holy Baptism:

 

Ewan David Robbie Myles – 20th February 2013

Tori Ferguson – 22nd February 2013

Lucas Gary Gibson – 14th February 2013

Ruby Rose Perkins – 6th March 2013

Katherine Mary Cromie – 18th April 2013

Cohen John Richardson – 28th August 2013

Church News

Christian Aid 2013 Summary

Christian Aid Week in 2013 focused on how Christian Aid partners around the world are helping communities to ensure they have enough food to become thriving communities not just surviving communities. Stories from Bolivia, Kenya and Zimbabwe were the main focus of Christian Aid

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Week 2013, showing the range of challenges there are in a variety of countries.

 

BOLIVIA

The project from Bolivia showed how land rights were vital in ensuring

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access to land for people to grow food.

Update: The Amazonian communities, supported by Christian Aid partner CIPCA, have finally gained the land rights to the territories where they had been living for generations. CIPCA has helped the communities to diversify their crops, including developing the wild cocoa plants which grow naturally in the forest. Furthermore, a brand new chocolate factory has been built, funded by Christian Aid. The factory will mean that more money will go back to the farmers and their communities.

 

KENYA

The innovative project from Kenya showed how relatively simple technology could be used to grant farmers access to weather forecasts and scientific advice, making a big difference to the success of their crops.

Update: The aim of the project has been to equip farmers with weather forecast information, via text message, helping them to better understand and plan when to plant and when to harvest.

Since the launch of the project, this information has made an enormous difference in the lives of farmers. Crop yields have increased by 10-20% in most cases, which means bigger profits for farmers.

 

ZIMBABWE

The project from Zimbabwe showed how providing a reliable water source and setting up sustainable business initiatives (such as a food processing centre to dry crops for storage and to make crops into products such as peanut butter) can move communities from survival to a better life.

Update: Christian Aid has been working with partner Dabane Trust to build a sand dam and a new centre for drying and processing crops. Erratic weather patterns and a prolonged dry season this year have left water levels in the dam lower than usual. However, ten of the community’s market gardens are doing well thanks to the water that has been available.

 

Thank you for your support

Thank you again for your support and prayers during Christian Aid Week 2013. The collection in the Hillhall Area raised £1174.99 and the Bread and Cheese Lunch £589.91.