The Lisburn City Centre Ministers’ Fellowship comprises of: Rev.
Brian Anderson - Seymour Street Methodist, Rev. John
Brackenbridge - First Lisburn, Rev. Paul Dundas - Christ Church,
Rev. Brian Gibson - Railway Street, Pastor George Hilary -
Lisburn Christian Fellowship, the Very Rev. Hugh Kennedy P.P. -
St. Patrick’s and Canon Sam Wright - Lisburn Cathedral.
The seven city centre ministers meet monthly to be supportive
of each other, to encourage inter-denominational co-operation
and to share concern for Lisburn City Centre community. The
following is a brief extract from their New Year message to
their congregation and to everyone in the City of Lisburn.
Seymour Street Methodist
Rev. Brian Anderson Seymour
2006 – “Renew your Covenant with God.”
In His New Years Day Service, The Rev. Brian Anderson, minister
of Seymour Street Methodist Church, called Methodists, on the
first day of a New Year, to participate in the Tradition of
their Church to renew their Covenant with God by committing to
these words, penned by John Wesley, the Founder of Methodism:
I am no longer my own but yours
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will
Put me to doing, put me to suffering
Let me be employed for you or laid aside for, exalted
for you or brought low for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty, let me full, let me
have all things, let me have nothing;
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your
pleasure and disposal.
First Lisburn Presbyterian
Rev. John Brackenridge Minister
- First Lisburn.
Rev. John Brackenridge Minister
- First Lisburn.
“2006 need not be merely a continuation of 2005, with all
its failures and disappointments. It can indeed be a ‘new’ year”
The minister of First Lisburn Presbyterian Church, the Rev. John
Brackenridge was on holiday at the beginning of the New Year and
the Minister Emeritus, the Rev. Dr. Gordon Gray, officiating at
the New Year morning service, which began with the celebration
of Holy Communion. Dr. Gray’s sermon was on the theme ‘Things
Old and Things New’, based on Matthew 13: 52 “Therefore every
teacher of the law who has been instructed about the Kingdom of
heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his
storeroom new treasures as well as old”. Stressing that the
fundamental message of the Bible is unchanging, he stated that
it is a ‘storehouse’ yielding also fresh insights as it is read
in light of the challenges of life today. “It is a manifesto for
change in our personal lives, in the life of the church and in
our relationships in society”, he said. Accordingly 2006 need
not be merely a continuation of 2005, with all its failures and
disappointments. “It can indeed be a ‘new’ year”, he concluded.
Rev. Paul Dundas Christ Church.
2006 - “Forgetting what is behind and straining towards
what is ahead.” [Philippians 3: 13]
Christ Church welcomed in 2006 with a Watch Night service on New
Year’s Eve. The Rector, the Rev. Paul Dundas took as his text
the words of Philippians 3:13 “Forgetting what is behind and
straining towards what is ahead. He reflected on the changes
that the parish had witnessed during 2005 and stressed that
whatever change 2005 brought into our lives, the Bible calls us
to move forward. We must thank God for his faithfulness and
goodness to us in the past year and the eternal truth that He
will support and direct our paths through 2006. Our prayer for
2006 should be that, like Saint Paul, we would know Jesus Christ
better, through bible reading and study, prayer, fellowship with
others and outreach in the community. In conclusion the Rev.
Paul Dundas stated that ‘The challenge for us as a Church, and
Christians is to thank the Lord for the past and in embracing
the year ahead, to put our trust in the Lord and to know his
peace and presence in our lives’.
Railway Street Presbyterian
Rev. Brian Gibson Railway
2006 - “We must be changed before our world can be
changed, only the power of the Spirit of Christ can do that”
At the morning service on New Year’s Day, the Rev. Brian Gibson,
Minister of Railway Street Presbyterian Church, took as his text
Philippians 3:10 “I want to know Christ and the power of his
resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings,
becoming like him in his death and so, somehow, to attain to the
resurrection from the dead”.
He said that, “To change this world we need to be changed by the
power of the Holy Spirit. However irrelevant some might think
such a text and such a statement is in the context of a world
full of such suffering and problems the real problem is not
political, social or economic structures but the greed and
selfishness which lies at the centre of human nature”. He
concluded, “We must be changed before our world can be changed.
Only the power of the Spirit of Christ can do that”.
During the service two members of the congregation gave their
reflections of 2005. Victor Hutchinson spoke about how as a
result of his recovery from major surgery both he and his wife
Moyra had become communicant members of the church. Graham
Bittle recalled six months spent in Australia and China,
training and working with a missionary organisation called
Lisburn Christian Fellowship
Pastor George Hilary
The power to enable us to face all that 2006 may have for
us - “rejoice in the Lord always”; “let our gentleness be
evident to all”; “don’t be anxious about anything - present your
requests to God”
The Lisburn Christian Fellowship is doing something experimental
for new Years Day, a six-hour ‘Day of Renewal’ starting at
3.00pm. Pastor George Hilary’s New Year message is: “As we open
the door to another new year we do so with a mixture of
curiosity, excitement and trepidation. What will 2006 mean for
us? Where will we find the energy to face new challenges and
opportunities? I believe Paul gives us keys to facing the future
when he urges us to do three things in Philippians 4: 4-7. These
are to “rejoice in the Lord always”; to “let our gentleness be
evident to all”; and “not to be anxious about anything…but to
present our requests to God”. I believe that these exhortations
if taken practically and seriously have the power to enable us
to face all that 2006 may have for us!
St. Patrick’s Church
The Very Rev. Hugh Kennedy, P.P.
St. Patrick’s Church.
2006 - “Entrust the past to God’s mercy and the future to
his providence, above all, live the present moment as God’s gift
and seek His blessing in all we do”.
At the New Years Eve Vigil Mass and Mass at Dawn on New Years
day in St Patrick’s Church Lisburn, the Very Rev. Hugh Kennedy,
P.P. gave this New Year message:
The end of one year and the beginning of a new, offers a
mixture of emotions, of looking back of what is past and
anticipation of what is to come. For some it will bring regrets
for failings and perhaps trepidation of what the new will bring
and for others there will be a spirit of thanksgiving for what
has been received in 2005 and hopes of what is unfolding for us
in 2006. As Christians in all this we are asked to entrust the
past to God’s mercy and the future to his providence, above all
to live the present moment as God’s gift, and seek His blessing
in all we do. In these hours we are encouraged by the words of
Sacred Scripture from the Mass for today: “May the Lord bless
you and keep you, may the Lord make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you; may the Lord lift up his countenance
upon you and give you his peace”.
Canon Sam Wright Lisburn
2006 - “Let us RESTORE this church in every way that we
may be a vibrant dynamic community that cares for others and
freely reaches out with the good news of Jesus”.
Canon Sam Wright sent the following message to the parishioners
of Lisburn Cathedral: In the Cathedral a momentous year has
passed with the React mission with over 200 people responding to
gospel message presented in October 2005. We have very quickly
moved forward from React to Restoration. Just days after our
React week finished the builders moved in to start a major
restoration of the Castle street side of the Cathedral. But
restoration must mean more than bricks and mortar. It is our
task to restore the church in every way to where it should be.
It is almost 300 years since the people of this church were
faced with the task of rebuilding after a fire had swept through
Lisburn Cathedral. I am quite sure as they planned they looked
forward to the future.
In this generation we are being given the opportunity to rebuild
both structurally and spiritually, to share Christ as the same
life saver yesterday, today and for 21st century people. I
believe it is a blessed and God-anointed task that we’ve been
given. Ezra 5 v 8 says ‘The people are rebuilding the temple
with large stones and placing the timbers in the walls. The work
is being carried on with diligence and is making rapid progress
under their direction’. Ezra 6 v 14: ‘They finished building the
temple according to the command of the God of Israel’. We will
be relying on the Lord each step of the way as we embrace this
work of restoration.
He concluded, “I encourage you all to become history-makers,
jump in and with the help of the Lord, let us RESTORE this
church in every way that we may be a vibrant dynamic community
that cares for others and freely reaches out with the good news