Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Touch Wood - 2007' a week of mission and outreach at Aghalee, Ballinderry and Broomhedge Parish Churches

Mission team Roger Murphy and the Rev Paul Hoey have presented the 'Touch Wood' theme during a week of mission and outreach at Aghalee, Ballinderry and Broomhedge Parish churches this week. Explaining how people use the term 'Touch Wood' in a superstitious way, they emphasised that the wood that people need to touch is the wood of the cross of Jesus that brings peace and assurance for the future. The purpose of the week has been to present the Christian faith in a positive way and to take the Christian message out to where people are at instead of expecting them to come to the church. Paul Hoey said, 'Fun, Food and Faith have been the three things that went together during the week' and continued 'there is something for everyone and for people of all ages and backgrounds. People will hear the same message of God's love and our need to respond to that love whether they are in the church or outside'.


During the tea break at the Bowlers Knockout Night at Aghalee Parish on Monday night, the Rev Paul Hoey conducted an interview with Dennis Thompson (a member of Broomhedge Parish). Dennis told the story of how his six-year-old son Ross was involved in a near fatal road accident in 1994 and lay in a coma for a week. He explained that the Rev Peter Galbraith had left a note saying that he had called with Ross and wrote on the note 'What a friend we have in Jesus'. Dennis went on to explain how he came to faith as a result of this assurance and spoke of the joy of seeing his son's amazing recovery which doctors had said was 'Dealing with a miracle here'. Ross is now nearly 19 years of age and is about to finish his training as a bricklayer.

L to R: (seated) Roger Murphy (Mission Team), Rev Canon Ernest Harris - Ballinderry, Rev Simon Doogan - Aghalee, Rev Peter Galbraith - Broomhedge and the Rev Paul Hoey (Mission Team) pictured with some of the many people from Aghalee, Ballinderry and Broomhedge Parish churches who took part in the 'Bowlers' Knockout Night' at Holy Trinity, Aghalee last Monday night

Dennis and Anne Thompson with their son Ross.


On Tuesday afternoon about sixty members of Ballinderry Parish packed the lovely home of Cecil and Daphne Davidson for the 'Seniors' Lunch'. After a beautiful meal, John and Heather Tuft sang 'Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling' accompanied by Daphne Davidson on piano after which everyone joined in the hearty singing of some well-known gospel hymns. In a brief address, the Rev Paul Hoey and Roger Murphy spoke of the Christian faith and the assurance of knowing that one-day we will see Jesus face to face.

Pictured above are some of about sixty members of Ballinderry Parish who enjoyed the 'Seniors' Lunch' in the home of Cecil and Daphne Davidson last Tuesday afternoon. Included in the photo are the Rector, the Rev Canon Ernest Harris and Cecil and Daphne Davidson (left in back row


At a well attended 'Lads Night In' at St Matthew's, Broomhedge last Tuesday evening, Roger Murphy spoke of the choices we make in life - where to live, where to work and who to marry. He emphasised the need to choose God's will ' not ours and seek His plan for our lives and have the courage to turn from what is wrong and receive Jesus Christ and follow Him. After Roger's challenging address, the ladies served refreshments including burgers and hot dogs, further adding to a great night of fun, food and fellowship.

Enjoying the fun at the Lazer Shoot during a 'Lads' Night In' at St Matthew's, Broomhedge last Tuesday evening are R to L: Dennis Thompson, Colin Edgar, Timothy Elwood, Mervyn Camlin, Samuel Briggs and the Broomhedge Rector, the Rev Peter Galbraith.


The week of events will continue tonight (Thursday) with a 'Couples' Night' at Edenmore Golf Club. On Friday night there will be a 'Kidz' Time Out' with John O'Neill and Karen Webb in Broomhedge Church Hall at 6.30pm and a 'Praise Party' with Johnny Parks and Band in Ballinderry Parish Hall at 8.00pm. On Saturday morning there will be 'Bacon Buttie Bash' in Aghalee Parish Hall at 8.00am and on Saturday night there will be a 'Family Tea and Quiz Night' in St John's Parish Centre, Moira at 6.00pm. The week of outreach concludes next Sunday with morning worship at 11.30am in Aghalee and Broomhedge Parish and morning and evening worship at 10.30am and 7.00pm in Ballinderry Parish. So, if you have not yet managed to get to any of the events, please come along and enjoy the fellowship at these remaining ones - you will be made most welcome.