Big thank you from

Maghaberry Elim packed for Valentine's weekend events

Children from Maghaberry Elim's Detonate junior youth club and Jam Sunday School prepare for their Valentine candle-lit supper in the church hall as Sunday School Superintendent Mrs Freya Gilmore and Detonate worker Mr Darren Brown look on.MAGHABERRY Elim Church witnessed one of the largest attendances in its history with the building packed to capacity for two well-organised events over St Valentine's weekend.

Friday evening was pride of place for the church's junior youth club, Detonate. While the children rehearsed for their Sunday evening Valentine's Day concert, there was a highly successful special Ladies Pamper Yourself session for the mothers.

This was organised by qualified beauty therapist Mrs Cheryl Eagleson, from Serenity, the Hammond Farm-based beauty therapy company. She was assisted by Hannah Semple and Mavis Smyth.

Mrs Eagleson is also a Detonate youth worker and co-ordinated the decoration of the church hall for the events.

On the Sunday evening, three church-based youth organisations joined forces for the special St Valentine's Day concert and candle-lit supper.

As well as Detonate, the youth choir was composed of children and young people from the Sunday School, known as Jam (Jesus and Me) under the guidance of Sunday School Superintendent Mrs Freya Gilmore, and the junior Bible class, known as Toast.

The opening worship was taken by the church's exceptionally talented worship team. Mr Jim Atkinson led the opening devotions. The service was chaired by church pastor, Mr Paul Evans. The youth choir then sang two beautiful choruses entitled 'I Am Special' and 'Thinking About His Love'.

The children were coached in their choruses by joint worship leader, Mrs Sharon Hodgins, who noted that the children had designed their own actions for the latter piece.

As an offering hymn, the worship team performed a lovely rendering of 'The Splendour of the King', which will be one of the pieces the team is recording for its new CD. During the singing of this, the children themselves collected the offering.

Toast then performed a series of Scripture readings entitled 'Love Letter from God' under the guidance of Bible class leaders Mr and Mrs Simon Hodgins.

The Church worship team followed this with heart-warming performances of the inspirational Gospel songs, 'Come On And Celebrate' and 'Over the mountains and the sea.'

The New Testament Bible reading from St John I5 verses nine to I7 was taken by 10-year-old Megan McKee. Detonate leader, Mr David McKee, delivered the sermon based on the Love of God and included a DVD rendering of 'How Deep The Father's Love.'

A number of the children from Detonate and Jam closed the service in prayer, after which all the children presented roses to their mothers and female relatives and friends in the congregation. Following the service, the congregation enjoyed a delicious candlelit supper in the church hall.

Ulster Star