Prison Fellowship of Northern Ireland

During morning worship on 2nd December, Norman McCracken talks about the work of Prison Fellowship Northern Ireland. As he explains, the organisation works with individuals who, in many cases, society may have forgotten or even written off.

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Prison Fellowship is a Northern Ireland registered charity affiliated to Prison Fellowship International, a charitable organisation with a Christian ethos which operates in over 123 countries around the world. Their Mission Statement is:
‘Prison Fellowship is a Christian ministry responding to the spiritual, emotional, social and physical needs of prisoners, released prisoners and their families. In our literature, we summarise our work as ‘Offering hope and a new beginning’.

The PFNI website can be found by clicking this link.

Christmas Cantata

cantata [ /kanˈtɑːtə/ ]

noun: cantata; plural: cantatas

  1. a medium-length narrative piece of music for voices with instrumental accompaniment, typically with solos, chorus, and orchestra.

Every year at First Ballymoney we stage a Cantata telling the Christmas story in music, song and spoken word.

Our Christmas Cantata event this year is entitled “The Heart of Christmas”. and tells the timeless Christmas story in a creative, profound way - by exploring the thoughts and feelings of those most directly involved in Luke's account of that first Christmas. This touching construct is complemented by a use of a variety of musical styles. Narrators propel the scripture-based narrative, with choral singing and soloists, all with the accompaniment of live musicians. We trust that the result is a musical, worshipful, and accessible musical presentation of the gospel message. We invite you to embrace the courage, faithfulness, joy, and love of those who were there and experience "The Heart of Christmas."

The Christmas Cantata will be staged twice - once on Friday 7th December at 7:00pm and again on Sunday 9th December at 7:00pm.

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Jigsaw on Sunday mornings

Good news… our new boiler is up and running so services will be back in the church!

In Jigsaw, we have been really enjoying the longer sessions starting at 11:30am and have decided to stick with it. So please drop your little ones off as you arrive for church (we will be there from 11:15am) and collect them from our room after the service.

Also, anyone coming to ‘First Friends’ (our crêche) come along before the service as we have been doing for the last few weeks.

See you all on Sunday!

Annual Service of Remembrance

The Annual Service of Remembrance will be held in First Presbyterian Church, Ballymoney on Sunday 11th November at 3pm. This event is organised by The British Legion and we host the service each year.

This is the centenary year of The British Legion - more information about the organisation and about Remembrance can be found by clicking this link:

https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance

"Taking Care" refresher training dates

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"Taking Care" is the basic Child Protection training that all youth and children's leaders must attend before they can assist with youth and children’s programmes. The training will address the need for policies, guidelines and procedures in keeping children safe within church youth organisations. The training will also instruct leaders, on a step-by-step basis, how to deal with, and report, any incident or concern relating to a child or young person.

Those who are trained must attend Refresher Training every 3 years. The next Refresher Training events locally will be:

29th October at 7:30pm - Ballywatt Presbyterian Church, Coleraine
30th October at 7:30pm - Ballywatt Presbyterian Church, Coleraine
5th November at 7:30pm - Roseyards Presbyterian Church, Ballymoney

Numbers are limited to 40 attendees per session. Please contact the churches directly to ensure there is a space available.

More details available on the PCI website: http://www.presbyterianireland.org/Events.aspx

Harvest is coming...

We are looking forward to celebrating God’s goodness to us at our all-age service this Sunday at 11:30am.

We invite everyone to bring along some non-perishable food gifts to help those in need in our community. Representatives from Ballymoney Foodbank will be at our evening service, and we look forward to hearing how this work and our gifts are blessing people in Ballymoney.

Harvest Thanksgiving Services and special collection

Our Harvest Thanksgiving Services will be on Sunday 21st October. Our morning worship service is at 11:30am and will be conducted by the Very Rev Dr Ian McNie. The evening service is at 7pm and the convener of the vacancy, Rev Kenneth Crowe, will officiate. At the evening service we will have representatives from the Ballymoney Foodbank.

Due to the on-going installation of our new heating system, we will continue to meet in the church hall.

At our Harvest services, we will have a special collection for our Building and Repair Fund. The cost of installing our new heating system (as a result if the breakdown of our old system) is estimated to be in the region of £60,000. We barely have this amount in our current funds and we urgently require money to ensure that our Building and Repair Fund is not depleted to such an extent that we are unable to maintain the upkeep of our buildings in 2019 and beyond.

If you do not already do so, we encourage members to consider regular giving to the Building and Repair Fund using the envelopes supplied along with the weekly free will offering envelopes. Alternatively,  donations can be made via the special envelopes that will be available from 14th October.

UK taxpayers can maximise their giving by completing a gift aid declaration form. Please speak to John Michael, our treasurer, if you have any questions

Young adults Lifegroup

Attention all Youth/Young adults!! There will be a brand new Lifegroup starting soon, especially for you if you're aged 16/17 - 25 (or thereabouts!).

We plan to meet up about once a month, in a coffee shop (where else would you find us!) to read the Bible, chat and chill out together.

If you'd like to be involved, if you're interested, or if you just want to ask a question about it, please contact Megann on 07871693452.

Looking forward to seeing you then!

Morning worship services in the church hall

Change of venue
As a result of the boiler breakdown and the colder weather, we have decided to re-locate our morning worship service to the church hall. The hall will be easier to heat with portable heaters. This arrangement will continue until further notice.

Same time - new arrangements
Our service will start at the same time, but children and young people should come directly to Creche, Jigsaw or Toast (our young people’s ministries) in their usual rooms. These will start at 11:30am. Parents can collect their children from these groups after the service in the hall finishes.


Our services will meet at the usual time

Lifegroups

Lifegroups will start again for the Autumn term in the week beginning 1st October. There are groups meeting on Tuesday evenings, Wednesday mornings, and Wednesday evenings. We plan to meet on the first and third weeks of each month.

This term we plan to use the Discipleship Explored course which takes us though some studies in the book of Philippians. It promises to be very practical and relevant to the everyday, as we live out our faith in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

If you haven’t been involved in Lifegroups before, why not come along and try it out, or make contact by clicking here.

Encounter - refreshing our experience of worship

It is the greatest invitation any of us will ever get. Come and meet with the living God in worship.

It arrives every Sunday. We take it up, and yet the wonder of encountering God in worship can pass us by through distraction, just going through the motions or boredom.

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Yet, God promises that as we draw near to him, he will draw near to us (James 4:8). How can that become more of a reality in our worship Sunday by Sunday? One answer to that question is cultivating a greater appreciation of what happens in worship.

Although the order of service looks different in every church, sometimes from week to week in the same congregation, certain things remain central to worship. We gather together as the people of God at his invitation; we confess our sin before him and receive his assurance of forgiveness; we set our hearts and minds to receive light from his Word; we respond to God with our lives; we are blessed and sent back into our everyday lives to live for him. Becoming more aware of these movements in worship and entering into them with heart, soul, mind and strength helps us focus and participate more fully in meeting with God.

Worshipping God week by week with the familiar faces of our congregation around us is an intentional act of putting ourselves in a place where we can meet with God. His grace flows to us in words heard, sung, prayed, spoken – sometimes out loud, at other times silently uttered deep within. The privilege of all of that is something we need to treasure and recapture in an age when increasingly we ‘go to church when it suits us’.

The Encounter sessions offer a mix of biblical pictures of what it is to meet with God, a way of refreshing our experience of worship and practical suggestions for approaching each Sunday with anticipation and expectation.

More information about 'Encounter' is available on the PCI website: http://www.presbyterianireland.org/Resources/Prayer/Encounter.aspx

"Taking Care" refresher training

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"Taking Care" is the basic Child Protection training that all youth and children's leaders must attend before they can assist with these programmes. The training will address the need for policies, guidelines and procedures in keeping children safe within church youth organisations. The training will also instruct leaders, on a step-by-step basis, how to deal with, and report, any incident or concern relating to a child or young person.

Those who are trained must attend refresher training every 3 years. 

Trinity Presbyterian Church is hosting the next training event on 14th September at 7:30pm.

Proximity - a new PCI resource

First Presbyterian Church, Ballymoney will be one of 5 centres in Ireland hosting a launch night for a new PCI resource called "Proximity". The event will be held on Monday 24th September, 2018.

Proximity is a series of small booklets providing relevant and challenging content for the context of relational discipleship. This resource is designed as coffee conversations ideal for either one-to-one or smaller discipleship groups and will provide biblical content and practical questions on a wide range of key discipleship themes.

Proximity will be available from this September and will be launched in several different locations across the denomination. These launch nights will happen in the locations where the “Disciple Makers Network” has taken place, aiming to follow up this training by putting a specific and practical resource into people’s hands.

The events will take place from 7:45pm - 9:30pm (with the exception of the Dublin event, which runs from 10.30am - 12.30pm) at the following dates and venues:

  • Tuesday, 18 September - Assembly Buildings, Belfast
  • Thursday, 20 September - Ballygawley Presbyterian Church, Ballygawley
  • Monday, 24 September - First Ballymoney Presbyterian Church, Ballymoney
  • Thursday, 27 September - Ballydown Presbyterian Church, Banbridge
  • Friday, 5 October - Lucan Centre, Dublin - (note this event begins at 10.30am)

The purpose of each launch night is to share the vision of Proximity, make the resource available and share some helpful ways of using it.

More information on the resource can be found on the PCI website by clicking here.