The Church’s Ministry of Healing –The Mount, Belfast
The Ministry is grounded in the Christian values of hospitality, belonging and wholeness which fosters opportunities for healing, growth and reconciliation at an individual and communal level so that all can reach their fullest potential. This is achieved through a wide range of professional and strictly confidential counselling and support services, which are provided in a private, safe, and non-judgemental environment.
Our mission is to bring peace and harmony in an increasingly troubled world, and this is delivered in a secure, ethical and theologically sound manner, so that all may receive God’s grace. The ministry is complemented by a professionally supervised, secular, non-judgemental, qualified counselling service.
Help for you
The help for you which we offer is comprehensive, integrated and discrete to best meet individual needs of those in difficulty, and the needs of parishes and groups who seek to be informed and practice effective prayer, healing and reconciliation. Each helping branch is boundaried and distinctive with professional supervision and audit, yet flexible to encourage confidential progression between the ministries to lead to self-esteem, a vibrant faith, social rehabilitation and church integration.
While each area of help is defined, the Director of Ministry would encourage you to discuss your individual needs with her, to determine what category of help might be best suited to you or your organisation.
Church’s Ministry of Healing -The Mount
Lent is a time when many people give up things. This year I was somewhat taken back when one of our church leaders said, ‘Lent! What is there left to give up?’ That really got me thinking. So often we ‘give up’ things that we think will make us look good. For example we give up sweets, with the underlying desire to lose a few excess pounds. Perhaps we should look at it differently, more from the spiritual aspect. Should we not try to give up worry, and put our trust in God? Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Mt 6:25) If we instead trusted God, we would have His peace.
Jesus said, ‘Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Mt 11:29)
Give up, and take up!
My Dear Friends
To hear that the Oxford Vaccine for Coronavirus had been approved on 30th December, was the very best news that 2020 has brought. With the manufacturing of this potent agent already well underway, a new horizon was opening on a clear sky ahead. What wonderful news to cheer the heart and soul and encourage the downhearted? That same morning as I read the UCB Notes, the words that struck me were from Romans 12:1 … offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Not only did they strike me, but they sparked a memory of my first visit to Uganda in 1983, just after Idi Amin had been deposed as President; a visit that made real faith inroads into my life. We had arrived at Kasese in SW Uganda. On the first day we met in the mission hospital for morning prayers, and on the wall, in large letters were the words of Romans 12:1 …. offer your bodies as a living sacrifice. A directive to offer oneself, body, mind and spirit to the one Holy God, to use in whatever way He found fit. In this local situation of devastation, destitution and disease, I’d never seen such self-giving sacrifice. There were no glum or dismal faces, no dissention, or any bellyaching, and this proved a huge challenge to my previously protected western heart!
So with that thought and experience in this coronavirus restricted situation; in the middle of the distress (for no one has been untouched) we are called to be the best we can be for God’s kingdom. What does that mean? Well first, compliance with government regulations and recommendations, not for our own sake, but for the good of others and the wider community. The authority given to the government through their scientific and medical advisors, is what makes this an imperative. We know that our behaviour matters.
As we begin the New Year in a further extension of lockdown, with exact details yet to be worked through, the Church’s Ministry of Healing will be available for urgent counselling, prayer ministry, mentoring and advice at 162 Upper Knockbreda Road. In less urgent circumstances we will be available to help by phone, email and Zoom, whichever is appropriate. There are strict measures in place and appointments are necessary (phone 028 90795832). Social distancing, masks, hand sanitising and good ventilation will be adhered to as safety is our desire, remembering that only essential travel will be permitted. We have cancelled all our groups in January and February and when we recommence, our Communion services with prayers for the sick, and Healing Services will take place at 162 until we are free to move the Healing Service back to St Anne’s Cathedral. The Fellowship of Contemplative Prayer, D team and Book Club will not meet face to face until restrictions are lifted.
May this year, 2021, be an opportunity to care for one another, and a time of reflection and renewal, as we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice of worship, so that the year will emerge as a great blessing for each one of us.
Your sister in Christ
Donation from the Black Santa Appeal
We were delighted to receive the £725 grant to The Church’s Ministry of Healing- The Mount, from the ‘Black Santa Sit-Out’ appeal. We are very appreciative of this generous assistance with the training programme for our counsellors and volunteers.
It has been a very unusual time, but we have been able to continue with the one-to-one ministry. Our house of prayer is spacious with four entrances/exits, and so lends itself to a one-way system to keep people well distanced. We do however desperately miss our Friday Healing Services at St Anne’s and look forward to the Covid restrictions being eased to permit reinstatement of this ministry.
Hour of Prayer for the Ministry of Healing
4th March 2021
“Man shall not live by bread alone”
The quotation which is our title is so widely quoted and universally accepted to have become a truism. In such conventional usage its context and significance goes unacknowledged. The words are drawn from Luke 4:4, but its general usage merely conveys a laudable reflection on human dignity. Luke was both Evangelist and physician, he records the Lord’s own acknowledgement of human welfare needs from a later discourse : “For all the nations of the world seek after these things and your Father knows that you need them.” (Luke 12:30 ESV).
As Christians we are called to attend to our personal requirements and to help others in need. Our social concern will even attract some measure of good will and material support from the authorities of our nation, especially in the current circumstances. We who pray however acknowledge an additional and a higher calling which draws us beyond our humanitarian and social sensibilities.
The quotation, as we know, is set just prior to the Lord’s public ministry when, under impulse of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led into the desert to meet Satan’s temptations. The tempter invited Jesus to use his divine powers to satisfy his otherwise legitimate appetite for food, from which to that point, he had been voluntarily abstaining. As in all his temptations the opportunity that Satan presents is exploitive. Satan does not come as a benevolent ally but in order to deflect a person from the path of obedience to God. Jesus had been sent to earth to glorify God and to do only what his Father told him to do. He was in the desert to confront Satan, not to collude with him.
Matthew in his corresponding rendering of the same exchange offers a fuller quotation thus: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4 ESV). Each rendering is inspired and each is perfectly true. The extension in Matthew (which is itself a fuller citation from Deuteronomy 8:3) distinguishes our professed ministry from those which, though legitimate and commendable in themselves, are based upon humanitarian and secular motivations.
We follow Jesus in Lent by embracing its call for self-examination. Like our Saviour himself we aspire to proceed faithfully both by action and motive. In our prayers this week we place the two settings from Luke to which I have referred. We follow the path of integrity modelled by Jesus. We do so by acknowledging our personal vulnerability while resting upon the assurances from the word of God as we find it in Luke 12: 22-34. We proceed by faith in the Father’s loving supply and we seek wisdom and discernment from the Holy Spirit against every temptation to produce “Bread” by our own hands.
Hour of Prayer for our Ministry
This is an explanation to assist those praying friends, who have not taken part in our conversation to date.
In the secular community people face uncertain and challenging situations every day. Every legitimate occupation in our society exists to meet human need, including the needs we have not anticipated. People and organisations find their way forward by their wits and through their own resources. Some problems prove too great for individuals and single enterprises so it becomes necessary to seek help where it may be found. There is an ever present risk that some such might deliver less than what is hoped for; the original problem may become greater still.
When the Board of CMH met to continue its conversation about our future, we decided to take a course that might appear radical to some. We decided to suspend all discussion and, until our next Board meeting at least. we would pray for one hour individually from 7am every Thursday. In our prayer time we would be still and would listen. Words from Psalm 46:10 and Philippians 4:6&7 came to mind.
So here we are today, praying on. When, after several weeks, the process was firmly established amongst the Board members we felt able to invite others to join our hour of prayer, and here you are with us. You are welcome and we hope you will be blessed and be a blessing to all as we grow closer to God through silence and by listening in prayer.
David Matchett prepares weekly notes to focus and co-ordinate or prayer and if you would like to receive these by email , contact Rab at firstname.lastname@example.org
At the bottom of our garden lane there is a small rough paddock, home to two male Konik ponies. They are separated from six female Koniks who mostly live on the adjacent Hare Island, which is connected to the lane through the Rivers Agency site on the shore. I said mostly because the Environmental Heritage staff, the keepers of these unusual feral ponies, move them as required. These wonderful dun coloured ponies have a distinctive dark black/brown mane and dorsal stripe. They can exist on very rough land and are good for managing wet lands, which makes them desirable short term residents. So they get invitations to clean up various areas. The fact that they can live on rough ground doesn’t mean that this is their desire. We do know that far off fields are greener; the two males ate through the old wooden fence round their paddock and were seen rolling in ecstasy on the lush green grass of the neighbouring fields.
Perhaps, at this time of restrictions due to the Corona virus, we too want to escape to a green luscious space, an area where we will feel free and unrestrained?
…be content with what you have, because God has said:
‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’
So we say with confidence. ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid, What can man do to me?’
Nearly home one January afternoon, while the light was still bright, I slowed down turning into the laneway leading to home. Not only did the car slow, but I could feel the peace of the place surround me as I surveyed the peaceful scene of the Quoile River as it flowed into Strangford Lough. Ahead the green of the islands and protected quietness abridged my strained thoughts, and there on a pole, a buzzard, surveying the land just as I had done. I stopped to observe, and realised that I’d been noticed, but dismissed as uninteresting, while the surrounding fields were carefully scanned for prey: a vole, rabbit, mouse or even a crow would have been acceptable. Happy for them, none were seen and the buzzard lifted into the air and rose to circle overhead.
Oh that I would have the concentration of that beautiful bird, but then her life and offspring depended on it. The thought struck me: my life depends on God. Do I seek Him as diligently as the buzzard seeks her food? Do I watch for Him; wait for Him; observe and know His ways?
If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the Lord who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. (Psalm 91:9,10)
Adjacent to our home is a small lagoon which was created when a causeway was established to create an entrance to our home. It is connected to Strangford Lough by a large pipe under the causeway, and this allows the tide to rise and fall in the lagoon. To our surprise and delight a white heron-like bird appeared in the lagoon at low tide one day. It was smaller and certainly more timid than the grey herons which are common on the shore.
When approached, it would take to flight and tuck its long legs underneath displaying vivid yellow feet. It was a Little Egret. Each day, having adopted the lagoon as a source of food, it would rummage the shallows for small fish, crustaceans and worms and then retreat to the branch of a nearby tree when the tide came in. For a long time he was solitary, disappearing for a while, then reappearing with a friend. Now, I wait eagerly to count and welcome their annual family of three to six offspring
I often wondered just how he encouraged her to come initially, maybe it was the tranquillity, the beauty, a source of nice food, or his innate charm. I would imagine the romantic scene and the invitation… ‘Come and see my lagoon’.
Then, my musing would transpose to higher thought……
Will You Come And Follow Me
If I But Call Your Name?
Will You Go Where You Don’t Know
And Never Be The Same?
Will You Let My Love Be Shown,
Will You Let My Name Be Known,
Will You Let My Life Be Grown
In You And You In Me?-
Provisional Diary Dates
Due to current Restrictions the following are proposed:
Holy Communion with Prayers for the Sick
10.00 am Tuesdays: 2 & 16 March; 6 & 20 April
Prayers for Israel & the Nations
11.00 am Tuesdays: 9 March. 13 April
Fellowship of Contemplative Prayer
10.30 am Wednesdays: 24 March; 21 April
1.00 pm Fridays at 162 until further notices:
5, 12, 19, 26 March
We will be open for one-to-one prayer and counselling by appointment at 162
A Service of Wholeness and Healing
From Down Cathedral, Downpatrick, N Ireland