The Church’s Ministry of Healing –The Mount, Belfast
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)
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
Hour of Prayer for Our Ministry – 21 January 2021
Last week I suggested that we include the text of Psalm 86 in our time of prayer. As I took it up for myself, I became focused on verses 11 & 12 “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth, unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.”
“Teach me thy way O Lord” is the opening line of a hymn by Benjamin Mansell Ramsey, it is a cogent reflection about our dependence upon God for guidance. My familiarity with its words may have played a part in drawing me to Psalm 86 verse 11. Sometimes, when we look to a familiar thought, our very familiarity with it and our personal reminiscence can lead us to overlook an important aspect. It was thus I found the imperative to “Unite my heart to fear your name”.
It is a very good and necessary thing to seek God’s direction, but the call upon each of us as we do so is to unite one’s own heart. and single-mindedly to commit to that path. There is a current expression which runs as “Take a long, hard look at yourself”, the challenge to do so confronted me there and then. I am compelled to ask myself “Am I wholehearted as I address the authority of God for my path of travel?”. Is there integrity between my profession to seek God’s will and to obey it? The words of Jesus at John 13:17 press home “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them”.
For our prayers this week I suggest that we continue with Psalm 86. God’s rule for our lives and our service came to be encapsulated in Matthew’s Gospel under the term “The kingdom of heaven”. In our prayers this week we might wish to consider what The Lord Jesus might intend for us to observe from his teaching on childlike adherence at Matthew 18:1-5 and, as it is reinforced in the following chapter, at Matthew 19:14,15.
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)
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