You will all have recognised that there are a lot more people involved these days in helping in the running of the services in this Union.
1) We have three new Ministers of the Eucharist (chalice bearers) approved by the Bishop - Marjorie Garland, Harold Shorten and Frankie Stanley. These three have joined the existing team of Richard Buttimer, William Duke, Keith Ross and Lily Shorten. This means we have two Ministers of the Eucharist to every church (except St Patrick's Farranthomas where the sanctuary is very small) - and although I say we have people for each church, all these people are willing and able to do this valuable ministry right across the Union. Richard Buttimer and Billy Duke have been Ministers of the Eucharist for very many years. They together with our newer members all undertake this prayerful task with great dignity and care. I am sure we are all appreciative of this quiet and faithful ministry. We are also appreciative and grateful for all the years that Benjy Hosford gave, but alas eighteen months ago, through increasing infirmity has had to give up. Please pray for this team of people.
2) We have a new rota of people willing and able to lead the prayers/intercessions. The Rector has been instructing people individually as they start out. Now that everyone has had a chance to experience this other prayerful ministry first hand, (a few deep gulps and sweaty palms - but everyone has appeared calm!) we will have a group â€˜teach-in' after Easter. Everyone will be able to talk about leading intercessions from experience not just in theory. Again thank you and please will congregations pray for that person leading the intercessions on Sunday?
3) Lesson readers will have noticed a change in the way the readings are presented on their rotas. This is because there is a change all to do with copyright with the NRSV Bible. The rector can no longer print off readings three months in advance! This means you must all take your bibles off the shelf, dust them down and start reading them!! No Bad Thing!! If your version is too difficult and elderly to understand, please order an NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) from the recently opened Scripture Union Bookshop â€˜Footprints' at Bachelor's Quay in Cork or any other good bookshop, or on line. Some people may like to have in addition, The Message Bible to read at home, which is in everyday ordinary language - and or others who love the King James Version may like to try the New King James Version. In church however we generally read from the NRSV which is a clear and close translation from ancient texts. It is also approved for use by the Church of Ireland. Again prayers and thanks to all.
4) Our regular organists, Annie Bateman, Peter Hosford and Ethel Shorten are also to be thanked for all their faithfulness and thought that goes into choosing hymns and music (the Rector interferes by choosing hymns/tunes no one else seems to know!); Children's Church leaders, Edith Draper, Rose Shorten, Sara Shorten together with helpers; all those who prepare the altar/communion table, wash and iron the small linens; all those who clean the churches, arrange flowers and keep the grounds and buildings neat and tidy. A big thank you and prayers for you all - especially to those I may have inadvertently left out.
Next month we will be seeing yet another list of people after our Triennial Elections with also members of the new Select Vestry and Wardens. Our Easter Vestry meeting will be held on Sunday 30th March after the 10.30am Eucharist (shortened) at St Mary's Desertserges. I expect a full turn out for this important occasion. Please pray and vote carefully for everyone serving in their various capacities.
Yet another important group in the life of our parishes are those who work on the Boards of Management of our two schools. At Desertserges NS we have Graham Garland, Chair, the Rector (Bishop's nominees;) Wendy Sweeney (Principal), Diane Walsh (teacher), Diana McDonagh and Vivian Buttimer, treasurer, (parent reps.); Arthur Shorten and Violet Shorten (community reps.) The work of the new building at Desertserges is now rapidly in place and we all look forward to its completion. The children are all learning exciting facts about foundations and cement as well as the usual curriculum!! At Ballymoney NS we have the Rector, Chair, Jean Buttimer (Bishop's Nominees;) Shireen Rountree (Principal), Lisa Hawkins (teacher); Wendy O'Mahoney, treasurer, and Ralph Shorten (parent reps.); Betty Kingston and Stephen Buttimer (community reps.) Jean Buttimer has served on this Board very faithfully for over thirty years and continues to do so, keeping abreast of â€˜what is new.' She is an invaluable source of local information, but for the very first time she is no longer minute secretary! (A presentation will mark this.)
This is a busy time for us all and seems a bit rushed – but take some time out, look at spring bursting into life around us and thank God as we look toward to the Easter Promise of glory.
Lent Course - Every Wednesday night during Lent, Methodists and Church of Ireland members have been looking at â€˜What does the Bible say about Climate Change?' Some fascinating questions have been raised! 8 - 9pm Wednesdays March 5th and 12th are our last two sessions at St Paul's Parish Centre. All welcome.
The Friends of St Mary's - The Birthday Coffee Morning in January was a very happy meeting and raised over â‚¬700. At the time of writing we look forward to the Methodist Coffee Evening and Cake Stall in aid of two St Mary's - Dunmanway and Desertserges! A crossword puzzle is in circulation - from Grace Hosford (023 47047.) A concert at St Mary's Desertserges is planned for Friday 18th April - more details to follow.
Some other dates – 8.30pm Tuesday 4th March - Vestry Meeting 2 - 4pm Wednesday 5th March - Rural Dean's Annual Inspection 8.30pm Friday 7th March Women's World Day of Prayer at Castletown-Kinneigh
Burial January 2008 31st In Christ Church Churchyard, Kilmeen – Abbie Hubbard-Hurd (10 days old).