Worship in Moneydig

To get the most out of worship each week takes preparation. If you would like to be prepared for worship then please see the details below of what we will be reading and thinking about.

4-week series thinking about the catechism we learnt as children.

Sunday 10th January – Rev Stuart Morrow

Q1. What is man’s chief end? Ans. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy him for ever. Psalm 73

Sunday 17th January – Rev Peter Fleming

Sunday 24th January – Rev Stuart Morrow

Q2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify him and enjoy him? Ans. The word of God, which is contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. 1 Timothy 3:10-17

Sunday 31st January – Rev Stuart Morrow

Q3. What do the scriptures principally teach? Ans. The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man. John 5:31-47

Sunday 7th February – Rev Stuart Morrow

Q4. What is God? Ans. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. John 4:1-26

Moneydig in 2021

As we begin a new year I want to take some time to set something of my vision for the church in 2021. Since arriving in Moneydig in May 2014 we have been very much focused on discipleship, the building up of God’ s people. The best example of this has been in the mentoring programs which we have offered.

While discipleship will continue to be at the forefront of all we do, and the offer to be mentored remains for any who are interested in deepening their faith, I do sense God shifting our focus as a church, to one that is more outward looking.

Over the coming year it is my hope and prayer that we as a church will become more visible in our community in terms of providing practical help and service, but also in our desire to make known the good news of Jesus Christ. The necessary closure of churches has shown us the importance of the church scattered as well as the church gathered. It has shown us the impact we can have as individual Christians representing the church in our own neighbourhoods, workplaces and families.

I hope we will build on this in 2021 as we become more involved in the world around us.

The gathered church is still an important part of the christian life. With this in mind I want to give an indication of what that gathering will look like. We will take time this year to explore the catechism. The catechism is how we teach our children the truths of the Christian faith. Over the years this has become more about learning statements of by heart rather than learning the reason for those statements.

We will therefore spend time thinking about our confession, or our beliefs as we as a congregation relearn the catechism.

During the period of lent we will take time to think through the implications of that part of the Lord’s prayer that says, Thy will be done. This will lead us into Easter when our focus will be on John’s gospel and the invitations of Jesus Christ. We will use Easter as an opportunity to invite people to encounter the living Lord Jesus.

Continuing the theme of mission we will spend 4 weeks considering what it means for us as a church to be a sent people. We are instructed to go into the world.

We will also read the book o Haggai which will bring us up to Advent once more.

Please do take the time to prepare for all we do on a Sunday morning. The readings and themes will be posted ahead of time this year. As we gather and scatter as a church pray for God’s leading and speaking to each one of us, that we would make him known to all the nations.

Church Building Closed

After discussions today with Junior Ministers from the office of the First and Deputy First Minister, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, along with the Church of Ireland, Methodist Church and Catholic Church, has voluntarily agreed to suspend all services and activities within church buildings.

https://www.presbyterianireland.org/News/January-2021/Worsening-Covid-situation-Church-decides-to-close.aspx

Weddings and funerals can still take place under tight restrictions.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-55558296

While it is regrettable that this decision has had to be made, it is, I believe, the right decision. The rate of infection has been climbing, hospitals are coming under significant pressure and it is clear the risk to health and life has dramatically increased.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-55572871

The closure of the church building does not mean the closure of the church. There will be an online service each Sunday at 12 noon on the Moneydig Facebook page and later on this website. I will also try to find ways of keeping us connected through bible study and prayer via different online platforms.

https://www.facebook.com/moneydigpci/?view_public_for=260528780821389

I would like to reiterate the church is not closed, it is only the building that is closed, so please, check in with one another, phone the people you would normally sit beside as well as your neighbours and if anyone should need anything please don’t hesitate to give me a ring.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18

Moderators Appeal – At home for Christmas

This year there will be no World Development Appeal in the Presbyterian Church. The Moderator, Rev David Bruce, has launched his own appeal aimed at helping the poorest in our world cope with the Covid Pandemic.

Moderators Christmas Appeal – Presbyterian Church Ireland (presbyterianireland.org)

Can I encourage you to watch the short video below and consider contributing as part of your Christmas offering. This can be done through the link below or by leaving your donation in the offering plate in an envelope clearly marked ‘At home for Christmas‘.

Donations – Presbyterian Church Ireland (presbyterianireland.org)

Useful Dates

As we navigate our way through these strange days so our normal church calendar has been disrupted. The following information is regarding activities and services in the coming weeks for Moneydig and Second Kilrea Presbyterian Churches.

Sunday 25th October Harvest

  • 10:30 am Second Kilrea (no booking required)
  • 12 noon Moneydig Presbyterian Church (contact Steven Torrens to book a place)
  • 7:30 pm Moneydig Presbyterian Church hall (contact Steven Torrens to book a place)
  • An online service will be available on the website from 10:15 am

As we are unable to decorate the church and then distribute produce as normal we are asking for donations to the food bank.

Wednesday 21st October Midweek

An opportunity to meet for bible study and prayer at 8 pm in Moneydig Church. No booking required.

Wednesday 28th October Ordination Alan McAleese

At long last we will be able to ordain Alan as an elder in Moneydig Presbyterian Church. Unfortunately due to limited seating this service will be attended by invitation only. A recording will be placed on the website shortly afterwards.

Sunday 1st November Communion

  • 10:30 am in Second Kilrea (no booking required)
  • 12 noon in Moneydig Presbyterian Church (contact Steven Torrens to book a place)
  • An additional communion service will be help on Wednesday 4th November at 8:15 pm in Moneydig Presbyterian Church for anyone unable to attend on the Sunday. If we need to provide further services to ensure everyone who would like to take communion can do so, we will. (contact Steven Torrens to book a place)

The number which Steven can be contacted on 07740585946

Return to Church Procedures

On Sunday 30th August Moneydig Presbyterian Church will re-open after 23 being closed because of Covid-19. While the church re-opening is a cause of celebration it is also a matter of caution.

We will be maintaining strict 2m social distancing and encouraging the wearing of face-masks whilst in the church. The social distancing means there will be limited space in the church. Everyone hoping to attend will have to book their place between Monday and Wednesday each week. Bookings can be made by contacting Steven Torrens (Clerk of Session) using text or WhatsApp messaging. If you do not have access to text or WhatsApp then phone Steven.

The number which Steven can be contacted on 07740585946

Encounter Bible Study

We have now completed our online bible study ‘Encounter‘. If you missed any weeks or would like to watch again please use the playlist below to select the week you require.

The glory returns

Today’s passage is Ezekiel 43-48

This morning we finish our daily reflections in the book of Ezekiel. I hope you have enjoyed your time with Ezekiel and been able to get a flavour for what this incredible book teaches us. Ezekiel has taken us on an incredible journey. The book began near the Kebar river where Ezekiel was sitting with other exiles from Jerusalem.

It was there that Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord, but it was also there he saw the glory of the Lord departing the temple; the destruction of Jeruslaem and all the sins of the people that led to God’s anger.

Ezekiel has shown us the depth of pain our betrayal and rejection of God has caused. If there is anything to learn from Ezekiel it is the incredible seriousness of our sin. The cost of it to ourselves and others. It is worth noting how God’s wrath was poured out on the community – my sin affects those around me, as does yours. Ezekiel teaches us that sin is no trifling matter.

But notice also how Ezekiel does not leave us languishing in our sin. He does not leave us in the horror of exile or the pain of separation to God. The book of Ezekiel brings us full circle. We are given an incredibly detailed description of a new city and temple replacing the city and temple destroyed in God’s wrath. The wonder of this new city is in the final words of Ezekiel.

The Lord is There

Ezekiel 48:35

Is this not the story of the gospel? Is the story of the gospel not the story of a group of exiles, you and me, separated from the holy city God created for us, Eden? In that exile we see the glory of the Lord departing from our lives. With each further descent into sin that glory of God appears more and more distant resulting in the inevitable death we all must face.

Yet we are not left in despair, death or separation from God. Jesus Christ has come into our world; he has atoned for our sin and through him we are returned to that place our sin sent us into exile from. We see again the glory of God as we are promised not just a new city, but a new heaven and a new earth.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Revelation 21:1-3

How do we take hold of this promise? The answer lies in Ezekiel’s words to the people of Judah & Jerusalem.

Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!

Ezekiel 14:6

Prayer Father, I thank you for the new life I find in Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all I have done that caused my separation and alienation from you. Forgive me for everything I have done that placed Jesus on the cross. Yet I thank you it is because Jesus went to the cross that I can have this new life; the promise of being part of that new heaven and earth where you dwell with me. Lord, may I never lose sight of this incredible prize, privilege and promise. Amen

The new heaven and the new earth

Today’s passage is Ezekiel 38-42

Do you ever feel as though life is a long tunnel with no sign of light at the other end? Does God ever seem so distant that we wonder if he will ever make his face to shine upon us again? Does life ever feel as though it has become so difficult that we will never laugh or smile again? Do we ever wonder if someone will deliver good news instead of the constant crushing weight of bad news and disappointment?

Dawn brings with it the hope that the night has ended

Life exiled in Babylon must surely have felt like this. Certainly, those who were left in Jeruslaem after all the slaughter, siege, starvation and poverty must have wondered if life would ever return to normal. We hear the despair, panic even in Ezekiel’s cry of 9:8 ‘

Alas, Sovereign Lord! Are you going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel in this outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5

The purpose of God’s anger is not to simply that he would have satisfaction, it is not to inflict punishment. The purpose of God’s anger, his wrath is to turn us away from those things that cause us harm. To turn our hearts back to him. God’s anger, his wrath, his punishment; it is not vindictiveness; it is grace and love.

In chapter 39: 21-29 God makes clear his punishment was because of how Israel rebelled against him, it was to make clear his holiness, that everyone would know that he is God. Crucially though God also talks of how he will restore Israel, of how he will teach them a lesson and that they will learn that lesson.

In Romans 1:24 Paul echo’s this thought when he talks of God handing people over to their sinful desires. In 1 Corinthians 5:5 Paul instructs the immoral brother to be handed over to Satan, not for punishment  but ‘that his spirit might be saved on the day of the Lord.’ God punishes us in order that we would learn our lesson, but he also holds out the promise of redemption and renewal.

How is life showing you what it would be like to live without God? Has God been speaking to us about the extent of our sin, the consequences of our sin? Have we begun to understand the severity of God’s hand upon us because of who we are and what we have said and done?

The good news is that in Jesus Christ there is redemption. In Jesus we can be sure that God’s anger will last only a moment because Jesus has borne all of it for us. Jesus wept through the night in order that we would rejoice in the morning. In the darkness there is light at the end of the tunnel and that light is Jesus Christ. Will we walk towards the light or remain in the darkness? Will we walk towards God’s favour or remain in his anger? Walk towards the dawn of hope and rejoicing or remain in the night of weeping?

Jesus came to give us the hope of a new heaven and a new earth. Are we prepared to leave this earth behind?

Prayer Father, I thank you for your loving kindness. I thank you that your discipline on my life is simply to correct me, to draw me back, to protect me from your anger. Lord help me to respond by clinging to Jesus. Lord, I trust in Jesus, help my lack of trust. Amen