This August PCI will be hosting a Special Assembly in Coleraine, where representatives from each congregation will explore the subject of ‘Everyday disciples’. This month the Herald features an interview with one of the keynote speakers of the conference, Randy Pope, pastor of Perimeter Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Randy is passionate about the concept of discipleship and explains a particular model that his church has found effective. Termed ‘life-on-life discipleship’, the focus is on sharing life with one another in relation to each person’s walk of faith, with the intended result of mature and equipped followers of Christ.
This model highlights that our Christian lives cannot just be compartmentalised to a Sunday morning. Rather, to grow effectively, we must be prepared to open all aspects of our lives to God and submit them to His authority. Andrew Conway emphasises this in his article, ‘Disciples and their hobbies’, reflecting that our recreational activities are just as important as our working ones, posing opportunities to worship God as well as develop missional thinking. He says, “The reality of spiritual warfare does not stop when we engage in our hobbies.”
Just as God cares about every area of our lives, He also cares for us at every stage of our lives. In this issue we look at the subject of dementia, a heartbreaking struggle for those diagnosed and also for the family members and friends who care for them. Our Church recognises the growing need to practically and spiritually address this issue. Suzanne Hamilton reports on a recent workshop in Assembly Buildings and highlights the advice on offer from the key experts present. Sally Campton, one of the speakers, describes dementia as “a big challenge to us as people of faith. How do we still hold people in the same regard as God has them?” This affirms that God’s love for us does not change, regardless of a fading mind or a wasting body.
Rev. Niall Lockhart shares his own personal story of watching his father through the ups and downs of dementia. He movingly portrays the myriad of emotions involved in standing on the sidelines. He tells of how, sensing a moment of clarity in his father, he asks him what he would say to someone who finds themselves struggling in life. His father’s answer: “I would say push on.” This perfectly sums up our call as disciples – to push on in the hard times and the good; push on through every aspect of our daily walk; and push on right to the end of our lives, knowing that all the days allotted to us are in His hands.
The Presbyterian Herald is the official magazine of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. It provides a forum for debate and discussion on a wide range of topics and aims to challenge and encourage Presbyterians, as well as inform them about what the wider Church is involved in. It has a readership in excess of 25,000 and is distributed throughout Ireland.
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