Since 2004 Doreen has been a Deaconess at Whitehouse Presbyterian Church. The congregation has settled again after the disruption of fire and flood and continues to grow with new families and individuals joining regularly.
Doreen's main responsibility is pastoral care and the co-ordination of the Pastoral Care Team. Other responsibilities include various opportunities of outreach with the Tots and Co. and Senior Alpha, a day time Bible study.
Doreen continues to serve as part-time denominational Chaplain to NI Hospice Care, a role she has held since 1999.
Doreen's home congregation is Clarkesbridge and First Newtownhamilton in County Armagh. Previously a nurse and midwife, Doreen trained and became a full-time staff worker for International Hospital Christian Fellowship in 1985. Doreen commenced Deaconess training in 1989 and first worked in Rathcoole Presbyterian Church from 1990 to 2002 before covering a six month relief post in First Carrickfergus Presbyterian Church.
Some of the highlights from 2016:
Pastoral: The responsibility of visiting our senior members over the past years has been such a joy. There have been times of laughter; a wealth of experience shared; tears in coping with their health issues, downsizing with a move to a nursing home, for some even facing end of life. All the way, God has enabled. He is the Faithful One.
Outreach: Our weekly Parent and Toddlers group founded 12 years ago has brought in many from the community. What a privilege it has been to rejoice with newborns, sing and play with tots, and, more so, to introduce them to our church activities for children. Each is a stepping stone to further share about Jesus through fun, bridge-building efforts in evangelism.
Bible Study: The introduction of a weekly afternoon Bible study initiated 10 years ago has proved to be a very rewarding opportunity in getting to grips with God’s Word. We use audio visuals to explore biblical characters, see Paul’s missionary journeys, and to trace the life of Jesus through each gospel. Also, learning about missionaries past and present, and praying for our churches missionary year focus, complements our study. The oldest member is an active 97 year old and the youngest is in her twenties. This creates lively discussion. I have learned more in preparation and in our discussions together.
Hospice Chaplaincy: 2016 was the year we moved back in to our refurbished building. This has proved to be so good for patients and relatives. I share in the Day Hospice service every Thursday. What an opportunity had been given to me 17 years ago to commence in this valuable ministry: to draw alongside patients, to listen, and to pray, with their permission, for them and their families. Again, I rejoice in the faithfulness of an all-caring God throughout our lives.
In conclusion, I wish to thank my minister, Rev. Liz Hughes; Bobby Orr; Chaplains at the Hospice; my church family; PW groups; and all who have encouraged and prayed for me. What a privilege to serve in building God’s Kingdom together.