‘Amy – A life & legacy of grace’ is this month’s main feature with a photo of the recently unveiled statue of a 10-year-old Amy Carmichael, which stands outside Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church in Bangor. Jonathan Clarke recounts Amy’s amazing story 150 years on from her birth in his article ‘A lasting legacy’, while the artist behind the sculpture, Ross Wilson, explains how and why the statue was made in ‘The Wild-Bird Child’.
The birth of Amy Carmichael is not the only 150th anniversary to feature in the Herald this month, with Alf McCreary charting the fascinating story of Whitehouse Presbyterian Church in North Belfast in this month’s congregational story, ‘Amazing grace: The story of Whitehouse’. The congregation, which recently celebrated its own sesquicentenary with a special candlelit service in Victorian-style dress, has a history which according to Alf, “… reads more like an adventure paperback than a typical church history.”
In ‘Investing for the long haul’ Herald editor Sarah Harding visits the Wednesday kids’ club at Arklow Presbyterian Church, which is run by Irish mission worker Philip Whelton.
Philip, who is supported by United Appeal for Mission, writes, “We want the children to know that Jesus loves them, and that they belong – no matter what their background or circumstances may be like. It’s really about connections. We want to introduce them to Jesus and help them learn how to follow Him, through the lessons and verses taught and just by the way we treat them.”
This month’s talking point with Very Rev. Dr. Norman Hamilton is entitled ‘Rights’, in which he addresses some of the complex issues involved in shaping a biblical view of rights. “People matter to God. That is the basis for spelling out a high view of rights – and doing so with confidence,” said Norman.
As we enter into February, it is hard to miss the inevitable arrival of Valentine’s Day cards, gifts and merchandise in our shops. In what can often feel like a month focused on romantic love and relationships, Olwyn Mark addresses the subject of singleness in ‘Happily ever after’ and suggests the church should do more to affirm, encourage and support those who are single.
“It seems to me that we need to be pursuing communities in which we are all so deeply invested in each other’s lives that we are constantly helping each other – both married and unmarried – to discern God’s will for our lives and pursue righteous living.” Olwyn adds, “… we need to affirm that both marriage and singleness are good gifts of God to be used to reflect the character of God.”
Also in this packed February issue there is more to read and enjoy: David Thompson introduces two ministers who are embracing social media as a tool for ministry; Rebecca McConnell interviews Rev. John Hanson, convener of PCI’s Stewardship of Creation panel, on our duty as Christians to care for God’s creation; Charlotte Stevenson shares some Life Lessons while Jonny Hanson shares 10 reasons why looking after God’s world matters.
Rev. Alan Wilson, minister of Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, shares his experiences of outreach in Manchester on behalf of the organization Jews for Jesus, in this issue’s ‘My story’.
Finally, with photos showing life in PCI, mission news from workers around Ireland and the world in Mission Connect, and reflections from Arthur Clarke and Betsy Cameron, this month’s Herald will inform, entertain and challenge.
Don’t miss out on February’s Herald; to download this edition or to see how you can subscribe, visit the Presbyterian Herald section of the website.
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