Moderator’s Virtual Tour taking him to Ballymena
This week will see a special moment for the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, when Right Reverend Dr David Bruce will preach in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, the Ballymena congregation where he was the ordained assistant minister over 30 years ago
From 1985-1987 Dr Bruce assisted the minister there before being called to serve as the minister of two Dublin congregations.
While it will not be an in person service, due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, it will be livestreamed On Sunday, March 7, at 11.30am across the Presbytery of Ballymena, as part of the Moderator’s virtual tour of one of PCI’s 19 regional presbyteries, which is taking place this week.
Speaking about this week’s tour, Clerk of the Presbytery, Rev Joseph Andrews, minister of Ballee Presbyterian Church, said in a statement, “This Moderator’s tour will be radically different from any which we have ever hosted before. Normally the Moderator would preach in four congregations and attend the Stated meeting of Presbytery. He would meet a wide range of people and undertake a busy schedule of visits and meetings involving industrial, agricultural, commercial, community and healthcare settings. He would meet with the Mayor of the Borough and see at first hand, various activities in local congregations.”
This time the Moderator will meet virtually with four groups of ministers, speak at a virtual Midweek Rally, which will be available on You Tube on Thursday, 4 March, as well as taking part in the live streamed service from Wellington congregation on Sunday.
Dr Bruce said, “Yes it will be different, and like my three previous tours it will be a mainly ‘virtual tour’, but I am really looking forward to it all the same. We have scheduled four online meetings with ministers, where we will have some time to pray together and talk. I am exceptionally thankful to all my brothers and sisters in Christ across our denomination, who have carried on pastoring their people and sharing the Gospel in such unprecedented times and want to thank our ministers personally in the Presbytery of Ballymena for what they have done and continue to do. Listening to their experiences over this last while, and seeing how they are, will be an important part of my tour.”
The Presbytery of Ballymena is made up of 31 congregations that range in size from 39 to 735 families, making up a local Presbyterian community of just under 20,000 individuals. Bounded by the North Channel on the east Antrim coast, the Presbytery extends southwards to Eskylane, then west to Tamlaght O’ Crilly, in County Londonderry, and northwards to Rasharkin, through Clough and Newtowncrommelin to Cushendall. The Presbytery also takes in the nine glens that make up the famous Glens of Antrim.