Wellington ‘homecoming’ for Presbyterian moderator with virtual worship
There will be a ‘homecoming’ for the Presbyterian moderator this Sunday when he returns to the church where he began his ministerial career more than 30 years ago.
In a service being livestreamed from Wellington Presbyterian in Ballymena, Right Reverend Dr David Bruce will preach to a congregation of worshippers online.
Dr Bruce was ordained assistant minister of Wellington, between 1985 and 1987, before being called to serve as the minister of two congregations in Dublin.
The Wellington service is part of the moderator’s virtual tour of one of Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s 19 regional presbyteries which is taking place this week.
He said: “I have also pre-recorded a message based on 1 Corinthians 1:9 on the subject of True Fellowship for a virtual mid-week rally that will also be taking place. Then, of course, I will be back in the pulpit and preaching from Wellington, alongside Rev Alistair Bates, which I am really looking forward to. It will be my first time back preaching there since 2009.”
Speaking about this week’s tour, Clerk of the Presbytery, Rev Joseph Andrews, minister of Ballee Presbyterian Church, said: “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 YouTube. He will also take part in a live streamed service from Wellington congregation this Sunday.”
Mr Andrews added: “It is disappointing that the 2021 Tour has had to be remodelled, especially as Dr Bruce served as Assistant Minister in Wellington Street congregation from 1985 to 1987, but in common with the wider Church, Ballymena Presbytery wishes to protect all its people at this time and prays for a successful roll out of the vaccination programme and, in time, a return to a more normal pattern of Church life.
“As a Presbytery we have been mindful of those who have experienced bereavement, whose health has suffered, whose family life has been disrupted, or who have faced redundancy or financial hardship, and assure them all that they are remembered in prayer at every meeting of the Presbytery Standing Commission.”
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