Moderator’s Sunday Service

The Sunday Service: A redeemed church

In today’s weekly service of worship for the whole Presbyterian Church in Ireland family across the country, Presbyterian Moderator, Rt Rev Dr David Bruce continues his series on Ephesians with ‘A Redeemed Church’.

Recorded in the Weir Chapel in Assembly Buildings in Belfast, this morning’s service continues with Ephesians 1:1-16, focusing on verses 7 and 8 this morning. “We have been looking at Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, and we continue with two verses this week from chapter one,” the Moderator explained.

“The big idea in the letter is the Church – what it is, what it’s for, how it works. The opening chapter of the letter is a kind of outpouring of superlatives, as Paul lists five ways that we have been blessed as the people of God – and we are looking at one of these each week. Today we come to the third big blessing, because we are a redeemed church,” Dr Bruce said.

During today’s service, the Moderator has invited members of PCI’s Monaghan Presbytery to take part. The Presbytery is one of the Church’s 19 regional bodies, and extends from County Louth on the east coast, to County Mayo on the west coast, pulling in portions of counties Roscommon, Leitrim, Sligo, Monaghan and Cavan along the way. So far, members of the Dromore Presbytery have taken part, the Moderator’s own Presbytery, and the largest geographical presbytery in PCI, the Presbytery of Dublin and Munster.

With some churches reopening today for the first time in over 100 days, Dr Bruce said, “As Churches are able to return to worship from today onwards, it is clear that plans will differ in each congregation. Some have indicated an early return, while many others are planning to wait until September.

“I intend to continue these PCI online services through the summer months, and possibly beyond, to ensure there will be an opportunity for us to gather in worship together.”

During the service, Rev David Clarke, minister in Sligo Presbyterian and Moderator of the Presbytery for this year, will introduce it and pray. Clerk of Presbytery, Rev Daryl Edwards, who is minster of Cootehill, Drum and Kilmount, will pray and read from the Bible.

At the service’s close, as those watching respond to God today, some members of Sligo Presbyterian Church; Fiona Simpson, Marcos Thorpe, Norma Castillo and Julie Nicholas will lead in prayers for others.

Hymns and worship songs in today’s service will be:

  • I stand Amazed in the Presence
  • Praise the name
  • When I survey the Wondrous Cross

The service finishes with a recording of the Belfast Community Gospel Choir singing ‘I know that my Redeemer Lives’, which includes a solo by Laura Dowey from Newmills Presbyterian Church.

Next week…

Next week, the Presbytery of North Belfast will particiapte as the Moderator continues his journey with Ephesians, look forward in time to see how we are a united church.