CIMS Annual Service in Ballymore Parish Church on Advent Sunday 27 Nov 2011  

Ballymore Parish Church


St Mark's Ballymore

Bishop Abernethy  Archbishop Harper  Revd Shane Forstar The CIMS Annual Service was held in St Mark's Ballymore (Tandragee) on Advent Sunday. The Service was conducted by the Rector, the Revd Shane Forster, and the prayers were led by the Rt Revd Alan Abernethy (Bishop of Connor and CIMS Chairman). Old and New Testament Lessons were read by Arthur Macartney (Hon Lay Sec) and Revd Matthew Hagan, Rector of Tynan.

In his address CIMS President, the Most Revd Alan Harper (Archbishop of Armagh) referred to the Second Coming and the Day of Judgement, that we know not the day and the hour - we must stay prepared. On the day of Judgement the sheep and goats would be divided not on the basis of nationality, ethnicity or belief but on conduct and lifestyle, identification with the victims of society and compassion shown. He referred to the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, who even after death when condemned to the place of torment, begged Abraham to send Lazarus expecting to continue the Master / servant relationship. Today our society is destabilised by inequality and hopelessness and the salaries of the highest earners have reached 1000 times the average wage. High banking salaries have been justified on the basis that the higher they get the better is the economy for others.
      "The rich man in his castle,
       The poor man at his gate,
       He made them, high or lowly,
       And ordered their estate".
Mrs Alexander's words seem out of date today, but are they? The Advent proclamation needs to be heard more in Canary Wharf than in Tower Hamlets. For our Society to survive and for us to be included with the sheep we must cherish the weak, include the alienated and use the wealth of the rich for the Lazarus of this world.
A thought provoking sermon - we are certainly presented with a challenge.

Many thanks to Ballymore for hosting the service - to the choir, especially for their anthem "Maranatha, alleluia" by Ogden, and for the ladies who served refreshments after the service.

   Archbishop's Address in full.........more

Bishop Alan Abernethy (CIMS Chairman),
Archbishop Alan Harper CIMS President)
and Revd Shane Forster (Rector of Ballymore)

Ballymore Service


Ballymore Parish Church floodlit