first_imgDiocese of Derry and Raphoe Celebrates its ‘Year of Opportunity 2016’Diocesan News:Hundreds of parishioners from all across the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe converged on Letterkenny on Friday evening for a special event to celebrate the Diocese’s ‘Year of Opportunity 2016’.They were joined by leaders of other Christian churches in the North West and among the highlights was a video message – which had arrived only hours before the event began – from the Bishop of Butere, in Kenya, whose first Christian church was established by a missionary from Derry and Raphoe one hundred years ago this year. The event included prayers and hymns – among them a rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ led by local piper Billy Doherty.This year, 2016, has been designated a ‘Year of Opportunity’ in Derry and Raphoe, with a special focus on mission, children and generosity. Bishop Ken Good told the hundreds gathered in Letterkenny Institute of Technology that they were embarking on this year “not out of a sense of duty or as a burden or an inconvenience, but with a sense of gratitude, of love and of thanksgiving in joyful response to what God has first done for us.”Bishop Good reminded those present of the Church of Ireland Census of November 2013, which revealed that 80% of Church of Ireland people chose not to be in church on Sunday mornings.He described this as a real spiritual and missional challenge. “This Year of Opportunity is about taking the 80% census statistic seriously. It’s about believing that God has a future and a hope for his church and we want to get involved in seeing things change. Before God we are acknowledging that mission really matters.”The Bishop also outlined to the audience the “creative plans” which parish teams throughout Derry and Raphoe had come up with to reach out and make connections with people during the Year of Opportunity. They include a parable pageant, wedding dress festivals, a Mission Week, Walks of Witness, a flute band event, a Village Nativity Event and a Bible Reading Marathon. Commending parish teams for their initiative, Bishop Good said: “Change and growth happens ‘one life at a time,’ ‘one person at a time’, ‘one step at a time’, ‘one spiritual encounter at a time’.”Friday night’s celebration event saw the first copies of a new booklet – produced by the Diocese – being distributed. ‘One More Step’ recounts the faith journeys of nine members of the Derry and Raphoe Diocese and is intended to be used as a prayer resource in parishes.One of those featured in the booklet, Omagh fire–fighter Paddy Quinn, joined the Bishop on–stage to share his personal faith experience. A free copy of the booklet was given to everyone present and free copies were also distributed to parish teams.In his video message to the Celebration Event, the Bishop of Butere, Tim Wambunye, thanked Derry and Raphoe for its generosity towards his diocese. His film showed the financial difficulties experienced by his clergy as they minister to a growing diocese of around 30,000 members.Bishop Good told the audience that a Confirmation Group in Macosquin had undertaken to raise one thousand pounds by May 15th which would be used to provide a cow for one of the parishes in Kenya. He sensed that “this project could catch on as a timely idea” for other parishes here.The event in Letterkenny had light as its theme. As it ended, the audience were invited to switch on small electronic tea–lights symbolising their commitment to the Year of Opportunity. Bishop Good said the Year of Opportunity 2016 was about members of parishes all over the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe “being the light of the world, making a positive difference in Transforming Community and Radiating Christ, as we ‘let our little light shine.’”BISHOP GOOD LEADS CELEBRATION OF YEAR OF OPPORTUNITY 2016 was last modified: March 18th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img

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