Today was our first full day in Northern Ireland. And quite a day it was!
We spent the early part of the day preparing, as a group, for the church service that we would be leading later in the day. This included going over some rules, praying, practicing worship, and praying some more. After all the praying and a couple of different meals (with some bacon that would blow American bacon away!)
We then headed into Belfast to join the ministry called, The Dock Church. The Dock Church is located directly next to the shipyard where the Titanic was built! This ministry is an entirely donations-dependent cafe that shares the love of Christ with the people of Belfast through conversation, free (or by donation) coffee, tea, and other goodies, and a Sunday afternoon event called The Dock Walk.
The Dock Walk is an gathering, where instead of worship the conventional way, they take a walk around the Titanic Quarter. Their website describes it as this:
The Dock Walks are a new way of doing church, on foot, in the midst of the rich heritage and the exciting new development of Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. We walk, talk, drink coffee, and as we walk through the TQ we stop to pray or listen to scripture, meditations or music. The route, the people, the weather and the conversation are never exactly the same!
No-one is put on the spot, made to speak or pray out loud. And we don’t sing, or preach, or walk around with sandwich boards.
Pictured is our group, along with a few regulars of The Dock Walk, huddling into the outline of an actual Titanic lifeboat.
We were lucky enough to join them at this very intriguing 3:33 PM service!
After the prayer walk down the very spot where the Titanic was built and launched, we were invited back to the Cafe to join them for coffee and tea and discussion. It was a very amazing experience. If you ever find yourself in Belfast on a Sunday afternoon, I highly recommend you join them at 3:33 PM!
Our next stop for the day was The River of Life Free Methodist Church. We were given the reigns for tonight’s service. The team led the congregation in worship, ran media, passed the offering plates, and gave testimonies. Kathie Filby shared a short message, involving some of her personal testimony and the church’s current topic of “Out of Maintenance, into Mission.”
At the end of the service, we spent time meeting and talking to church members of all ages about why were there, what we had planned for the week, and an awful lot of questions about the US. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, many of us made new friends, and some even attempted to recruit future Greenville students!
The following is a short video with some of the days highlights:
Another exciting day ahead of us tomorrow! For now it’s time to hit the hay (I’ve stayed far too late, once again, tonight)!