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Newsletter September 2008

Leah and Danielle   Summer came and went but without much summer weather

We assisted with the Crumlin Road church’s Summer scheme, an outreach Kids Bible club.  In years past, American teams of young adults came to help.  This year only church members, along with us and a youth worker from the local community center, staffed the program.  A total of 70 neighborhood children came between the ages of 5 and 14.  Our normal Sunday School has 8-10 children, so this was quite a success!  The adults put in 10 hour days prepping, working with the younger kids in the after-noon, and the older kids in the evening, then out briefing.  Our own teens, Danielle and Leah, did a brilliant job!  Marda enhanced the crafts and got conscripted into the drama.
Summer is over and the Fall schedule is launched.  At the suggestion of one Shankill Road minister we joined classes sponsored by the Shankill Women’s Center.  With Freddie, Marda is taking Microsoft refresher courses (ECDL and MOS) and then a ceramics class.  Ward

is doing six walks in various parks with 10 women. Through the classes we will meet neighborhood people.  Evening worship, midweek Bible Study and Presbyterian Women have resumed.  Each program gives us the opportunity to interact and deepen our relationships.  Overlain with the regular program is the need for the church to come to terms with the results of the Presbyterian church headquarters’ “consultation” which requires a congregational strategy for the future and the functionality of the facility.  The use of Marda’s and Gillian’s engineering skills will play somehow.  Scary stuff!

Ward continues his visitations of the elderly and shut in.  Herein, and posted on the website, is his poem for these seniors. 

Silver crowns   shuffling canes
Hearing ears   wearing wisdom
Heart for serenading family. Old people   bowed frames
Cured tongues   sure truth
Storied lives in padded chairs
Shallow is the scar from your hurt,
Deep is the drink of your love.

Old people   bearing fruit
Across the pain of life’s chisel.
Image is the gift of your God:
The singing of your worth,
The meaning of your being,
The glory of your gray,
The warmth of your ways.
Old people

We are becoming seasoned tour guides, getting around Belfast, Londonderry, the Giant’s Causeway and the North Coast.  Tourism is one of the industries that Northern Ireland is using to develop its economy.  2.1 million visitors in 2007 and growing.  Buses and trains are plentiful; driving only 60 miles away.  Jeff and Nyla from Stanford Sloan were first, then Ted Kaye from Rhythms Monthly, then nephew Nathan, taking a course at Cambridge came over a weekend.  Next came Jack Bookwalter, from WESTDIV days, an architectural preservationist scouting out London and Glasgow.   

We are grateful for these visits.  Brief interludes to allow us to decipher and show people our new life.

Email: wardstothers@cten.org
New Phone: (028) 90 291986  From US 01144.2890.291986.
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