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Newsletter May 2013


Spring. Ahhh Spring...showers bring flowers

We had one day of brilliant sun and six days of the weather changing three times before the sun goes down.  We chalk it up to the fact the days are much longer.  Our neighbor moved and left a bench for us.  This will prompt us to buy a plant.  Our front yard gets sun all day, when the sun is out. 

Recent Northern Ireland news says that the Stormont Assembly has put on the "shared future agenda" the dismantling of the walls, mostly within Belfast, by 2023.  There are 80 of them, high walls, that mark "interface areas" between neighborhoods.  Our church is located at the beginning of the largest and most

famous peace wall, the one between the Shankill and the Falls.  It goes for a mile or two and has five gates which are closed and locked at night.  The solid wall and gate separate us from the Townsend Enterprise Park built over 25 years ago as a demonstration of cross community cooperation.  Even with a new mural painted on the catholic side the wall is unsightly.  The gates are locked every night at 6 p.m. and locked all weekend.

Jack Lamb, our minister, flew to India before we returned.  A few years back the BBC sponsored Kshama to come to the place where Amy Carmichael originated before Amy went to India where she became a famous 20th Century missionary.  The BBC program called Reverse Missionaries can be seen on Youtube.  Kshama and her husband Thomas have a church in Mumbai they call The House of Prayer. 

Jack is on a six week sabbatical so he is immersing himself in prayer, reading and listening to live and recorded talks.  He was filmed by an Indian artist for a show in London where he is commenting on art in a gallery based on what he learned from our friend Francis Schaeffer.  Being a vegetarian he is enjoying the food and has remained healthy.  He is staying with Kshama's 82 year old mother and Kshama's foster sister.  The mother started a school in the largest shantytown in the world, and still teaches there.  He reports that one prayer meeting started at 1130 p.m. and went on to 4 a.m. We will have a lot to think about when he gets back.

We attended our friend Åsa McDowell's textile shop grand opening.  Life is funny that way, as we met on the footpath (sidewalk) a couple we had seen across the room for six months and in 10 minutes conversation, we now know them.  On that same footpath was a women I've had snatches of conversation knowing we want to talk more, and beyond her recent widowhood from brain cancer, now her 32 year old son is battling colon cancer.  A minute later a minister stopped us in the parking lot and advised Marda that Presbytery was scheduled that evening, in his church, prompting her to attend.  So goes our life encouraging others we meet along the way.  Seeing the providential windows open allowing love to flow.
Jack asked us to fill two evening services for the time he is away.  Two weeks ago Ward and I did a service on "Prayer."  Ward taught on the hymns of the Wesleys which are prayers and praises many still use.  I used the passages from the Bible where Jesus taught about prayer.  If our call is to live life as Jesus did, we need to go away often to that quiet place and pray. 

Next week Ward and his friend Bill will lead a worship service using poetry and poetic language.  After that the trip to Northumbria and after that Ward's book.

1 June, Marda leaves for a week in Northumbria for hiking with Lane Stahl.  Ward will follow a week later to attend a weekend retreat at the Northumbria Community mother hourse called Nether Springs.. 

This area in the northeast of England was an early Irish Christianized area when Aidan left Iona in 635 to live in Northumbria and founded a monastery on the island of Lindisfarne.  This is the place of the Lindisfarne Gospels, illuminated manuscripts from 700, on par to the Book of Kells.  I'll know more next month.

Email: wardstothers@cten.org
Phone: (028) 90 291986  From U.S. 01144.2890.291986

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