This week Fr Martin Magill returned to the Dock Church’s monthly meeting on board the Nomadic in the Titanic Quarter. The service was a celebration of the ‘good news’ coming from Belfast, providing hope for what can happen with a little inspiration, dedication and grace.
Fr Martin Magill’s Ecumenical Tithing: Good News from Belfast in The Dock Church
Rev Chris Bennett welcomed everyone on board the Nomadic for the monthly service, giving us a brief overview of the history of the boat. The theme for the service was built around the “Giro” bicycle race and the good news which is springing up in Belfast. He showed us a “good news” film from Belfast 2013, which was made in the Dock Cafe to tell the good news side of the story of Belfast.
Chris then prayed, continuing with the theme of good news. We then sang: “And can it be” and “I cannot tell”.
Chris prayed again and invited the first speaker, Rev Britt Gilmore, from East Belfast Mission/Skainos, to speak. He read from Galatians 3 which included the words – “you are all one in Christ Jesus”. Britt then spoke about division and alluded to the Nomadic and the different classes on the boat. He talked about Skainos and shared space and he gave some examples of good news in East Belfast. The theme of shared space came out as one of the strands from what Britt was saying.
Chris then invited Judith Huddleson to share about the experience of volunteering in the Dock Cafe around the time of the World Police and Fire Games. She talked about the experience of meeting some of the people involved in the games and showed us some of the photographs which were taken last August during the games. She referred to the honesty box and how some people were amazed by it. She also talked about the prayer garden and the recently formed prayer team. She shared the best good news of all in John 3:16 – “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Begotten Son”…
Chris then told us about how some people had started up new businesses, one of which had started during the Fire and Police Games in the Dock Cafe. He then prayed that the “Giro” would be good news for all concerned. We then sang “Forever”.
Chris prayed again and then gave an opportunity for open mic. A number of people shared some good news stories. Laura from the crew told us about the positive developments on the Nomadic. Another woman then shared about a recent event in her life. Maggie, one of the volunteers, also shared another example of a good news story. A retired RUC officer spoke about many of the changes he saw over the years.
Chris then commented on the changes and the creativity from the Titanic Quarter and the good news. He explained how he saw the good news from the Titanic Quarter as redeeming what was going on before. He pointed us to a website called Tell it in Colour –www.tellitincolour.com set up to share good news in Northern Ireland.
Next Chris invited anyone who wanted to pray aloud to do so. A number of people then prayed blessing for the city and its inhabitants.
We then sang “Here is Love” and 10,000 reasons”.
Chris then gave some announcements: he encouraged us to come and be part of the Giro on Friday and Saturday, he told us about the new leaflets giving details of the Dock Cafe. Finally he informed us that the next service would be a service around the class issue, as indicated by the different parts of Nomadic for the different classes.