Members of a Newtownabbey church recently took part in a special televised service to mark Christian Unity Sunday.
A group of people from Kilbride Presbyterian Church participated in the RTE programme, Service on Sunday, which aired on Sunday, January 24.
The group of 13 from the Kilbride congregation travelled to the RTE studios under the stewardship of Rev Karen Campbell in December 2015 to record the show.
Rev Campbell said: “The opportunity to be involved in the service came about through a ministerial colleague Rev Kiran Wimberley who is an ordained PCUSA minister, but has served in the past in congregations in Ireland.”
Rev Campbell explained how Rev Wimberley and herself have a mutual interest in music and Celtic spirituality and how they often share what they have been learning together.
Both ministers have a key interest in the Psalms and how they have been used by Christian denominations throughout the centuries.
Karen added: “It was inspiring to see how the historical find of the ‘Springmount bog psalms’ (circa 600) demonstrated that psalmody was part and parcel of devotional life. As a result Kiran has been working on setting some of the Psalms to traditional Irish melodies as a means of reviving the Psalm singing tradition in our country.”
As a result of her key knowledge of Psalms and their use in Ireland, Rev Wimberley was asked by RTE to prepare a service of worship for Church Unity Sunday.
Rev Wimberley approached Rev Campbell and asked her to partner her in developing the service.
Rev Campbell said: “Members of our congregation lead the readings and prayers and I did the two short talks. The choice of Psalms covered a wide range of emotion from celebrating God’s love to deep lament and in the week that followed the recording we received encouraging feedback that the songs had touched people in various stages of grief and crisis.
“The Psalms cover such a wide range of emotion and we hoped that by singing them it would remind the audience that God understands all our pain and He continues to be the God of all comfort.”
One of the members of the Kilbride congregation who took part in the televised service was Christine Craig.
Commenting after the show aired, she said: “Karen asked me to pray during the service along with two other people as part of the service.
“The prayers were focused on the theme which was the week of prayer for Christian unity.
Christine explained how she had been anxious before taking part in the show, but had gained reassurance from the words that she was delivering in the prayer.
She added: “I was nervous speaking in front of the camera and knowing that a lot of people could potentially watch and listen to the service, however I counted it a privilege to be given the opportunity to pray to God publicly especially by praying the Lord’s Prayer.
Christine explained her reasoning behind reading the Lord’s Prayer, saying: “I selected the Lord’s Prayer as it is a prayer which is recognised by so many people throughout the world.
“I pray that people will be blessed through the service that we all were a part of.”