Churches in Whiteabbey and Jordanstown have come together to host a conference entitled “Worship from the Heart – beyond the music”.
The purpose of the conference was to encourage and equip all those that in different ways serve their local church communities by leading people in worship.
The conference brought together pastors; worship leaders; musicians; singers and anyone who has a pivotal role in setting the context for worship. Keynote speakers included Rev John Dickinson, from Carnmoney Presbyterian, Ian Hannah, from Coleraine House of Prayer and Jonathan Rea (New Irish Arts).
Seventy delegates from across Northern Ireland were in attendance. The morning plenary examined the character of God and why we worship. The afternoon plenary provided various practical workshops for musicians, and an oversight of worship within the church. The day concluded with an evening celebration at which almost 200 people gathered from across the borough to worship together.
Rev Jonny Campbell-Smyth, of St Patrick’s Church of Ireland, Jordanstown, commented: “This type of conference has never been held before in this area, and in an sense we didn’t know whether people would come. “We have been so encouraged by the response. Our hope was to enthuse and equip leaders and musicians as they go back into their own congregations.
“I believe we have achieved that aim. There has been a great sense of unity as we have learned and shared from each other.
“A network of God people’s has been established through thisconference which we hope continues to encourage each other even after the event is over.”