Coleraine’s Moderator looks back on year

Rev Dr. Frank Sellar
Rev Dr. Frank Sellar

As the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland approaches his last full week in office, before the Church’s General Assembly opens on June 5, Rt. Rev. Dr. Frank Sellar has said that it was a year full of divine opportunities to serve, that has left him greatly heartened having found ‘a church not in retreat, but a gracious and humble partner in the advancement of God’s Kingdom across Ireland.’

This year has seen Coleraine-born, Dr. Sellar preach close on 100 times in all of the Church’s 19 presbyteries, he has visited congregations, numerous projects and carried out various engagements across 20 counties.

“Throughout the year Claire and I prayed that God would guide us and we would be sensitive to the prompting of His Holy Spirit. He was ever faithful and we found divine opportunities from Kathmandu to Kells (Co. Meath) and from Carrigart to Cloughwater. Describing the year, I think that the word I am looking for is ‘privilege’. A privilege to be allowed into people’s lives, members of the Church, ministering in ordinary contexts and working in Christ’s Name.”

Dr. Sellar also spoke of ‘moving memories’ having taken part in the centenary commemorations of the Battle of the Somme in France last July, and meeting members of the Irish Naval Forces in Co. Cork during December, having recently rescued over 15,600 refugees from the Mediterranean Sea.

But it was the three presbytery tours that provided some of his abiding memories and invaluable insights into the diversity of what local congregations are doing on the ground. From working with young people and children with special needs, to supporting people to get out of debt through Christians Against Poverty and partnering with others to establish Food Banks.

“Claire and I are greatly heartened by what we have found on our travels. Ours is not a church in retreat, but a gracious and humble partner in the advancement of God’s Kingdom across Ireland,” he said.