As part of the Focolare Movement’s Mariapolis - Summer Gathering held for the first time ever in Northern Ireland, a packed crowd at Ballycastle Presbyterian Church took part in a Service of Prayer for Christian Unity on July 4th.
Under the theme of “Many Streams...One River”, the service had a strong ecumenical theme.
Mrs Olive Bell, on behalf of Ballycastle Kirk Session, welcomed the ‘Gathering’ to Ballycastle Presbyterian Church, which was followed by greetings by the Most Rev Noel Treanor (Bishop of Down and Connor) and a video recorded greeting by the Right Rev Alan Abernethy (Bishop of Connor).
The scriptural readings were delivered by Rev Bronwen Carling who read from Ezekiel 47:6-12 and Rev Bill Brown who read from John 17:1-8, 16-26. A thought provoking drama ‘I Want to Change the World’ was performed by the young people of Focolare. and followed by ‘The Pact of Mutual Love’ which was introduced by the Very Rev John Mann (Dean of Belfast) and the Most Rev Brendan Leahy (Bishop of Limerick).
Following the service, Chair of Moyle Council Dónal Cunningham welcomed the Focolare movement and its message of peace.
He said that “The Focolare Movement and of all those who support and nurture peace have provided us with the template of good neighbourliness; and taken us to a place where hope thrives”.