COI Gazette – 30th March 2018

Better to light a candle than to …

Patience, a widow from Zimbabwe, was left destitute after the death of her husband. Her three children had to leave school and forage for food and firewood. They were identified by the local church, who reached out as part of the Tearfund programme. Today, they are connected in to their local church and community and they are thriving.

Patience, a widow from Zimbabwe, was left destitute after the death of her husband. Her three children had to leave school and forage for food and firewood. They were identified by the local church, who reached out as part of the Tearfund programme. Today, they are connected in to their local church and community and they are thriving.

When you donate to Bishops’ Appeal the money is used to transform lives. In March, sums of €43,827 and £26,400 were distributed to combat extreme poverty among the world’s most vulnerable people. Eight projects were funded across seven countries.

Bishops’ Appeal is the Church of Ireland World Aid and Development Programme. It exists to fund projects in poor communities around the world with support for developments in health, education, rural development and disaster relief response – particularly focusing on programmes that are community led and sustainable.



When was the last time you thought about delivery systems?

James Emery White says: “A delivery system is simply the way you deliver a product or a message. Leadership is often phrased as getting from ‘here to there’. But a delivery system is how you get ‘this to there’.” The snow storms at the beginning of March showed us how important delivery systems are. With wall-to-wall coverage of the weather, one of the big stories was shops selling out of bread, as we all stockpiled – just in case!

The way we want and need things delivered is changing all the time. How do you buy the music you listen to these days? Many of us remember buying records in record shops. Records gave way to CDs and then came music downloads from the internet.

Emery White describes how this has impacted on business in the USA, saying: “News recently broke that Best Buy is going to stop selling CDs at its stores. Today, the primary way Americans listen to music is through a streaming service. So much so that Ford Motor Company just rolled out its first car in 25 years without a CD player. If you insist on trying to deliver your music through CDs, you will deliver very little.”

There are two things to note when considering delivery systems. The first is that the delivery system is not the product. It is merely the way of getting it from here to there. The product itself is what is really important. The delivery system is just that – a means of getting it to the person who needs it.

If the product itself doesn’t have integrity and substance then it doesn’t matter how hi-tech/modern/efficient the delivery system is; what will get delivered will be something empty, with no power to effect anyone’s life.

The second thing to note is that delivery systems matter. Thank heavens someone was thinking about them before the snow storms arrived. Somewhere people are thinking of how food needs to get from the producer, wholesaler, to the shop and ultimately to those that need to eat it – to us.

If no one was stepping back to think about delivery systems the consequences would soon be obvious – empty shelves and hungry people.

So, does the Church of Ireland need to think ‘delivery systems’? The Message version of Romans 10: 14 (or any version) suggests we do. “But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?”

It paints a picture of people who need to hear the life-changing message of Christ, of the Church that has that message and of the fact that unless that message is delivered then people will not know about it. Our two Church of Ireland archbishops have strongly borne this out in recent comments (see page 3). As Archbishop Jackson commented: “The instinct in much institutional religion is to delay … in St John’s Gospel, in an interchange between Jesus and his disciples, we are invited to do otherwise: to reap a harvest, to get on and do it. Indeed we are told that the fields are ripe for harvesting.”

As already noted, a delivery system is not the product – it is just a way of getting ‘this to there’. The delivery systems we use to communicate the message are just that – a means of getting the message to all who need to hear it. The message of Christ is what is important.

So, is this advocating that we change this or keep that? No. It is that we need to be constantly thinking about how effective we are in getting the message of Christ to those who need to hear it.

Delivery matters.

Home News

  • Archbishops of Armagh deliver third joint St Patrick’s lecture
  • ‘Ireland is a missionary nation,’ Archbishop Jackson reminds DIT students
  • PCI special conference on adult safeguarding
  • Bishop of Derry and Raphoe steps out at ecumenical ceilidh
  • Church of Ireland education grant allocated to St Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Popular broadcaster and former Primus visit Cork parish
  • MU Trustees addressed by Lord Lieutenant of Belfast
  • Focus on Armagh Diocese



North Belfast Centre of Mission – the Gazette interviews Trevor Douglas By Zack Twamley


World News

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  • Global call to discipleship
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  • Hong Kong prepares to welcome Taize pilgrimage
  • Day of Lamentation against gun violence
  • Church leaders welcome Korean Peninsula peace moves
  • Bishop appeals for prayer after attacks on Muslims
  • Lambeth Conference 2020 theme unveiled

Letter to the Editor

Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

I DO NOT wish to get into a long word battle with Colin Nevin (Letters, 2nd March), but I would like to present four facts:

1. Following the creation of the state of Israel around 500 Arab villages and 14 Arab towns within the borders of Israel were destroyed.

Over 80% of the Arab population left or were driven from their homes. Those who left became refuges in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

These countries found it
difficult to assimilate them, creating a refugee problem which has never been resolved.

2. Our Church leaders and Christian leaders in the Holy Land are saddened by the fall in the number of Christians there.

3. Eritrean refugees, mainly Christian, who have looked for safety in Israel, are suffering greatly from government policies.

Some 3,000 Eritrean men are held in the fearsome Holot Detention Centre, in many ways worse than a prison – and where Christian worship is forbidden.

4. Lebanese and Jordanian Christians have a place in government and, in Lebanon especially, are active in care for the poor and refugees.

In Egypt President el Sisi is very supportive of the 10% Christian community.

There is much to be learnt from CMS Ireland, Embrace the Middle East (a 160-year- old Christian charity) and Barnabas. I recommend them.

John Sutcliffe (The Revd)

Burnley Lancashire

Book Review

ATLAS OF THE IRISH REVOLUTION Editors: John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy
Associate Editor: John Borgonovo Publisher: Cork University Press; pp.984


News Extra

  • Easter Messages 2018
  • A joint Holy Week and Easter message fromthe Archbishops of Armagh, the Most Revd Rich ard Clarke and the Most Revd Eamon Martin
  • From the Most Revd Michael Jackson, the Archbishop of Dublin
  • Combined choirs’ performance in Down Cathedral sets the tone for Holy Week journey to the cross