Our Cloughmills church family have just enjoyed a splendid weekend (29 September – 1 October) where we were blessed, challenged and well fed in both body and soul.

To our delight some families from our Cookstown Fellowship joined us on Friday and Saturday, along with our speaker David Whitla and his family. David brought before us ‘Four Christian Challenges’. On Friday evening, from Matthew 12:46-50, he showed us how only as disciples doing God’s will are we Jesus’ brothers, sisters and mother – thus ‘Doing Believers’. After supper we learned more of David’s life and progress to where he is today through his interview with our minister, Joel.


    Saturday morning began of course with our Big Breakfast, followed by a reassuring talk on ‘The Doubting Believer’. Reassuring because it was pointed out clearly in the passage (Matthew 11:2-6) that even John the Baptist doubted: “Are you he, or do we seek another?”. David encouraged us to appeal directly to Jesus, tell close friends, have them pray and ask for help – “bear one another’s burdens”.

This was followed by a quiz and talk on the Global Reformed Presbyterian Church by our pastor. It showed us that although we are a small denomination we are world-wide and spreading. There was lots to take in and pray for.

After lunch we enjoyed the activities and quizzes organised by Jonathan and Andrea McKelvey, and laughed all through our evening meal!

Sunday morning began with very interesting reports from young and old who had been to camps, led camps and been involved in relief work overseas during the summer. In our third address, under the heading of ‘the Distracted Believer’ David pointed out from Luke 10:38-42 that although Martha’s heart for the ministry of service was good and essential, Mary’s heart for the ministry of the word is more desirable and it must come first.

Our prayer meeting on Sabbath evening was a full house and David’s final talk, ‘the Dogged Believer’ spurred us on never to give up praying. This is despite Jesus giving no immediate answer, and outside pressures to give up praying when Jesus feels like a stranger, and even seems to say no. As in Matthew 15:21-28, Jesus’ response of “Oh woman, great is your faith” – our feeble efforts will be rewarded if we persist and have faith


An encouraging time was had by all, friendships made and strengthened, and our church family going from strength to strength.

Phyllis Currie, Cloughmills RPC.

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