Six new elders have been appointed at Waringstown Presbyterian Church.
Stephen Bond, Michael Cregan, Brian Hanna, Mark Hawthorne, Andrew Patterson and Brian Taylor were ordained and installed to the Kirk Session by an Armagh Presbytery Commission led by its Moderator, Rev David Henry.
The inspiring praise was led throughout by one of the Congregation’s able praise bands.
Rev Henry set the theme for the worship in context with a reading from John 13 where Jesus displays a servant attitude by washing his disciples’ feet in the upper room.
Rev Peter Gamble, Presbytery Clerk gave an exposition which outlined the role of a ruling elder and its scriptural basis. He urged the new and existing elders to work, pray, decide and lead together while depending on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and each other.
Rev Philip Thompson, Minister of the Waringstown Congregation, warmly welcomed the new elders’ guests and family friends and appealed for a good response to the traditional offering for the Student’s Bursary Fund.
There followed a stirring and appropriate congregational praise time which included: ‘Strength will rise’, ‘This is amazing grace’ and ‘Build you Kingdom here’.
Rev Henry constituted the Presbytery with prayer and the Formal Declaration. While the Rev Gamble read out the Statement of Standards of the Presbyterian Church. Questions were put to the elders-elect who subscribed to the Westminster Confession of Faith. After a prayer and the Act of Ordination and Installation everyone sang spontaneously the traditional Aaronic Blessing and the Moderator extended the Hand of Fellowship to the new elders. At this Judith Roderick and Adele Uprichard sang a beautiful duet – ‘Blessed’.
Rev Sam Finlay delivered the charge to the elders and the congregation, basing his sermon on ‘servanthood,’ the example being that of Jesus himself in John 13. He emphasised the Identity, the Attitude, the Opposition to, and the Pattern of the Servant; while applying them to the elders and members of the congregation in the days that lay ahead.
The Service of Worship concluded with the congregation joined in singing – ‘Take my life (I am yours)’ and the Benediction by Rev Henry. He then paid tribute to the new elders, and how dedicated they were to the task in front of them and their witness displayed constantly throughout their training course.
Mark Hawthorne addressed the congregation on behalf of the new elders and thanked the members for nominating and electing them and for their prayers and their support, and that of their wives and family, throughout the process. He looked forward to serving alongside, and in fellowship with the existing elders and the Rev Thompson, the teaching elder. Many of those present retired to the Craig Hall for delicious supper served by the elders’ wives.