Presbyterian Special Assembly 2017 – Everyday Disciples
The Presbyterian Church’s Special Assembly 2017 – Everyday Disciples will take place from 21st-24th August 2017. The venue is the University of Ulster Coleraine campus. Over 600 Presbyterians from across Ireland will gather for the event. The Special Assembly 2017 – Everyday Disciples will explore what it means to be an ‘everyday disciple’ of Jesus Christ in the 21st Century.
Unlike June’s General Assembly no formal business takes place at a Special Assembly. They are an opportunity for church members to come together in a residential setting for a time of fellowship, worship and prayer. Also to explore and reflect on a particular aspect of church life, faith or discipleship.
This is the fifth Special Assembly since 1990. Presbyterian Moderator, Rt Rev Dr Noble McNeely, looking forward to the event, said.
“As Christians, Jesus calls us to be His disciples in all aspects of our lives. The title and theme of our Special Assembly is in recognition of the increasing necessity for today’s followers of Jesus to be equipped by the Church to be effective disciple-makers in their various spheres of everyday life.”
“Many of us however, recognise that we have perhaps concentrated too much on programmes and activities in our churches and have not been as strong on providing the essentials to facilitate making mature disciples.”
Dr. McNeely continued, “The daily keynote addresses from our two principal speakers and the range of seminars available will help us to consider seriously the need for daily discipleship. It will also help us to understand better how we can be involved in a 21st century reformation of church and society. Being an everyday disciple is the theme I intend to develop during my year in office. Challenging our Church as to how we can all respond to Luke’s call to ‘deny ourselves and take up the cross daily.’”
The Presbyterian Special Assembly 2017 – Everyday Disciples – 21st to 24th August – University of Ulster Coleraine.
The two keynote speakers are both from the United States of America. Rev Randy Pope of Perimeter Church, Atlanta, will give the morning plenary sessions on ‘How to get discipleship back in the local church’. Rev Dr Ray Ortlund Jnr of Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee, will speak at each of the evening celebrations on the theme ‘Gospel Culture’. Local Presbyterians and other local experts in their field will deliver the seminars with worship being led by New Irish Arts.
Rev John Kirkpatrick of Portrush Presbyterian is co-convener of the Special Assembly Task Group that is organising the event. He said that every congregation had been invited to send three representatives.
“It is going to be an inspiring week. Through praise, prayer, seminars and the daily keynote addresses we will be able to flesh out this key area of Christian life with a fresh, but strongly biblical perspective to help us adopt a more earnest attitude to discipleship,”
Co-convener Rev Gordon Best of Newmills Presbyterian Church in County Down added, “I hope that everyone who attends ‘Everyday Disciples’ will be uplifted and encouraged as our denomination faces up to major challenges on many fronts in today’s world. Never before has there been a greater need for all of Jesus’ followers to take seriously the call of the Great Commission to ‘Go and make disciples…’”
As part of the Church’s vision to resource whole-life disciples across PCI, a brand new discipleship resource will be unveiled at the Special Assembly. Called ‘Essentials’, this practical resource aims to help followers of Jesus reflect on and live out the essentials of everyday discipleship.