Connor couple, James and Hannah Porter have been ‘called’ to the Presbyterian congregations of Orritor and Claggan near Cookstown, where James will be the new Minister.
The move begins an exciting chapter for the young husband and wife. In preparation, James has been serving his ‘assistantship’ under Rev. Richard Kerr at Templepatrick Presbyterian Church.
James reflects: “Over the past 3 years and 9 months, I have had the privilege of being able to share God’s word with the folks in Templepatrick. I have made many good friendships with many within the congregation, and I have loved working alongside them from the high and low points of their lives, and even within my own life. I have loved getting to know the people, and although COVID has disrupted my district pastoral visitation, I have still enjoyed keeping in touch with folk via phone, text, Zoom, and in more recent days outside people’s homes. My passion has always been to share the gospel of Christ, to encourage and nurture those in the faith, as well as build relationships with people who perhaps don’t know the Saviour and point them to Him. Over the years that has been something that I have enjoyed the most in Templepatrick, and indeed something, that I hope to take with me to Orritor and Claggan.”
He went on to say: “You get to stage in your ministry training where you get “itchy feet” and feel “ready” (if you can ever ‘be ready’) to move on, and get settled into your own ministry. Hannah and I are very excited about this new chapter in our lives, and we look forward by the grace of God, to serve the people of Orritor and Claggan. What excites me the most is working alongside the people there, who have a clear desire to reach out with Christ’s gospel to all they meet. I’m looking forward to getting to know the people, of throwing myself into the work of pastoring and teaching God’s people there. Of reaching out to those in the community with Christ’s life-changing gospel of hope. Of building up and encouraging followers of Christ, of all ages, so that they can serve Him where He’s placed them, and simply ‘doing the work that God has called me to.’”
Looking head to what God has for Hannah and himself, James added: “I have many hopes for the future as I move into full-time ministry within Orritor and Claggan. However, my hope above everything else is that Christ would be honoured and glorified in everything that I say, think, and do. Orritor and Claggan’s vision statement is ‘That many would come to saving faith in Jesus and that we who profess faith would be encouraged and better equipped to serve.’ As I said when I preached for the vacancy, I feel this is a wonderful and indeed crucial goal and vision for every believer in Christ. To see people coming to faith, and those of us who do know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, that we would be encouraged through discipleship, Christian Fellowship, and Church services, so that we can be better equipped to serve Him in our contexts. My hope is that the congregations will not only grow numerically, as great as that would be, but more importantly that they would grow spiritually. That people would have a real hunger for God’s Word, and a greater desire to share it with others, that’s what we’re called to as Christian. As I said in my sermon a few weeks again our goal and purpose as followers of Christ is “to know Christ better and make Him better known.”