- Roger Cooke
The Upper Room
This week, the CMSI staff team spent some of their lunch breaks upstairs in the conference room at the Dargan Road offices in Belfast. It’s the first time in a while we’ve spent time there together and it prompted a bit of nostalgic reflection.
Over our 11+ years in this office, that room has hosted a huge range of gatherings: Focus Events; photo galleries; prayer gatherings; Communion services; parish reps brunches; Momentum evenings; Children’s Resource launches; Marketplace workshops; staff Christmas dinners ; volunteer thank you events; a movie night…
I think fondly of a South Sudan focus event during a Friday lunchtime in 2008 – 50 folk packed in to hear the latest updates and to eat fine fare. I recall a Nepal prayer event following the earthquake in 2015 – a time of stillness and of solidarity with our partners and friends.
As I look back on these and many other events, I was struck by the extent to which this upper room has been a place of blessing, life and laughter: a sacred space, where we’ve encountered God together and we’ve experienced true community and connection. Food, stories, prayer and worship have been prominent features.
So what prompted us to meet there this week?
Those of you who use the CMSI Prayer Diary may recall a recent request (Saturday 22nd September) for planned building work in Dargan Road. By way of further explanation:
CMSI owns the building in Dargan Road that hosts our offices.
It’s much bigger than we need for the work of nine staff.
It’s over five years since the Church’s Ministry of Healing moved out of the first floor offices – we’ve not had tenants since they moved to other premises.
We’d love to have new tenants: a source of regular income to help sustain our work; a chance to make the most of the space.
In order to make the offices suitable to be shared by CMSI and a commercial tenant, a significant amount of building work would need to be carried out.
Significant time and energy has been invested to clarify the work that needs done, to produce plans, to identify a contractor. It transpires that the work would be much more costly than we’d initially anticipated - too costly for us to invest funds from CMSI’s current limited reserves.
And so, as a staff team, we’ve been praying. We’ve been asking God to intervene clearly – to provide the necessary funds if this is the right way to go, or to show us a different way. We’d love to see this building continue to be a resource that blesses people and advances God’s work through CMSI. We’d love to see new life being breathed into the Upper Room. But we look to God to guide us in His way.
Please do pray with us.
And if you know folk with funds who might see the value and potential of investing in CMSI in this very specific way, we’d love to hear from you.