The middle weekend in September saw CMSI friends and supporters gathering at Dromantine Conference Centre for Ignite - the society's annual conference.
The event kicked off on 14th September with the Friday Extra programme for residential guests. This included the now familiar and much-loved Communion service, using a liturgy from Iona Abbey on the theme of hope. An informal panel interview offered an opportunity to get to know a few of the CMSI family and a much overhyped Beetle Drive Tournament provided a chance for late night chat and laughter.
The main Ignite Saturday conference saw around 140 folk joining together for a programme of shared worship, updates from CMSI staff and partners and a range of seminars on different aspects of CMSI's work.
CMSI's Mission Director, Jenny Smyth, began the day by introducing CMSI's new annual theme for 2018/2019, In The Margins, which highlights the role of the Church in serving the least among us.
Seminar titles at this year's conference included:
Beyond the limits - Stories from DR Congo, South Sudan and Uganda, exploring how God's people continue to care for those in the margins, even when they themselves are uprooted and scattered by conflict.
Up close and personal - Highlights and reflections from Paul and Tania Baker, as their seven years of mission partner service with CMSI draws to a close.
The Big Sing - A chance to learn and sing songs from the Global Church.
The day concluded with some reflections by Bishop Harold Millar (Down and Dromore), who also commissioned all those present for a new year of mission.
"A truly remarkable weekend. I don't think it could be improved!"
"Although this was my first CMSI conference, it certainly won't be my last. I enjoyed the whole programme and am taking away so much..."
"Feeling renewed and refreshed for prayer for mission."
"Loved the overnight - the worship, communion, fellowship and fun. The conference lifted my heart for mission. It was lovely to be with the CMSI family."
The 2019 Ignite conference will take place at Dromantine on Saturday 14th September, with Friday Extra on 13th.