Together Again – Reflections on Ignite
After a three year gap, it was fantastic to be able to gather once again in person for our annual CMSI Ignite Conference earlier this month at Dromantine! There was a lovely atmosphere at the Friday night extra with around 30 delegates meeting for worship, fellowship and a good bit of craic!
One of the highlights was having Adrian Dorrian in our own CMSI Nolan Show interviewing former staff member Jen Christie along with newcomers Wendy Houston and Emma Lutton.
Saturday’s main meeting room was full with almost 100 of the CMSI family gathered from across Ireland, enjoying meeting up friends not seen for so long, and also meeting new ones. Rousing worship was led by Mabel Quinn and a team from Drumbeg parish, with input from Jenny Smyth introducing us to the new “Living Lights” annual theme, challenging us to be like fireflies shining in a dark world rather than chameleons merging in with the prevailing culture.
There were also contributions from Stephen McElhinney, director of SAMS Ireland, giving thanks for the success of the Kingdom Voices joint event in August; Bishop Jered Kalimba from Shyogwe Diocese, Rwanda via a video greeting; and returned CMS Britain Mission Partners David and Heather Sharland after a lifetime of service in Northern Uganda.
There followed a selection of well-attended seminars based around the Five Marks of Mission (Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform and Treasure) picking up many of the threads from “Kingdom Voices”. Participants heard updates from our Global Partners plus reflections from several folk who had returned from placements/service overseas and also from All Nations Ministries in Belfast. There was a real buzz as delegates were eager to learn how God is at work in Africa, Ireland and Nepal, and were greatly encouraged by testimonies of God’s wonderful grace.
Abigail Nugent, former Zambia Team member now worshipping at Trinity Church Dublin, commented:
“I found the day very encouraging and uplifting overall. It was great to hear from Global Partners and to be inspired by their work, and I really enjoyed coming together with other CMSI supporters too.”
She also found the seminars challenging, “We were encouraged to think about how we could live missionally in a holistic way, through the five marks of mission - easier said than done!”
Victor McCabe, a former Nepal Team member from St Brigid’s in Glengormley, commented:
“Our group were all impressed with the balance of worship, prayer and content …. the seminars and their presenters were exceptional…. I was challenged about some of my preconceived ideas about how to treat our Muslim refugees/neighbours. All Nations Ministry are reaching so many - practically - without attempting to convert or preach the gospel to them.”
We are so grateful to everyone who participated, and to the staff at Dromantine Conference and Retreat Centre, who once again came up trumps by providing such a wonderful venue, with excellent meals, hospitality and refreshments.