Presbyterian notes

 

The Moderator, Rt Rev. Dr Frank Sellar is currently visiting congregations in the Dublin and Munster Presbytery. On Sunday, October 16th, Dr Sellar was the guest preacher at a Presbytery service in Adelaide Road Presbyterian Church. Dr Sellar is no stranger to this church family, having served there for 15 years. During his ministry, a substantial building project was undertaken and completed; transforming the interior of the current church building, adding extra meeting rooms, apartments, and room for a Montessori school.

Yesterday, Dr Sellar was due to visit Enniscorthy Presbyterian Church for a special celebration as the congregation marked its 150th year. This weekend, he will also speak at the Sunday morning service in Carlow Presbyterian church, and then on Sunday evening, at the joint Methodist/Presbyterian congregation in Limerick.

Upwards of 150 people have attended each of On being human series of seminars, which draw on the expertise of Irish and UK academics and professionals to explore the essence and uniqueness of human life.

Professor Stafford Carson, Principal of Union Theological College in Belfast, said that that he had been very encouraged at the response to the thought-provoking series so far, “Many participants have expressed appreciation for the opportunity to reflect more intensely on contemporary debates about the origin, nature and value of human life, as well as the challenges posed by developments in the area of human enhancement. The presentations from our team of experts have been excellent and have stimulated some thoughtful questions and good discussion in the Q&A sessions that take place after each talk,” he said.

“Professor John Wyatt’s presentation on The Beginning and End was particularly well received, as he brought a lifetime of experience as a physician in a large London teaching hospital to inform our consideration of issues relating to abortion, life-limiting diseases, and the possibility of assisted suicide. His stress on maintaining an attitude of compassion and care for all who are facing painful personal circumstances was much appreciated.”

For more information regarding the On being human series, see presbyterianireland.org/publicsquare.

In other news, following the North’s Court of Appeal ruling on Ashers Bakery Limited, last Monday the Convener of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Council for Public Affairs, Very Rev. Dr Norman Hamilton, made the following statement:

“Today’s judgement will have far-reaching implications for all business owners by confirming that they cannot in conscience refuse to be involved in the promotion of particular causes or messages that run contrary to their beliefs – religious or otherwise. I remain deeply concerned by the apparent limiting of freedom of conscience and free expression, which are hallmarks of any democratic society.

“Out of respect for the dignity and worth of every person, and in the interests of the common good, we want the law to protect everyone from discrimination whilst ensuring that freedom of conscience and expression are properly valued and respected.”