“…a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3).
Wishing you a Happy and Blessed 2023 from all at New Horizon
Chairman Paul Coulter writes: A new year is upon us. The nights are still dark, but the Christmas lights have gone. Yet the light of the incarnation continues to shine for we who put our hope in the Lord Jesus. As we look ahead to 2023, we trust him to provide what we need through whatever comes our way.
In our household, like so many in January, we have been making plans for the summer. Lord willing, July will see a long-overdue (thanks to Covid!) visit to my in-laws on the other side of the world. The thought of that reunion with our biological family is precious. But, a celebration with our spiritual family is also to be treasured, so we have booked our accommodation in Portstewart for the first full week in August.
New Horizon is a unique time to be together with brothers and sisters from many different churches across Ireland, enjoying the thrill of thousands of voices united in praise of our Father, learning together from God’s Word about the glories of the Son and seeking to know how to serve in the power of the Spirit.
I hope you’ll be able to be part of New Horizon this August. If you plan to join in, why not think too about who else you’d love to see there and invite them to plan for it too? And if you are able to contribute to the cost of the event, then could you sign up as a regular donor if you aren’t already? Grace and peace in Christ Jesus,
Joy from the Ashes
We are looking forward to Joy from the Ashes which takes place from 5 to 11 August this summer. Joy mingled with sorrow has marked God’s people in every age. We are a people learning to “rejoice with those who rejoice” and “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15). At any time, our churches will include people in both groups. Our varied experiences of loss and learning through the global coronavirus pandemic only accentuated this dynamic.
Yet we often narrow expressions of worship to joyful praise alone, leaving little room for lament. Rejoicing with those who rejoice, yes! But mourning with those who mourn? And when we walk with others through loss, we stabilise them in their grief but fail to support them towards a renewed vision for the future.
The lives of individual Christians, too, are patchworks of joys and sorrows. Sometimes the two coexist at once in a barely describable way. Amidst the groaning of our suffering, the Spirit intercedes for us, assures us of the Father’s love and brings peace into our experience (Romans 5:4; 8:16-17, 26).
At other times, our experience, like so many of the psalms, is of the lament of deep pain turning over time to praise. And often, as our journeys in these mortal bodies move to their conclusion, the light at the tunnel’s end is glimpsed dimly with the eye of faith. Then we can only cling to the hope that “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
Our speakers: Tony Horsfall, Arianna Walker and Archbishop Ben Kwashi will be exploring this theme from scripture.
Volunteering with New Horizon
There will be so many exciting opportunities to get involved with New Horizon this summer. Why not consider joining one of our teams? Whether you have a few hours or even a whole week to give, volunteering at New Horizon is hugely rewarding. It provides opportunities to make friendships, to see the event from a whole new perspective and to enable others to benefit greatly from the ministry.
Why not consider one of these opportunities?
- Set up and Site – erecting & taking down the tent and taking care of the site.
- Stewarding – helping people to find their seats & helping with parking.
- Media Team – using your skills in writing, design, photography and videography to share what is happening at New Horizon.
- Audio Visual Team – using your skills to help with audio & visuals at New Horizon
- Creche – caring for the youngest children on site to enable parents to enjoy the Bible Teaching.
- Children’s and Youth Ministry – helping children and young people to grow in their Christian faith.
- Hospitality & Administration – General support for the event, i.e. staffing the information desks, serving refreshments, etc
To find out more visit our volunteering page: GET INVOLVED
Dates for your Diary
Children/Youth Online Registration opens on Tuesday 2 May
New Horizon Prayer Breakfast – Saturday 17 June in Wellington Church, Ballymena.
New Horizon in Coleraine – Saturday 5 to Friday 11 August