gomakedisciples: What's that? Did you say 'Laminin' ?:
11 days ago, my sister-in law Pauline sent me a message and somehow I missed it! Not because it was enigmatic but because I have been skimmi...
Chris Bennett: The Dock project began back in 2009 and at that stage everything around here was still a building site, it was still scaffolding and big holes in the ground. But at that stage I was asked by Bishop Harold, I'm an ordained Church of Ireland Minister, and I'd been kind of looking for my next challenge and Harold suggested that the challenge might be trying to dream up and think up what might be an appropriate expression of church in the midst of the Titanic Quarter as it grew.
Chris Bennett: We have seen amazing growth in many ways but there's no doubt that The Tall Ships festival in Belfast in July certainly put us to the test. It was, in every way, a big event. Fifty ships, 50,000 visitors and, over four days, the Dock Café served 5,510 customers!
We've also just celebrated another milestone in that we have filled a complete Visitors' Book in Dock Café. It may not sound like much but, when we opened in 2012, we commissioned some lovely leather-bound visitors' - books though it seemed impossible that we would ever run out of space. Hundreds of pages, eight entries per page... there would never be that many customers through our doors, would there?
Page after page after page tells a story of visitors finding a welcome, wanderers finding a home, individuals finding friendship, busy people finding peace, stressed people finding space, sorrowful people finding a smile, sceptical people finding faith (or sometimes just some experience of God, or grace, or something divine that they can't quite put their finger on...)
The Dock charity is made up of a number of things: café, art gallery, museum and, of course, church – a church which continues to involve a team of dedicated volunteers and chaplains from across all church backgrounds, both Protestant and Catholic, who are committed to sharing every step of the journey of building community in this new part of Belfast.
We also have a prayer garden where people can rest and reflect, or talk to one of our Prayer Team. It's a little oasis of greenery and peace in the corner of The Dock Café and is open during Café hours; providing a space to reflect, read from our library of books, and maybe write a prayer and post it on the wall or in the prayer journal.
Find out more about this Fresh Expression project, read on, click here!
It's with great pleasure that I share this event with you!
It's not too late to book your place for The Greatest Adventure on 14 November. Here's 10 good reasons why we think you should come!
- You won't hear anything like it anywhere else this year! We are pulling out all the stops for our 60thanniversary, with seven international speakers, from top World Watch List countries, including: North Korea, Iraq and Nigeria.
- Joyful praise and earnest intercession will be the order of the day with worship led by Sam Bailey of New Wine Worship. This is a chance to thank God for strengthening our persecuted family over the last 60 years and to pray for His continued presence with them.
- Meet some of your amazing brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world and learn from them how to live a truly radical life for God.
- Get acquainted with the Open Doors family: staff, new supporters, fellow volunteers, the faces behind the names and the phone numbers. We want to meet you, too!
Strength for the journey
- Do you need encouragement in your work for the Lord? Be inspired by what you can do as part of your church - and as an individual - and be encouraged by the way your support has helped our persecuted family.
- There's a group discount for groups of 5 or more. Bring a car or coach load from your church or small group and share the blessing of the day!
- Charity rates are available on nearby hotels. Come for the weekend - and do your Christmas shopping, too! For more details, see the booking form or call Inspire on 01993 460015
- Food and drink included - that means less to think about on the day, just get up and go!
- Receive an exclusive early copy of our new discipleship resource for Lent 2016: Live Like a Refugee.
Don't miss The Greatest Adventure!
- Due to the demand for places, we have changed our booking to a much larger venue at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham - but spaces are filling fast! Don't miss out - join with 2000+ others for The Greatest Adventure of 2016!
Your sister in Christ,
CEO Open Doors UK & Ireland