Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom – Tallaght Come&C Service Looks at the Ultimate Election Manifesto
Added on 12/02/2016
Is the Good News of the Kingdom being proclaimed in our time? This was the question posed at an uplifting Come&C Service in St Maelruain’s Church in Tallaght on Saturday February 6. With election fever taking hold, participants were asked to make the choice between auction politics and a manifesto that would enable people to see the Good News in action.
The service was one of a series of events which are taking place around Dublin and Glendalough during the Year of Come&C. Each service focuses on one of the Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion and the theme in Tallaght was ‘To Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom’.
Members of the congregation in St Maelruain’s Church looking for good news in the news papers at the Come&C Service in Tallaght.
The services also bear the hallmark of the host community. Tallaght has been a site of Christian worship for over 1,200 years and people came from all over Dublin and Glendalough to sample the life of the parish as it is today. There were musical contributions from members of the parish who are part of the African community, the parish music group and from members of the Nazareth Mar Thoma Church who worship in St Maelruain’s Church also.
With the general election less than three weeks away, the Rector Canon William Deverell, spoke of manifestos and the challenges facing the proclamation of the Good News in today’s society. Taking Luke 4:14–21 as his text he spoke of how Jesus outlined his manifesto in the Synagogue as set out in Isaiah 61:1–2. He said he had come to preach and to meet every human need – proclaim the Good News to the poor, free the captives, heal the blind and set the oppressed free.
Canon Deverell said Jesus came to preach the Good News to the poor but what worried him in Tallaght was that there were very few churches having an impact on the poorest areas. “We are least relevant to those who we most need to reach. It is a challenge to us all and we are not just talking about those who are financially poor,” he said.
He spoke of the captives in our society today – those who were addicted or in financial bondage – and those who were spiritually blind. In terms of setting the oppressed free, Canon Deverell turned to the commemorations of the centenary of the 1916 Rising. “I hope this time will be used to reflect on the type of society we have. As I hear the auction politics of boom and bust, I wonder if we learned anything from the past. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen,” he commented.
“It is quite a challenge to us – how we proclaim the Good News of that manifesto. We read in Luke that after reading from the scroll Jesus sat down and said: ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’. The question for our time is this – is the Good News being proclaimed in our hearing, in our time? We have a choice in three weeks’ time: are we going to be selfish and grab the opportunity of less tax or be brave and think of this manifesto and think of others so that people might actually see the Good News in action?” he asked.
Connecting the Good News and today’s news, newspapers were handed out to the congregation who selected prayer points which were then pasted onto a banner. Leading the prayers, the Revd Abigail Sines, who organised the service along with the Revd Eugene Griffin and the Revd Alan Breen, urged people to be guided in their prayer by what they read in the newspapers. Prayers were said using the topics on the banner by local nuns who also prayed for unity and strength throughout the Christian world.
The service was brought to a close by Archbishop Michael Jackson who said that the afternoon’s theme drew together the inspiration of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, Heaven and earth and the Great Commission. He asked God’s blessing on the people of Tallaght.
The next service takes place in the Church of St John the Baptist in Clontarf on Saturday March 12 at 6.30 pm. Come&C how the theme of ‘To teach, baptise and nurture new believers’ is worked out in the context of the parish community there.
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Dublin & Glendalough