The evening opened with prayer.
The Chairman &Secretary informed those present that due to unforeseen difficulties, there had been no Mission Sunday Project selected in 2016. However the Mission Board had given a donation to Rev Keith & Lynn Scott prior to their departure to take up mission work in Zambia, as well as giving to both Christian Aid and to the Bishop’s Appeal for the emergency in East Africa; as a result funds are now very low! However at the next DBM Committee meeting scheduled for 27th. April, we are planning for a major effort with Mission Sunday 2017.
‘Spiritual Tourism’, ( Our mission to visitors).
Archdeacon Simon Lumby commenced his presentation by listing the things which inspires the tourist or visitor. Apart from the physical senses of sight, sound, smell and taste , there was the more abstract ones of , a story connected with a particular place or person, memorabilia in the form of banners leaflets and guide books and other interpretative information using modern systems of communication.
We must assist the visitor to be aware of God as the, ‘ source of creation’ and to distinguish between things that are theological and those that are spiritual. The instinct of God being present in all creation, features strongly in Celtic Spiritually, a concept which we read in ‘St Patrick’s breastplate’, Christ everywhere and in everyone.
In this country we have a rich heritage of early Christian sites, each one has its own story to tell, relics to see, spirituality to ‘ absorb’. It is up to us as inheritors of such ‘treasurers’ to show them to our visitors so they can get some appreciation of why Ireland was once called the ‘land if saints and scholars’ and more importantly that there is and can be a spiritual dimension to modern society.
The writing on a banner which stands in the porch of the church in Killarney to greet the visitor, reads as follows:
When we visit an inspiring place,
or see something beautiful,
it plucks at our heartstrings.
This feeling is the voice of the Divine Creator
speaking to us through our senses.
It is this ability to see God everywhere,
that marks Celtic Spirituality
as the distinctive capacity in all people
to touch the divine in the ordinary.
The evening closed with prayer and the Grace, followed by refreshments kindly supplied by the ladies of Tralee parish.
Our next Mission Evening is scheduled for Thursday 15th June at 8 p.m., in the Woodlands Hotel, Adare, when Salters Sterling will speak on his recent travels in China.