McCracken Easter Chronicle 2020



Easter 2020

Northern Ireland Charity Number NIC104215


Church Office 90683201


Dear Friends,

?Thanks be to God. He gives us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ.?

This is going to be a very different Easter. But

let me remind you of the very first Easter and

that little community of anxious believers,

shut-in behind locked doors, afraid to venture

out, not because of a pandemic, but because

of fear of persecution, maybe even fear of


When Jesus, their Master had been arrested

and tried, His followers, although they had

sworn their allegiance to Him, quickly scattered

and fled in fear that they themselves would

also be arrested along with Him. Their fear greatly increased as they heard the

eye-witness accounts of what had happened the next day when Jesus was horribly

and unjustly crucified outside the city walls. And then on the third day of their

isolation, these confusing reports of an empty tomb.

But the disciples?social distancing proved to be no barrier for the Risen Jesus. Jesus

appeared right in their midst. He stood among them and instead of rebuking or

condemning them said, ?Peace be with you.? He forgave them and blessed them

and reinstated them and some weeks later empowered and emboldened them by

giving them His Holy Spirit.

It is this same Holy Spirit who has empowered and strengthened God?s people

down through the centuries through all kinds of hardships and challenges from

persecutions to pandemics, from world wars, to natural disasters. And as the Spirit

enabled, so Christians have born witness to the power and reality of the Christ who

is Risen, through their faith, love, hope, and service.

Someone shared with me recently about the Christians of the Bavarian town of

Oberammergau in present day Germany. During 2 the terrible bubonic plague of the

17th century the people of this village began to pray earnestly for God?s deliverance

and together pledged that if God spared them they would witness to the power of

God in the Easter story by staging a Passion Play every decade. The play has

continued for all these years, drawing a crowd from all over the world, and

involving a cast of thousands, half the town. You have to be a resident of

Oberammergau for at least twenty years to get a part on-stage or back-stage.

This year ironically it has had to be cancelled due to another pandemic, although

the organisers are confident of being able to stage it again in 2022.

It?s a useful and rather poignant reminder of how those who have gone before us

turned to God in prayer in times of crisis, and witnessed to the power of Christ?s

death and resurrection which they themselves had genuinely experienced in those

challenging times. This week our church leaders have together made a united call

to all of us to pray on Palm Sunday 5 th April between 3 and 4pm asking God to

deliver our land and our world.

We too can be confident this Easter that, like He did for the first little church, the

Risen Jesus can still come to meet with us behind our closed doors. We can be full

of hope that, with God?s help, as a Church we will come through this challenging

time to once again physically, joyfully, worship together as a witness to his Easter

resurrection power in our lives.

Let?s use the time at home to pray this Easter for one another, for our world, as

well as for ourselves, that God would not just give us victory in this battle against

?coronavirus?, but that we might know in a fresh way His victory and peace in our

own lives, and meet Him afresh.

Christ is Risen!


At rest

18th January Christine Biggart

12th February Nancy Watters

15th February Fred Stinson

17th February Elizabeth Armstrong







Audrey Glasgow

Yvonne Jones

Ruby Moore.

Eunice Rankin

Flower Committee Member








Tell m e a lit t le bit about yourself.

I was born in the early 1950?s to good traditional

Presbyterian farming stock in South Antrim.

Childhood activities centred around the farm, the

seasons and lots of illegal underage tractor driving!

My parents were both actively involved with the

church but it was the humble unwavering faith of my

mother which still evokes so many memories. As was

the norm at that time Sunday revolved around

church attendance plus morning and afternoon

Sunday School. I was a member of the Life Boys and

then the Boys Brigade until I went to Ballyclare High

where the attraction of their Scout Troop proved too

strong and my time in the BB came to an end. After

deciding that I didn?t want to pursue a university

degree or a farming career I found myself training as an accountant and most of my jobs

since have revolved around accountancy and finance. Through work I met Marie and

after we married we went to live in Lisburn where we both worked at the time and

moved to our present home 40 years ago from where we will hopefully be moving soon

to the leafy avenues of BT9.

What about your journey in fait h, w hen did you first becom e a Christ ian?

I don?t remember a time when I wasn?t involved with the church and church organisations

to some extent. I was a Sunday school teacher and a member of church committee but

as the years passed I felt less and less connected to the Church and its relevance to daily

life. However approx. 10 years ago for one of Alex Wimberley?s ?bring a friend to church?

services Julie and Alastair (Dick) invited us along to McCracken and immediately I felt that

there was something different about this place, somewhere I could connect to, where the

message preached and practised was relevant for the 21st century and the world we live

in and, as the saying goes, the rest is history.

Couple of quick quest ions, w hat 's your favourit e hym n?

There are so many beautiful hymns in our hymn book all of which sound the better when

sung in a well filled church but it is hard to go past the 23 rd Psalm either the traditional

rendition or one of the more modern versions or Praise


My Soul the King of heaven.

Any favourit e Bible Passage?

Again so many passages for so many occasions but I Corinthians 13, faith, hope and love

sums up so well what a Christian faith should mean and Luke 5, and Jesus?challenge to

the disciples to try fishing in deep waters, is just as relevant to us today as it was to the

disciples 2,000 years ago.

Finally, t ell us som et hing t hat t he congregat ion w ouldn't know about you, any

secret s or guilt y pleasures? For relaxation I like nothing better than some serious DIY,

be it a bit of building, some painting, plumbing, tiling or a few electrical repairs.




St aying Fit in Lock-Dow n, Spirit ually, Em ot ionally and Physically!

Social Media for some is proving to be a something of a life-line at this time, a great way

of constantly feeling in touch with others, besides phone calls. All of us are different,

some are quite happy with their own company, some have lots of hobby?s and skills to

which they can turn their attention. For others that element of social interaction is really

important to get them through the day.

All of us, however need a balance of activities each day which we normally get without

having to think about it, but when we?re shut in of course we need to be more intentional

about keeping the mix right. It?s important that we don?t spend most of the day listening

to the news, and that equally we don?t occupy our minds all day with social media. Yes

use it, but for your emotional wellbeing it?s good to take a break from it and from the

news and do something relaxing, something distracting. Go out into the garden, listen to

a nice piece of music, sing a song of praise, pray and reflect on God?s Word to you today.

Things that are good for the soul.

To stay well spiritually it?s important that we take time to read the Bible and allow God to

speak to us. Use the time to deepen your own relationship with God. Some are happy

simply to read through their Bible book by book, chapter, by chapter which is great.

Others like to use a daily devotional book to guide them in their Bible reading and prayer.

Some of these are available online in different formats such as:

Every Day w it h Jesus - Available to purchase and read on Kindle.

Daily Bread ? Also available for Kindle.

Tides ? a resource produced by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland that can be sent daily

to your email. To sign up go to:

UCB Word for Today ? A free daily reflection which you can set up to be delivered to

your email inbox. To sign up go to:

Alpha ? Bible in One Year App (BIOY) ? a series of 7 Bible readings each day with some

commentary which is available as a downloadable App.

If you would like help with accessing any of these feel free to contact me.

It?s also important of course to stay fit physically and keep moving as best we can.

Someone kindly informed me of a helpful YouTube Video by Joe Wickes (P.E. With Joe)

who sets a short daily exercise routine, one for younger generations and one for seniors.

They must have thought I could with it. You?ll not know me when you see me again!!

Stay well,





Plat form : Zoom

What It Is: Video and/or audio conferencing call for 40 minutes (on the free plan) for

up to 100 participants.

Requirem ent s:

-A smartphone, iPad, or computer with internet access. (If using a smartphone or iPad,

please download the Zoom Cloud Meetings App from the App Store)

Quick How -To:

-For Leaders:

oSet Up:

1. On a computer, create a zoom account by going to and

following the directions with your email address. Basic Accounts are


2. Once you have created your account, you can schedule a meeting

by clicking the ?Schedule a Meeting? link in blue on the top of your


a. When you create your meeting, please enter the parameters

you require for your meeting ? time, duration, etc.[note: there is a

limit to 40 minutes for a free account. If you need longer than 40

minutes, you will need to schedule 2 meetings, go for 40 minute on

the first meeting, close out, then re-connect to the second meeting]

b. The zoom system will default to automatically generate a

?Zoom ID.? This is the code your participants will enter to

virtually join the meeting at the designated time.

c.We recommend that you turn the video component of your

meeting ?ON? for both hosts (leaders) and participants. Seeing

each others faces can help us feel a little more sane and



d. The audio will work best when through a computer ? make

sure people have their sound on!

3. Once your meeting has been created, you can send your meeting

information to your participants via calendar invite (Google, Outlook

or Yahoo), or by copy and pasting the Join URL and Meeting ID into an


Click here to watch a one minute tutorial video on how to create a Zoom Meeting

o Running the Meeting:

-For Participants:

1. To start your meeting, log into your zoom account and click on ?My

Account? in blue in the upper right hand corner.

2. Click the ?Meetings? link on the left side of your screen, under the Personal


3. You can see your list of upcoming meetings here. Select the meeting you

want, then click the button labeled START.

4. If on a computer, a pop up should say ?Allow access for ? click

allow (or yes).

5. If on a computer, select join using the Computer Audio.

6. If on an iPad or Phone, you will want to download the Zoom Cloud Meetings

App from the app store for the best access.

7. If on an iPad or Phone, allow access for the camera and microphone for full

access to your meeting.

8. Congrats! You are now logged into the meeting! Make sure your sound and

video are turned on. You can set your microphone to ?mute? that will mute

your ability to be heard, but you will still be able to hear anyone in the group

not on mute.

1. Open the email you received from your small group leader.

2. If you will be joining the meeting through a phone or iPad, please download

the Zoom Cloud Meetings app in the app store.

3.Click on the link labeled ?Join Zoom Meeting.? The link should start with

4. When prompted, enter the Meeting ID given to you by your leader.

a. If on a computer, a pop up should say ?Allow access for ?

click allow (or yes).

b. If on a computer, select join using the Computer Audio.

c. If on an iPad or Phone, the meeting should open in the Zoom app.



d. If on an iPad or Phone, allow access for the camera and microphone

for full access to your meeting.

5. Congrats! You are now logged into the meeting! Make sure your sound and

video are turned on. You can set your microphone to ?mute? that will mute

your ability to be heard, but you will still be able to hear the leader and those

not on mute.

Click here to watch a one minute tutorial video on how to join a Zoom Meeting.




After twenty-five years as

founder and producer of the

Drama Society, Eileen Lamb

has decided to retire. We

thank her for all her hard

work and "encouragement"

over the years.

It was great to have excellent

audiences at "Strictly for the

Birds" especially as we had to

10 bring in extra chairs on the

last night. We thank you for

your support especially as

money raised goes to

charities both at home and

abroad. We are particularly

proud of the McCracken House which was built in Sri Lanka and given to a family as their


Some of the actors are also retiring so here is an opportunity for new members to take to

the stage. Please let us know if you are interested in joining Drama in September.








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