Friday Night Live Reflections 09

It was humbling and also encouraging to watch over 450 people arrive at the South American Mission Societies (SAMS) annual gathering in Craigavon Civic Centre, especially as the snow and freezing temperatures added complications to driving conditions.


The SAMS Ireland ‘Friday Night Live’ event aspires to inform, encourage and challenge individuals and churches regarding mission within an overseas context and also here at home. Bishop Ken Good welcomed everyone and from the outset created a prayerful attitude which remained a central theme.


Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude – an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God.


Summer 2008 teams from Armagh, Down & Dromore, Connor and Clogher Dioceses updated people through interviews and multi-media presentations. Two girls from Barcelona sang and performed a traditional Catalonian dance. The Bishop elect of Paraguay and his wife were interviewed, sharing the opportunities, challenges and practical implications which they face as they take on their new roles in March 2009. The keynote speaker this year was Rev. Dr. Maurice Elliott, his stimulating address helped to put mission in the wider context of worship.


Various projects were highlighted during the evening and at one point the Red Box Project from Argentina was focussed upon. Images from a power point presentation fused as a pianist from Argentina played the haunting tune ‘Don’t Cry for me Argentina’. Everyone present had the opportunity to pray as three significant images appeared Naomi Francey (Down & Dromore), Megan Johnston (Connor) and Helen King (Down & Dromore) who are all on gap years with the Red Box Project. ‘Friday Night Live’ isn’t a performance; it’s an opportunity for people to meet together and wrestle with what God is doing and wants to do through an Anglican mission agency.  


An update on the SAMS fusion programme was another significant part in the evening. The fusion initiative offers placements to people from overseas within a parish setting in Ireland. It also seeks to link local churches in Ireland with short, medium or long-term projects overseas. Participants from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay are presently working in Connor, Down & Dromore and Derry & Raphoe. It was encouraging listening to fusion volunteers how they have benefited from their time here in Ireland and also it was uplifting to hear from local Rectors how they have benefited from having young men and women from South American working within their parishes.


The evening ended with a multi-media animation of a modern day parable, and as parables do, they leave you slightly uncomfortable and with something to apply! To all who attended and to all who pray for the work of SAMS we deeply appreciate and value your partnership.


Blessings Titch       

Friday Night Live – 6th Feb 2009

The SAMS team are busy preparing the next Friday Night Live 2009. This year the event has had to move to a larger venue – the Craigavon Civic Centre – due to the enormous interest last year.

Another exciting programme is planned. Ckick the image below to download the invitation for more details.

Friday Night Live 2009

Friday Night Live 2008

Friday Night LiveFour hundred and forty people squeezed into the main hall in the Jethro Centre for Friday Night Live; it was standing room only by 7:30pm. Highlights of the evening included a reunion between Edmeia Williams from Brazil and Archbishop Robin Eames. In 1998 Lord Eames visited Edmeia in the Dona Marta favela of Rio de Janerio.

Retired Bishop of Paraguay, John Ellison and his wife Judy, shared about their 30 years of work in South America. Dr Dickie Barr reported on a successful Love for Life trip, and the Trews emotionally shared how the family moved from Paraguay back to Northern Ireland.

Friday Night LiveThe dynamic evangelist and church leader from Chile, Alf Cooper, gave the keynote address on the need to share the gospel, and training all members of the church to be a witness for Christ. He also introduced Samuel Lago who is spending a year in All Saints Parish in Belfast.

Titch and Cecilia reported on the excellent work carried out by SAMS volunteers in Salta and welcomed Pamela who is spending a year in Annaghmore Parish.

Bishop Ken Clarke finished the evening by praying for all those who will be going on mission over the next year, including the nationals from South America working in Northern Ireland.

It was another exciting night, encouraging to see so much interest in the work of mission in South America, Spain and Portugal. Thank you to all who helped out, and for everyone who came on such a wintry night.

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