Category Archives: News

Harvest Mission 2019

Our harvest mission has come to an end at Tartaraghan PC and I wanted to share some highlights and reminders of the week past.

Henry Coulter joined at the men’s meeting on Wednesday.  It was great to hear what International Meeting Point are getting up to on the Lisburn Road in Belfast.  We were reminded that the world is a broken place causing many to be displaced from their country or to cause many of our own to end up homeless.  But that the church can help those in need with food, shelter, education, fellowship and bible teaching.  Henry thanked TPC for their contribution to the untied appeal which allows The International Meeting Point to continue its work and asked if any have an old bike they would like to donate he would gladly receive them.  Click here  to talk to someone about how to do this.

For our Ladies night we welcomed Rebecca Finlay who has been serving as a women’s worker at West Kirk Presbyterian Church and West Kirk Community Project (WKCP) on the Shankill Road in Belfast.  Rebecca brought her down to earth attitude and her real life stories about the people of the Shankill Road. She was able to speak about a mixture of hope, despair, humour and many examples of God’s work in the lives of so many people and was a real joy and encouragement to listen to.  Please pray for Rebecca as she continues to build relationships and bring the gospel to this local community.

Friday night we had Jeff Gawn with us.  While the GB choir lead us in praise song Jeff opened the bible at 1 Peter 1:22 – 2:3.  He taught us from this text that Christians are to grow up.  Like a first year student getting his first blazer which drowns him, he will grow up into it.  So Christians are to grow up in their salvation through obedience to the truth, loving others sincerely and ridding themselves of sins.  This blazer of salvation will drown the Christian at the start but as they feed on spiritual milk they will grow up into it.  The last thought from Jeff was to ask if we had in fact put the blazer on at all?

On Saturday night Trevor Matthews from Faith Mission joined us.  He preached from Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-43 the Parable of the Weeds.  Trevor reminded us to pause and be thankful for the harvest that God provided for us this year but also for the harvest that is to come.  This harvest will be at the end of the age when Jesus will return with his angels and gather His people to him like wheat is gathered into a farmer’s barn.  Trevor took the time to explain and warn that Jesus also talked about the weeds growing amongst the wheat.  At this end of age harvest all those who have rejected Jesus and His gospel will be gathered too, like weeds, and thrown into the fire.

On the Lords Day Rev Philip McKelvey opened the bible at Habakkuk 3 to explain that while life is hard God is good.  He talked about how we have an example in the prophet Habakkuk who wrestled with God through prayer, through communion with Him.  This brought patience and perseverance to Habakkuk knowing that Babylon would bring destruction on his people and contentment knowing that God is just and in charge.  And through our communion with God, which at times means a wrestling in prayer with Him, we will find our strength and joy during these hard times.

That evening Charlie Anderson from ECM joined us for our evening service.  He opened the bible at Colossians 1:3-8 and showed us that the gospel bears fruit in hearing it and understanding the “grace of God in truth”.  This fruit was shown in the Colossians through faith, hope and love and Charlie showed us that even in the gospel starved countries of Bosnia and other eastern European countries these gospel fruits are evident in people who have been transformed by the power of the gospel.  Charlie encouraged us to continue to seek to know the unknowable – the grace of God in truth, “this love that surpasses knowledge”.


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Holiday Bible Club

TPC enjoyed another exciting and busy holiday bible club.  It was great to see so many children join us each night.  The singing was loud, the bible story of Elisha was edifying, the craft and memory verses were great opportunities to learn biblical truths and the games was the usual high energy affair!  The last night was exclusive to p6+ and was taken by the youth club leaders to show the older kids how the club works.  Some of the existing youth club members came down to help that night which was really welcomed.

One memory verse from the week was from Proverbs 3 “trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Our hope is that this verse will stay with the children and as they grow up they will see their need for Christ and learn to trust Him for salvation and for life’s paths.

Church BBQ

The church BBQ will take place this Friday at the Faith Mission Centre, Mahon Road.  The BBQ is open to all so we hope to see the whole congregation down.  Food will be from 7pm and there will be games for the kids, big and small.  Friends of the congregation are welcome so please feel free to invite people.  You can share this blog or try the old fashioned way of just saying to someone.

Children’s Day Service

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6 ESV


Last Sunday the congregation enjoyed our morning and evening services led by the children of our church.  With Kaitlyn Cornett and Evie McComb leading the morning and evening services the children sang praises (with a bit of dancing), read scripture and recited bible passages from memory.  A strong theme emerged from the day, which has evidently been taught to our children by our faithful Sunday School teachers, that we all need to put our trust in the Lord Jesus for everything.  For salvation and for life.  This message was reinforced in the songs and scripture.

The proverb quoted above tells us an important truth.  That children are teachable and can be set in a direction that they are unlikely to deviate from in later life.  The majority of experts agree this path is largely determined by the parents.  Through the parent’s example, whether through intentional teaching or by just doing life together, a child will forge out their path to life or ruin.  With such high stakes at risk the church aims to support the parents in their training; to hopefully compliment and reinforce the parents teaching as they point their child along the path to life.

The children showed us on Sunday the fruit of such training as they showed understanding of what the bible teaches and how we are all capable of memorising scripture.  What was also evident was the pleasure they got from receiving approval and encouragement from their parents.  So as the Sunday School year comes to an end we thank our Sunday School teachers for all their hard work and we encourage our parents to keep training their children.  This can be done in no better way than showing your child that you love Jesus.

‘Fear not little flock’

‘Fear not little flock’

Tender words spoken to anxious disciples by the Lord Jesus Christ.  This was the theme of the Service of Commissioning for Chris and Rachel Humphries.  The Commission of Presbytery had the privilege of leading the service which saw many friends and family pack Tartaraghan PC hall last Sunday night.  After the Moderator of Presbytery, Michael McClenahan, read from Psalm 67 we praised God in song and prayer. The children’s choir sang ‘God so loved the world’ and Stafford Carson invited the congregation to join him as he read from Luke 12:22-34.  This was the passage that Lachlan Webster expounded in the sermon.

Fears and worries of various kinds are common to all, including bananas as Lachlan bravely shared.  Challenges and unknowns can bring on these fears and worries.  While Jesus warned the crowds of the dangers of wanting more (Luke 12:13-21) He directs, to His disciples, the challenges with wanting enough.  The disciples had left the big things in their life already; jobs, property, responsibilities.  It was the worries of poverty that concerned them, what they would eat and be clothed in.

What causes you worry?  Lachlan asked the congregation.  We can be stressed and feel alone.  But the Bible repeatedly tells us not to worry.  Jesus reassured His disciples through two means.  Firstly through the presentation of the facts.  God feeds the birds but the disciples are much more important to Him.  God clothes the grass in beauty how much more will he clothe His disciples.  Facts are firm footholds on which to stand and survey the situation you are in.  God’s evident care of lesser things shows us how much more he will care for His treasured things.  The second way Jesus gave His disciples reassurance was by painting the bigger picture for them.  “Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” Luke 12:31 ESV.  If God is going to give you a new heart and an inheritance in His kingdom He’s not going to forget the little things.

With these words Jesus lovingly reassured His disciples finishing with the tender command – fear not little flock.

Following this encouraging sermon Uel Marrs, Secretary to the Council for Global Mission PCI, presented the candidates.  He informed the congregation of the thorough selection process and the plans for Chris and Rachel’s first year in Portugal.  Chris and Rachel will be joining James and Heather Cochrane in the PCI church plant in Porto called Comunidade Pedras Vivas (community of living stones). For the first year they will be taking intensive language classes to become fluent in Portuguese.  As this progresses they will be involved in various ministry roles.

The Moderator and Clerk read the declaration of Presbytery and the Rule of Faith respectively.  The Moderator then asked Chris and Rachel the prescribed questions regarding their motives, beliefs and commitment to serve in Jesus’ strength.  Chris and Rachel answered with the confidence that Jesus gives His servants and were commissioned in prayer. The Aaronic blessing was sung upon them.

After the offering and the Tartaraghan PC choir singing two anthems, the congregation rose to sing ‘Facing a task unfinished’.  The service was closed by the Moderator pronouncing the Benediction.

Philip McKelvey, minister of Tartaraghan PC, expressed the congregation’s gratitude for Chris and Rachel’s service in the church over the years and our willingness to be a support to them in their new mission field. A gift from the congregation was presented by retired missionary Ada Loney, along with some wise council.

Chris gave their farewell speech.  He spoke of how humbled he and Rachel were by the support and encouragement received.  He asked for prayer emphasising their need of prayer support and their dependence on God.

We then enjoyed a typically good Tartaraghan supper.

Let us “send them off”

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” Acts 13:2-3 ESV (italics added).

The reality that the Lord sets people apart for His work is evident throughout the history of the church.  The great commission continues until Jesus’ return and the need for the gospel to be preached is ever urgent.  The call has come to Chris and Rachel Humphries to go to Portugal.  A country starved of the gospel and in need of workers to spread the gospel and disciple those who are saved by Christ.  The departure of the Humphries will be keenly felt by the church family at Tartaraghan PC but the joy of helping and encouraging the Humphries in such important work is ours to be embraced.  The task to uphold them in prayer and provide for them in anyway is ours to own.   And it starts by sending them off.

Tartaraghan PC will be hosting this “sending off” through a service of commissioning, for details click here.  It will be an opportunity to worship the Lord and encourage the Humphries before they set off to Portugal.  A crèche and children’s church will be provided and there will be supper after the service.