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In This Post: Celebrations & Asking For Your Help

November 26, 2014

We have not been that good at posting on this blog since our return from America in early September. Rather than just offer one piece today, we are planning to give a few perspectives over the next few days of what life and ministry has been like in the last couple of months.


in the Square  (3)Today, we want to share about a couple of special celebrations. In September, we held the third annual Skainosfest, a festival day offered to the local community with a wide variety of entertainment and activities for all ages. One of the goals was to celebrate a variety of cultures, so the day included a brass band, a flute band, a folk group, Irish dancers and a Chinese dragon. Children had the opportunity to have their face painted, make in the Square  (17)and launch their own rocket, watch a puppet show, attend a drumming workshop, and interact with animals (including owls and a wallaby). There were demonstrations on healthy cooking in the community garden and a BBQ for everyone. We estimate that 1,500 people joined us for some portion of time on the day.

My favorite moment on this Saturday was a conversation, near the close of the day, with a 2014 skainosfest - patrick rocket workshopwoman attending with her grandson. She shared how her family was moving through a tumultuous and uncertain time that had challenged her faith.  She and her grandson had enjoyed a marvelous day together in the midst of a tough time.  After all the buzz of activity, the day closed for me by praying for strength alongside this woman and her grandson.

The festival in October surrounded the celebration of Harvest, and a group from the church partnered with staff and volunteers at EBM’s homelessness project to put together a great weekend. Skainos Square had a variety of scarecrows which were made by local people and the sanctuary was decorated with gifts of food that were donated to our homelessness project. Our worship held a strong theme of thanksgiving for God’s provision.

My greatest moment of thanksgiving that day had to do with a young man who offered a solo on the tenor horn. Over the past year, this Jonny has become a regular part of congregational life. Though he plays the horn at a very high standard, he had not played in front of any groups for over three years due to a number of personal difficulties and circumstances. After getting to know Jonny over this past year, it was an incredibly beautiful moment to hear him play “somewhere over the rainbow” as part of our worship. We were moved to hear such quality music from a young man on a tremendous new journey.

Asking for your help

If you would ever consider giving a gift to the work of EBM, now is the perfect time, as we are moving through a challenging financial time.  A number of circumstances have come together to bring a strain on our cash flow – and your gifts during this season will really make an impact.  This coming Tuesday, there is a chance that your gift could be doubled, as the first 1 million given to UMC advance projects will be matched!  Would you consider making a gift this year toward the ministry of EBM? If you are able, please click on the image below or go to the website: and then search for “Skainos Project” (Project 14698T).


We know you, like us, believe in the work of East Belfast Mission and how it is an incredible help to many in the surrounding community. Without some immediate intervention some programs will have to be cancelled.  This is a terrible stress for us working here.  Double Tuesday is certainly coming at the right time and will be a blessing!

Britt, Alison, Ellie, Emily & Jake

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