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Finding Joy In Life Again

Finding Joy In Life Again

Grief Share is a bereavement support programme run in the church to help people cope with the loss of a loved one. It is run over a 13 week period. Participants may join the programme at any stage and some even choose to repeat it at a different stage in their grief.

Each week we watch a DVD dealing with a particular aspect of bereavement. We then have a cup of tea or coffee and break into smaller groups to discuss the video contents and any specific concerns that the participants have. The GriefShare Team provide a warm and welcoming environment and are sensitive to the individual needs of those attending. Some people are able to talk about their grief but some prefer just to listen to the discussion. Everyone’s grief experience is different but one of the most helpful things is talking with someone else who has been through a similar loss to your own. Many participants say that just the fellowship of the meetings is really beneficial.

The programme is structured to progress from the initial shock of bereavement to finding joy in living again. Each session provides some really useful scriptural references to help us understand that God is with us in the darkness of our loss and He will provide healing for us if we let Him. In many ways the GriefShare journey is about increasing our dependence on God and realising that He has a purpose for each one of our lives which transcends our human relationships.

Some participants gain so much from the programme that they are able to come back as Team members to help others through the grief journey. A listening ear and a compassionate heart is all that is required as God does the rest!


Home is a new preaching series beginning Sunday morning 30thApril.

Church ought to be like a home to us. It is home for those who are believers – we are meant to feel at home in this place where we are loved by our Heavenly Father and by our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Home is the place where we can be ourselves and are loved for who we are more than what we do or what we have achieved.

Home is the place where we find our identity – the place to come back to when we are messed up, lost and confused. Home should be welcoming and hospitable.

As part of the series we encourage people to invite friends and work colleagues as we explore what it means to come home to God our Creator and Father.

God has placed eternity in the hearts of every person, we are restless until we find our spiritual home in God.

Easter 2017


The prayer room will be open from 8am to midnight each day from Monday 10th to Thursday 13th April and from 8am to 6pm on Good Friday (14th).

Please sign up for a prayer slot as individuals or as a Laser Group. This is one of the best weeks in our church calendar – please become part of it.

Prayer changes things.


This is a lovely service of meditative praise, a sermon based on the events of the first Good Friday followed by the celebration of Communion.


10.30am We have one united Easter morning service of celebration led by the choir as we explore the theme of Hope this Easter.

The children will have a separate programme from the start and will join us for our closing hymn.

6.30pm The young people will finish this Resurrection Day by leading us in worship and reflection on what Easter means.

Please plan to join us this Easter at High Kirk.


Seafarers! The postmen you didn’t know you have!

Dear friends,

Maritime transport and the international shipping industry are essential to the world’s economy. Over 90% of world trade is carried by sea and it is, by far, the most cost-effective way to move large quantities of goods and raw materials around the world. Without shipping, the import/export of affordable food and goods would not be possible – half the world would starve and the other half would freeze!

There are over 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo. The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations, and manned by over a million seafarers of virtually every nationality.

The majority of seafarers (men as well as women work at sea) come from poor countries, and they work at sea to provide for their extended families back home. In the past, 1 or 2 year long contracts at sea were common. Nowadays many still spend 9 months at sea without any holidays and then they go home for 3, and back for another 9 months. In 30 years of life at sea, many may only have been able to spend a total of 5 years at home with their families. Just think of the loneliness, struggles, temptations and sacrifice involved. Not to mention the unforeseen dangers of accident, fatigue, malnutrition, storms, pirates etc etc

Seafarers are indeed a forgotten people group, unseen by most of the world’s population, but without whom cruise liners couldn’t sail, oil tankers would be empty, car carriers would stop sailing, bananas would remain in their country of origin and everything made in China would stay in China! They are the taxi-men and women of the sea, and the postal delivery before it reaches your postman. Seafarers and awareness of them is a strategic missionary vision. The hearts of seafarers are open to the Good News of the Gospel, and no matter which religious background they come from we are able to befriend and help them in many ways.

In Cork we have met seafarers from over 100 countries, and some of these are ones where missionaries struggle to visit. It has been amazing to become a friend to so many and speak into their lives since 2006. The Seamen’s Christian Friend Society (SCFS) is an international, non-denominational and evangelical Seamen’s Mission. It is a UK registered charity and was founded in 1846. My colleague in Hamburg, Martin Otto, has written a few books, but two I would recommend to anyone who is interested are: ‘Seafarers! A Strategic Missionary Vision’ and ‘Church on the Oceans’.

Here are a few extracts from ‘Seafarers’ to whet your appetite:

“The ocean rages and roars, unlike anything the seafarers have experienced before. Huge waves roll over the ship. A seaman sent to check the security of the containers on deck is seized by a great wave and thrown into the sea. How terrifying! But the next wave throws him back on board. This African understands God’s message . . .

Moses, the radio officer of his ship, is looking forward to being back home with his family. He is on his last journey which takes him through the perilous and dreaded Biscaya. Suddenly horror is written on the faces of the crew – the engines have broken down! And right in the midst of a wind-force of 12! The ship becomes a plaything for the waves. Twenty seafarers, among them Moses, lose their lives when the River Guara sinks

. . . Tables, chairs and dishes go flying through the air. The lifeboat is torn from its anchoring. Loud shouts are heard everywhere. The River Adada struggles in a desperate fight for survival. There’s only one hope – prayer! Muslims as well as Christians plead to God for their lives. Everyone is saved and three Muslims convert to Christianity when they see how clearly God answers prayer . . .”

To give a feeling for what it is like on board here is a short (just over 1 min long) video clip taken recently on board a bulk carrier. The crew were Indians and Filipinos. Thanks for praying for us and all your wonderful support!

God bless you! With much love, Colin, Sunhwa, Aidan and Jenai.

High Kirk’s Got Talent Take 2

Following on from the unprecedented success of our previous event held back in 2014, High Kirk’s Got Talent (Take 2) took place on Saturday 25th March.

As a church we are about to embark on our Building Project and this was one of many opportunities over the coming months that you as members (along with extended family and friends) can help towards raising the necessary funding.

The proposals in our new building scheme will provide a more enhanced, welcoming environment with greater flexibility and additional space to help us do ‘church’ better as well as to better facilitate our current ministries and those that are yet to come. However, on the night of #HKGTT2, we wanted to draw our focus away from the ‘building’ and to remind ourselves that as a church we are about people and are blessed as a congregation in so many ways by our people.

With a wide range of acts and items, this was an evening for both young and old alike.

You can get an idea of the acts that took place, from the videos and photos below.

There will also be a DVD of the night to purchase, with all money raised going to the Building Project fund.

Released to be Free

Released to be Free

Three weeks on from “Release”… what has changed? The more I read and reflect, the more I realise that this word, “Release,” offers so much.

Firstly, we are released to be free! Mark quoted John 10:10 “I have come that they (sheep) may have life, and have it to the full.” Paul writing to the Galatians in Ch. 4 says that “At the right time in history God sent His Son to earth to be subject to earthly laws.” He grew up to know sin, all the human emotions and circumstances of our lives but He himself was without sin so by His death and resurrection He could set us free from sin and adopt us into his family.

The freedom that Christ won on the cross gives us freedom from… and freedom to… Freedom from a life of guilt and shame. Freedom to be and do as Christ would lead us. Freedom to be a child of God…Freedom to be loving and have compassion for the hurting… freedom to be joyful even in the most difficult of circumstances for our joy comes from the LORD… freedom to take risks, to make mistakes, to fail but ultimately to bear fruit for Him on the journey.

What have you been freed from? What is God asking of you in your freedom?



Shirley Donaldson

Bible Reading Resources

In a recent Sunday evening Streams service Ally & Cherith Simpson presented a few resources they have found to be helpful when reading the Bible. We thought we should share those resources here.

If you have found any of them to be helpful please tell others.

Desiring God – Look at the Book

She Reads Truth

He Reads Truth

Read Scripture

One to One Bible Reading

For more info on One to One Bible reading and the book of the same name by David Helm, click here.

Mental Health Resources

Following on from Sunday night’s service when we looked at the whole area surrounding Mental Health the following information has been collated together as a signpost to available resources, help and contact details:



Lifeline is there for anyone – if you have concerns about someone else they are able to chat with you about some ways in which you can get help for them also.
Also if you are ringing about yourself they are able to set you up with face to face counselling.


Anxiety UK –
Get Self Help –
Hope 4 Mental Health –
Inspire –
Mental Health Access Pack –
Mind –
Minding your Head –
Moodcafe –
Young Minds –


Childline – 0800 1111 –
Lifeline – 0808 808 8000 –
Samaritans 116 123 –


Children in Northern Ireland (CiNI) –
ASIST (Suicide Intervention Training) –
Mental Health First Aid –
The Big House – 028 90 664300 –

All services available in Ballymena area

“The Directory of services to help improve mental health and emotional wellbeing”
The Public Health Agency – 0300 555 01114 –


Family Works 028 9182 1721 –
CFC Anchor Counselling 028 9065 0690 –
Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) – 028 9261 0586 –


Our Values

Our Values

In High Kirk, the Staff and Kirk session have come up with a number of values that we consider to be of utmost importance in church life.

High Kirk aims to be a worshipful, prayerful community of people who are passionate about God and making Him known. Our core values will inform our priorities and activities.

Our values:
Gospel centrality – the gospel informs all that we do as a church. We commit to the good news of Jesus for everyone, recognising that God’s Word needs to be preached and applied in the power of, and openness to, the Holy Spirit.

Intentional discipleship – we will intentionally nurture Christian maturity, engaging all our members, young and old, in meaningful service and ministry.

Missional living – we will be faithful witnesses in our everyday lives. In doing this we seek to reach all generations and all people with the gospel.

Generous hospitality – we will offer welcoming friendship and sacrificial hospitality to all who connect with us.

Joyful excellence – we will enjoy doing things simply but well.