E.P Weekend 2009

3 Nov

R.P.C BannerIt was all change for this years Eastern Presbytery Weekend as we moved away from the familiar territory of bed bugs, Ballyclabber sports hall and whiskey drinkers all around Bushmills and headed towards Ganaway BB Activity Centre. It did seem controversial; as for many, Bushmills has always screamed EP Weekend and many were left wondering if GAC’s old stomping ground could manage it.

So on reflection, just decided to put up a poll and let you, the people, vote on it. So regardless of whether you’ve been on the EP Weekend or not, let’s see what you think of these venues!

Well regardless of venue, I had a fantastic time on what is always a special weekend for me. I was eagerly anticipating Uncle Robert’s take on these series of talks on the Covenanters, knowing he is a Church History fanatic, and he didn’t disappoint.

We looked at what a Covenant actually is, where the making of Covenants is biblical (2 Chronicles 34) and how this impacts us. He had also produced time-lines that took us through 1516 (Martin Luthers Conversion) to 2009 (Continued existence of the RP church).

These were really helpful as we looked at many individuals such as Patrick Hamilton, Andrew Melville and James Guthrie, how God had worked in their hearts and in the nations hearts as he revealed this reformed message to many. But we also learned about the great challenges the Covenanters faced, the persecution from the Stewarts and ‘the Killing Times’ where 18,000 died for their beliefs in King Jesus.

A Covenant doesn’t bind us to any additional things outside the word of God, but it does bind us to that which is already our duty to do.

It was fascinating and challenging stuff and better still was to hear so many around me who hadn’t previously known much about this topic being enlightened by it. Dicussion Groups were also based around the topic and it was great to discuss these matters of Church history, to see my fellow brothers and sisters get a true grasp on what the cost was for this Reformed faith and also see many finally realise what that blue banner on their church signs actually means.

Thumbs up for the Triangular Talks Room

Thumbs up for the comfy sofa area

Matt and Abi

Casually browsing the Book Stall

Saturday morning followed the usual format. The afternoon is where the benefits of Ganaway became very clear, a range of activites took place, starting with what seemed to be a fitness regime of relays, first in the usual sprint and then other variations of frog hopping, crab crawling and others. After this, people split up for the regulars of Football, Rounders and Volleyball, however some others afternoon activity was getting up from the sofas and going to the ‘vendys’. I went for Volleyball, our team comfortably winning both times, special mention must go to Ruth Coulter and Abi Nelson with their contributions.

Volleyball didn’t last for long as there was a change of game to ‘6 Square’, being introduced to me as a Trinity CY game, I was immediately wary of it but it turned out to be class, got me highly competitive and was good banter. (No photos of this sadly, the intensity of the game was so high there was no time! Plus I was too busy winning….) Every one then got cleaned up for tea and our evening activity, in this time Tom ‘the plumber’ Somerville managed to break and fix our toilet to our amazement.

Mark once again getting right in the middle of my scenic overview shots...

Another ginger McEwen eagre at Lunch Time

Peter No Mates

Peter seems to love captioning photos on AK these days, any suggestions for this one?

William's Saturday afternoon activity

After tea, Malcolm Ball then had a slot to talk to us about Nantes and complete his whirlwind tour of all the Presbyterys and Scotland. This was pretty challenging, also made me realised how rubbish I am at French, apparently I said I like Las Vegas to him? Could any one confirm this?!

Any way, after Uncle Roberts last talk, we were straight in for the infamous Saturday Night games, this year, taking the form of a ‘Friends like These’ contest. Games included, a Spelling Bee (insert American/Home-Schooler joke here, needless to say Abi won), Tights and Tennis Ball Bashing, Tower Making, Cotton Wool throwing, and well to put it frankly, Head Licking.

Saturday Night Games

I think young Matthew was putting together a documentary of the Weekend

Fat Faces

Fat Faces


Matt didn't lose his eye during this game

Hayley and Food

Conor about to cry, Rozi and Hayley loving the Dessert

Awaking on a wet Sabbath morning, we got packed up quickly and headed off to Ards RPC (or Nards as Ali G affctionately calls it). We benefitted greatly from the teaching we recieved from Romans, with Knox calling us to be Living Sacrifices for Christ, very appropriate for us as young people with our whole lives ahead of us. After this, we got a great lunch, great time of fellowship and then discussion groups and usual time of Psalm Singing. Was really challenged as a few of the younger guys got up and introduced the Psalms, made me realise about how excited we can be with good generations of young people coming through, living for Christ, but also how role models are needed too.

All in all, a fantastic weekend, very beneficial for every one during a busy time at school/university or work. Thanks go to the Committee for all the organisation and to God for giving us blessing in every thing we did.

Brenna's thoroughly excited, dunno whether it's about Lunch or Rob?

Gillian and Esther

Lorna attempting to pick her nose with her thumb

Cream Bun and Cream Bun Senior

However due to image rights that Bun informed me of, the above photo has to be changed to this….

Bun and Bun Senior


Really impressed with their Mum's Lunches


Being very mature and putting Pepper in my Juice


Couple Watch:


Emma and Peter


Conor and Rozi

McCullough and Drennan....oh wait....

That’s all folks! :D  Till next year E.P Young People.


9 Responses to “E.P Weekend 2009”

  1. Hannah November 3, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    ‘just decided to put up a pole’?! lol..like for us to stand on as we vote or something?as for you were too busy winning at 6 square, only Trinity people managed that:P. Good post

  2. Peter November 3, 2009 at 11:00 pm #

    Aw come on Ali, I clearly asked you to Photoshop me some mates in that photo at the lunch table!

    Ah well, I may have no friends but at least I was sticking the pace better than the oul boy in the photo below it!!! :-D

    Good write-up. Great weekend.

  3. Creambun November 4, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    Just to warn you, before CONOR Hyndman reads this, check the spelling of his name! He doesn’t like the double “N”!!!

    Great write though, of a weekend that seems to get better every year! God is good!

  4. Ali November 4, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    All spelling mistakes have been changed!
    Happy with my picture editing Bun?! :D

  5. Peter November 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    When I heard this guy’s nickname on the news, I thought Cream Bun was boxing this weekend!!!


  6. Steelo November 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm #


  7. Ali November 10, 2009 at 8:02 pm #

    I must say that on Sabbath, a certain RP Webmaster was heavily critical of this review, due to it’s numerous inaccuracies.

    Apparently the EP Weekend was for some time held in Rostrevor and Jeff feels that this venue should deserve some recognition. Could any one back this up?

  8. Peter November 11, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    Oh aye, the weekend was at the legendary Kilbroney Centre in Rostrevor for manys a year!!!

    It was attached to the local Church of Ireland manse and their minister Jim Simms was the warden. He made the exact same speech to us on the opening night every year! We all knew it word-perfect! “There’s acres for you to explore but please don’t go into our garden – that’s our little oasis”!!!

    They provided the food, though we cooked it (bizarre set-up!) and for year after year it was exactly the same menu for any given mealtime. So you knew in advance what you’d get for Sat lunch, Sat tea, etc, etc!

    William McCollum has a few fond memories of Kilbroney, but we’d probably better not go into them as this is a family site! :-P

  9. Peter November 11, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    PS – Gregg was a big fan of the ‘Summer County’ non-butter they tried to feed us!!!

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