Tag Archives: Eastern Presbytery

Easter Monday, Eastern Presbytery, and no Mournes in sight

10 Apr
This AK Post was written after a special request from one of our most committed readers.

As tradition dictates, the E.P Walk started as it always does, with every one arriving half an hour late. However, once everyone arrived, we all hopped into an old BB Minibus that Dromara had and it took us off to our starting point near the slopes of Slieve Croob. Numbers were down this year due to various reasons, GO Teams and RTC Exams (Good Excuses!) and “Schoolwork” (Not so good…) However, for the 16 who did attend, it proved to be a great opportunity to burn off consumed Easter Eggs and have good craic together.

The Walk started with us striding along a “busy” Dromara road (with a total of 3 cars passing us) while Tom and I introduced the group to the game of “Shouting a particular piece of Farming Machinery” which proved to be very funny. However as we walked on, two Newtownards ladies started to lag far behind, only later to find out that they had stopped to consume their lunches 15 minutes into the walk.

At the starting point...

It was a tad windy

Tom surveying his lovely Dromara...

Slieve Croob was finally reached and we started the climb up, I was informed at this point that Slieve Croob was part of the wider Mourne area, and it started to feel that way as both my feet were immediately soaked.

We continued up and some small Snowball fights broke out and Ali G continued to hone his skills of his new found hobby of photography, here are some of his snaps:


The climb up Slieve Croob proved to be tricky. Not because of all the steep hills or marsh land, but just because it took a significant amount of effort not to be blown away to some far off region in Co. Down. It was quite a challenge to stay upright and some members of the group experienced this a few times. However Gareth got us to the top safely, it was a lovely view but most just wanted to get into the small shelter that was there and have a break from the wind.

Tom and Robert cuddling


Gareth pointing the way

After our brief stay at the top, we decided to begin the journey down and stop some where sheltered for lunch. The way down was far easier due to less 50mph winds and a gravel path the whole way.

A big congratulations to Gareth for another fantastic walk, proved to be a great time to get to know others from the Presbytery and some good exercise too.

Insert "Oh!" Caption here...

Dan the Man and Robert

Hayley really was holding back the tears at this stage...

Same again next year!

Dedicated to Peter.

The Bible vs. Your Mobile Phone

2 Mar

Last Friday at the Eastern Presbytery United CY Meeting, we were heavily challenged by David McCullough about the Focus in our lives. This is something that’s very applicable for all of us and I also recently recieved an email that offered a related challenge. It was asking “What would happen if we started treating our Bible like our Mobile Phones?”

  • Would we be make sure it was continually on our person, in our pockets or handbags?
  • What if we flipped through it several times a day?
  • What if we turned the car around to go and get it if it was forgotten?
  • What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?
  • What if we gave it to our children as gifts or presents?
  • What if we were used to recieving messages from the text?
  • What if we used it in case of emergency?
  • What if we used it when we travelled?

I suppose a lot of modern things these days could be used in this case, things like Facebook, MSN and Entertainment Systems. As Christians, obviously we can enjoy these things, use them to catch up with people, relax, but we also must keep everything in moderation. Remembering that we must continually having our priorities right in our Christian lives so that we too can say like the godly King Jehosophat, “But our eyes are on You”. (2 Chronicles 20:12)

E.P Volleyball Competition 2010

2 Feb

Before the big competition got started, there was two major talking points.

1. The absense of Lorna McCollum who is on sabbatical in Mississippi, continuing her education degree, follow her progress on her blog she is required to write during her stay there.  Hey y’all!!

2. The new scare tactic of Newtownards……….throw their ugliest opposition at the opposition early on….

Rocky Balboa/Brenna McEwen

Tournament got started fairly quickly and was organised excellently by the usual trio of Gareth Kerr, Andy Graham and Mark McCavery. 2 Groups comprising of 4 teams were quickly set up and the games got under way. Newtownards had two teams, and were always looking like the favourites, with 2 McCaverys, 2 Balfours, 3 Hyndmans, 2 Rollestons, 1 Bun and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

However, there was now Loughridges-a-plenty on the Carrick team, a make-shift Knockbracken team with a few star names in it (including Skills, Kak Woman and Gareth Hughes a.k.a “Wandsy”) and the dark horses of Dromore and Lisburn were all in the mix and presure was on right away to try and get early wins to book a place in the Semi Finals.

Action from Drennan vs. McCullough....I mean Trinity vs. Dromore

Courtside Action

It was hard to miss it....

Emma comforting the One Eye'd Wonder

For the terribly immature, the hilarious signs were all around...

Even Hayley thought it was gross

The competition progressed, with every one having good craic and the standard of Volleyball was generally pretty good too. Newtownards 1 and Newtownards 2 were looking like favourites, along with Lisburn and Dromore, who were winning the majority of matches in good fashion.

I must admit that this is the one thing I find so good about the Volleyball Competition, good sport while also being able to catch up with people. It is really a great night and thanks to the organisers. However, the competition continued after a short epilogue from Ali G and the dream final of Lisburn vs. Dromore was squashed as both Ards 1 and Ards 2 got through to the final. Joel Loughridge was quoted to say “It’s a sad day for sport every where….”

The Final was played between the two North Down teams and I have no idea who actually went on to win. However, it was the Rev. Knox Hyndman who went up to lift the coveted trophy for the winning Ards team. The usual trip to get Fast Food then followed and before we knew it, the Competition was over for another year.

That’s about all on the report side of things, just sit back and enjoy the rest of the photos!

John going crazy after another win for Dromore

Peter refusing to comment on Carrick's performances...

Harry Potter himself...

Shots from the Final: Newtownards 1 vs. Newtownards 2

Conor serving to Start

How the Competition had shaped up untill the Final

McCavery vs. McCavery

Conor chasing the Ball

It turned into a bit of an exhibition match...

The Winners and Losers

Untill next year Eastern Presbytery!!!

E.P Volleyball Tournament

19 Jan

That’s right it’s that time of the year again, the highly anticipated and fiercely contested Eastern Presbytery Volleyball Competition is upon us!

It’s this Saturday Evening, 23rd January, kicking off (or whatever they do in Volleyball) at 6:30pm happening at the usual venue of B.R.A Sports Halls.

It should be a great night and it’s always good for a bit of sporting action and catching up with friends so do try and make it along!

I don’t wanna be hearing about any nerds who are revising on a Saturday Night!!!

The usual powers of Ards and Carrick will probably be there and there about this year again whereas i’m thinking Knockbracken could surprise every one with a win this year!

Just to wet your appetites for the Volleyball Competition, I came across a few useful facts I bet you didn’t know!!

  • Volleyball was invented in 1895 by William G. Morgan at the Holyoke, Massachusettes YMCA. The first version called “mintonette” was created as a recreational activity for local businessmen to enjoy during their lunch hours. The first rules allowed for unlimited players per side and unlimited contacts.
  • The longest recorded volleyball marathon by two teams of six is 75 hours 30 minutes at Kingston, North Carolina in 1980.
  • Most volleyball players jump about 300 times a match.
  • On a global basis, Volleyball ranks second behind football in participation sports; there are over 800 million players worldwide.

No official footage has ever been capture from the event, however, this video I found on YouTube more than matches the skill that will be on demonstration on Saturday Night!

Teach Us To Pray (EP CY Event)

23 Nov

Eastern Presbytery United Covenanter Youth Event primarily organised primarily for the young people of the Presbytery but feel free to invite others along. Everyone is welcome.

Join this event on Facebook.

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.

Creation and EP Weekend

2 Oct


Public Meeting in Dromore Reformed Presbyterian next Monday at 8pm.



EP Weekend

Check out the picture on the front of the new EP Weekend application!