The parishioners of St Columba’s Church of Ireland in Lisburn made an interesting connection with their past recently. Their rector, Rev. James Boyd explained: “Our Men’s Group had set themselves a project to provide a defibrillator for installing in the church building. Apart from parish activities, the church facilities are used each week by numerous community groups,” added Rev. Boyd
The project received quick and enthusiastic support from church members and funds were soon in place to purchase a defibrillator. Members of the Men’s Group were delighted to see their objective reached and there was a certain pride in seeing the new defibrillator placed prominently in the church reception area.
Interestingly, this was only half the story, as Derek Shuter from the Men’s Group explained: “Further donations and support from local firm, Heartsine, brought us another two defibrillators and provided us with an opportunity to provide a resource for use in the local community.”
St Columba’s values its location at the centre of the Derryvolgie community. “The additional defibrillators provided an opportunity for the church to link with the local community in a practical way,” commented Rev. James. “Indeed, we are very conscious that our history as a church began in Moss Road in the heart of Derryvolgie. In fact, our first services were held some 60 years ago in the shop unit now occupied by Mace Supermarket.”
As a means of recognising this historic connection, St Columba’s was pleased to offer a defibrillator to the Mace supermarket for use in the Derryvolgie community. Ian Hall, manager of the supermarket, welcomed the gift from St Columba’s. “We are pleased to have this resource for use should an emergency arise, “ he said. “We acknowledge and appreciate the thoughtful gesture from St Columba’s.”
A second defibrillator was presented to FROTH coffee shop at the Skyline Shops. ‘It’s to great to be able to partner with the local church and offer this much needed service to the local community’ said Karen the proprietor of FROTH.
At a recent service in St Columba’s Derryvolgie the Rev James commissioned the three defibrillators for use in the community. Adding that ‘whilst these physical defibrillators remind us of our need to ensure our hearts are healthy, they also remind us to ensure that our spiritual hearts are healthy as well.’ Using a verse of scripture that can be found in Matthew 6:21 ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ the Rev James commented ‘that just as these defibrillators regulate our physical hearts often we need to take the time to examine our hearts before God allowing him to regulate them to a healthy balance with him once again.’
Below is the prayer that was used during the service.
Father we thank you for the monies raised to purchase this equipment. For the passion to see this project through. For those who helped along the way. As our hearts remain thankful we want to pray for the places that these defibrillators will hang. For the Mace, Froth and our own buildings here. That all who enter in may be secure in the knowledge that if it is needed help is at hand.
Even though we don’t want to see them used we pray for wisdom and care when they do. For the individual who is availing of it, for those who will deploy the defibrillator and the emergency personnel who will respond; give to each as they require.
Yet we also know that you call us to examine our hearts before you, to see if there is anything that holds us back from following you. May today remind us to not only check that our physical heart is as healthy as it can be; but that our spiritual heart is restarted for you.
May your blessing be upon these situations we pray in the mighty name of Jesus. AMEN