Minister: Rev Andrew Watson
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Psalm 100 v 4
Carrigart is a small village on the Rosguill Peninsula of County Donegal. The village is a popular holiday destination due to its proximity to the many beaches of nearby Downings and Rosapenna. Our Church is on Church Road, heading out of Carrigart towards Milford.
A warm welcome for visitors to Sunday services is always guaranteed!
The Bewglas Centre shares the church grounds. It is a Christian Conference/Residential Centre offering self-catering accommodation for up to 35 people and may be booked on a weekly or weekend basis, or even for a day conference. Click the heading above for further details.
Carrigart Presbyterian Church is now on Facebook! Please like and share.
Sunday 5th July 2020
Church Reopening - Sunday 26th July
We plan God willing to reopen for Sunday worship on 26th July at 12 noon. As per the guidelines provided by Government and Church House, social distancing restrictions will apply. People should refrain from handshaking, numbers are restricted and seating will be allocated and there will be no congregational singing. We look forward to praying and hearing God's Word together and catching up with one another, albeit from a safe distance! Please keep an eye on our website for any updates and further details.
30th June 2020
Sunday 28th June 2020
An afterthought for Fathers' Day
23rd June 2020
Sunday 21st June 2020 - Morning Worship.
Join us on our church FB pages and websites tomomorrow around 10.30 am for more greetings, music and a message on God's Kingdom from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7. Meanwhile, enjoy this.
Friday 19th June
Sunday 14th June 2020
We plan to add some more video greetings from congregation members and friends next Sunday. If you would like to send a short greeting, please do so by Thursday.
A true story on the power of forgiveness.
12th June 2020
9th June 2020
Sunday 7th June 2020
Including a story for the boys and girls.
We will be live again this Sunday, 7th June, at 10.30 am on Dunfanaghy's FB page.
Meanwhile, let's be encouraged as people from many different countries share together the hope we have in Jesus and God's amazing grace.
Thursday 4th June 2020
Please send videos by Thursday 4th June so we can include them this Sunday. It has been a real blessing for folk to be able to see friends in this way.
2nd June 2020
Sunday 31st May 2020
A service, including a number of video greetings, will be on the Facebook pages and websites on Sunday 31st May at 10.30 am.
29th May 2020 Psalm 85 - Restoration
Thanks to all who have sent video greetings so far. If you haven't sent one already, please do and we'll add it in. And yes, we're all having a 'bad hair day'!
In the meantime, find encouragement in this moving testimony from Dundonald Elim Church of someone trusting God for strength in the most difficult circumstances. Click the link 'TESTIMONY' above.
We will be 'live' again on Sunday 24th May at 10.30 am on Carrigart's FB page when we will be looking at The Sermon on the Mount. Thank you to Fiona for our scripture reading this week.
Feel free to drop us a comment during the broadcast as we share fellowship together.
Thank you to everyone who has sent us a video! If you haven't, please do so over the coming days and we'll be able to upload them shortly. Details are below.
As we miss being able to meet together, we want to make a short welcome video by you, for you!
Can you please take some time this week to record a short landscape video clip (10 seconds max) of you, or you and your family, saying hello and welcoming everyone to our church family online. Whether you meet with us regularly in Church, or are meeting with us 'virtually' during this time, 'hello' and 'welcome' to you.
You can send your videos via Facebook Messenger or email your video to email@example.com
We hope to make this video available before our service in coming weeks.
Thanking you in anticipation of your videos!
Sunday 24th May 2020
19th May 2020
Sunday 17th May 2020 - Philippians 4
15th May 2020 Psalm 63 - When life seems unfair.
12th May 2020 Psalm 139 - We are each known to God.
Sunday 10th May 2020 - Philippians ch 3
8th May 2020 - Missing 'God's House' Psalm 42
7th May 2020 - Missing the Music
A blessing for every nation - look out for Northern Ireland!
Sunday 3rd May 2020 - Philippians ch 2
1st May 2020
28th April 2020
Click to set custom HTML
Sunday 26th April - Philippians ch 1
24th April 2020 (recorded in March)
22nd April 2020
Thinking Good Thoughts in Lockdown (April 2020)
While no one is enjoying the corona crisis, some people are trying to learn lessons from the challenges it has brought.
We like to think we’re learning to be more grateful, applauding our doctors and nurses, appreciating a million and one others who are working and sacrificing to keep things going. Lorry drivers, shop workers, refuse collectors and countless others we never see who make sure we have water, electricity and internet!
Some are also trying to be hopeful, dreaming of a better kind of ‘normal’ when we’re free to go out and about again. We’ll realise what a gift we have in nature, and what a privilege it is to play football or golf or go out for coffee or a meal with family and friends. Perhaps we’ll have learnt to be a little more considerate towards other people, a little more patient and courteous.
For those willing to go a bit deeper, times like these might prompt us to actually humble ourselves before our Maker and consider changing some of our questionable ways.
As usual, God is way ahead of us and we find some of these very ideas in the Bible neatly summed up in this 3rd chapter of the Apostle Paul’s 1st century letter to a younger minister friend Titus. Here we find these principles, that people should think gratefully of what has been given and done for us, think hopefully of what has been promised to us and think conscientiously of what we should be and do as a result.
Before we look at these in more detail let’s understand the 1st Century had crises of its own. There were conflicts and natural disasters. Rome had made great achievements but it was a harsh society, hard on women and children and slaves. Some of the emperors were notoriously corrupt like Nero and Caligula. Given their dreadful example people could have been tempted to be self-centred and abusive.
For all its human imperfections the growing Christian minority were providing a refreshing alternative. They were respectful to women and children and showed remarkable compassion and generous hospitality to sick and disadvantaged in every level of society. They paid their taxes without complaining, prayed for those in Government, even forgave those who persecuted them!
What was it that inspired them? It was the grace of God in Jesus.
So let’s think gratefully and specifically on what has been given and done through Christ. Because of the grace and kindness of God in giving His Son, because of the amazing love of Jesus giving Himself for us on the cross, because he is risen from the dead and with the Father pours out the Holy Spirit on the Church - flawed people like us can be ‘redeemed’, set free from the negative way we used to think and live. We can be ‘saved’, ‘purified’ from our sins, reborn and renewed by God’s powerful help, blessed in an ongoing relationship of love.
We should be so grateful, never ceasing to praise and thank the Lord for all His mercy, this grace we so little deserve!
More, let’s think hopefully about what we’ve been promised. Paul describes Christians here as ‘heirs having the hope of eternal life’. We’ve been promised a share in the ‘family estate’ of the Almighty forever! Heaven, resurrection, life in all its fulness in peace and joy in fellowship with our Lord and with all His family in heavens and earth that are fully healed and made new. Jesus’ ministry in Galilee was a foretaste of the infinitely greater restoration and wholeness to be enjoyed when He returns.
We are concerned naturally about things in the short term but don’t need to be overcome with fear. Our Father knows our need and our future with Him promises to be nothing short of glorious!
So let’s think conscientiously about what we should be and do in the meantime in response to all that has been done for us and promised to us.
These three short pages of Paul’s letter to Titus demonstrate how for Christians our spiritual devotion must be worked out in very practical application. We shouldn’t waste time, energy and resources on fruitless arguing. We must be humble, honourable, hospitable. The Apostle recommends truth that leads to godliness, good order and self-discipline so our freedom in Christ might be fruitful and profitable in church and family life and beneficial for the whole community. At least six times here Paul speaks about loving and doing ‘what is good’. What ‘good’ might we be able to do for our neighbours in the present crisis? And what kind of people will we be if or when things get back to ‘normal’?
Appreciating what God has done for us, let us seek to live in the light of Jesus’ death and resurrection, grateful, hopeful and conscientious, be the times easy or challenging, seeking opportunity to do good to all for the glory of our Lord and Saviour.
To Him be eternal praise and thanks!
18th April 2020
It is challenging for us all not being able to meet these Sundays for worship. On the other hand, it has been encouraging to receive positive feedback from literally all over the world to the reading and prayer videos we have posted on the church websites and Facebook pages.
Join us live tomorrow morning, Sunday 19th April at 10.30 am, on Dunfanaghy Presbyterian Church's Facebook page, when we plan to share a message and prayer together!
The message will also be available later on the church websites for those who don't have Facebook.
Prayerful best wishes, stay safe everyone.
Andrew & Hazel
17th April 2020
15th April 2020
Good morning everyone and on this, what is probably the strangest Easter that most of us have ever experienced, let's reaffirm our faith that Christ our Saviour is risen!
Prayerful best wishes to all our members, families, neighbours and friends.
Below is a pre-recorded video with readings and prayer, and a printed message.
We look forward D.V. to being together in worship again soon.
‘The Resurrection of Jesus – What does that mean to me?’
1 Peter 1 vs 1 -21
Life in the first century could be harsh. Slavery was common. Gladiators killed each other as popular sport in the arena. Women and children could be cruelly neglected or abandoned quite legally. For the new Christian minority it could be even more difficult with added suspicion, even brutal persecution!
And yet as we read the letters of the Apostles we’re struck with how positive and upbeat they are. Even when experiencing hardship, threat and heartbreak they sound remarkably cheerful.
‘We are more than conquerors’ writes Paul. ‘This is the victory that has overcome the world’ writes John. Their letters contain a lot of serious material but nonetheless come from a basic viewpoint that is hugely grateful and full of hope. Our reading in 1 Peter spells out a little more of the reason: ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead…’
The resurrection of Jesus, what did that mean to these first Christians, and what can it mean to people like us this Easter 2020?
Firstly it means our Shepherd is alive. Death is not the end. Evil doesn’t win. Sin and failure are now curable. Because Jesus, Son of God is alive forever we can know Him as our Shepherd in every time and place. We can experience something of His presence with us by the Holy Spirit.
Now here is a mystery, Jesus is enthroned in Heaven at the Father’s right hand and yet somehow through the Spirit He is also with His followers worldwide. He promised he would be with us always. So even when we feel alone or isolated from family or friends we can be assured our Good Shepherd is with us to guide and help.
Here is our comfort. After His resurrection Jesus forgave and reinstated Peter. He gave extra confirmation to Thomas. He blessed them all with further instruction and promise.
He is alive so He is with us and can help us today, whatever our circumstances.
Secondly the resurrection means our Master reigns.
Not even death could defeat Him. He is the eternal winner. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given unto Him. This puts Christians in a strong place spiritually. The world, the flesh and the devil can throw many challenges at us, we should expect a degree of trouble in the short term but our Saviour has overcome these things and in His name so can we.
Here is our assurance. Jesus is Lord and He answers the prayers of His followers with wisdom and compassion. He delivers us from the darkness which would bind us and seek to bring us down. He Who has broken the bonds of death sets us free to truly live. His perfect, never ending love drives out all fear, giving courage to face each new day with faith and creativity and grace.
Our Shepherd lives, our Master reigns and thirdly our Lord is returning.
The story isn’t over. He continues to build His global Church and one of these days He will return in glory to judge the living and the dead and gather His people safe home.
Here is our motivation! We don’t live merely to chase pleasure, success or happiness. We live to obediently serve our Lord in anticipation of seeing Him come on the clouds of glory at the head of the angelic host. We no longer live for the adulation of other human beings. We long to hear His voice on that day say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’
There are some humorous images on social media at the moment of what it will be like when we’re released from our present restrictions due to the corona pandemic. We’ll emerge, maybe a few pounds heavier, but joyful nonetheless to run and skip down the street!
How much greater hope has been given to followers of Jesus!
We look forward to whole new heavens and a new earth, the home of righteousness. No more sin and evil, no more suffering and death! The dwelling of God and Christ with His creation in harmonious blessing with all things made eternally new.
The present darkness is coming to an end. Light has dawned. Hope is ours.
It’s Easter and Jesus has risen from the dead.
To Him be glory and praise!
The Cross of Christ
(Read Romans 5 vs 1-11)
What’s going on in the street over there?
Oh, just another execution, not uncommon in Jerusalem in Roman times. Only this one seems to have excited extra interest. It’s not just two common criminals, it’s the man on the central cross. Many insist he’s a good man, a teacher who urged people to obey God and who performed miracles like a prophet, kindly healing people of all kinds of disease. Others say he’s a deceiver, a blasphemous rabble rouser who’s going to get everyone into trouble. Some just think he’s crazy or not even that important. We could be tempted to tut and shake our heads and carry on as usual.
The New Testament speaks repeatedly about the death of Jesus on the cross and insists this is not just the most important thing Jesus did, it’s the most important event in world history, ever! This is not simply another human drama. This is the one, unique, divine rescue mission. This is God providing salvation for His world!
Scripture gives us four distinct pictures to explain what God is doing in this thing called salvation, four pictures of what it means to be ‘saved’ by the Almighty.
The first picture comes from Old Testament worship at the Temple and is called Propitiation or satisfaction. A worshipper approaches God but doesn’t dare come without an offering. He’s aware God is holy and we humans are not. God has every right to be angry and punish us so a costly offering must be made to placate God’s righteous indignation.
We may not like to think of God in such terms but here’s the thing. God is more than holy. He so loves the world He has made the offering on our behalf! The Apostle John writes, ‘This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.’ (1 John 4 v 10)
The next picture comes from the market place where in ancient times people were for sale as slaves. This is where we see Redemption. For a slave to become a free man a price had to be paid. He had to be ‘redeemed’, ‘bought back’.
Human beings are pictured as enslaved by the burden of guilt and the binding power of sin. Jesus Himself said, ‘The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.’ (Mark 10 v 45) It wasn’t just His life of generous kindness, the Bible makes it clear that this ransom to set us free was paid when He gave His life and died on the cross. Peter writes, ‘it was not with perishable things like silver or gold that you were redeemed…but with the precious blood of Christ…’ (1 Peter 1 vs 18-19)
The third picture of salvation given in Scripture is from the law courts and is called Justification. We are guilty before the judgement seat of Heaven. God is just, He will not look the other way and say, ‘Let’s just forget about it.’ How could we trust a Judge who did that? Sin matters. Sentence must be served. And on the cross God suffered in our place. The Father lost His Son. The Son suffered separation and holy wrath on our behalf. Now whosoever trusts in Him is no longer condemned but declared righteous, given a new standing before God.
The Apostle Paul writes, ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in His blood.’ (Romans 3 vs 23-25)
As we sometimes sing in church,
‘Because the sinless Saviour died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.’
And fourthly the Bible pictures salvation as Reconciliation. The ‘prodigal’ son or daughter is welcomed home, restored to a loving relationship with God as our heavenly Father. No longer enemies, alienated or far away but brought near into a place of grace and hope, blessed as God’s children through the death of His Son.
God is holy and just, yet in love He has come to our rescue. At the cross of Jesus we see God provide atonement to satisfy divine wrath, pay the price to redeem us, suffer in our place so we can be acquitted and remove the offence so we can be forgiven and welcomed home as His dear children.
This is salvation. This is what believers see when we look at the cross. How should we respond? With everlasting gratitude, obedient love and willing service. Nothing less will do.
‘Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all.’
9.4.20 - The Trial
8.4.20 - Wednesday's message
7.4.20 - Tuesday's message.
Scroll down to join us on this Palm Sunday for Music, Bible Reading and Message.
Check our Facebook Page around 8 pm GMT Monday - Friday during Holy Week for more live and recorded readings.
The Weeping Judge
(First read Luke 19 vs 28 -48)
The crowds are cheering their hero. Look, here He comes, the One Who made the blind see, the disabled rise up and walk, Who even raised the dead. Waving their palm branches they jubilantly welcome the Saviour King promised by God through His prophets centuries earlier.
Yet as we look at their champion he is not waving, smiling, punching the air or giving ‘High Fives’. No, He’s weeping!
His fans go wild as He ‘cleans house’ in the Temple, chasing out the crooks and welcoming the needy, making it what it should be, a house of prayer and a centre for compassion and healing. Yet instead of riding and enjoying this wave of popularity Jesus weeps and earnestly pleads for people to heed His warning.
The Judge of the earth weeps as He foresees the destruction of those who refuse to humble themselves before God, who refuse to repent and welcome the Saviour Who has come on this occasion in gentleness with the offer of peace. The Weeping Judge is distressed, deeply offended by our disobedience and rebellion but equally distraught as He warns of the consequences.
Here is grace, but if grace is rejected then judgement must come. Within 40 years Jerusalem would be overthrown and her people killed or scattered. Jesus could see it coming, and it broke His heart.
‘The days will come when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.’ No escape! ‘They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls.’ No mercy! ‘They will not leave one stone on another because you did not recognise the time of God’s coming to you.’ No second chance!
Jesus, Son of God, kind and gentle Saviour King and healer, solemnly warns us against sin and of its fatal consequences.
Our generation needs to stop telling our Maker He’s wrong! We’re inviting trouble. Jerusalem rejected Christ and suffered for it, we should learn the lesson. The prophet Isaiah wrote, ‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…’ (25 v 20) ‘Woe’, that’s an old fashioned word. It means trouble and sorrow. Expect trouble and sorrow if you disregard God and His commands!
Yet this generation kills children and calls it ‘compassion’ or ‘women’s rights’ and even criminalises those who try to save these innocents. This generation applauds almost every form of sexual immorality and calls it ‘love’, ‘freedom’, ‘diversity’, ‘inclusivity’. Why are we surprised if we experience trouble and sorrow? Worse is yet to come! Our judgement must surely be overdue!
Isaiah warned, ‘Therefore as tongues of fire lick up straw and dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the Law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the Word of the Holy One of Israel.’ (25 v 24)
Make no mistake. God is holy. His righteous anger burns consistently against all sin and yet His deep love is aroused to save sinners. We see this perfect balance in Christ Who will one day come again to judge the living and the dead but on this occasion pleads with tears for people to accept grace and be saved. For yes, God flooded the earth for human violence and cruelty but He also provided refuge in the Ark. He rained plagues on the proud, idolatrous Egyptians but ‘passed over’ the Hebrew homes sheltered by the blood of a lamb.
Jesus the Judge wept as the crowds cheered, but not in hopeless despair for He had come to put things right. He had come to be our sacrificial Lamb, the lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. At the cross a few days after this Jesus would not just condemn human sin but take on Himself its guilt and shame and punishment on our behalf. He would satisfy divine indignation, make full atonement and demonstrate for ever the depth of God’s love so that all who humbly repent and take shelter in Him by faith will not perish but experience cleansing, reconciliation with God and everlasting life.
The evidence against the human race is everywhere and it is damning. We are ‘guilty as charged’. The sentence is everlasting trouble and sorrow in the torment of Hell. But the ransom has been paid. Acquittal is still possible. The Judge looks earnestly in our faces and our hearts. What does He see?
The Apostle Peter speaks of a day of final, cataclysmic judgement when everything as we’ve known it will change forever. ‘The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise…’ Peter writes, ‘He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’ (2 Peter 3 v 9)
So despite the very real challenges currently facing us, not least the corona pandemic, this remains a day of grace and opportunity with God. May it not be lost on us!
May we rather humble ourselves and pray and turn from our wicked ways that He might visit us with healing and salvation.
(Read Isaiah 26 and Matthew 6 vs 5-13)
So how are the self-isolation and social distancing going in your home?
‘Cabin fever’ hasn’t hit us too badly yet, though to date both cars are washed, the garden fence is repainted and Hazel has rearranged the kitchen cupboards. New tunes are being learnt and old board games exhumed. So far, so good!
We can laugh and humour is one coping mechanism to help us through these challenging times, along with patience, courage and public spirited kindness.
And faith? Where does that come in, if at all?
Christians are grateful that we can bring our concerns to God. In His great Sermon on the Mount our Master encouraged His followers to bring our requests to ‘Our Father in Heaven’, confident He already knows and cares about our needs. Here’s what He says, ‘When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father Who is unseen. Then your Father Who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’ (Matthew 6 v 6)
Jesus was saying this by way of contrast to some religious people He called ‘hypocrites’ who made prayer like a performance to gain admiration from their fans. While it’s good to gather together when we can to worship and pray it’s also something we all need to do daily at home. Just listening to someone else repeat nice words is no substitute for each of us humbly bringing our own personal concerns before the Lord.
Now it’s often the case that people in the New Testament are echoing something said or written in the Old Testament and this is an example. Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 6 v 6 includes a phrase almost word for word that was written 700 years before by the prophet Isaiah (ch26 v 20). Here’s what Isaiah said, ‘Go my people into your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until (God’s) wrath has passed by.’
Isaiah ch26, like so much of Scripture has a kind of ‘twin track’ going on. On the one hand it contains solemn warning for those who stubbornly disregard God and His commands. Judgement is coming!
But on the other, this passage contains tender assurance for those who trust in God, that even though we have not always pleased or served Him fruitfully, He will bring about new life and security. The trouble will pass. We are promised an inheritance in ‘the new Jerusalem’. Therefore, even in our present trouble we can pray using Isaiah’s words with thanks, ‘You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.’ (Isaiah 6 v 3)
At the moment we don’t have much choice, we’re all stuck indoors for fear of catching corona virus. It’s serious times when all people of faith should be earnestly praying to God for grace and mercy on His world. But every challenge brings an opportunity and perhaps, if we are willing to ‘hide ourselves’ in our homes for these next weeks, spending extra time humbly praying to God, we might emerge with greater peace and more - new life through Jesus Christ the Lord!
19th March 2020 - Following formal advice received today from Church House, all services in Carrigart and Dunfanaghy, as in all other PCI churches, are cancelled until further notice as a result of the Covid-19 virus outbreak. We will let you know when we can reopen for worship. We pray it will be soon!
Pastoral visitation has also been discouraged due to risk of infection. However, if you require to see the minister urgently, please do contact Andrew or an elder. Rev Andrew will from time to time post some messages/video here and on Facebook which we hope you will find helpful during this difficult period.
Celebrating the Lord's resurrection with visitors and friends.
Our new sign!
“Finding Our Way Home is a collection of prayers and reflections by Presbyterian minister Andrew Watson that invites the reader to contemplate and celebrate the gift of ‘home’ – both earthly and divine. As well as addressing key events in the Christian calendar, such as Easter and Pentecost, the book considers universal subjects including marriage, parenthood, ageing and bereavement.
Finding Our Way Home offers consolation during times of difficulty in our lives, but it also invites readers to express joy, gratitude and wonder for the many gifts bestowed upon us by a benevolent creator: be it family, friends or the untold beauty of the natural world.”
Available from Veritas bookshops and website or request it from your local bookshop.
All royalties from the sale of this book will support the work of two charities: Mission Aviation Fellowship and A21.
"Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world". John 1 v 29
Wordsurfers.com - a place of Thoughts, Readings, Prayers by
Rev A Watson
'Finding Our Way Home' is a book written by our minister. The collection of prayers and reflections invites the reader to contemplate and celebrate the gift of home both earthly and divine. Available in local bookshops, through Veritas or on Amazon.