15th January 2019

A vegetarian Christmas dinner, organized by the Cuisle Centre in Dublin offered opportunities to build new friendship and to reflect on the importance of telling the story of Jesus again and again, because there really are people who have never heard it before.

Building on a successful Christmas event the previous year, Cuisle centre staff issued an open invitation to people living in the community around Dublin Ranelagh to attend ta Christmas dinner with a vegetarian twist on 19 December.

Cuisle Centre Christmas Dinner 2018 “Whenever we hold an event like this, we are quite unsure about what attendance we can expect,” says Heather Keough, director of the Cuisle Centre. “At 6:55pm there were many seats empty, but then the doors opened, and the visitors piled in. We had twenty-six visitors who have connected with the Cuisle Centre during the year or were friends of some of our regular attenders.”

The evening provided plenty of opportunities for laughter and popping from the pulling crackers. “We enjoyed a starter of melon, followed by the main course of kidney bean loaf, potatoes, vegetables, gravy and roasties,” says Heather. “To round the meal off we had apple pie and custard.”

During the meal, Pastor Adam Keough presented a five-minute talk on remembering Christ’s birth at Christmas, but also to look forward to Christ’s return. Two church members, Sheree and Vanessa led out in some Christmas Carols which everybody enjoyed singing along to. Everyone was given a paper decoration and were encouraged to write something that they were thankful for in the year that had passed. These decorations were then hung on a Christmas tree. “The comments were so beautiful to read,” says Heather, “and one of the regular attenders to our weekly cookery class said that she was going to get her family to repeat this activity on Christmas Day because she loved being reminded of all the good things in life.”

While in conversation with Pastor Adam, one of the visitors told him that her niece had come home from school and asked, “Who was this Jesus person that people talked about?” she had never heard of Jesus before. A meaningful conversation followed between pastor Adam and the visitor and he remarked that this was a reminder that people really need to hear about the Gospel and we have a very important message for those around us.

“It was so wonderful to see our church members sit with the visitors and truly engage in building relationships and friendships,” reports Heather. “The evening was a huge success, we were blessed by all who attended, we went home exhausted but with a fire in our hearts to continue to reach out to those around us. I am so thankful to all the volunteers who help at the many different activities in the Cuisle Centre and look forward to what 2019 had to bring our way. Please pray for our ministry in 2019.”

[Irish Mission Communication with Heather Keough]


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