Kathryn and I were invited to lead worship and share about living with family illness under the theme of ‘Beautiful Brokenness’ at Castlewellan Holiday Week in 2018, when Patrick Regan was the main speaker. Patrick had previously spoken at CHW in the youth marquee, and was already known for his work with young people, but he had also gone through a dark night of the soul when dealing with his own illness and was in the process of launching a new charity with his wife, Diane – “Kintsugi Hope“.
As it turned out, we weren’t able to be present for that event, but the concept of our brokenness being beautiful and helpful to others has remained with us. As the Covid pandemic stretched into the 2021 lockdown I could feel my own levels of anxiety grow and capacity shrink, and was struck that many people in our community might experience similar things in the coming months and years. I stumbled across Kintsugi Hope again and felt a nudge from God to start a group for the people of Dromore, which took place over Zoom in the Winter of 2021/2 in partnership with local Elim church leaders. Some of the tools for emotional health that we practiced then have continued to help me ever since.
With assistance from others, I’m looking forward to running another group soon ‘in-person’, offering a safe and supportive space for folks to flourish, whether or not they have a church connection (let me know if you’d like to join in, or even help).
Meanwhile, Patrick Regan has written a new book, “Brighter Days”, and we have the exciting privilege of hosting his launch tour on Saturday 14 October 2023 at 7pm at Dromore Methodist Church! The event promises music, inspirational stories, humour and practical tools to help us all look forward with hope to the future. Tickets (only a fiver) can be purchased beforehand – Brighter Days Dromore. Who do you think you could bring with you, for an encouraging evening together?
As we pass the solar equinox and head into literally darker days for a few months, it’s good to lift our hearts and our heads, reminded that brighter days will come again.