On Tuesday, everyone went to Saul Church in Down Patrick. Saul Church is reportedly the oldest ecclesiastical site in Ireland. St. Patrick built a church on the spot in the year 432. Legend has it that it was at the church where St. Patrick plucked a shamrock from the soil and explained the Holy Trinity using the three leaves.
The building currently on the site was built in 1932, because the site was conquered and destroyed a few different times. But we were able to see one of the walls that was still standing from an abbey built on the site in the 14th century. There was also a cemetery on the site with some extra-dead bodies (dead for many hundreds of years).
The current day church was very beautiful, with the sun shining through the stained glass windows, and a large organ in the back of the building. Billy Stevenson taught us some about the history of the church, and then we had a time of singing with Matt Herndon leading us. It was really cool to occupy an hour of a long tradition of church history in Ireland. People have been worshipping at that site for over 1500 years. This experience contributed to an eye opening experience for me; firsthand I saw that the Church, the body of Christ, is much bigger than my experience; it is an international and cross-cultural body of believers in the same Trinitarian God. Pretty cool. (Alex Young)