Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We hope that the summer has provided you with the opportunity to have physical, emotional and spiritual rest. Having said that, we are in a season of change and some degree of uncertainty. Now, more than ever, as a church family we need to keep our eyes focussed on Christ and the rest that is found in Him. Let us find both immediate and everlasting comfort in Jesus’ words, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Later in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus points us to our Father in Heaven as the everlasting God; “Have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?” (Matthew 22:31b-32a). This reminder that the God of the Old Testament is the same God we worship today means that we can look to every promise made throughout scripture as one that we know will be fulfilled. Therefore, what an encouragement these words found in Isaiah are; “In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord for ever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal” (Isaiah 26:1-4). Heaven’s glory as the enduring city awaits those who trust steadfastly in the Lord Jesus; may we never forget the eternal rest that awaits us.
With all this in perspective, when we consider our plans for the future, it is our solemn aim that we remain focussed on fulfilling the role given to the church – to be witnesses of Christ to the ends of the earth (from Acts 1). This way, more people will come to know Him, put their trust in Him as their Lord and Saviour, and find rest for their souls. The way we do this could take many shapes and forms, but we remain committed to a faithful word ministry that both reaches and builds up those whom God has placed around us. In an ever-changing culture, it is vital that the church keeps delivering the same unchanging gospel message in a way that permeates the society we live in. The consultation questionnaire has provided you all with the opportunity to share any feedback on what has been proposed as a way forward for us; thank you for your considered responses.
We hope you have felt a part of the planning so far; but don’t worry, your involvement won’t stop there! We will be keeping lines of communication open as we update you again in October with how your feedback has been considered by the PCC, and how that has affected our planning for 2018. In the meantime, please do continue to ask questions you may have.
With love, in Christ.
Dave & Ray (Churchwardens)