This month’s PCC meeting was a really varied and productive session. We opened our meeting with some time spent praying and reviewing some passages from the Bible about love, and listening to the Rend Collective song, 'You bled'. If you haven’t listened to this song before, I’d really recommend you sit back and really listen to the words of this song.
Our first agenda item was regarding the School of Worship. Chris Taylor who’s been helping to lead this initiative came along to give us an update on how things are progressing, how the money has been spent, and 2018 plans. This is a longer term investment but we are already seeing fruits from it with some new members joining worship groups, existing groups benefiting from jam sessions, rehearsals and coaching from experts, and also seeing people growing spiritually too. Chris has gone away to draw up more specific plans/budgets for 2018, but we were all really encouraged!
We also spent some time reviewing the outcomes of the new service patterns questionnaire. Thanks to those of you that filled this in. The majority of you would like the new service pattern to remain and there was some encouraging feedback about mingling between services, more attendees for the 9am service and being less time consuming for catering volunteers. The biggest impact from the change has been on the musicians and sound tech guys, and there is some further work we need to do to make things easier for them. There were a number of recommendations made, so we will be spending some further time discussing these and putting together some actions. [Editor's note: if you want to know more, read the summary we're produced.]
Pete Craggs gave us an update on a communications review that has been undertaken by a small working group over the last few months. This looked at all the ways we communicate as a church. He briefly ran through some short term and long term recommendations. These are being put together in a report and will be shared soon.
Finally, Chris Lockwood gave us a buildings update. As a result, we have agreed to:
That’s all for now!
Which are you more likely to say: “Dear God, my problem is bigger than me” or “Dear Problem, my God is bigger than you” ?
It’s so easy for our picture of God to diminish – especially when faced with the challenges of life.
Starting this Sunday, we’re looking at the book of Isaiah – which presents a portrait of the immensity of God. So prepare for your mind and heart to be enlarged and encouraged and stirred to worship the awesomeness of God. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth …” (Isaiah 40.28).
Now, not many of us feel confident when delving into the Old Testament - and Isaiah was written 700 years before Jesus’ birth. Yet there's so much great stuff in Isaiah - including incredible prophecies about Jesus that help us understand who he is and why he came - that it's worth making an effort to get to grips with Isaiah.
So if you want to get up to speed, The Bible Project have some excellent resources, including this video:
We've all got some ideas on why churches exist, and why our church in particular exists where it does. In this video, Jacqui and Pete (our leadership wardens), explain why we've adopted a new purpose statement as a church ...
So at each of our meetings we always open with God's word and some prayer time. We heard a passage from Isaiah 26:1-9 which is all about trust and spent some time praying about the things we find it difficult to trust God for. What about you? Have you ever thought about this? Trust is such a big thing.....do we truly open our hearts and let God lead the way in our lives?
We then spent our time together on one agenda item - our church purpose statement. This basically helps to describe why we are here and helps to guide our mission focus. We wanted something that was relatively short and memorable for all of you! We started with 5 options and then we spent some time reflecting on a few chosen bible passages that related to this.
We then moved on to voting and having a really good and in depth debate. We whittled it down to 2 options, and then we found ourselves making up a new one which combined the best bits of both. This final option was unanimously liked by the PCC and we are looking forward to sharing this decision with you over the coming weeks at the following meetings:
> Leaders meeting - 24 September - at church - 7.30pm
> Discerning our mission priorities - 18 October - at church - 7.30pm
We'd love to see you there and hear your thoughts!
Till next time.
Jesus did some of his most significant ministry at meal tables.
It's at the meal table that we share stories, debate together, laugh and cry with each other, see how each other are doing. It's over a drink that friendships and deepened and trust grows.
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost - and so he shared meals with the lost and lonely, the last and the least. It was his way of drawing alongside people.
On Sunday, Dan preached about Eating like Jesus. That is, to use our mealtimes to intentionally share life and faith with others. Most of us have 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. 21 opportunities to be with others - in the canteen at work, in the cafe or pub with friends, around the kitchen table with neighbours.
And he laid down a particular challenge to share a meal with friends this Harvest time, whilst raising funds for our Harvest projects. The idea is simple:
If you want to know more about the charities we're supporting this harvest time, click here.
So ... team up with someone if you want; pray about who to invite; arrange a date ... and get inviting!
This Autumn marks 500 years since The Reformation started – an upheaval that had a profound effect on church and society throughout Europe and beyond. Ultimately, it's helped shape who we are - as Christians, as a Church of England, and as a country.
Curious to know more?
Here's some suggestions:
In March 2017, we embarked on a change to our pattern of morning services. We said we would review it after 6 months – which is this September. Please take a few moments to let us know what you think. These will be fed to the PCC as part of our review.
We would like everyone to fill in this questionnaire.
In addition, if you are involved in helping at either morning service (eg welcoming, prayer ministry, children's groups, AV team, refreshments, bands, preaching, leading services, serving communion), please fill in this additional questionnaire.
Do you know someone looking for a gap year working with a church?
We could offer a disciple-making training course (Formation School) and experience in a variety of ministries (to suit the applicant).
We’re a church which is active in our local community (which is a mix of middle-class and housing estate).
Our staff team of 7 have been joined by a gap-year colleague for the last few years, and we’d love another one!
We would offer accommodation with a host and some pocket money.
Do get in contact with Theresa for more information.
Helen Bathard, PCC member, writes ...
A rather belated update due to me sunning myself in Majorca…
In our meeting on 12 July, we heard a further three testimonies from PCC members. It’s great hearing the stories of how people came to faith, and what’s really encouraging is the breadth and range of peoples experiences and upbringings, and the openness in which people have shared. We’d really encourage you to do this within your cell groups if you haven’t already done so, it really helps to deepen your relationships.
The majority of the meeting was taken up with everyone’s favourite subject…..finances. What stood out for me, is that giving is not just about money, and it’s not just about the financial needs of the church, it’s as much about the generosity of people’s time. And it’s also very important to know that financial giving really enables all the wonderful things that happen at the church. If you were at the annual church celebration, you will have seen the video clip of all the great things that the church has done in the last year, both in and out of church. None of that would have been possible without people’s generosity of time and money. So thank you all! If you’ve been inspired and there’s anything you’d like to get involved with, chat to Dan or any member of the PCC.
We had a visit from Gordon Randall from Winchester Diocese, and he talked us through ‘Giving for Life’, and the top 8 things that churches should focus on regarding finances. We did an interesting survey on this, and there will be some things we as a PCC will take into consideration and share with you at a later date.
We spent a bit of time looking further into the purpose statement, and we drilled it down to four, although Nigel then threw in a later entry(“serve society, build community, share Jesus”). If any of you have any great ideas for a purposes statement, please do feel free to send them in!
Final update on the buildings work….the Bat survey has now started, and there is no news as yet on the archaeological dig.
Bye for now!