We've all been moved by the plight of Indian hospitals struggling to cope with the current covid wave. Paul explains how we can help ...
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Dear Church Family,
It’s great to be back sharing with you what has happened since the last PCC meeting and the APCM on the 26th April as well a little of the life of the PCC and the people in It.
The PCC began with reflecting on some of God’s word and for His help as we discussed and made decisions on the way forward for our church. God has been extremely faithful during this pandemic and we continue to be grateful for his spiritual and financial provision. Our prayers were focussed on the changes that need to happen and that God would direct our hearts and minds to His will for each item.
We began the discussions around the future of our Youth, Children and Families ministry. It had been recommended that we advertised for a full-time children’s team leader, this would be in addition to our current youth team leader and together they would lead the Youth, Children and Families ministry. This will have significant financial and ministerial implications so please pray that the right person for this post will be found. Please also pray about your response to Dan’s request to consider increasing your giving to help fund this post and that our church family can see this as a worth while investment in the future of our young people.
Our buildings’ projects have stepped forward and 5 sketches are available to look at. We’d love to hear your feedback. The plans and a feedback form are on our website.
Our external missions’ partnerships were explored, it was agreed to add Myanmar and CPAS to the missions we already support and the PCC agreed an additional £2k to be given in 2021.
Another focus was how we continue to nurture our digital engagement online, Dan, our vicar proposed a new Digital Communications Worker, working 5 hours a week.
Whilst this sounds like a lot of hard work, at the APCM we were blessed with more people willing to join and now have a full team on the PCC, Thank you God for these people and the gifts they are going to bring to the group.
The meetings can be tough sometimes but we have to adapt to face these challenges. We may suffer but it is for the glory of God and His holy church that we battle on in prayer and fellowship.
Nothing worth having is ever easy!
“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
We published a long list of suggested resources when we started this occasional series in February 2021. Here are a few recent updates ...
BBC Panorama: Is the Church of England racist?
Church of England official report: From lament to action
Guardian report on the CofE report, highlighting some of the key recommendations made in it.
A personal blog post by a Church of England curate from an ethnic minority background.
How should the church respond to race? A very thoughtful article (quite long) reflecting critically on the recent Panorama programme and C of E report. The end of it helpfully highlights different approaches the church could take.
There's a fantastic opportunity to welcome Hong Kong residents to Southampton at the moment. Watch the video to find out more ...
You can visit "Hong Kong Ready Churches" here. Or contact Paul via our church office if you're interested in joining the whatsapp group or helping with a conversation class.
Previous talks from this sermon series:
Dear Church Family. As we head out of lockdown and with the next PCC meeting on Monday 19th April, I would like to bring you up to date with what we have been doing at the meetings and how you can pray for us in the coming months.
It’s been a very tough few months for us all and we have been striving to still be present as PCC members and make sure that the pandemic doesn’t prevent us from leading the church as it seeks to grow physically and spiritually but also to be able to adapt to the changing ways in which we do church, lead church and serve the church.
We always begin each meeting with prayer and refocusing on God, bringing him back to the centre and making sure he is there throughout. He is our strength, our tower and our refuge.
Let us dive into what has been happening:
We had ordinand John Attenborough with us until Easter on placement and we wish him well as his ordination approaches and for his future ministry.
The amount that has been given to us financially over the last year has remained constant. The PCC agreed to tithe our surplus and £1,350 was given each to Winchester Diocese as they have been hit hard by the pandemic and to Enable Busoga to put towards a carbon offsetting project. The PCC is also considering proposals about how our family and youth mission will develop in the future. God has really blessed us in a time of uncertainty, He continues to sustain our church, please pray for this to continue.
We continue to be very passionate about the safety of our Church Family, visitors and users of our church buildings; The building projects, maintenance and safeguarding being hot topics are still valuable in our future as a congregation and to encourage people safely back into our church buildings.
Climate change is never far from our hearts and minds; it was agreed to Celebrate Climate Sunday before 5th September 2021 and provide some teaching on the important role God has given us as stewards of His Creation, our roles in the environment and how we care for our brothers and sisters in parts of the world that are more effected by climate change than others.
We have sadly had to say goodbye to Simon, our church warden and Jayne and Sheree, PCC members, who are all stepping down. We are grateful for their service and pray for them as they discover what this new year will mean for them. If you feel called to serve the church by serving on the PCC or you know someone who might have the right gifts, please get in touch with Dan or the church office.
We have started having a congregation back in Church on some Sundays, please pray for our health and hygiene team as they try to understand what needs to be put in place and for the different teams as they facilitate the services, whether they’re in church or live-streamed..
I really hope you have managed to stay connected in come way to church, to your cell if you have one and the people you are close to normally in church even if these past 12 months haven’t neem “Normal” but as we embrace the new normal may the Lord lift you up, hold you steadfast in His Love and sustain you in the coming months.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain” Corinthians 15:58
Initiatives by CMS-Africa Local Partners to alleviate the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on communities.
Background to the Local Partners
CMS-Africa has 17 Local Partners drawn from 8 African countries. They comprise 14 men and 3 women: two of them are a married couple. These beloved servants of God are indigenous, high-impact mission champions who are developing leaders, making disciples for Christ and engaged in efforts to holistically transform local communities. The tenure of a Local Partner is three years, with the possibility of renewing it once.
When the covid-19 crisis landed on the continent and began to be felt in every sector of society, vulnerable populations would of course be hardest hit. The Local Pastors approached CMS-Africa for whatever support could be garnered to help the most needy families. As friends and partners, staff and other stakeholders responded to the appeal, these funds were directed to the LPs.
We remain indebted in the enduring debt of love to you, brethren of St. James Church by the Park. We thank God for the opportunity to collaborate for the sake of expanding the Kingdom of God by doing the works of Christ.
Click here to read their stories, showing how they have responded to crises that occur in their local context.