As I write, we’re just beginning our new series on the Lord’s prayer which is as familiar as it is powerful if we really mean it.
The Lord’s prayer speaks of the glory and sovereignty of the living God, who at the same time, by grace, choses to be our loving Father and invites us both to submit to and to become agents of his perfect will. A “Lord’s Prayer People” live transformed lives and start to transform the lives of those around them.
I’ve seen our church growing and deepening like this in many wonderful ways recently and I’m not able to put into words just how moving some of our worship experiences and studies have been this year. As a staff and vestry team, we believe that the Holy Spirit is doing something new to soften hearts and open people up to a real or deeper walk with God in this season.
It’s a huge privilege to work here at such a fruitful time and these are some of the things that we think are coming up next.
After Pentecost, our Summer series will focus on the miracles of Jesus and how they revealed his identity and power over creation, sickness, sin and even death.
The beauty of a Summer series is that (unlike say Daniel or Turning Point, where one idea took weeks to develop) you can dip in and out of as many Summer sermons as you can, without worrying about missing a key point.
That said, if you’ve not yet checked it out, I do commend to you our various online sermon options (through the website & podcast available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Stitcher and Alexa). This is now comfortably our second largest congregation and is a great way to stay connected in the Spirit when you have to be absent from the body (an idea from Colossians 2:5).
This July, we’ll also be welcoming our new curate, Ben, his wife Stephanie, and their two boys Samuel and Christopher. Curate is an old prayer book title for any minister in holy orders but today, usually refers to someone in their first parish job. Although this will be Ben’s first role as a fulltime ordained minster, he does have a lot of experience in campus ministry and we were impressed by his ability to communicate his love of Jesus with a clear passion. I’m really pleased that we’re in a position to bring someone new onto the team for a few years and I’m looking forward to their life among us as a family.
As we move into the Fall and look ahead perhaps a few years, the Vestry remains of the view that we need to do something about our buildings so that there is sufficient space for worship, and teaching of adults, children and youth. Ideally, every part of the building would be accessible to those with mobility difficulties and in a good enough state of repair to avoid some of the large and surprising bills that churches sometimes get from deferred maintenance.
Having resolved some issues of uncertainty over the ownership of the property, we’re now in a position to think more strategically about the future. Whether the church wishes to repair, renovate or build and how to meet the Lord’s command to welcome people in alongside His command to go out and witness, will be something that we all need to discern together through prayer.