Grow – Share – Love (our mission motto)
GROWING (by devotion to God’s word)
In 2019 in church, we’re studying the Matthew’s Gospel and allowing Jesus radical teaching there to challenge and shape us afresh. In Term 2 we’ll be pursuing Joy in Christ in Philippians and then tackle some of the Big Issues facing our society. In the second half of the year we’ll explore 1 Peter and Psalms, and again seek the Bible’s teaching on some current issues. All the research tells us that LIFE groups are a vital mark of a healthy and growing church. I’m delighted that over 65% of our members are committed to being part of the 28 groups (we have planted 2 new groups for young people this year). We owe a debt of thanks to those who host and lead these and provide pastoral care on a week by week basis.
Attendance in 2018 on average (excluding Easter and Christmas) was: 7.45am = 35.3 9.30am = 100.6 Arvo = 25.9 6pm 51.8 Tuesday = 13.2. Numerically our church membership plateaued over 2016-17 at an average of 219 weekly. Thankfully this was up in 2018 to 226.8, a 3.6% increase. What has been heart-warming is to see how many new members have joined us over the past 3 years with an increasing number who are not from an Anglo-Celtic background. The Shire is changing its cultural mix and I believe we should be at the front of those who welcome those from “every tribe, nation and tongue”.
How blessed we are to have the wonderful staff team we do. Last year Olivia Robson completed her training and study, so we rejoiced at her ordination in February. Craig Stalder who already holds a B.Th from Sydney missionary & Bible College continues his Masters degree at Moore College, as well as completing his Diocesan ordination training. God willing, he will be ordained in February 2020. Matthew Steele-Smith completed his B.Th and we are delighted he’s secured a school chaplaincy at St Paul’s Grammar School and Charlotte Thacker trained in 2018 with the Youthworks Year 13 program. We have sought to employ a student minister in 2019, but has yet have been unsuccessful. This year we have increased Kim Cooper’s employment by an extra 5 hours per week. Our Parish Council has a vision for “training locally – sending globally” and set a goal of training and sending 10 people into ministry by 2020. Currently former members Gavin Cooper and Evan Moses are training at Moore. Please keep praying that God would raise up men and women from among us to train and go into the world. Matthew 9:35-38 is the second Lord’s Prayer, and strongly expresses the mission heart of our Lord Jesus. (this is an extract from my report to APM the full text of which is available from our office.
Issues Arising from our APM to be raised at our Re-envisioning Day – 4th May
In my report to our APM I raised 4 important issues or challenges I believe we face as a church. You can read my report to gather the details but here they are in brief summary. Adult evangelism is less prominent and harder for us. Can we reach our goal of paying out the mortgage debt by Dec 2020? Dwindling 745am church and access to church and care for our aging members. Spreading our small children and family ministry over two congregations making it harder for young families to connect with each other. My hope is that we can get our members feedback prior to 4th May and tackle these on the Re-envisioning morning.
Your brother and pastor, Graham Crew