A. IntroductionLast week we shone a torch back into 2011 and in doing so saw the amazing life of this Community of the Living Word.
This week I want to change my light and shine a spotlight forwards into the rest of 2012. In doing so I am keen First to restate for everyone here the Vision that we have as a community. Second I hope To present what can only be the briefest outline of the plans the eldership have developed along with others for the coming 12 months or so
And third I would like to involve you as I did last week. We will be gathering together around these tables to talk about what I have shared to prepare your questions and thoughts to feed back to us via small Groups to express what you would like to be involved with and to encourage one another.
B. Our vision for 2012
Our vision for 2012 remains as it has been for many years now –To Follow Jesus This is not some vague and wooly bit of business speak.
I love to follow the life teachings and example of my Lord
I long to develop the qualities He shows,
the character he demonstrates,
the passionate love that he has for all people and
the determination to achieve all He has in store for me and for you.
I am not talking just of a gentle Jesus meek and mild- I long for us to follow The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords
There may be battles in your life but you can be sure that if you follow King Jesus into battle you will come out victorious. This is my King
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:7-14)
We have together found a way of expressing this desire to follow Jesus In this way
We seek to be
1. A Community that Loves God, His Word and each other
2. A Community that reaches out (with the love of Jesus) to other communities
3. A Community that is empowered to demonstrate the Kingdom of God
4. A community that is resourced to serve and grow
5. And a Community that Grows
So lets shine the light further on 2012 and first see what we expect to be involved with
Spotlight on some Initiatives
I can only highlight very briefly some (not all) of the initiatives we have planned for 2012. In sharing these it is to ask you to consider how respond with faith to them.
a. That’s a great development Lord bless that work and help me see how I can invite friends or support this
b. That’s a great development but it’s not for me Lord please prosper that work and show me if I can bring anything to this
c. Lord I really want to get involved in this, but I am already so busy –guide me in how I should respond.
d. I have a real concern about this Help me Lord to express these concerns in a loving and encouraging way and help me and the leadership to hear you in all we are doing.
The Programme in the Word
We will beginning another series in the Word together looking at The First Book of Samuel. This will also be followed by the children’s ministry Team and in Family Services. Sue has prepared a set of support notes to accompany the series and this will include some suggested further reading.
We also have some plans for later in the year to look at the topic of Parables, Some Lifestyle issues, Finance, relationships etc. and a look at Paul’s letter to the Galations. We are keen to encourage you if you feel you would like to share the word in any of these areas to talk to myself or Barbara Brockbank, and we can begin to put in place ways forward for you in that.
The Foundations of our Future.
With the imminent sale of 311 Church Road we are putting together a group of people to seek God together and to use their experience to research how we might lay the foundations for a longer term future for the Church.
This may well mean the eventual purchase and development of a Church base- reaching out to the community in many possible ways. We will be keen for all of us to be able to contribute to this process.
It is clear that there are growing opportunities for women in the Church to fellowship together not least with the Girl Talk event in Cambridge. It is some while since there has been a focus on encouraging us fellas together and we will be working on a programme of fun fellowship and discipleship over the next three months.
We have a great opportunity to reach out to the community around us and invite them to Messy Church. A means of bringing the Good News of Jesus to families. We have two pilot programmes planned. One on 11 February and one on 28 April (Easter Saturday)
The leadership of the Small Groups is meeting together every couple of months to share together to be encouraged and to focus on how we can strengthen the Small Groups. Small Groups are the true engine of the Church Community and provide a focus for worship, fellowship, discipleship and outreach.
All of these elements of Small group life are important, but we will be working with Small Group Leaders to develop a programme of outreach spanning the summer months.
We have had a great mission focus on Cambodia in the weeks before Christmas and this has spured us into action to see if we can keep our eyes clearly on those who are reaching out with the good news. So we will be focusing once a month on two groups one at home here in the UK and one overseas.
Spotlight on the Calendar
Well there is all that we have seen and enjoyed and has been a strong and thriving part of 2011.
And we have produced a calendar for you to help you find your way around the Churches activities through 2012.
Some new key moments in our year will be
a. The Church Big Day Out –A National event held in Sussex Sat-Sun June 2-3
b. Awareness Sunday CTB Celebration Sunday 16 September 6.30 Wat Tyler.
But we would also like to encourage us to be involved in the wonderful times we will have at events such as
a) Girl Talk.
b) The CTB Events at Easter and Christmas.
c) The Wat Tyler events we will be planning at Easter in the Summer and at Christmas.