For most of us in the congregation, Presbytery is largely an unknown quantity. It is a court of the church immediately above Session and has a range of powers which includes insuring that we are sound in doctrine, discipline and order. Presbytery meets about six times per year. For each meeting, along with other churches, I write a pastoral report to give Presbytery insight as to what’s happening in our church.
I reproduce my October report below. You may not be aware of 1 or 2 things. So consider yourself informed which is one reason why I am giving it to you. Note especially that we are having another congregation planning day at the Hamilton’s place on 17 November.
Our church vision, “Enabling faith—Knowing the truth—Pursuing godliness” (Titus 1:1) continues to inform and drive our thinking. From the perspective of Session, we are wanting to connect with the community. Our aim is to establish a presence in the community, to move from being a largely unknown group to community recognition.
This takes time. We are thinking about events such as “coffee-in-the-carpark” which takes advantage of our wonderful view. We have established a maintenance group which is a happy to help people with handyman issues in the area. We have a Christian singer using the hall during the Music Festival in January 2020. We continue running the “Be Connected” course which trains over 50s in computer skills. There is also the possibility of starting a friendship group for lonely people in our community.
In order to consult and take the congregation with us, Session has organised a congregational planning meeting for 17 November. This is the second of these events which allows everyone to have a say in our future direction. Session has also approved the implementation of the Congregational Connect program. Our intention is to stream our Sunday service to less resourced churches and make church available to people who physically cannot attend.
From a Committee of Management perspective, the desire is to develop a facility which will complement our spiritual mission. The Committee recognises that a healthy, balanced facility will enhance growth. For example, uncomfortable seating is a problem and needs to be addressed. The kitchen is old and well overdue for upgrading. The toilets need upgrading. The front exterior of the building is peeling and needs attention.
The Committee is currently installing a gate preventing vehicular access to the car park at certain hours. We constantly have rubbish dumped in our car park. There is evidence of illegal activity on our grounds and on the adjoining street intersection. Our neighbours are very happy we are taking some action.
The Preschool is currently being reviewed by the Preschool Management Committee in consultation with Jericho Road. This review is well under way and will likely result in changes to the Constitution, staffing matters, and a re-appraisal of the relationship between church and preschool.
There is lots to pray about and we invite Presbytery to join with us in prayer.
I also invite you to pray and participate in our forward movement. It really needs to be a whole church activity. Each of us have different gifts and skills that we can use and age is no barrier. However, the most important thing is having a heart given to the Lord and his mission for his church.
We plant and we water and pray that the Lord will bring growth (1 Cor 3:7–9).