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  • Nigel Chapman

June - Looking Back & Looking Forward

The Annual Parish Meeting (APCM) is a time to look back and reflect on the previous year, giving thanks to God for all that has happened as well as to look forward. Over the last few months we have been on a prayerful discovery of sensing what God may be calling us to be and do, post-Covid.


This process has been about working together, listening to one another and to set some priorities. This is about being continually attentive to God. Given some of our circumstances, it inevitably means change and challenge.


Looking back, I believe we have done a remarkable job. Eighteen months ago we were in a national lockdown, and the tone of the year was very challenging. Our church family has very gradually regained confidence in returning to our churches both for worship and social activities. Not that 100% are back yet! However, most have and it’s been a joy to once again come together in jubilant worship. One of the things we also often receive comments about is the warmth of welcome people receive.


There are always a lot of people to thank. Church life needs many volunteers to run effectively and efficiently. ‘The vicar does it all because they are paid’ is not just a negative attitude, it is such a misnomer, because so many people are involved in the life of the parish. So my thanks go to every volunteer, every employee and every member for making things as positive as possible, especially if you are one of those people with a ‘Can do’ attitude and approach.


Two major highlights were the re-opening of the Parish Centre @ St John’s in the Spring and the ordination of Huw as Deacon in the Summer.


It has been fantastic to be open and feel the buzz of a busy church centre that serves the community so well, and it’s been fabulous to see Huw blossom and grow in confidence. As he draws near to being priested on June 11th, we wish him well in his future ministry here in Filey, along with Kimberlee, as his training continues.


The APCM also looks at our finances and, although they got off to a rocky start in 2021, as Michael said “in one sentence – we’re doing OK”, by which he meant we were moderately in the black by the end of the year.


2022-2023


The next twelve months are going to be about consolidating and developing where we are as a church. The challenge before us is not simply in maintaining what we have, but looking to enable new growth. This means being strategic. It means listening to the people we are trying to reach (e.g. younger families) and where necessary changing and trialing different opportunities.


We can’t just keep adding to our workload so we have to be careful not to overwhelm ourselves. However, all that we do starts with an understanding who we are and what we believe God is calling us to do. In this respect I believe our vision is:


To be God's good news in Filey.

&

To be the ‘Body of Christ’ who love and serve God, filled by the Holy Spirit,

sharing God's love in word and action


So how might we do church and ministry in the coming year? What should be our priorities? It is a balancing act, we can’t do everything but here are five mission areas to consider:


Deepening our Christian Faith


Through a diverse richness and joy in worship, home / study /fellowship and prayer groups, by exploring and inspiring worship and spirituality. As we personally respond to God, to seek to build a strong and generous financial position as a parish too.


Grow the Church


Seeking to bring people to faith in Christ. Building relationships in and out of church life and using opportunities to share faith. Being invitational, inclusive and making sure everyone receives the warmest of welcomes. Building new worshipping communities. We may include running more Alpha courses, going to Chatterbox in the Coffee Shed, and do some outreach events such as a family summer BBQ.


Serving the Community


Having compassion and responding to need – eg Christians Against Poverty budgeting programme, Pastoral work, bereavement and home visiting, work among the young, schools work, using the parish centre and to partner with others where we need to (eg youth work).


Transforming Society


Campaigning. Living in Faith and Love. Supporting Christian Aid / Compassion / Children’s Society etc and responding to those in need.


Treasuring Creation


Awareness of our environmental responsibilities. Fairtrade and ECO policies. Promoting and equipping members to be more eco-friendly, developing a garden of tranquility at St John’s and perhaps wilding areas of St Oswald’s church yard.


LIFE IN ALL ITS FULNESS (NOT DULLNESS)


We can’t do any of this unless we encourage one another. The work is bigger than any one of us and we may need to step outside the box from time to time! But in all things I hope that we will become ever more a generous big-hearted church family and encourage one another in the life and witness of the church.

As Paul said:


We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. (2 Cor 8)


With Every Blessing,

Nigel


Please download the Parish Link for June :-


Parish Link June 2022
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.76MB

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