There is general consensus that there are 3 key ways of measuring a church’s commitment to growing individually and as a community and they are: our willingness to be discipled (by joining a weekly fellowship group), our willingness to serve the larger body in a practical way, and our willingness to give (financially). Although, I am wary of simply following a ‘method’, there is wisdom in this, as well as it being innately measurable! Over the past month, we have rightly focussed on our common life together in terms of fellowship and spending time together and it has been a delight to hear stories of new connections being made as well as old ones strengthened. It is our intention to revisit ‘connect groups’ at various times during the year in order to continue this strengthening, as well as becoming more intimate and intentional with our discipleship.
The second area is one of serving practically and there are a number of opportunities that have arisen this year due to faithful servants stepping down from key roles, as well as new initiatives beginning. For example, Derrick will be stepping down as treasurer at out APCM after close to 15 years in the role! There will be 3 spaces to fill on the PCC following our annual meeting on 8th May, including one position as a church warden, and we hope to revamp the welcome team and would love to invite anyone interesting in being part of a this to let Sarah or I know. There are also significant opportunities to get involved in the coordination of the children and youth programme.
The final area, as always, is a more sensitive one as it involves money! I must say how impressed I am at the outset in the significant proportion of church members who already give financially through standing orders and through tithing. It is regular giving like this that enables us to plan ahead both in terms of buildings and maintenance as well as in mission and evangelism. To this end, there are a couple of significant areas that we would like to invest in over the coming months and years. The first is to move ahead with a phased replacement of the church windows – a significant project with significant costs in excess of £200,000. The other is to investigate the possibility of an additional member of staff to develop our young people’s ministry. More detail on these as well as other plans will be outlined in the APCM on 8th May but in the meantime we would ask that you prayerfully consider your giving to St John’s both in terms of time and finances in order for us to continue to grow.
Finally, as we approach Holy week, there are a number of key services to be aware of: Next Sunday is Palm Sunday and we will have our usual two services at 8:30am and 10:30am. On Good Friday we will gather for Communion at 9am, followed by coffee and hot cross buns in the hall, before relocating to the bandstand in central Horsham for the HCT service at 11:15am. On Easter Sunday, we will again celebrate with two services both with communion.
Looking forward to sharing a wonderful Easter season with you all!