We had loads of fun together with our local community – kids and grown-ups – during the half term holidays last week!
We have been on an interesting journey together as a church family over the last twelve months. It has involved some changes, as journeys always do. It has involved leaving the familiar and exploring the new. It has involved letting go of certain things and being prepared to embrace new things. But of course, this is how it is meant to be. The Christian life is a journey, a pilgrimage that began when you first put your trust in Jesus and decided to follow him and there are even more changes ahead for all of us, individually and together.
Dear all at Community Church,
I work with a lot of elderly people, and this time of year reminds them how lonely they actually are. This is the story of a lady that I met recently.....
It is important to obey God despite feeling inadequate. On the aeroplane to Manila we wondered “what on earth are we doing?” but deep down we felt a commissioning to bring life, song and the Holy Spirit to the Philippines.
The team served the community in many different ways – from puppet shows, children’s stories and art & grammar lessons to youth meetings, church gatherings, serving at the regional pastors’ meal, giving testimonies and encouraging the youth. The minute we met with the church it was like being home – we felt one with them at heart.
At the beginning of the year I felt God say to me that he wanted us to really know the Father's heart and to become a Father's house. I knew what the first meant (though I realised that I and we needed to know more of the heart of our heavenly dad) but I wasn't clear to begin with about the second. What does it means to be a father's house?
My heart has always been to work amongst Third World Nations and to see people saved. Part of this is a desire to take youth to these countries to give them an experience of life there and to see God at work. I am extremely excited to be taking some of our youth and leaders to the Philippines this summer. We are going to visit House of Grace Community Church 25 minutes from the capital, Manila and they are excited about us coming.
The fresh breezes of God’s Spirit that we felt stirring over the course of 2011 have become distinct winds of change as we begin 2012. The stormy winds that we experienced in the natural realm at the beginning of this year (and which God spoke to Scott Walker about months ago) are a picture of some radical changes that God is making in the spiritual realm among us.
Over the past few years, God has spoken to the church clearly about being on the streets and taking action to advance the Kingdom of God by showing his love to people. Prophetic word also came through a church member last year that “service is the platform for the gospel”. The event we ran on December 10th 2011, Christmas on the Streets, was a fantastic example of this. We wrapped people’s presents to a professional standard, provided them with free hot Christmas drinks and festive biscuits and entertained their children with crafts and activities.
At times it is good to pause, step back, and to recall and reaffirm what we are called to as a local church. And then advance with a renewed sense of vision and determination. We affirm therefore that our overall mission is to build a church that is fit for the presence of God and that is furthering the purpose of God. Because God’s purpose is to fill this world with his presence and glory, we commit ourselves to the key aims of building up the church and reaching out to the world.