September 2008

More of the Same or a New Beginning?

This is the first opportunity for me to thank you in writing for the vote of confidence in me at the special church meeting in June. I am both overwhelmed and humbled by your support for me to continue to be your minister.

Some change is inevitable as Birgit is pulling back from most of her involvement. Though she continues to be in the background and will continue to lead such things as the monthly Taizé service.

As we continue together for what will be my tenth year of ministry here in Rayleigh, will it be more of the same or is this a new beginning? I would hope that this is a bit of both.

I am still me, but I hope with your support to continue to grow in my faith and experience of God. I trust that in continuing to lead this congregation, much of what we have accomplished in partnership with each other and with God will continue. But I also trust that a new chapter is opening as well.

Some things are developing have little to do directly with my ministry. The parenting courses are a good example of that. Can I ask your continued prayer for the young mums who continue to meet from the past courses and the new group that will start in October.

But other things – especially such things as Sunday Worship - fall directly in my lap. I will be ‘on’ up to three times a Sunday as well as other times. It will definitely be a change in pace for me and I also ask your support and prayer. Worship is the central act of our church and it will need to develop to meet the needs of this generation as well as being pleasing to our God.

Another area that is developing is ‘face to face faith groups’. Our house groups have been exploring and discussing and praying together for some years now. In the next while we will be looking at shared programme of discussion under the heading of Vision4Life. I trust that this will give a new depth to our faith as experienced in both House Groups and in the Church as a whole.

Over all, together we need to seek God guidance in every area of our churches life. In 2010 we will celebrate 100 years of witness to the people of Rayleigh. I trust that this congregation will be ‘fit for purpose’ not only in 2010 but looking to the next 100 years of worship and witness as well.


With many denominations in decline the question has been asked ‘How can we become a vibrant and sustainable Christian community’. And the answer? – by getting back to basics and rediscover the cores of our faith. Hence Vision4Life, the new themed emphasis from the URC. Vision4Life is discussion based and will cover 3 years. The first year – Transformed by the Bible – in 2009, Transformed through Prayer in 2010 and Talking about our Faith in 2011.

Taster sessions will be happening over the next few months. Initially on Sunday 14th Sept 11:30 -12:30 – with a general introduction and starting on the topic first topic, Transformed by the Bible. This is completed in the subsequent week by the 2nd session at our 3 House Groups on their night & once by David in worship area. Thereafter meeting and discussing fortnightly. You are more than welcome to attend any of these groups.

Introduction and Transformed by the Bible - Session 1

 - Sunday 14th Sept at 11:30 in the Church

Transformed by the Bible – Session 2

- Monday 15th Sept 8pm in the Church.
- Wednesday 17th Sept 7pm at Downhall Rd.
- Thursday 18th Sept 1pm at Kingfisher Cres.
- Friday 19th Sept 7:30pm at Warwick Green.

Transformed through Prayer – Session 1

- Monday 29th Sept 8pm in the Church.
- Wednesday 1st Oct 7pm at Downhall Rd.
- Thursday 2nd Oct 1pm at Kingfisher Cres.
- Friday 3rd Oct 7:30pm at Warwick Green.

Transformed through Prayer – Session 2

- Monday 13thOct 8pm in the Church.
- Wednesday 15th Oct 7pm at Downhall Rd.
- Thursday 16th Oct 1pm at Kingfisher Cres.
- Friday 17th Oct 7:30pm at Warwick Green.

Can I encourage you to participate in these taster sessions. We all need to rediscover the basics of our faith – so we can move on to discover what God wants for each us in new areas of our lives.


September 2008