Happy New Year!
I wonder how your new year has begun? For many it’s a time of connecting more with family and friends and a time for some rest and holidays. Here at St Philips we aim for it to be an intentional time of abiding. As part of that, around twenty of us have taken the opportunity to reflect together on 2019 and what God might be inviting us into in 2020 using a process called Hello Goodbye. If you weren’t able to attend one of those sessions and would like the resource we used, let me know.
It’s been a different January for me. As someone who has been involved in Scripture Union for most of my adult life, often on staff in roles overseeing programs, January has generally been a busy and exhausting month. Since being on staff at St Philips I’ve directed a beach mission in Augusta which a number of our congregation have been involved in. In early 2019, I felt very strongly that God was saying to not be involved with the Augusta Beach Mission this summer. I could see the wisdom in it but it was also a difficult choice given that I understand the importance of the longevity of relational connections in such mission situations and I have also valued the relationships that are formed on the team as we have engaged in mission together. Ultimately I know that God’s ways are best and so I did follow what I felt he was saying, though not without a bit of wrestling. I also know that stepping into that kind of mission, if it’s not where God is leading would be rather fruitless and hard work anyway! And I have no doubt that it’s been a good decision. The opportunity for a slower time and time to set up the year has been incredibly valuable. I wonder what God might be leading you to lay down as we begin 2020.
Speaking of Scripture Union programs, it’s been great to have ten of our young people on SU camps over these weeks and I’m looking forward to hearing about how God’s been at work in their lives, the adventures they’ve had and friendships they’ve made. Please keep praying for them as they head home from camp.
One of the things I’ve been working on as we set up our year for ministry at St Philips is new material for our Sunday morning children and youth times. From the beginning of February, we will be using The Gospel Project material on Sunday mornings for our kids and youth. It’s an excellent and very thorough resource that teaches through the whole Bible systematically and points to Jesus through it all. As well, I’ve been working on the process for introducing new forms required by the Diocese for people in leadership roles in Anglican churches. So over the coming weeks, everyone in leadership within St Philips will be asked to complete these forms. Stay tuned for more information around that or come and ask me about it!