As we look back on 2018, I am aware of many big changes that have occurred in people’s lives. We have also seen a number of big changes that have affected our church life. These changes may make some of us question our faith in God or they may draw us closer to God in trusting him for our future. During the year I have encouraged us with this motto ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get praying!’
As we enter a New Year I am certain that God has plans for your life and the lives of those close to you, and these plans are good. In the book of Jeremiah, God proclaims a message to the Jews in exile which is just as relevant for you and me today.
“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the LORD. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29: 11
New initiatives within St Saviour’s
During 2018 Phil and Angela Smith, our new Worship Co-ordinators stepped out in faith, with Phil reducing his hours in secular employment to develop his ministry through worship at St Saviour’s. During the year ahead this will lead to new opportunities to involve more people in using their musical gifts within the church. Linked to this we are trying to increase our opportunities for church members praying together by introducing a lunchtime ‘Prayer and Praise’ event. Further details in the New Year.
We are so grateful that people responded to our sermon series on ‘Generosity’ by being extravagantly generous, with around £28,000 in one-off gifts during our gift month. During 2019 we are hopeful that promises and new giving via the Parish Giving Scheme will enable us to plan our outreach work within the community more effectively. Moreover, we are in the process of reviewing our work in all areas of the church, including our ministry amongst children and young people, mission and outreach strategy, and community involvement.
May I encourage us all to be praying as to how we can get involved in God’s work through St Saviour’s in the year ahead. God bless.
Andy McPherson, vicar