We have arrived at the beginning of a new year at St. Matthew’s church! Changes are afoot and for this article I’ve been reflecting on the year that’s gone by and the year to come.
2017 has been a year of interregnum. Has this meant that we have been stretched at times? Certainly. Have we seen God answer prayer and do ‘a new thing’ in our midst? Yes, I should say so!
Highlights for me have been the fresh prayer initiatives, and new projects such as the stage, memorial garden and spiritual trail getting underway. We also had an amazing baptism service with the new baptistry. And not least the community Christmas dinner and seeing the wonderful generosity of the local community in response. Hopefully we touched many of the 700+ who attended our Christmas services. Personally I have loved seeing new faces at our Sunday services and lay people called to new roles (like ministry of communion)
Of course, it’s impossible to mention here all the ways we reach out to others throughout the year or to thank people who have kept all our activities and teaching going. I hope this can be done at our APCM.
Our overarching vision at St. Matthew’s is ‘being and making disciples’. Last year’s verse was taken from Matthew 5:1-2, ‘The disciples came to Him and He began to teach them’. What have we been challenged to let Jesus teach us in 2017? Our new verse for 2018 continues on this theme; as Sara-Jane describes.
So on to 2018. It’s bound to be a year of great change for us and, I hope, great excitement. We will welcome our new Priest-in-Charge. We very much hope that the impetus at our church can be kept going. But what should we be doing in the months ahead?
Well, prayer is essential. As Charles asked earlier last year: ‘Will our new priest find a praying community?’. There are practical matters to pray for . And then there’s the small task of our priest adjusting to us lot! I hope you can attend the upcoming prayer and picnic events after Sunday services – it makes such a difference that as many as possible are able to come.
That’s all from me except to say Happy New Year! Let’s continue to keep Jesus at the centre as we face new changes and challenges ahead.
Verse for the year
‘those who believe in me will do what I do—yes, they will do even greater things’ (John 14:12)
When I look at this verse, I shudder a little. Will I really do what Jesus did? How will I ever do anything greater than Jesus did? It seems impossible that we can ever reach the achievements of
Jesus Christ in our life here on earth, for a start we are not
perfect, and we are certainly not God! BUT Jesus said it, so it must be true.
2018 is a big year for St Matthew’s, we have a new Priest coming and with him will come a new vision for this church,
Are you prepared to step out in faith
with someone you don’t yet know and trust,
to follow God’s plan for you here in Worthing and the world?
It is okay to feel apprehensive about this, God understands our fears. The Bible tells us over 80 times ” do not be afraid”. The Bible also says that God has a plan for our lives, to prosper us and give us hope (Jer 29:11). I firmly believe that in 2018 St Matthew’s will experience a new blessing from God in discipleship, mission and worship – and as a parting gift, I am going to help you, as best I can, to prepare for this.
From January 7 we will have a 6-week sermon series on our ‘verse for the year’; exploring what ‘doing greater things than these’ means. If you can’t make it to church each Sunday then you can listen to the sermons again on the website.
Then on Sunday 18th February all are invited to begin a 6-week Lent Course, 5pm, Sundays in the church. House Groups have been invited to attend this course in place of their normal
meetings through Lent.
In completing the course you’ll discover:
- Your God-given Spiritual Gifts indicate what you’re equipped to do competently
- Your God-given Personal Style indicates how you can serve with energy and authenticity
- Your God-given Ministry Passion indicates where you’re
motivated to serve
And with these three key indicators, you will be better equipped to work our your faith and discipleship, in the right role at St Matthew’s.
Session 1—Imagine a Church…
Session 2—The Purpose of Gifts
Session 3—The Discovery of Gifts
Session 4—The Power of Love — The Value of Personality
Session 5—The Influence of Passion
Session 6—The Promise of Ministry
Come on! Let’s get together and spend a few weeks preparing for the coming months and years here at St Matthew’s. Jesus has big plans for us, let’s get into training! With Bible study, prayer and learning we can build up spiritual strength and resilience … “those who believe in me will do what I do—yes, they will do even greater things”