Challenge and Change
Challenge and change - we can certainly use these words to describe the last year.
2012 marks my first full year in SPACE working with a talented and dedicated team of leaders, members, churchgoers and others, ecumenically and interfaith, through a period of challenge and change.
A major part of the challenge we face in the church is the realisation that things will not stand still, they are always changing, almost nothing remains the same, things continually move. We often feel secure in the things that we have become accustomed to, and when they move we become a bit anxious. When we think of the many things that have changed over the year, the first ones that come to mind are: the church building at Highfield is up for sale, John Jenkinson retired and Sue Macbeth’s time with us came to an end.
But often out of challenge and change, other things develop and find their feet and their place, and there are some good examples across SPACE, like the introduction of Pastoral co-ordination teams to work with the ministers to help bring a sense of wellbeing, care and Christian love to the church family across SPACE. The Worship planning group has now become Worship development, and we now invite some of the most talented and gifted worship / church leaders from across the Synod to lead the quarterly sessions. A complement of Methodist lay persons and Ministers have joined our Worship Development sessions.
As individual church meetings and together as the SPACE Leadership team, we spend many hours reviewing our role in the areas we serve as a church. We looked at who we are, our mission and purpose as we sought to discern The Holy Spirit’s guidance in all that we do. I have seen how the challenges and changes have helped us to grow in developing our faith and dedication to follow where God’s Spirit leads.
I know that for many of us following wherever God’s Spirit leads is a major challenge. And I have seen that yielding to this challenge has begun to open us up as true disciples of Christ. We are now sharing more church services, and resources and working together in many more areas. We continue to work together to put things in place for mission, for worship, for collaboration and for calling a new minister. We are becoming a stronger unit. This has enabled us to begin real and meaningful discussions on our goals of sharing our faith with those we serve in ways that are relevant in their daily living. We are looking forward now to developing new ways of being Church and engaging people across the generations, and we realise that there is more work to be done.
I extend my thanks and best wishes to all of you for the work you’ve done to help us get to where we are today and may I commend the reports of the AGM to you all.
With all good wishesMark