My Dear Brothers & Sisters:
Our Annual Congregational Meetings begin on January 22, 2023, at St. John and St. Martin and on January 29 at the Transfiguration. It is important that we approach these meetings in a spirit of hopefulness and not in a spirit of despair, for our God is supremely a God of mercy and a God of Grace.
This timeless truth is beautifully expressed in an old hymn written by Annie J. Flint:
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labours increase.
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men.
For out of his infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
Let us be confident that by God’s grace, which we cannot earn and which we certainly do not merit, the pattern of decline in income and decline in numbers will be turned around this year. Our task, in keeping with the teaching of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian Church is to “Be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because we know that in the Lord our labour will not be in vain.”
Let us look at some of the ministries that we can commit ourselves to:
Community Building – we must aim at becoming a more loving church. This love must be seen in our families, our fellowship groups, must be shared with the whole congregation, must embrace the Deanery and the surrounding communities..
Renewing and developing our Prayer Ministry – enhancing the prayer life of our members of every stage and age through teaching and practice.
Strengthening Stewardship – understanding the necessity of making a covenant with God regarding our financial contributions and also covenants about the use of our time and skills in the service of the Kingdom of God.
Restoring communication either by phone calls or physical visits to our sick and shut-in members as the primary mode of mission and evangelism.
Let us rejoice in the fact that we are God’s beloved children upon whom God’s favour rests and prepare ourselves to receive his abundant blessings in the year before us.