PCC Jottings

As promised at the Annual Parish meeting, we are reviving PCC Jottings to keep people informed about what has been discussed at PCC meetings.  The three major subjects discussed at the latest PCC meeting make this a particularly appropriate time to do this.

1)  We began the conversations about what shape a new leadership / ministry team might take, and what it might do.  We plan to have an away day on July 15th to explore this further, with the aim that the new structure will be in place by early 2018.

2) We have been discussing staffing for some months.  With the recent departures of the Grices and Kirbys, the team of licensed ministers is becoming increasingly stretched.  Diocesan policy is that parishes have a year’s break between curates.  The parish is being actively considered for a curate, however the earliest that a curate might join us is mid-2018.

Through our Parish Share payments to the diocese we are currently paying for a half time ordained minister that is not in post.  It is possible to have a grant from the Diocese, the equivalent of what it would cost to support a half time ordained post, top it up with some funding from the parish, and employ a full-time lay worker.

Having considered these things, and our desire to be “Sent to be Closer to Others” the PCC are planning to advertise for a Parish Mission Enabler.  This purpose of this role would be:

  • To build the capacity for evangelism and disciple making within the congregations of All Saints and St Catherine’s
  • To share the gospel and make disciples in the communities of Wellington and Eyton
  • To reach out to those on the edges of society

It is our belief that having someone in this role will enable us to reach out more effectively to our communities with the good news of Jesus and to see the churches continue to grow in numbers and depth of discipleship.

If all goes well it is possible that we may be able to recruit to this post by September this year, but it is more likely to be early in 2018.

3) A project team has been working hard on a proposal for renewing the Audio-Visual system within All Saints.  They have consulted with various users of the system to get feedback.  Some improvements have already been made, and designs for a new system have been suggested.  These will be considered more fully at the next meeting of the PCC.

What can you do?

There is a 24-hour prayer event in All Saints from 9 am on June 3rd to 9 am on June 4th.   We have spent the last term in the sermon series thinking about and exploring prayer.   Now it is time to join together in prayer.

  • To listen to what God is saying to us about the vision and leadership of the parish.
  • To pray for the right person to join the team to take the lead in equipping us for mission.
  • To pray for the provision of the resources needed to support these initiatives.

Please do feedback or ask any questions of the PCC members.

Small Groups Summary

Last Monday the leaders of the Small Groups met at the Vicarage.  It was encouraging to share the stories of the mutual support and answered prayers that have been seen in the groups.

Lent Course

Generally people had found it helpful and engaging.  Some had appreciated the opportunity to experiment with different approaches to reading the Bible and others focussed on the joy of seeing different expressions of worship from around the world on the suggested online videos.  It was also fed back that it would be useful if in future material could be provided that was easier to trim for groups that don’t meet for as long.

Vision

We had opportunity to explore how members of the groups had felt about the different images that were shared at the Annual Parish Meeting.

https://allsaintswellington.wordpress.com/about-us/vision/

The image of the church with the gold being poured into it seemed to be the one that people had found most engaging.  There was some lively debate around the strawberry plants, including someone pointing out that a wise gardener is proactive in deciding which runners to allow to grow and which ones to prune.  The abstract image of the meal at Bethany appears to have been more confusing than helpful, although it was agreed that the underlying ideas of service, worship and friendship with God are important.

Sermon Series suggestions included:

  • Series expanding on worship / service / friendship with God
  • The importance of including aspects that can be applied in our lives was emphasised
  • More teaching on the Holy Spirit
  • Thinking about Revival – some in the past have been “wine” – is the coming one to do with “bread” that is possibly come through the word and preaching, through social action – feeding the hungry, in unity – the bread unites.
  • 500th anniversary of the Reformation around November
  • A couple of years ago did something on other religions and what they believe which was helpful
  • Perhaps a focus on the persecuted church and the growth that often accompanies this.

Small Groups provide a great place for learning to follow Jesus together, for caring for each other, and for making friends.  If you would like to join a small group, please contact us.

Annual Parish Meeting Statement

In our Annual Parish Meeting of March 2017, Revd Tim Carter delivered this vision.

Here are some highlights:

I’ve shared this image with you before. It formed the heart of my sermon when I came to interview here, and I showed it at the service at the beginning of the year when I was talking about the vision for the parish. It represents a meal at Bethany, with Jesus in the centre, and Mary, Martha and Lazarus relating to Jesus in worship, service and friendship. This remains as something I see as important, that we are a church thatworships, that serves and that lives in friendship with Jesus at the centre.

This was drawn by Hope Gwilliam some time ago. I saw the original in Susie’s office a little while ago and it just struck me. I love the sense of God pouring treasure into All Saints. It reminds me of the verse in Malachi in which God says,

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

For me it also links in to a picture that was given at a Sunday morning service a couple of months ago, of people at All Saints going out of church with gold dust on them, scattering gold as they go out into the community. You see the gold and jewels that God is pouring into the church are spilling out of the windows to the community.

For me there is also something of the city on a hill that cannot be hidden about this, the glow from tower a kind of lighthouse to the world.

As I’ve been thinking and praying about this parish since I got here, the idea of a Strawberry plant has kept coming to me. Strawberry plants don’t get very big, but they are very good at reproducing. They do this by sending out runners on which grow new strawberry plants. The new plants share the same DNA as the original plant, and as long as they stay attached they draw resources from the original plant. When they are mature and ready to be fruitful they can be detached.

It seems to me that the parish, with its different congregations looks a bit like a strawberry plant. The congregations share the same DNA, the same core values of being called to be closer to Christ and sent to be closer to others. The younger congregations still draw resources from the more established congregations. Some of the newer ones are beginning to bear fruit.
I am left wondering whether this is going to be a model for how the church in this parish is going to grow in the future. Maybe the central plant will never grow beyond a certain size, but the church can continue to grow by developing new off shoots – not perhaps as prolifically as a strawberry plant, but over a period of years.

For the remainder of the statement, please see the link above.

Farewell to the Grices

This Sunday at All Saints we were sorry to say goodbye to John, Gemma, Joshua, Evie and Leo Grice, but excited for them as they embark on the next stage of their journey, where John will become a team vicar near Tamworth. We pray for blessings for the family as they move on, and we will all miss them very much.

 

Ephesians 3

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

What does God think of leaders?

Have you ever wondered what God thinks about leaders? Are you a leader yourself, either at church or elsewhere? Are you interested in becoming a leader? Growing Leaders is a very highly respected course, which is designed as much for people who have been leaders for many years, as for people who have not (yet!) led anything. The Growing Leaders course has a mix of teaching, mentoring, and practical tasks. It is designed to help you explore what God does think of leaders, and how you can be the leader he is calling you to be. The course is designed to help develop ‘firm foundations for Christian leadership’, the ‘key skills of Christian leadership’ and help us to ‘keep faithful in Christian leadership’. Alongside the monthly meetings there will be opportunities to meet one-to-one with a mentor, to reflect on the meetings and work.

The course will run monthly on Wednesdays, starting at 7:30pm on 5th October, for 10 months and will cost £15 (help is available with this if necessary). If you are interested and want some more information or register please get in touch with the Parish Office or by picking up a leaflet from All Saints.

 

What is the meaning of life?

Could you spare eight Thursday evenings to explore what Christians believe, and to think about whether you are ready to commit yourself to follow Christ as a member of the Church of England? Our vicar Mark will be leading a shortened Emmaus course, starting on Thursday 29 September for eight weeks. Those on the course who wish to do so will have the possibility of being confirmed into adult membership of the Church of England by the Bishop of Shrewsbury on Sunday 6 November at All Saints.
Mark comments, ‘One of the things I most look forward to in the week is the chance to sit and talk with those who are exploring what it means to be a Christian. Over the past five years we have seen a steady trickle of people becoming committed disciples of Christ through the Emmaus course. I can’t wait for the next course!’
Emmaus sessions are on Thursdays from at 7.45pm. If you would like to find out more, please pick up a leaflet from All Saints or contact the Office.

Beach mission with a difference!

Our Youth and Children’s Evangelist, Kate Hatton, was one of many people from All Saints who was involved in either leading or attending the very popular Admaston Summer Mission. The theme this year was ‘On the Beach’, while over 100 children (aged 5-11) attended every day to have fun, play games, do craft activities and learn about God. One of the other helpers, Sharon Johnson, said “This has been my third year of helping and I love it. The atmosphere is fab and there is a real sense of unity as local churches work together to reach out to the community.”

Surviving Soul Survivor

Caroline Knowles writes: Not really knowing why we volunteered to go, Martin and I arrived at Soul Survivor terrified of the whole situation. Camping, cooking, Tyndalers and the whole event!

Our fears were totally unfounded and we had an amazing time. The meetings were relevant and inspiring. The cooking went smoothly the sun shone and the Tyndalers were a fantastic group of young people who looked out and cared for each other, responded to all requests of help with a smile and were always ready for breakfast and back for curfew times. Tom and Cath were awesome leaders and it was great to see Lucie and Rich and Charlie again. Debbie Reck was our village leader and a real rock to lean on for everything from hot chocolate to what was happening next!

But most of all it was the Tyndalers who blew our socks off. We were proud to be a part of them for a week, a real credit to our church. Tyndale, we have a lot to learn from you…

Blessed by Go2Bless

Emily Pickering writes: Being on mission, showing people a glimmer of light from God, just completely transforms you as a person. Even in the training in the running up to mission totally restores you and makes you whole again. Thanks to Go2Bless summer mission in France I have made some amazing friends, gained some beautiful memories, rebuilt my relationship with Jesus and started to believe in myself. I no longer feel like I have no use, I no longer feel worthless. Connecting with God again, finally feeling like someone is listening, someone cares, someone wants me to live, someone loves me. Someone thinks my life is worth living and that my life has a purpose.

48 hours prayer

If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for a one hour slot in the 48 hours of prayer, starting this Friday at 9am. There are spaces for 250 adults and children to be part of the chain of prayer, and well over half this number have already signed up. The chain of prayer will take place in the Parish Hall (not the church). If you can’t be there in person but want to pray at home, please sign the chart and put ‘at home’ by your name – those in church will pray for you at that time, as you pray with them.