At the time of writing we are about 10 weeks away from the delivery of our new building. It is amazing to be so close after so long. As we look forward to all the possibilities that this new resource offers there are a number of chapters in the history of the Church that are drawing to a close.
Our time as sojourners in the wilderness of Sinai (or The Bishop’s Stortford High School as it is also known) will be coming to an end. We did better than the Israelites – it took them 40 years! Our use of the Church Hall in Portland Road also draws to an end and we are aware of the sacrifices that our forefathers made to build that and all that God has done to touch people through the activities that have gone on there. And it is with some sadness that we need to consider someone who has made a very considerable contribution to our church life over the last few years but who will not be travelling with us on the next leg of our journey.
Those of you who were present at the last Church Meeting will have heard the news that Patrick Croash, our Youth Minister, will be ending his ministry with us in August. Patrick came to us in 2006 and in these 6 years has been a source of encouragement and blessing to many. His ability to get alongside people and build relationships, to encourage people and draw them out to think about spiritual questions has been immense. I’ve never met anyone else who could find just the right people to volunteer for particular areas of ministry. For all of these reasons and for his friendship I want to say a very big thank you to him.
Patrick’s move follows a very difficult period of time which has taken his life in directions that he did not anticipate, leading ultimately to the end of his marriage. We remember with thankfulness all that Kathryn also contributed to our fellowship. We continue to pray for her as she seeks to move on with her life.
For Patrick there is new hope in new relationships. We pray for him, and for Tess and her family, as he looks forward to starting again and to building a new life with her as his wife. Our prayer is that he will know the peace of God and hear God’s voice guiding him into future service.
For us it means a period of reflection as we think about the future shape of ministry, and in particular ministry by those who are privileged to be set aside and paid to minister. We have so many blessings that God has given us through the ministry team. Tracy’s contribution to the team as International Community Worker is huge and we need to pray that we can secure her future and the ministry that is bearing much fruit. We are blessed also to have Alison’s ministry as Pastoral Co-ordinator as well as Martin and Trevor’s contributions as Elders. The common factor in each case is that we do not currently pay for any of them to do what they do. God has made it possible. We should never take that for granted.
As we begin the process of looking to find the person that the Lord has already prepared to take Patrick’s place, we already know that our God is a God who supplies our needs. We are so grateful to Him for this. He will move us forward now to the next part of our journey together. We give Him glory.
Yours in Christ