On 1st January 2012, Mark Fairhurst (CMS) will again be our guest speaker as the lead in to CMS Summer School Katoomba (7-13 Jan) and our Gymea Day there on Monday 9th January.
On 1st July, our guest speaker will be Michael Cassidy the founding Director of African Enterprise. This will be the 4th visit of Michael to Gymea. What a privilege! Michael is an internationally recognised mission leader & speaker. Our thanks to PGM for arranging this rare opportunity.
Congratulations and Thanks
to Bob Whitten who has been awarded a 2011 Cook Community Award. These are awarded annually by the Federal Member for Cook, Scott Morrison, for outstanding contribution to the Shire community. Bob was nominated for his service and leadership in Primetime and Men’s Breakfast ministries and for his overall service of our church.
Update From Parish Council & 2012 Staffing
I wish to personally thank our Parish Council for their faithful and diligent service of the Parish this year and especially in our recent difficult planning meetings. I thank God for our godly and hardworking team. Council agreed at Thursday’s meeting to the employment of a fulltime assistant minister in 2012. I am seeking a man whose ministry will focus both on our congregations and on our youth ministry and supporting its leaders. I hope we will able to ensure good pastoral care and leadership for our churches in 2012. Please pray for God’s provision.
I have already commenced interviewing ministers with an advisory team from our church assisting me. There are only a few ministers still available for 2012 at this stage. However we are fortunate that they have strong backgrounds in both aspects of ministry. The best advice is that there is little prospect of us finding good specialist youth pastors available in the short to medium term. Our best option is to plan towards 2013 including the training and development of our own youth pastors.
Stuart and Matt are leaving us a legacy of well trained and committed youth leaders, who we are confident can maintain the high levels of youth ministry. I am grateful to our warden, Stephen Leitch, who has taken up my invitation to continue his patronage of Soul Revival Saturday. I have assured the youth leaders of my continued support for our Friday and Saturday ministries and look forward to 2012. I am thankful that a core value of the Soul Revival Jesus Movement is commitment to the local church.
Tracy McCall will finish as planned in April 2012, with her much awaited long service leave. Tim Beilharz will then be employed fulltime from July 2012 onwards.
Growth of Gymea Anglican & Church Planting 2012
After last week’s announcement members have asked me a number of very good questions about our plans for church planting in 2012, and about Matt and Stuart’s plans for 2013. Obviously they are the best ones to speak with you about their plans.
I’m sorry that the first many of our members have heard about our Church planting a new congregation (church) was in last week’s announcement in Archie’s letter, from Anglican Evangelism & New Ministries (ENC). This not the way I would have preferred. I was hoping that there would have been a more gradual process of introducing the idea to our members this year. I have in fact, been talking with our leadership for months (years) about growing Gymea Church and planting a new congregation is part of this. However, this had to be hastened by Matt and Stuart’s decision to also plant a new Church.
Gymea Anglican has dropped in numbers by 24% in the past 8 years. There are many reasons for this. However, under God, we want to grow God’s people here by reaching our neighbours with the gospel of our Lord Jesus. We want to see men and women, boys and girls, saved by our Lord Jesus. Therefore I’m keen to assist our existing and new congregations to become more missional and grow. My background is in planting 7 new Anglican congregations in the past 20 years at Springwood and Hurstville Grove Churches. These Parishes grew, partly as a result of these initiatives.
This week, I have adapted the paper I wrote for Parish Council on Growth & Church Planting and have made it available for our members. This is a discussion starter. My hope was that we could have started this planning prior to Christmas, but Matt & Stuart’s decision and plans have meant these have had to be delayed till after Christmas. This is not meant as a criticism, just as a reality that I wasn’t expecting.
How will church planting proceed in 2012-13? If enough members are convinced that church planting is a good idea, then Matt & Stuart and our church leadership will work co-operatively to form two church planting teams from among our members. One will start a new Gymea congregation, possibly on a Sunday arvo, preferably off site to reach people with the gospel who we don’t currently reach. The other will plan to leave Gymea in 2013 and start a Church somewhere else in the Shire, under Matt and Stuart’s leadership. This is something they have been considering for years and I wish them well in this missional endeavour.
As you know, Matt and Stuart are planting their church under the auspice of ENC. ENC has a website where our members can gain more information about the Diocesan plans for non Parish Anglican church planting. ENC is like a Missionary Society and will process gifts from supporters and members of Matt and Stuarts. ENC has no money of it’s own to employ people.
My original plan, that I put to our PC and staff, was to plant a new Gymea congregation on Sunday arvos starting around Easter, and boosted by the Mission with Moore. However, I suspect now that this will be delayed till May-June. Would you join with me praying for God in love and mercy to bless and unite us in our efforts to grow His family through the gospel.