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Honiton Evangelical Congregational Church February

Dear Friends,

  Minister’s Report

Having put together a report for the Church AGM I want to highlight some of the points in it for a wider readership. I don’t deal with the meetings in Residential Homes, the Toddlers’ Group and the Craft Afternoons only because they were reported on separately. Of course there is a vast amount of work which goes on behind the scenes for which I am very grateful.

  1. Encouragements in 2017 Generally I have been pleased to see attendances keeping up and good attention for the word of God Sunday by Sunday and on Tuesdays. It was good also to have an encouraging attendance at the Reformation Meeting we had in October. Given that changing hymnbooks can be stressful in church life I am glad that we have made a transition very smoothly and am grateful for the good spirit shown and for the hard work of those who put together a new supplement. So basically I’m encouraged.

  1. Discouragements in 2017 Before writing this letter I checked last February’s letter and found I was encouraging a better attendance on Sunday evenings which hasn’t really taken place. My disappointment is not just the numbers but the fact that a number of folk in the church seem contented with just one service which inevitably gives them a restricted spiritual diet. Given John’s declared intention in writing his gospel (John 20: 30 + 31), ‘Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name’ it is hard to see how I can faithfully preach it without a significant commitment to gospel preaching week by week. Currently on Sunday nights we are looking at ‘The Christ-centred Christian Life’ in Colossians 3 which is equally inspired and necessary for Christian living but is a very different type of Biblical material. It is also quite sad that a series of letters on church membership have so far got a nil response – I simply don’t believe there is no-one attending the church who should not be becoming a church member.

Where to from here? I do want to stress that the encouragements are far greater than the discouragements. What would I love to see in 2018? Apart from increased attendances and people seeing church membership as a Christian duty and privilege of course!  Chiefly the Lord opening doors of evangelistic opportunity and granting us the strength to take them – until the Lord Jesus withdraws the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18 – 20) that is something we have to have as a shared priority.

  Every Blessing,