Trendlewood Annual Meeting 2019

Vicar’s Reflections

2019 Where Are We Now?

Last year we were serving the extraordinary God. He hasn’t stopped being extraordinary but this year we are focusing on the human end of the spectrum, asking what it means to take hold of the life that is truly life.

We welcomed Michelle and Nigel and the family here and spent a lot of our prayers finding them a good house in the right place.

Last year we cranked up our prayer life by having a greater involvement in Thy Kingdom Come – the archbishop’s prayer initiative running between Ascension Day and Pentecost. Fiona took on responsibility to co-ordinate our prayer life and we have found new and innovative ways to pray. Michelle has offered top-up prayer ministry training and an example of commitment in prayer.

We began to invest more time in our teenagers through Last Sunday.

It has been exciting to take on a fifth main mission partner and one, in Prodigal Arts, that has had a great influence on our publicity material. Of all the mission statements in Isaiah 61 which Jesus echoed ‘setting prisoners free’ has always been demanding – we now have a partnership with an organisation which helps us to equip serving prisoners to be skilled when free. That feels good.

We value also our partnerships with West End Impact, Mercy Ships, Morogoro – Tanzania and Katanga – Uganda especially because various individuals within our church pursue a personal relationship and partnership.

We have continued to offer help to the community through marriage prep and refresher courses, parenting courses, through money training and partnership with the Debt Centre, through contributions to the food bank and help with the breakfast run.

The slightly strange nature of an annual report on 2018 delivered at Easter 2019 means that we have just celebrated our 30th birthday and that will be a matter for next year’s report. But we are where we are and it was a significant milestone.

Thanks

My thanks, as ever, to Duty Wardens, musicians, children’s leaders, intercessors, prayer ministers, pastoral team, readers (capital and lower case R), projectionists, preachers, worship leaders, home group leaders, Deanery Synod and Christians Together reps, chair movers, welcomers, coffee handlers, PA team and techies. This is a demanding place. You can’t hide.

I have a small gift for our two wardens, treasurer and secretary. I offer them to just four people – it is a thanks not a reward.

There are others I could thank by name and you know who they are. But this is a church body of many parts and the list would be very long.

Thank you to you all.

Where Are We Going?

We spent a few months last year vision-seeking. There were no clear insights and we continue to wait on the Lord, aware that it seems to be a time of pruning. Sometimes God needs us to stop things and wait on him and often we are slow to hear the call to stop. A call to constant busy-ness is not part of God’s agenda but we can act as if it is. Despite all that said about prayer at the beginning we are going to halt our monthly prayer meeting for a while. It is simply not well enough attended to be viable. How should we pray better? Where and when? Prayer meetings, Cafe Create, monthly Quiet Days and a Community Festival have all come to a pause, if not a stop.

What does the Lord want us to do next? Exciting to wait and see the next stage of the vision emerge.

Christian character does not so much change life events as fashion how we respond to life events. As the country’s identity continues to be a matter for much discussion let us demonstrate to the world what it means to be a gathered all-age community here.

Steve Tilley

Low Sunday 2019