2017 is going to be year of huge changes and of new beginnings for Grace Church, and also for me and my family personally!
Next week, on Wednesday 11th January, I will be handing over the Lead Eldership at Grace Church to David Thompson, and although I feel a measure of sadness as one phase of my own life heads towards its close, I’m also excited at the new beginnings!
I’m excited for new beginnings at Grace Church:
This is a God initiated change and it’s going to be good for the church. David has all sorts of ideas and plans to help the church move into the future; he is very ready for his new role and I’m excited for him too.
I’m excited for new beginnings for my family:
We have a whole new chapter ahead for us in a new location and a new house. I’m pleased that we’re moving nearer to London, although we will miss being near the sea and close to some of Jo’s family. It will be good to have new places to discover and new people to meet. We are ready for our new adventure together!
I’m excited for new beginnings personally:
I will have a new church to lead and to love. I will have a new team to work with. I will have new challenges to face and new opportunities to pursue. And before I start in the new role I also have another new experience to enjoy: a sabbatical break. I’m getting excited just thinking about the possibilities this creates for renewal and refreshment before my own new role begins.
That’s a lot of new beginnings, but one thing that is ending soon is our current preaching series.
It comes to an end on Sunday 8th Jan. This is the last preaching series I will lead Grace Church through, and it was built around one key verse:
As we go into this New Year together, although for many of us there will be a parting of the ways as the year goes by, let’s remember that we are each in God’s hands; he has plans for us and it’s our privilege to walk in them. God’s promises are true and reliable for each of us, whatever direction he is leading us in.
Let’s each actively embrace this new beginning:
Please join us on Wednesday 11th when we are appointing David to his new role. It’s at 7.30pm at St Pancras Church in Chichester, and John Groves will be leading us through the evening. This is a great chance for each of us to show our love and support for David and Ali as the changes take effect.
Remember: this has spiritual impact!
What we are doing is not insignificant and it affects the whole future of the church. We can’t afford to be casual about it! Come ready to pray and to encourage! Come ready to play your part as we step into this new beginning together.