Exciting things are happening at Wellingborough Methodist Church: we’ve had a time of (enforced) rest and recuperation during the lockdowns and restrictions and now we have to rise to the challenges being presented to us in all aspects of our life as we seek to find a way forward in this new era. We can’t carry on as we were pre-pandemic. The post-pandemic world is changing and we need to be embracing the change, meeting it head on and becoming community with the people of Wellingborough and their needs. Our building was always designed to be a community space as well as a place of worship and we have had a number of enquiries recently for hirers who have not used us before and are looking for a new home. We’re excited that people are finding us and coming to us. We need to remain a faithful community of believers meeting in this place and in the future that God has planned for us. We’re thankful for all the love and care that Pam and Pete have put into caring for our outdoor space over many years and fully appreciate that now is the time for them to rest and enjoy their retirement together. We’re truly appreciative of Theophilus and Solomon’s offer to keep the lawn in trim for us and for Ima’s willingness to put the bins out each week.
As we approach our Covenant Service and we make our annual renewal of promises, it’s time for each one of us to consider what God is prompting us to do in His name in this space. If lots of us did a little, it would make a huge a difference to the amount of missional work we could attempt in Wellingborough. We must be prepared to try and give it a go. We may succeed, we may not, but there is no shame in failing if we’ve tried our best. There is shame in sitting comfortably in our own little bubble and letting opportunity pass us by.
Our Covenant Service this year is being held on Sunday September 26th at 10:45. We will be welcoming Lucy Anderson into membership at this service and it will be lovely for as many of us as possible to be present and hear her testimony as she takes this next step in her faith journey. But, of course, the Covenant Service is also an opportunity and a time for us to reconsider our own journeys and commitments and how we can enable God working in this place. The Covenant Service will be followed by a short time of fellowship over refreshments and then the Annual Church Meeting will be held at 12:00. At this meeting we look back (through the reports that are presented), at our life and witness over the previous 12 months and then start to look forward to what we can accomplish in the next Connexional Year. Because we are considered to be a large church, it is at this meeting that we appoint representatives from the congregation to the church council. This is your chance to have your voice heard and to get more involved in the decision–making of the church. Our Leadership Team is also appointed at this meeting and we would welcome anyone who wishes to join us and have input into the strategic oversight of our church’s mission. Is there a man out there brave enough to take on 7 women and give us a different perspective? Since the lifting of Covid restrictions, many of the current Leadership Team are heavily involved with preparing the church for worship on a Sunday morning but this not the role for which we have been elected: we should be devoting our time and energy into Fellowship, Mission and Outreach, working with the Circuit, having an overview of what is happening and making decisions about the future direction the church will move in. We need a team of Sunday Stewards: members of our congregation who are able to prepare the worship space: putting out chairs, welcoming people at the door, working the sound system, preparing the hymn boards, serving refreshments (and packing it all away at the end)! If we all did a little, no-one would have to do a lot – could you be a Sunday Steward?
We need a team of people who could look after our property: we’ve employed a cleaner, Taryn, with the money we raised from the Lockdown triathlon and she is doing an amazing job of keeping the church clean each week but there are maintenance jobs that need regular attention, fire alarm testing, organising the annual PAT test and extinguisher testing, shopping for consumables, sweeping the paths, keeping the weeds down, tending the garden. If we all did a little, no-one would have to do a lot – could you be a Property Steward and be part of a property team?
We need a team of people to look after the pastoral needs of our congregation. Our current system is that our Leadership Team have acted as pastoral contacts throughout Covid and maintained regular telephone contact with members who are isolating or housebound. We have just 4 pastoral visitors who will work alongside Rev Kim and visit when a need is identified. Could you join the pastoral team either as a visitor or a contact and help show that we care? If we all did a little, no-one would have to do a lot.
Everything I’ve mentioned so far has been about the needs of our church in our building and we do need to work together to maintain a faithful worshipping community in this place but we have a greater need – to be looking outside our doors and promoting ourselves and what our building can offer to the wider community. Have you any other ideas on how to get us “out there”? Could we “do” church a different way? Could you run a facebook page for us? All ideas and suggestions will be graciously accepted and considered by the leadership team. Basically, in the time between now and the covenant Service, we need you to pray hard and earnestly about what God is calling you to do – and that has made me realise that I’ve been a real Martha and mentioned all the practical “stuff” we need help with and forgotten the most important part: prayer. We will achieve nothing if we don’t take our concerns, our hopes and our aspirations to God in prayer. Will you commit to praying regularly for all aspects of our church life and mission? We won’t succeed without it and we all need to listen out for God showing us what we can do in His name.
Please speak to anyone on the Leadership Team if you have been challenged to respond and know you can help a little so no-one has to do a lot.
Jane (on behalf of the Leadership Team)