Posted by: mikebackup | February 6, 2015

Secretary’s Report for Home Mission 2015

Secretary’s Report for Home Mission 2015

Our prayer for 2014….

May we continue to remember and support the hungry, the homeless, the marginalised and those in poverty.
May we not be afraid of the future.
May we be ready to action the plans you have for us.
May we have joy in our heart,
May we be creative and inspiring to those around us.
And may we live each day doing our best to make it on earth as it is in heaven.   Amen

Very profound, the Mission Statement/Prayer 2014 as it came with the agenda God had stitched into His tapestry of purpose for BL. But let us reflect in brief…

How far have we come?  Have we come far? We read through scripture the many life- changing journeys of people – even Jesus, before He was born! All with a well prepared purpose, each and every one – the same for BL!  A significant ‘change of direction’ for us began with a prophecy of scripture (Jer. 29:11) given at the start of the year 2000…change of Minister 2003…then on announcing their departure 2007, came the next part of the journey, with the words “we have a man….” And so Mike and the fellowship began another ‘new’ journey together. God has over the years woven into His tapestry of purpose, threads of all colours of experiences and stitches of situations…yes we have journeyed individually as well as a fellowship and we have come far –

Mission inside – we usually begin our year with Church Anniversary, reflecting on the past year yet holding hands with hope for the one before us. As Messy Church continues to be a ‘family favourite’, invitations for our anniversary given to all the groups that use our building – we had 60+ adults and children. Activities were from the groups, eggs decorated with Girls’ Brigade from Happy Hens charity we support, Ktog had a knitting corner, computers were set up too! For those not wishing to do activities, a bible study sheet is available on the theme for them to sit and share reflections. This provision has been very well received with Mike placing a stitch in a situation to strengthen the needs. First time visitors expressed enjoyment and surprise of how busy BL is. From June we have held Café Worship once a month – a more relaxed informal style, has been encouraging for those ‘exploring church’.

We celebrated 5 years of Ktog (knitting group) in October – amazing! Supporting various charities, but from this platform time is given to value friendship, talents and giving. Stepping stones of journeys – where some have become faithful in supporting our main community outreach, Food Bank/Refuge.

Computers drop in’ now in its 4th year, has seen members come with a packed lunch to stay on for Ktog! Then again from these groups folk are coming and tasting Sunday worship.

Family is precious and we were ‘purposed to meet’ two families in the summer who had asked Mike for their children to be dedicated. They were individual with the varying stitches of situations to be understood, each with a ‘mustard seed of faith acknowledged and actioned’ in bringing 7 children before God to give praise and thanks for their ‘miracle gifts’, welcomed into our fellowship. For we have witnessed many times, God in the present and His presence in the ‘now here’ of peoples lives – and BL is for a time at least a place for the agape needed. Friendships have indeed strengthened with both the families – a member of each having attended a recent Alpha course at Mike’s invitation. With God developing a further beautiful ‘stitch’ a forthcoming wedding! Additional joy is that we have a young woman, part of BL since birth, who herself feels the call to ministry and is now on her 2nd year of studying at St. Johns College, part time. Mike continues to commit to being her mentor as she needs.

We have continued to fundraise for our Community Garden Project, with again amazing threads of purpose woven through! Firstly, with our summer fete sharing with the Diamond Blackfan Anaemia charity, also our Christmas Fair, sharing with the ‘Live at Home Scheme’ charity . Proceeds from both being divided, so blessings shared. But what would be better for us – a grant!

Applying for these takes time we know, but ‘stitches of situations’ again as we have support from someone who guided us on the grants to apply for and then along comes a volunteer to help with our packing food bags each week who has the knowledge of completing grant applications – in November we were given a £5,000 grant via the Peoples Postcode Lottery!  Recently we have been additionally blessed with a £2,000 grant from the Boulton Ward Neighbourhood Board and a further £5,800 which is being finalised currently – so 2 years from when this was initiated, we are able to be ‘creative and inspiring for our community!’

We continue with our Holiday Film Clubs, well supported and good friendships made enabling the opportunity to offer other happenings at Church – Messy Church, Café Worship etc. We have extended this to a Film Night for Adults – which we are looking to develop from February 2015 (bi monthly) as the 14 who came to our ‘premier night’, greatly appreciated this social event!

“We may not have all the answers, but the important thing is, we must engage” John Lennox Catylyst Live.

It is with Mike’s encouraging leadership and ministry that we find we are ‘engaging’ more and more with our community.

Outreach to our Community – our main thread of purpose now in its third year is Food Bank! We alongside churches in Alvaston and beyond continue to support 25+ families weekly with food parcels. Good relationships are firmly in place with the Sure Start Children’s Centre, who value and appreciate the faithful support. Additional outreach has been the opportunity for 9 members of the Churches to attend a CAP Money Course training day in July, with a view to begin courses for our community. These began in September! Three courses having been led at BL to date, with a couple at the Sure Start Centre. In 2015 Mike is looking to expand this ministry with the creation of a CAP supported Job Club at Sure Start. In addition, Mike attended a Food Forum led by the Red Cross and discovered another outreach BL could support, Refuge. This is a national charity supporting women and children fleeing from domestic abuse. In Derby they support 25 families across the city and rely on donations for women and children who are destitute and in a crisis. Food bags are given weekly and varying needs met as they ask, word goes out help and aid comes!! Derby Nightshelter – fundraising, time and talents to meet the need of our homeless people. Lisa and children in her class, also involved, with written prayers and gifts of items needed – precious mission!

For it is the golden thread of giving that binds all areas of our purpose as individuals and as a fellowship.

… the hungry, the homeless, the marginalised and those in poverty (prayer 2014)

Church growth – continues to develop more in our weekly activities with folk making  Sunday visits. Our Membership has reduced through changing situations of individuals, health and family situations etc. (Dec 2014 – 21) Wage earners again only 2 full time and 1 part time. With an elderly congregation, long term illness etc has reduced Sunday attendance. Additionally, we have had seen fewer children coming regularly along to our Sunday Fun Club in recent months, but are still able to have 2 classes (0-7, 8-15)

Finances – We have said previously, that on paper we probably should not exist! However, with the committed giving of our fellowship through the bank and the income from use of our building by groups we are blessed to have a ‘strong thread of purpose’.

We also need to acknowledge that this is only possible through the precious committed giving from Home Mission Churches.

Also precious giving of Mike (& Lisa), committing to full time ministry whilst accepting only half stipend. We are fully aware that for us to have come so far, God has firmly stitched this situation in place for us. Our grant application is reducing again, 5% as recommended – 70% of half stipend (£7,550)

Both churches agreed to place the Manse into the hands of a professional letting agent. This has been a good decision, if only to ease the pressure of maintaining the property. The present tenants are very happy. But this has come at a cost, with several maintenance issues our share of income has only been received for 9 months this year. However, Alvaston have been most supportive financially over much needed maintenance.

From September Mike has been able to give time to concentrate on ministry at BL and widen our community outreach, work with Broadway finishing in June, as did funding.
He has however, been offered work at his previous employment – funds of which come to BL! ‘Coffee for a Cause’, donations for Sunday refreshments has enabled us to send a gift to BMS with monthly direct debit payment in place.

Mike completed his NAM studies in June. The final presentation being 5 paintings entitled ‘Journeys’ a journey of faith. Poems were written for each painting by Rev. Dr. Richard Kidd. His final interview took place on 15th January, ‘joy in our hearts’ – Mike achieving full accreditation! His seven year climb has been physical, very emotional and spiritual – being a husband, father and caring for all of us at BL! Only God could have purposed this journey.

Another strong thread of purpose and blessing from God, Lisa was given the opportunity of a one year teacher training course, duly completed – in September a full time post offered!

In our main worship room we have a cross of glass blocks placed high in the far wall – part of the original build. Beautiful daylight shines down upon us, at night our lights shine out to our community………as we receive, we give.

In 2015 creator God –

May we be energised and excited by the Good News of Jesus
May our ministry always speak your name
Grant us your wisdom as we continue to build your Kingdom
Bless our new ventures as we step out in faith
Help us to be ready for the unexpected ways in which your Spirit will move
May we not limit the ways your love can work through us
And may we always be present to your presence

Maureen Upton (Secretary Feb ’15)

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