Achievements- Last year 2016

Our Achievements in 2016

 

2016 was a year of change and opportunity.  Following Rev Liz’s 3-month sabbatical in the first half of the year our thoughts of ‘getting back to normal’ clearly weren’t part of God’s plan!  Whilst we were all delighted that Rev Liz was offered the opportunity to work in the West Devon Circuit as Superintendent, the news was tinged with some sadness.  The very well attended farewell Circuit Service at Ebenezer on 31st July was testament to all that Liz and Peter had contributed to the Circuit and we give thanks for their ministry with us at Ebenezer. 

Change also brings opportunities and in September we were blessed with the return of Nicola Jones, who joined us and St Martin as our Lay Worker.  Nicola is passionate about hearing people's stories and quickly found her feet doing just that and so much more!

The blessings continued in a number of ways as the Invitation Process began to find a new minister.  The Leadership Team had to discern our priorities and tasks for the year ahead as part of the Church Life Mission and Evaluation form used in process.  This led us to look at ways we could build relationships and build community through loving service, fellowship, open doors and acts of kindness to people of all ages and at all stages of faith.  More of that next year!

It was a pleasure to meet Rev Nico Hilmy-Jones during her first Jersey visit on 14th November and we are delighted that she has accepted the invitation to join St Martin, Eden and ourselves as our Minister in September 2017. 

Thanks to Rev Billy for holding the reins during the period we’ve been without a dedicated Minister. It has been an absolute pleasure to welcome both Billy and Nicola back to our fold.    

On behalf of the Leadership Team, can I thank everyone for their continued support.  We are truly blessed in so many ways……

Firstly, for being a Church family who enjoy worshipping together and sharing fellowship each Sunday.  For the first time in many years, we celebrated Easter and Christmas at Ebenezer.  Our Harvest celebrations challenged us to be thinking of our next steps with reflections on what we have already harvested, how we should be preparing and sowing the seeds for our next harvest, before reaping and then starting the process all over again!

The idea of an ‘Open Air Service’ at Les Avenues to coincide with the Jersey Old Motor Club Parade drive through Les Avenues to celebrate their 50th anniversary, seemed like a good idea.  However, we had not banked on inclement weather – it was 3rd July after all – but never to be deterred, the service went ahead in Michael and Angeline’s conservatory.  Furthermore, we braved the weather (although it had stopped raining by this time) to enjoy our annual lorry ride after lunch, and thanks, as always, to our own ‘jolly good driver’ George Noel.

2016 saw the culmination of our major projects work when a decision was taken at an extraordinary council meeting on 31st January to repair the three south windows.  With a temporary loan of £5,000 from the Circuit to help with cash flow; and a further gift of £3,000 from the Parish , together with very generous donations from the congregation for the other 2; the work commenced in June with the windows already paid for.  A problem with sourcing for some of the few bits of replacement glass led to delays, but we were pleased to see the scaffolding taken down and the job almost completed by the end of the year.  With our next Quinquennial Survey, due in October 2017, all that remains is to repair/replace the church guttering and 4 roof vents, to have our buildings fully restored. 

Another major project was the replacement of our presence on the World Wide Web.  In a relatively short period of time, we seized the opportunity to build a new Ebenezer website (www.ebenezerjersey.org/) as part of the Circuit website overhaul. Thanks to a lot of hard work by our very own webmaster, Michael Picot, the site went live on 16th October and we now have an online presence we can be proud of.

It is fair to say that our work in the community through Pickles has grown from strength to strength under the capable leadership of Amy Britton.  We have up to 30 toddlers ages 0 to 4 accompanied by a variety of carers: mums, dads, grans and childminders. Pickles has grown into a supportive and caring group, and each week we work hard to make it a safe place for children and their carers to play and learn together. Children are offered a variety of age appropriate activities to enjoy on their own, alongside their friends or with adults. We provide healthy snacks for the children and a much needed tea or coffee for the adults. Singing songs, dancing, actions and playing musical instruments are some of the many ways we nurture the confidence and imagination of the children as they play. From the weekly term-time sessions, summer holidays ‘Pickles in the Park’ times, ‘Tots around the Crib’ and ‘Pickles Party’, parents and carers can be seen encouraging one another and sharing ideas and advice. We had our second ‘Pickles Baptism’ for the daughter of the Le Page family on Father’s Day!

Our active Methodist Women in Britain (Network) continues to meet with approximately 15 members.  Their varied 2016/2017 programme began in October with a re-dedication service and has included talks from Jersey Association for Youth & Friendship in October and the British Red Cross in November.  The Monday Group also continues to meet and have enjoyed various lunches at different venues.

As part of our ‘Window to the World’ giving, we continue to support Ruth Smith’s work in Malindi, Kenya.  Ruth gave us an update on her work as part of a Local Arrangement service on 15th May and a one-off donation was made to the Malindi fund, bringing the total last financial year to £725. We also had a special collection for the Nepal earthquake appeal of £150. Locally, we donated £150 towards Brighter Futures and £130 to Autism Jersey from our 2016 Candlelight Service. We continue to collect groceries each month for the outreach work at St Helier Methodist Centre and dried goods from our Harvest went to Mustard Seed and the Jersey Calais Refugee Support Group.

Whilst the need to keep up to date with regulations can seem laborious, it is nonetheless important and our thanks to Michael for creating our Health & Safety Policy.  To continue the theme, it was back to school for Joyce Perchard, Anne Pryke and Rosemary Parker who completed their Level 2 Food Hygiene & Safety Certificate and joined Viviane Jayes and Jeannie Richardson who already hold Certificates.  The Environmental Health Officer has been to check our kitchen facilities which have been determined ‘low risk’ and in order.

As part of our aim to explore ways of connecting with our families in a fun way and bringing us together as a family, we enjoyed watching Paddington Bear together on 17th January following a fellowship lunch and a Bird Bingo and Beans social on 27th November.

Keeping up with traditions, the Parish Liberation Day service was held at Ebenezer, with all generations participating.  John Green recounted memories of his family’s evacuation to Bad Wurzach, whilst Olivier Maddox recounted some of George Noel’s memories during the occupation.  

It was wonderful to enjoy some extra-special celebrations during the year; notably the wedding of Lisa and Chris on 4th June.  Our Church continues to be used for concerts and this year it was the turn of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society who held a concert on 2nd July that was well attended. We were also pleased to welcome back Trinity School for their Christmas Carol Service on 12th December.

One of our goals is to grow in faith and our ‘Prayer time’ organised by Viviane Jayes continues to provide a peaceful opportunity to prepare ourselves for worship.  Some members joined the Circuit Bible Study on Holy Habits, which started in October.

It costs c £28,000 a year, or £2,400 a month to run Ebenezer and we’re grateful and often overwhelmed by the generosity of our small congregation. Our weekly collections have risen and with the covenant scheme, cover our circuit assessment. Our major fundraising event was a popular Afternoon Tea with entertainment from the Jayes family on 6th February, which was attended by about 80 people and raised £1,100.   

We look forward to continuing our journey with a new minister and together as a united family, stepping out in faith to fulfil our mission

God, Bless you all.

 

ROSEMARY PARKER - SENOIR CHURCH STEWARD

25th February 2017