Achievements- Last year . Details of the mission & life of our church.

EBENEZER METHODIST CHURCH

Achievements in 2019

 

As we continue to look for opportunities to be a Church out in the community, where people gather and connect with openness and in true fellowship with one another, the Spirit has been calling us over the years to try new initiatives and invest in the hope of sharing God’s love with others.As so it was in 2006 that we established Pickles, followed by Pickles Plus in 2017 and then Generations in 2018.And now it’s time for ‘Friends@4’ in January 2020.

 

We reviewed our Sunday Family Worship in 2019 and considered ways to make it more appealing to the young families in our Pickles community.It was agreed to introduce a more informal style of family worship and fellowship followed by a light supper on a Sunday afternoon at 4pm.The aim of this new initiative is to help our community grow in faith with opportunities to explore, enquire, create, learn, build and work together.

 

Coupled with this, Michael had an informal meeting with two of the Elders of the URC to discuss the possibility of joining forces with them on a Sunday morning when we are running Families@4 and this new service arrangement will commence in the New Year.

 

With an average of 35 children and adults at Pickles every week during term time, 30 at Pickles Plus once a fortnight and 25 people on average attending Generations once a month, we are blessed to have Amy Britton at the helm of our community work.It is also wonderful that one of our Pickles mums, Kirsty, who has been supporting us this year, has agreed to come on board to run Friends@4 from January 2020 and support Pickles and Generations.  Amy and Kirsty make a wonderful self-supporting team.  In addition, another Pickles mum, Nicky, has been volunteering in the kitchen, along with some of our Church members, and we are grateful to everyone for their support.

 

We brought our Pickles community into Church on the Friday before Mothering Sunday and for our Graduation service at the end of the school year.Chaos at the Crib was chaotic indeed and held in the hall this year with our Generations folk, because the Church boiler was being replaced and out of action.

 

We received some wonderful publicity on our work at Generations.Following on from BBC Radio interviews in March, an excellent feature and Leader column comment featured in the JEP in April and an article was included in The Link later in the year.Nationally, we made Premier Christian Radio who broadcast the Generations story to most of the UK, and an article appeared in the Methodist Church’s electronic newsletter ‘The Buzz’, as an example of celebrating mission and ministry in the Methodist Church.Co-op Helping Hands not only donated £400 towards the running costs of Generations (thanks to Amy for processing our application), they also produced a wonderful video free of charge which is their Jersey showcase to promote the Helping Hands fund and is running on a loop on screens in the Co-op shops.

 

Our Methodist Women in Britain group (Network) took the brave decision at the end of their calendar year to stop meeting as it was becoming more difficult to operate due to health issues and a declining membership.On a brighter note, we’re delighted to see some of the members join us at Generations.

 

In addition to our own community work, our buildings continue to be well used, with regular bookings from Baby Sensory, Jersey Dolls House Club, the Island WI and Jersey Youth Performing Arts (JYPA).  In fact, there is currently only one day – Monday - that our Hall is not in use.  Saturdays are being used for children’s parties and other groups.

 

The Lent Lunches took place at the Parish Hall and raised £2,200, which was split between 3 charities, including our chosen charity which raises funds for Ruth’s work with children in Malindi, Kenya.Our thanks to Joyce Perchard and all the lovely ladies at Ebenezer who made soup and helped in the kitchen.We also held a coffee morning in December and raised a further £400 for Malindi.In addition to our worldwide charity giving, it was agreed to continue to support children in need within Trinity School through an ‘Ebenezer Benevolent Fund’.

 

Trinity School hosted a 'Voice of the Child' event in March at the Parish Hall, with displays from different groups and organisations who work with children in the parish, and we were pleased to have a stand that was manned by our Pickles mums.The school continues to hold their annual Carol Service at Ebenezer and this year was as busy and as lovely as ever.

 

On 1st March, the ecumenical World Day of Prayer service was held at Ebenezer, followed by refreshments in our Hall.Our Parish Liberation Day service was beautifully led Rev Tony Morling, with Marlene Vautier sharing her memories from the heart.

 

A surprise, but welcome, visit from Gospel Touch Choir at the beginning of December saw them join us for Sunday worship amidst a busy schedule of performances elsewhere.The Choir also led a workshop with the Jersey Youth Performing Arts group (who used the Church in 2019 for their rehearsals and are planning to be with us from Spring to Autumn 2020).The young performers then sang at our Carol and Candlelight Service, which reverted to a more traditional format this year, with bible readings and carols.The collection of £240 was for Mind Jersey.

 

During the year, we lost two faithful members; Phyllis Le Goubin and Stella Shaw and we give thanks for their witness to Ebenezer over many years.On a brighter note, we had two Pickles Baptisms, Leo Le Page in July and Lily Coutanche in September.

 

We continue to invest in our buildings to ensure they are in good repair and fit for purpose.New hall front doors were fitted, together with a new door frame for the kitchen outside door.Perspex covers were fitted to the south windows in Church, which leaked during south westerly gales.

 

Parking and managing the safe exit of vehicles when our car park is full can be stressful and it was agreed by Church Council to make parking safer and easier by using part of the lawn area.We are blessed that most of the cost of this project will be funded by a local Trust and work will start in 2020.In addition, Church Council approved the creation of a new store in the vestibule of the Church.This work will be done in 2020 once planning approval has been given. A refreshment area at the back of the Church is also being proposed now that we are holding more activities in the Church and it is being used by outside groups.

 

Fortunately, and despite our continued investment, we remain in a ‘healthy’ financial position and are blessed with income from our flat and car parking space rentals. We continue to ensure that, as far as possible, we remain compliant with relevant legislation and safeguarding requirements, and Anne and Rosemary attended the Safeguarding Foundation Course in April.

 

We are so grateful to Rev Derek for leading our bible study every fortnight after our service and allowing us to draw on his knowledge and wisdom.Having studied Mary at the beginning of the year, the group began to look at ‘

 

Our harvest celebrations in September focused on the cycle of seasonal change.As with the seasons, the shape and structure of Church is changing and here at Ebenezer we’re constantly evolving and working together to achieve something for the greater good.

 

We cannot end without thanking the wonderful, strong-knit Ebenezer Leadership team; Michael, Anne, Rosemary,Ian, George and Jane, together with all those who contribute to the running of our Church.As with the harvest, may we reap blessings in strong community with one another and keep the tree of faith growing and developing throughout many seasons to come.   God bless you all.

 

EB- Stewards

February 2020