Achievements- Last year . Details of the missi

EBENEZER METHODIST CHURCH

                 Achievements in 2018

 

Having achieved so much as a small congregation over the past decade, and with our much improved facilities, we were keen to discern as a loving, caring Church community, where we should be focusing our attention next.  A Vision Day entitled ‘Let our Light Shine’ was held on 28th January where 30 of us, young and old, came together in small groups to discuss and share some great thoughts and ideas.  There was a re-occurring theme of ‘getting together and sharing experiences’ and our priorities going forward were agreed as follows:

  • Bible study and discussion groups
  • Children take part more in services
  • Being open to the Spirit before the service
  • Bringing our Pickles community into Church once a term
  • Looking at fun and social ways we can come together
  • Looking how we can create an ‘over 60’s’ group using the Pickles model. 

 

Sometimes, we can be quite hard on ourselves when we don’t see numbers growing at our Sunday morning services, so it is worth taking stock to reflect on the progress that has been made in relation to the priorities we set ourselves at the beginning of the year. 

 

Previous plans to pursue an application for a Community Worker were re-ignited and at their meeting on 17th May, the Circuit supported and agreed to part fund a dedicated role for Amy Britton to work 10 hours a week term-time commencing in September. 
This meant that, in addition to Pickles and Pickles Plus, we could engage in new work in the community.

 

Spurred on by Channel 4’s TV programme, ‘Old People’s Home for 4 year olds’, we launched Generations in November, giving children and older people the opportunity to enjoy time together.   Once a month, children from our Pickles and Pickles Plus community bounce into Church after school to share crafts, songs, stories, snacks and conversations with senior folk from our parish, neighboring parishes and the Methodist Home, Maison La Corderie.  It has been a resounding success so far.

 

Pickles and Pickles Plus go from strength to strength and we must record our appreciation to Amy who has created a very special, loving, caring community that nourishes all those who come through our doors each week.  As one of our mums said; “thank God for Pickles!”.  Rev Nico describes the groups not only as a safe place for parents/ grandparents/carers etc. to come together with their children, but as a support mechanism where people lean on and support one another.  We brought the community into Church once each term; for our Graduation service, Chaos at the Crib and on the Friday before Mothering Sunday.

 

In addition to our own community work, our buildings continue to be well used; with regular bookings from Baby Sensory, Nidra Health Jersey and the Doll’s Club & others ad hoc. 
The Women’s Refuge held an auction in the Church on 14th/15th March and raised £3,000. 

 

The Lent Lunches this year took place at the Parish Hall and we donated Ebenezer’s portion of the funds raised, £586 to support Ruth’s work in Malindi, Kenya.  Ruth and the Headteacher at St Clements Schools in Malindi visited us on 14th June to express their appreciation for our support.  In addition to our worldwide charity giving, it was agreed that our local giving would support children in need within Trinity School through an ‘Ebenezer Benevolent Fund’. 

 

A question was raised at our October Council meeting on our charitable giving and whether this represented 10% of our income, which is the expected target.  We are blessed with a generous congregation and during 2018, our total charitable giving amounted to £3,964, which is almost 10% of our income.  In addition to our monetary giving, 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. 

 

In terms of growing our faith through Bible study and discussion, we tried a number of formats throughout the year, including watching and discussing a couple of films; Mary Magdalene and The Shack.  
Rev Derek led us through Advent with an enriching hour’s discussion after the service and we feel truly blessed that he is happy to continue with his insightful teaching next year.

 

We were pleased to welcome Trinity school to Ebenezer for their Christmas Carol service and delighted that they and St Martin’s School Choirs took part in a workshop with the Gospel Touch Choir and Concert at Ebenezer on 1st December.  It was wonderful to work with the schools and approximately 200 people attended the Concert, including some people who had heard the Choir singing in town or on BBC Radio Jersey.  The Gospel Touch also sang at our Sunday service with friends from Eden and St Martin joining us.  A total of £600 was raised and shared between EyeCan and CLIC Sergeant. 

 

There is no doubt that we are missing loyal members of our congregation who have been the fabric of Ebenezer for many years.  Len and Eileen and Elaine now find it difficult to join us and we miss them.  The sad passing of Vernon and Doreen has also left gaps that we’re finding difficult to fill.  However, the wonderful sounds of baby William gurgling during the service is an encouraging reminder of hope.  William was baptised into our Church family on 18th November and Dexter (Julia’s grandson) was also welcomed into our family at his baptism on 15th April.  We were also pleased to welcome back Miranda and Paul (who were married at Ebenezer) for their daughter’s, Polly Evie, baptism on 24th June, and from our Pickles Village a baby, Arthur, was baptized on 19th August.

 

Rev Nico led our Parish Liberation Day Service and very poignantly, Sophie Le Sueur read her grandmother’s memories following Elaine’s fall, which prevented her from being there. 

 

Our Methodist Women in Britain group (Network) continues to meet, sadly with fewer members, but still with an active programme and an enthusiastic team.

 

On the Property front, the Quinquennial Survey report, although some 40 pages long, recognized all the work we’ve done since the previous survey.  New lights were fitted in the stairwell leading up to the Gallery. Church and planning permission were granted to replace the exterior Hall double doors.  Our car parking space rentals were very healthy and the Acorn voluntary scheme helped with keeping our top car parking area clean and tidy.  Our thanks too to V H Pallot & Sons for discounting their services to Ebenezer.

 

We passed our ‘Eat Safe’ inspection and have kept our 5-star rating.  Michael attended the Circuit Data Protection Consultation day on 29th September and changes have been made to ensure we are compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). 

 

Our summer outing on 22nd July was a great success with beautiful sunshine, a ride on George’s lorry and time for a swim at Robin Bay.  It was wonderful that Hannah, Luc and the children were over from the UK and able to join us.  A Church lunch at The Windmill was held on 18th November, with good food and good company.

 

I cannot end without thanking the wonderful, strong-knit Ebenezer Leadership team and all those who contributed to the running of our Church community.  At our harvest service we celebrated all the Spiritual gifts and graces we have as a congregation and I pray we will continue to use them and be blessed.  There is no doubt that the year ahead will present its ups and downs for us as a congregation, but as the body of Ebenezer with many parts, we step out in faith as a united family, and above all, with love and support for one another and those around us.

 

God bless you all.

 

ROSEMARY PARKER - CHURCH STEWARD

 

13th February 2019