Welcome to a New Year!

Sunday, February 1, 2015
A new year has begun!  Kids and teachers are back to school this week (if not already) and most of our church groups begin this coming week also.  Our house-groups are beginning and I have suggested that groups might like to follow the Sunday Sermon Series on Mark’s Gospel.  I will have questions available each week.
We also want to start the new year with Prayer!  We plan a Prayer Gathering for Thursday night February 12th and invite you all to join us in the Hall to pray for our church life and mission as we head into 2015.  We invite house-groups to come and join us on that night also. House-groups might like to have a shared meal before coming.
A church prayer gathering helps us to re-focus in this new year; acknowledging that this is God’s church community; that we are available to God for his Kingdom work and that we are seeking his leadership and enabling in all areas of our church life.  Nothing of eternal worth will occur unless the Lord is in it.  Prayer times are the engine room of our church!  How powerful is our engine room?
I love to remember the church elder who, when giving a notice about their prayer meeting at a Sunday Service, said, “Everything we do at this church is undermined by prayer.” May God undermine all our plans that are not within his purposes!
Today we also Commission Paula Levy as our new Assistant Pastor.  Paula is well-qualified and experienced for this role.  She has a Bachelor of Ministries Degree from Laidlaw College, has worked as a youth pastor and student counsellor/advisor at Ucol, has excellent people skills, a passion for teaching and facilitating discipleship, is an experienced worship leader, and has a long involvement with St Albans.  She was ordained as an elder here in 2000. Her skills fit the Job Description we have developed very well.  It will be of real benefit to add a woman to our staff pastoral team. 
  • To extend and coordinate a Sunday Welcome Team to connect with newcomers before and after church, and on subsequent Sundays.
  • To establish, coordinate and participate in a Connecting Newcomers Team to follow up newcomers in their homes, connect them with others and help them get well established in our church family.
  • To establish and coordinate a Discipling Team to oversee and develop the discipling ministries of small groups, Alpha, baptism classes and one-on-one mentoring/discipling.
  • To join the Pastoral Team and assist with pastoral visiting.
  • To help establish one new community outreach.
  • To occasionally lead worship and preach.
  • To assist the senior minister in any other ways as time allows.
We are able to employ Paula for 20 hours per week as Presbytery Central pays St Alban’s to release me for 15 hours per week in my role as Presbytery Convener, and the other 5 hours are possible through the generosity of some personal supporters. Please pray for Paula and her family in this new role for her and us!