It has been a while since I have written an update and a lot of things have happened. Christmas was a joyful but frenetic event at EMC with many services and events.
EMC hosted another successful Christmas Together. I would like to thank Heather and Tony Blakeburn and their team for running the event. Heather and Tony have decided to step down after five years. Thank you to them for this commitment – the event makes a huge difference to those who would have been alone at Christmas. Keith and Lisa Halstead will be taking over in 2018.
In January we had an amazing church mission day. I hope that those who joined us for Ignite found it an uplifting and helpful occasion. It is really positive to think about our mission as a church. Keep your eyes open for follow up.
Over the last few months, Richard Smith and our auditor Harry Wilkinson have been working hard on our annual report. I would like to thank them for all their time and effort. It is an enormous piece of work which can be found on the Charity Commission website and in the office. It will be presented at the Church AGM on Saturday 21 April. Come along to hear about the plans for the year and be involved in the decision making. We will have children’s activities so that everyone can come.
This month we are looking forward to the church Book Fair in February. This will be EMC’s seventeenth successive Book Fair. There are many opportunities to get involved and plenty of books for sale so do come along and support it!
We are always trying to support you with any issues so please feel free to come and raise anything. You can see me in the welcome area between services, use my pigeon hole or email me ().
Minister's message January 2018
So, I’m not the greatest gardener.
I can quite imagine the scene in a few months-time – one sunny summer’s afternoon – as Bob (not his real name) is in the garden next door filling his wheelbarrow with freshly-pulled spuds (‘Cor, I got some whoppers ‘ere!’ – his cheery Devonshire accent drifting over the fence), weighing his prize marrow (‘Nearly broke the scales that did!’), and offering me a couple of crates of his succulent strawberries (‘I just got no room left in the fridge!’)… while, on my side of the fence, I’m throwing my pitiful looking carrots straight onto the compost heap (hoping that Bob’s not looking), discovering that blight has once again ravaged my tomato crop, and cutting up into six pieces the one small raspberry I’ve successfully grown so that whole family can have a taste of the season’s harvest.
You get the picture.
Here’s what Bob knows: Set the right environment for your fruit and veg and they will thrive. Give them the sunlight, warmth, water and nutrients that they need and they’re going to do well.
And just as gardeners want their gardens to thrive, God wants us to thrive.
We see a picture of it in the first psalm,
’They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do’ (Psalm 1:3)
God wants us to thrive, to be healthy, growing followers of Christ. There are many things that will help us to thrive as Christians, but here’s a key one that we’re going to be focusing in on during our teaching in February: being a part of a House Group.
House groups help us to thrive because they are a fantastic place to make meaningful and lasting friendships. And friendships are important. God created us for community, to be with one another, to encourage and support one another, to share together in the difficult times as well as in the happy ones. In House Groups we have a safe space to be ourselves, to be real, open and honest; to care and to be cared for, to love and to be loved.
House Groups also help us to thrive because they are a fantastic place to grow in faith. As we study the Bible together, share testimonies, ask questions, worship and pray together, we get to know God in a deeper way and are strengthened and encouraged in our Christian walk.
House Groups help us to thrive because they give us a chance to participate and to get involved… to help, to serve, to host, to lead, to pray for others, and just to be ourselves! House Groups provide a safe context for us to use the gifts that God has given us and to be a blessing to others as we do so.
Here’s what some people have said about House Groups:
"I have gained a lot from being part of the group, making a contribution, the social events and the Bible studies” " Apart from everything we have learnt together, so many friendships have been formed as well as some deeper ties which are of great and lasting value..." "We have been gaining a great deal from the studies... it is proving a wonderful opportunity... we are gaining so much from doing this."
So, if you are not already part of a house group, we’d love to encourage you to consider joining one! Our groups meet at various times of the week in different locations throughout Epsom. You’d be very welcome to try one or two groups out to get an idea of which one feels right for you. If you’d like to know more, you can:
Chat to one of our group leaders (please see below) or to me.
God wants us to thrive, to be healthy and to grow in our relationship with Him. House groups can really help us to do that. If you’re interested in joining one, please do let us know how we can support you.
Part-time Circuit Administrator
The duties are to undertake the work as secretary to the Circuit Meeting and circuit committees, serve as Circuit Safeguarding Officer and to assist the Superintendent Minister in his circuit related duties.
It requires computer literacy and sympathy with the aims of the church. 20 hours per week, start May 2018, £12 per hour.
Application form from Rev Dr David Dickinson, . Office: 020 8643 6884
Closing date noon Friday 23rd March.
Ready Teddy Go! - Nursery Manager
Come and lead our staff team! There is a vacancy for a Nursery Manager, commencing September 2018. The Nursery is open each weekday morning during term-time. An NVQ Level 3 qualification is a minimum requirement. The Post is for 5 days (a total of around 35 hours) per week.
Applications close on Monday 12th March. For further information and application form, please contact John Riley.