In preparation for Ruddington Baptist Church’s annual general meeting this month which takes place every May, the following report has been published by Sam Hackett (minister).
It has almost been a year since we had our church weekend away at Cefn Lea in Mid-Wales. Our focus that weekend was on the Kingdom of God. We were reminded that Jesus set out to restore the world to the way God had created it to be. He did this through both his teaching and his loving, healing and transformative actions. We were challenged to pray and consider our role in building God’s Kingdom. We were joined, that weekend, by Hannah Corcoran who was, at that stage, an intern at Renew 37 in West Bridgford.
I believe that the church weekend away was a foretaste of God’s plans. We have since started up an Art and Wellbeing café and employed Hannah as our Community and Wellbeing Coordinator. As part of her role Hannah has been helping host the wellbeing café and has been supporting a group of women with postnatal depression. In recent weeks we have been presented with an opportunity to go into James Peacock School to help children to consider the importance of looking after their minds. There has also been interest in starting up an evening wellbeing group. This is something we are currently exploring.
Mental health should not be a taboo subject and within RBC we have been encouraging each other to be open in sharing our struggles. This year God has been challenging us to consider the amazing impact of our faith in the renewing of our minds. Our verse for the year (seen below) has helped us to do this. I call on us as a church to pray and consider how God might be leading us to further develop this wellbeing ministry.
At the start of 2017 we took an opportunity to introduce the church to our new logo and purpose statement. ‘We are a community of people on a journey together to know Jesus Christ and to follow him in everyday life.’ This purpose statement is at the heart of every activity of the church. One of our greatest gifts is our sense of community and the welcome we give to those who attend our various groups. This strength of our community makes such an impact in the lives of the people we come into contact with at groups such as the wellbeing café, the lunch group, Nappucinos and the Men’s Breakfast.
Another key aspect of our purpose statement is to journey together into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. We believe that faith in Jesus changes everything. We journey together through Sunday services, small groups, prayer meetings and by living life together.
There are a number of things that I have been particularly encouraged by in the past six months. It has been great to see so many people growing in faith with a desire for more of God. A regular visitor commented to me recently that there appeared to be a much greater openness to the Holy Spirit and a real hunger for prayer within our services. I am also encouraged by the way churches in Ruddington are working together particularly in regards to children and youth work and prayer. The response to our 24 hour prayer weekend was amazing. It was really great to hear people sharing how God had spoken to them and to see the art work and messages written on the walls at The Hub.
I am in such a privileged position of seeing every aspect of church life and journeying with so many of you. I recognise that not everyone gets to see what I see. I am excited by the way God is at work in our church and community. There are so many things to be thankful for and many exciting possibilities ahead.
I ask that we keep hold of the vision and purpose God has provided and continue to explore what this means for us. I ask that we remain open with one another in sharing our lives and particularly our struggles. I look forward to another 24 hour prayer event later in the year but ask that we keep on praying continually. Finally, I ask that we keep seeking God’s heart for our church and community that His Kingdom come and his will be done here on earth, in our work places and in Ruddington, as in heaven.
Verse for the Year:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what
God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.