Anniversary Letter 2021
Dear Members and Friends,
As we approach our church anniversary we are so thankful to God for His faithfulness throughout another year. He truly is the Lord of the years, whose love has kept and guided us. It’s been an unusual year in many ways, yet it’s been challenging, causing us to reflect on the things that are important to us.
We all share the same desire for the Lord’s work here at Emmanuel to continue to flourish. We long for souls to be saved and for the Lord Jesus Christ to be truly exalted in our hearts and homes. As the pandemic eases it’s time to re-set and go again. The wonderful truth is, that whilst many of the ministries will recommence with the inevitable tweak here and there, new opportunities will arise and new ministries will be birthed as we seek to move forward in the Lord’s will and in His ways.
Last October the church acknowledged their sincere and grateful thanks to God for Bernard and Linda’s ministry. We are absolutely thrilled that the Lord has granted the desire of their hearts with their recent move to Kent to be near their family, whilst continuing to use their gifts in the local church where they will be such a blessing!
This last year has been one of transition in Emmanuel with our arrival and the ongoing challenge of Covid. Both Viv and I have been greatly encouraged how the Lord has enabled us to settle into the rhythm of ministry amongst you. We too, are looking forward to 8th November when God willing, we will move into our new home in Newport.
The pandemic aside, the past year has been filled with the highs and lows that life itself brings. We have sadly lost a number of dear friends who have gone to be with the Lord which the scriptures say ‘is far better.’ These dear brothers and sisters are greatly missed. We’ve also had cause to rejoice with those who have been married, baptised and for the safe arrival of newborn babies as well as seeing some new faces in our services. May God continue to save precious souls and extend His kingdom in these dark days.
God willing, the Kitchen renovation will be finished soon and the newly reconfigured and redecorated flat will start to be used more fully, offering not just office facilities but an area for ‘one to one’ or ‘small group’ ministry. Our Anniversary offerings will be used to offset the cost of the work that’s been carried out which must be seen as an investment for the ongoing ministry alongside our vision to ‘reach out’ and connect with those around us. It’s also been a thrill to see the resumption of Toddlers, Art Club, Blast and the Open Air with Friday Rock soon to follow.
Easter saw the resumption of two Lord’s Day services held in the chapel and more recently the prayer meetings as well. The ladies weekly Bible studies and monthly fellowship meetings continue for now on Zoom. Whilst technology has been so helpful in allowing us to maintain fellowship and ministry during the lockdowns, nothing can replace the joy of God’s people gathering together physically in one place to worship Him. This we’ve missed and this is something we should value and cherish.
We are also thrilled to have as our anniversary preacher the Rev Phil Jenkins of Cardiff who has recently returned to Wales from Athens to help churches in their desire to share the gospel with a lost and dying world. Phil has recently started work with the Wales Leadership Forum in developing evangelism enablers for Wales. Please pray for this wonderful ministry as we seek to partner with them.
So, as we look to the future, with a sense of great excitement and expectancy, we look to our God who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
May we all know the Lord’s richest blessings as we walk with Him throughout the days that lie ahead.
With much love in our Saviour,