Yr 2 – Day 296 – Sunday 15 July – It was my last Sunday before holiday and it felt it. A later start was appreciated and then I was preaching from the end of Matthew 9. I felt the sermon flowed better than it has in the last few weeks. WE had loads of visitors, mainly people just in London for the weekend but it was nice some newcomers were back. We were just at home with Gethin having Sri Lankan leftovers and pizza for lunch. In the evening I decided to preach on 1 Timothy 1:16 the greatness of God. It was short which I think people appreciated. We were low on numbers but it amazes me that people come out on a Sunday night particularly when it’s been so hot and uncomfortable, it’s such an encouraging thing. I’m praying that in the new building our evening service will grow again.

 

Yr 2 – Day 297 – Monday 16 July – There is a mountain of admin to be done so I cracked on with some of that, mainly it’s home stuff but some church things aswell. In the afternoon we did some more filming for the building project, basically me begging folk to give, which hopefully will be out next week. I slightly fear what it might look like but we need to do it. I then did a couple of quick Pastoral visits. In the evening one of the congregation came to see me and it was super encouraging, we talked about baptism and the church. It was just a super time of bibles open talking about the Word.

 

Yr 2 – Day 298 – Tuesday 17 July – In the morning I worked on some things for while I’m away and  then made it to ELT where Dave Hills gave his third talk on Ruth. I had a meeting straight after ELT and then caught the tube into Liverpool Street to meet with Israel who is part of our church in Shepherds Bush. Israel would like to be in ministry long term and is thinking over Seminary options, he’s going to spend a couple of weeks interning with us at the end of August which should be good. I then travelled on to Ilford where I met up with Simon there to do a pastoral visit in Hartford which is about 40 minutes drive away!! It went well but weren’t away until 10. I was back in Ealing 11.30 where I was supposed to meet Jimmy Hughes who is from Llanelli and stays with us occasionally when he’s in London on business. Jimmy had a puncture and finally arrived at our house 2am. It felt like a day that would never end

 

Yr 2 – Day 299 – Wednesday 18 July – My last full day before hols and meetings started at 8.30. I had 4 back to back meetings which gradually got further and further behind schedule. One of which was with Gethin who will be on his way to France by the time I get home, he’s preaching both ends the next couple of weeks and it’s been a privilege to have him around this year.  I tried to do the necessary admin but didn’t get it done in time. There’ll be a few things that drag into the first couple of days of holiday. I didn’t make it to prayer meeting still trying to catch up on things but I did manage to meet one of my elders for a drink late night and that was a good finish to the working year!

 

Yr 2 – Day 300 – Thursday 19 July – It was something of a fraught morning and I wasn’t in the best of moods (which is probably a mild understatement). We caught the flight from Heathrow late morning and flopped for the rest of the day once we got to Ballyrobert.  Noah and Ellie played outside for hours and Phoebe happily pushed a pram endlessly round the place. Claire and I went to look for a suit in a local shopping centre but nothing bought. It seems I’ve grown in the wrong ways since I last bought a suit. I didn’t even start reading and was in bed early.
Yr 2 – Day 301 – Friday 20 July – The kids were up early and Ellie complaining of not being well, from then on every half hour she was sick until about 9 in the night. The poor little thing just lay on the sofa. Phoebe was sick in the evening but we’re hoping that was just Phoebe being her usual self and not a bug. Noah seems good and spent the day pottering about, doing lego. Claire and I got out to a great suit shop but I think it’s probably a bit steep!! The advantage of Ellie being sick is I managed to get the jobs done that I’d not managed to get done before we came away and so now don’t have anything to do until I get home!
Advertisements

IPC Ealing – Building Project

 

The IPC Ealing Building Project is nearly there!!

We’re hoping to begin holding worship services in October in our new building. It’s remarkable how God has provided in many remarkable ways already. We are on the final stretch and are looking to raise finances to enable us to kit the building out.

Would you be willing to buy a chair in our new building? The chairs cost £165 each and in US money it’s $220.

Here’s a 2 minute video of me explaining where we’re at in the project and how you can help

If you’re in the UK – this page will give you our bank details this page will give you our bank details and we’d be glad to claim gift aid back on your gift if we can, let us know and we’ll send you the form

If you’re in the US – Mission to the World have a Project Fund which you can use to give to us.

We also have a loan on the building for £950,000 and so if you were able to commit to giving regularly to the building project that would help us enormously as we plan ahead.

 

 

 

 

Yr 2 – Day 289 – 295

Sunday  – Yr 2 Day 289 We had Joint Sunday School together, it’s such an encouraging time, the Lord has blessed us with Children over the last number of years and so what was a tiny Sunday School 10 years ago now has about 25 children in it each week. We gave them a book each and heard from the various groups. So much to thank the Lord for. In the morning service I preached on Matthew 9/10 – it felt like a glorified bible study and I didn’t get going at all. I was delighted a new young man who is looking at coming to us was there I’m praying he’ll join, though it’ll be a miracle after that sermon. We had a housegroup BBQ in the scorching heat at the Little’s. In the evening Chris Roberts preached very well from the second half of Psalm 103, he did what I should have done in the morning and kept it short. It was lovely to have the in laws with us all weekend and the kids loved it

Yr 2 – Day 290 – Monday 9 July – Dave Hills and I finished up The Work of the Pastor and I tried to get back into Calvin on Ephesians. I feel convicted about writing more letters, Geoff Thomas stuck this up on the Banner website the other week. What is interesting is that I write to people when they leave to tell them how much I appreciate them but rarely if ever write to folk in the church to tell them. I’m going to try and change that in the autumn. I spent a bit of time trying to think how we’re going to work as a staff over the next year but didn’t really get anywhere. Some more Calvin  and a Pastoral visit and that was the day.

 

Yr 2 – Day 291 Tuesday 10 july – I met up with a camera man from the church to go round the building. It’s amazing to see the building taking shape, the roof is magnificent and so beautiful. I managed to get up on to the roof and look down at the various things going on. the site manager said to me it’s a beautiful design but terrible to build. From there I met with one of our men who has professed faith this year to  hear his encouragements and struggles. Dave Hills was giving his second talk on Ruth and had some great thoughts – Mara tying in with Marah from exodus – a place of bitterness turned into blessing and Orpah disappearing from the story. I popped into town to see Alun Ebenezer, did some more reading and thinking through Sunday before watching the France/ Belgium game with Noah.

 

Yr 2 – Day 292 – Wednesday 11 July  – Dave Hills and I watched Sinclair Ferguson’s masterful 20 minutes of Pastoral Theology he gave at a Desiring God conference a few years ago. Really helpful reminders. I had a mountain of letters to get done and some prep on Matthew 9 which is going very slowly. I caught up with Rob Ilderton for lunch and it was good to hear of the encouragements in Immanuel Brentford and their plans for the future. I read again in the afternoon  and the kids broke up from school, because of building work at the school they’ve got 8 weeks off this summer. The country ground to a halt for the England game, Noah and I watched it with our neighbours whose language was industrial to say the least.

 

Yr 2 – Day 293 – Thursday 12 July – Early Morning Session Prayer, had an end of year feel about it. I was then on to study trying to get sermons in some shape for Sunday – 2 more to go. I wrote our the Session AGM Report and that was very encouraging to go through the last 6 months. God has been so very good to us. My sermon on Matthew 9 is coming together and then I took the girls to the park. It is a great thing that the work of ministry is flexible, those of us in church work are super privileged. Our AGM last night wasn’t very well attended, we’d thought of moving it to July which hasn’t worked but it was a good time. Chris Cradock was in the chair as Graham was away so we were a bit longer than usual.

 

Yr 2 – Day 294 – Friday 13 July – It was a day trying to work on sermons, I’m crawling over the line to holidays and so my brain is working very slowly. We were at the Meiners for lunch which was a lovely time and then a couple of people to see in the afternoon. We were supposed to have some families of schoolfriends in the evening but they had to cancel. I really enjoyed reading John Murray’s charge to Ed Clowney on his appointment to Westminster, in volume 1 of his works.

 

Yr 2 – Day 295 – Saturday 14 July – A day of celebration, Noah and Ellie had a birthday party for one of the church kids in the morning. It was a dancing party and very embarrassing for parents to watch. Noah has inherited my dancing skills.
In the afternoon was Gethin’s ordination which was a good time, we have so many folk on holiday and it was a shame more weren’t able to be there. Chris Roberts led the service, I did the Ordination Vows and charge, Simon Arscott preached excellently from Acts 13 on Ordination – The Act, The Actors, the Impact of Ordination – pretty provocative but good. There was a mountain of food and we were all away by a bit after 6. Noah was in the bath when we remembered he had another party at his Sri Lankan friends. We dashed down and they feed me the most amazing curry, I love going to their place, different culture, different traditions and they are so welcoming. They told me of a Hindu temple they’d been to near Llanpumsaint in West Wales which was suprising. Noah and I are always the only non Sri Lankans there and we’re sent home with huge amounts of food.

Heroic Failures – A footnote to the AGM Session Report

I should have also mentioned that there have been some ventures we’ve tried over the last 6 months that just haven’t worked. The Greenford Lunchtime Talks we ran for 12 weeks and there were some generous donors allowed us to try this. A combination of freezing weather and the room being in an awkward position means that they just didn’t take, we had between 8 and 15 each time but nearly all our own people.  It might be worth trying again at some point at a different venue but Greenford is different to Ealing in that there’s not the same amount of lunchtime workers.

 

We also tried lunch bars in the Castle Pub opposite University of West London. WE flyered all morning, told the CU who were enthusiastic about it but no one came, literally no one. Both times we had a great pub lunch but it didn’t do what we’d hoped and prayed it would.  I think I could have done a better job getting the CU involved and getting our church praying for it but even the CU really struggles with evangelistic events and they are a very small group and it’s a difficult place to be a Christian. Although it felt pretty discouraging it was worth it in actually seeing what the university is like.

 

It’s good to try this sort of thing and we mustn’t give the impression in church life  that everything works and is a success. Also, we mustn’t let these things deter us from trying things in church life and not being afraid if they fail. I had a good friend who used to talk about celebrating failure in church life, which I still can’t get my head around but I think he means something like what we’ve done here. I love those verses in 2 Corinthians ‘At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.” It’s comedic and ministry don’t always turn out successfully!

IPC AGM Session Report – July 2018

Continuing in the boring and bland spirit of this blog, I’m going to post our AGM Reports. In that I hope it gives you a flavour of our church life.  As I said at the meeting last night this starts as a report and ends up as a sermon…

 

 

Hudson Taylor said “There are three stages to every great work of God; first it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.”

In looking over the last 6 months of Session Minutes I am struck by a few things. We’ve spent more time discussing people in the congregation and needs that different folk have. This is partly in having more elders so we can be more in touch with the congregation. The dynamic of having more people in the room obviously changes how we’ve worked over the last number of years but it’s been a good thing and particularly with helping other churches, we are grateful that the Lord has provided more manpower.

We have been encouraged in welcoming different folk to the session, we met and prayed with Matt Childs in December, hearing his desire to be in Christian work. We were sad to see him and Rachel move to Kew Baptist but also can see the blessing they will be to that church family. We’re thankful for all they’ve done for our church over the years.

 Hristo Voynikov spoke to us about his plans to return to Bulgaria in 2020 to work with Christianity Explored and Lourens Du Plessis is a 4th year student at Oak Hill, he is ‘under care’ of our presbytery and will be attending IPC Ealing over this next year.  Gethin Jones has been part of our meetings each month and it’s been good to see his progress through applying to UFM and Ordination. God willing, he will finish with us at the end of July and move to Paris in August. It’s been a joy to have Gethin serving alongside us this year and we’re very grateful to God for him. We were encouraged by the recent gift day and will continue to pray for him over these coming months and years as we send him out from our congregation.\

Dave Hills, a 3rd year student from Westminster Seminary has also attended our meetings whilst shadowing Paul this summer.  We hope that there will be another man, Israel, who will join us for a couple of weeks at the end of the summer to do a ministry placement. Israel is part of our IPC church in Shepherds Bush and is hoping to head into full time Christian Ministry.

At the end of June, we said goodbye to Donald, Natalie and the Batusics. Donald has moved back to Scotland and the Batusics back to the US. Natalie will still be with us but will be retraining in social work. We’re so thankful for how they have served us and done so sacrificially, we will miss them and there are going to be gaps in ministry which need to be filled so please do join us in praying for them and us as we adjust to life without them. At the moment, it doesn’t look like we will have interns for this coming year which I think can be a good thing. It allows the congregation to step up and take responsibility. Do please consider how you might be able to serve in the congregation.

One of the issues we’ve discussed most is how we can encourage more people to belong to housegroups. We’ve worked through the congregation list but want to encourage you if you’re not in a group please do consider joining one. It is a vital way of belonging, getting to know people, being able to pray together and study God’s word. We’ve also discussed different areas of ministry and are exploring the possibility of a Pregnancy Advice Centre in Ealing.

Each month Simon Arscott from All Nations Church, Ilford joins us and gives a report of the work there. They are around 30 each Sunday and they’re hoping to move forward with ordaining elders and having membership in the coming year. Simon is also leading bi monthly joint 20/30s nights with our congregation and LCPC

We are still hoping Ian Hamilton will come and spend a month with us in Ealing for February 2019.  We’re looking for accommodation for him and his wife Joan.  It should be an exciting time for us as Ian would be preaching and doing some training, and would be a wiser older head about the place encouraging us!

As we look back the highlights over these past 6 months we have had the joy of ordaining 4 new deacons who have begun to serve and make a difference.  In June we Ordained Chris Roberts as Associate Minister and Elder. It was a great privilege for us as a congregation to have been involved with Chris since the beginning of his training and I’m sure all of us are thrilled to see how he has developed and grown in his gifts.

This past 6 months has seen St Peter’s Liss taking up a large portion of our meeting, probably about half our time has been spent on Liss matters. This has been unavoidable in dealing with many of the issues there. One of our elders goes down to Liss each Sunday and the congregation there have really appreciated that. We are very grateful for James Buchanan as minister of Liss, who is proving to be an excellent pastor. Please continue to pray for the congregation there and that we would be able to continue to be a support to the church family. In this coming year it would be wonderful if a new eldership could be established in Liss.

As we look ahead there are going to be challenges for us as a congregation.

The increased size of the eldership is a wonderful opportunity and yet it is a challenge. We’ve known great unity and we must pray for that to continue. There’s huge potential with a larger eldership for good and pastoral care. Pray for our elders to work together well, that we would be a radical court of the church that doesn’t just become a board of directors. Give thanks for how the elders are working together.

The New Building will present really great opportunities for us, a place to worship both morning and evening, somewhere that we can do outreach out of, a place for ministries that we run to develop. We have seen God provide in the most remarkable ways over the last 12 years of planning this building, but we mustn’t be naïve. The devil will hate what we are seeking to do and will want to get in to disrupt and destroy. We should take this opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the Lord and one another. It is a significant milestone in the life of our congregation, and we must guard against pride and disunity. There’s a danger in thinking once we’re in the building that we’ve made it but actually the work of reaching this area and discipling people is only beginning.

As I’ve reflected on where we’re at as a congregation I’ve been really struck by the words of our Lord Jesus Christ speaking in the parable of the faithful and wise manager – Luke 12:48 Everyone to whom much was given of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more’. In IPC we have been given much. Financially people from outside of our congregation have been very generous and this building is going to be a great opportunity for us to have a wider impact than just ourselves and so let’s pray for great things from God and attempt great things for God. Let us be a generous congregation as we have received from others. If anything, this building project should teach us is that if God is in something, nothing is impossible and so let’s let it strengthen our faith. There is a weight of responsibility on us that we use the gifts God has given us. Time is very short let’s use it wisely.

 “There are three stages to every great work of God; first it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.”

Yr 2 – Day 282 – 288

Yr 2 – Day 282 – Sun 1 July – I was preaching at Christ Church Romford which started meeting together on Easter Sunday. It took the best part of two hours to get there on a boiling hot Central Line. Like us they have Sunday School before the service at 10. I spoke on Why I’m a Presbyterian? Because of…who God is, scripture teaches, sin demands. There were about 20 there at Sunday School and a further 15 were there for worship. They told me about 10 folk away so it is a very encouraging start to the church. I was back with Dave and Jenny for lunch and a new family to the church. There’s bizarre links with Jenny in that we were in Cardiff together and went to the same family for lunch each Sunday and then my dad ended up Pastoring her home church so he married them. It’s a peculiar providence if we end up in the same denomination. I was so encouraged by time with them I have high hopes the church will thrive. Another 90 minutes on the tube home and in the evening I preached from Numbers 16, it was very hot and people were very dozy! Dean Hall is like a green house on nights like that. We said goodbye to the interns and we will really miss them, it was a nice time at Jono and Marta’s to bid them all farewell.

Yr 2 – Day 283 – Mon 2 July – Dave Hills was around to go through his talk for ELT and read some more of The Work of a Pastor. I was pretty spent after yesterday and so didn’t achieve very much in the day. We had our session meeting at night which went well, Lourens came over from Oak Hill to meet us and it will be good to have him around on Sundays after the summer.
Lewis Roderick was up from Wales and stayed over for the night which was great

 

Yr 2 – Day 284 – Tue 3 July – I was studying in the morning and then went along to ELT to hear Dave Hills make a good start on Ruth 1, we’ve found one of our regulars who is willing to help set up each week which is really encouraging. Natalie and I caught up afterwards to debrief on the last couple of years which was really helpful. She’s worked so hard for the church. Noah and I watched the English match together which was very exciting.

Yr 2 – Day 285 – Wed 4 July – Dave and I met and are making good progress on the book. I gave quite detailed feedback on his talk which was pretty much the usual feedback for someone in Seminary but he did well. I caught up with Chuck and a couple more meetings. Prayer Gathering in the night that was a good time but we’d love to see more with us

Yr 2 – Day 286 – Thu 5 July – We started off with our team meeting, sermon prep, meeting with some American folk by Skype which was encouraging, Camp planning meeting, pastoral meeting after it.

 

Yr – Day 287 – Fri 6 July – Looking after brother in laws kids who are over form Belfast for a long weekend, met with Dave hills to go through the book but I was so tired I’m not sure I was much help. Prep was slow but I got there in the end. I wanted to go to the 20s and 30s evening in Ilford, Simon Arscott was speaking on abortion so I was keen to hear what he had to say. However it was a 2 and a half hour journey – The Central Line was down, an electrical fault on the overground and then when I finally got to Liverpool Street delays out to Ilford. I got there in time for curry which was terrific but missed the talk. We then made the epic journey back, home about 11.40. I felt like I needed an IV drip by the time I got home. There were maybe 30 there I’m not convinced Friday night works well for our folk but it’s a good venture.

 

Yr 2 – Day 288 – Sat 7 July – An absolute scorcher, we were with Claire’s brother’s family, A trip to the Bunny Park, paddling pool out, watching the England game at our neighbours. Then at a birthday party of some former church members, It was a lovely time but I don’t like being out on a Saturday night and were back too late.