Hello Everyone,

This is my second time writing for the Stricklandgater, exactly a year after my first. What a year we’ve had! What progress we’ve made! Our Sunday congregation has stabilised and grown, we’ve welcomed new members, had four family services with dozens of children in our midst, given real time and discussion to our vision of being a house of prayer, had hundreds of people attend our Open Day, finished our exterior and started our interior redecoration… And those are just the big events that come to mind. Dear friends, that is just a part of what we’ve achieved together so far. However we cannot stop now, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels; there is work still to be done. I am confident that we can go from strength to strength if we continue to love and support one another.

This Christmas time we have an amazing opportunity to show that same love that was made flesh in Bethlehem. We have a chance to open ourselves up to our community, to our friends from other churches, to our families and to each other. We have a chance to physically express that love through our extra present appeal. A chance to live it during our Nativity and Carol Services with all our visitors, and to open our doors wide with love as we welcome Sandylands, Fellside and families on Christmas morning. As we pause around the manger and think on all that that first Christmas means, God has given us all a chance to be a radiant reflection of the love embodied by the Christ-child.

Once Christmas has moved passed us for another year, 2019 will be upon us. A year that will see us continue to grow, thrive and shine IF we stand up for love. If we hold the year in the love of Christ and if we try in all we do together and privately to reflect God’s glory and grace. Like last year I finish by asking you this; will we sit back and hope the year resembles a great year of old or will we grasp the chances God gives us to make 2019 a year that goes down in our Church history as one of the greatest yet? Finally may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and joyous New Year!

With love & blessings, Pastor Marc