April 9th – Laura Joiner

Dear Friends,

Well, here it is, my first staff letter!  I’m now in the sixth month of my role as Pastoral Assistant here at Christ Church and can whole-heartedly report that I am loving it!  So many of you have expressed such encouragement to me and have given me wonderful support, particularly during the weeks that Tracy had a well deserved break in Australia with her family. So I’d like to firstly take this opportunity to thank you all sincerely for the love our church family has shown me – I feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to serve you all.

Secondly, I did wonder what I might use this letter to say.  And, as I prayed, I felt God gently prompt me to talk about serving.  Having the opportunity to serve each other is indeed a blessing and something that we are encouraged to do as Paul says in his letter to the Romans 12 vs 9-11: ‘Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord’.  

called to serveI have learned that it is in our very actions of serving each other and putting others before ourselves, that we can feel the truth of the love to which our Heavenly Father always calls us.  After all, we honour Him by honouring our neighbour.

So, on that note, one of the things that has struck me about Christ Church, is that we are indeed blessed with many dedicated volunteers, without whom our very operation would fail to be so varied and supportive.

However, we all have different gifts to share and if you haven’t decided yet in which area yours would be best suited, I would encourage you to pray and perhaps consider the following:  we are in need of developing our team of pastoral visitors and also our bereavement visiting team.  As the church family grows (praise God!) we are finding that there is a need to train new people.

God is always one step ahead of us, so just as Tracy and I had agreed that this is what we needed to encourage, an email was sent through to us from within the Diocese detailing two courses to help equip God’s people in Pastoral and Bereavement duties!  And, what is more, each course is entirely free!  The only cost to us is our time.  In the box below I have included the information necessary if you are feeling prompted to know more. Importantly if you are interested, the closing date for registration is the 13th of April – next Thursday!   Please do let me know if you are planning on attending. I would love to look forward to seeing you there!

Finally, again thank you all for accepting me into the family that is Christ Church.  The love and friendship that this congregation has for each other is abundantly tangible.

Galatians 6 v10 ‘Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers’.

Love and blessings to you all, Laura