It's good to share some good news from Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.
In recent weeks I had the privilege of visiting one of our little chapels in Shropshire, Chorley Chapel. Here in this small Shropshire village Alan and Sue Vincent head up an amazing and most interesting work running Boot Camps to help married men to surrender to Christ. I was very moved by the stories they shared and by the vision to be involved in this life-changing ministry. It felt like the best kept secret that needs to be shared openly. If you know anyone who you think would benefit from this experience then more information is available here.
In Worcestershire I recently had the joy of spending an afternoon at Worcester Royal Hospital with the Baptist Chaplain there, Rev Dr David Southall. I was greatly encouraged to hear stories of ministry on the edges, and discover how Jesus is being lived out incarnationally in the Worcester Hospitals. We are privileged in our Association to have Baptist Ministers serving within schools, prisons, hospices and hospitals as well as the armed forces. Intentional ministry very much outside the box, where Jesus is being shared with integrity and grace. Please remember to pray for those who are modelling the Jesus narrative day by day in these places where often there is a real openness to the good news.
In Hereford I attended Ledbury Messy Church on a sunny Saturday afternoon. In recent months Ledbury's Sunday congregation has not witnessed much growth and yet Messy Church on the other hand has been a huge success. There was a real cross-section of people from toddlers to grandparents, all fully entering into the Messy church program of activities. I was so impressed by the church leadership and members who are totally committed to their Saturday Messy Church, so much so that, on the one week of the month that Messy Church happens, all energies are poured into it, and they do not meet on a Sunday. Their commitment has really paid off and what they have created is proving to be a great way to reach out into the community and draw people in to learn more about our wonderful Jesus. The excellent and generous meal we shared together after provided even more time and space to share faith and life. I drove home praising God for this exciting fresh expression of His Kingdom.
I've been a Regional Minister amongst you now for the past 15 months and it is a joy to serve Jesus and our Association in this way. I am constantly blown away by the rich diversity that exists in expressions of ministry throughout the association and I just wanted to encourage you that God is doing amazing things through those who dare to step outside of the box and do things differently.
May God richly bless you all.
Our Association Treasurer, John Levick, has given notice of his intention to retire from this position at the HEBA Gathering/AGM in June 2016. This is a voluntary, but vitally important role in the life of the Association. Further information is on the Recruitment page here.