Welcome to 2013, and happy New Year! But before we rush on, let's reflect on the last month of Christmas services. They were well attended, there was creativity and consistency. A big thank you to my clergy colleagues, the worship team, the church wardens, stewards, the welcome team and the army of volunteers! A special thanks must go to Joanna Pearson, who planned everything, and Kim Mason, who delivered the detailed organisation. I believe that in 2013 the Lord is calling St George's to consolidate.
I love Eugene Peterson's phrase, 'a long the obedience in the same direction'. Sometimes in life we need to just keep going! I think that's where we are at right now. We have a clear vision in sharing life, loving Leeds. We have a new structure for our community life through networks. We have found a great way to make solid, lifelong, Christian disciples through the Academy of life. We have two ambitious projects; sending a team, led by Joanna, to work alongside St Augustine's church, Wrangthorn; also setting up ‘St Barnabas Theological Centre’ to train leaders for the CofE in partnership with St Michael le Belfry York and St Thomas Crookes Sheffield.
Consolidation means doing what God has asked us to do, and working together to make it solid. It means declining to take on other initiatives that are costly in terms of time, staff energy, or money. Consolidation means balancing our budget; paying for what we've already got, before seeking to expand again. It means keeping our staff team at its current size. It means being disciplined in not taking on new things, unless we can identify old things to stop. Consolidation is good, because it allows us to catch up with one another, and catch our breath.
The verse I have for St George's in 2013 is Micah 6:8 ‘walk humbly with your God’.May God give each of you grace, to walk humbly with him in 2013.