It is hard to believe that we are coming towards the first anniversary of the birth of the church at Connect! So much has happened in this first year and we have been so excited to see what God has been doing amongst us and through us. We are grateful for all your prayers and hope that these good news stories will help you to keep praying for the church and for the work that God is doing here.
The first thing to give thanks for, is the number of people that God has led here to find, and serve Jesus. Through Baptism people have shown their commitment to following Jesus and have acknowledged how knowing him has changed their lives. Through reception into Membership, people have shown their desire to serve Christ as part of the family here. Some of these people have felt able to give testimony about their journey with God, and this has been such a blessing to all who hear how knowing Jesus can transform a life. We have also been able to welcome people who have been to the AA meeting held at Connect on Sunday evenings into worship on a Sunday afternoon.
This year has also seen the development of the “Bridge” outreach work. Several members of the church lead this ministry, which aims to ‘Bridge the gap’ for people who find themselves in need. Tesco have been willing to donate food and clothing to support this outreach and we have secured funding for a worker to work alongside the volunteers for about 10 hours a week. God is giving us a heart for helping the homeless and some of the members of the church go out onto the streets regularly to offer practical support as well as prayer. We are also planning to offer a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Life Skills course.
At Christmas we met three times to worship in a service that included praise,singing, preaching and testimony. Through being blessed themselves, the worship team and those taking part, were able to bless many people who came, some of whom have chosen to come and worship with us regularly since then.
In January we held our first “Encounter with God” Day. This was a full day of learning, listening to God and sharing, that truly touched the lives of those who came. It was amazing to see what God can do, in just a few hours when we give him our full attention. We plan to offer more of these days in the future.
Also in January, we held our first Women’s Conference – which we called the “Her Conference”. On this day we welcomed over 50 women to share and learn about their identity in God. This was a time of great blessing that touched women from the church, from the wider circuit, as well as reaching out to those who did not yet know Jesus. The men of the church were an amazing support on this day, welcoming all who came, preparing refreshments with love and care, and helping with music for worship.
We have also seen God at work in the challenges that we face. Whilst we were so grateful for the building that we were given, it does need some attention and work. The amount of money necessary seemed like a mountain to climb, but through the generosity of two churches in the circuit, and we pray through a Connexional Grant that we are waiting to hear about, it seems that God is enabling us to do what needs to be done. We are so thankful for this and feel that this affirms the vision that God has given us for being His church in this place and time.
At Connect we Belong, Believe, Become – each person is encouraged to walk with Jesus and to find out what ministry God is calling them too. We hope that with the good news we have shared you will be encouraged for the work that God can do in your church. God bless you and thank you for your prayers, please keep praying for us.
The church at Connect@Tiviot Dale.
TEXT by Amanda Martin