Dear East Freo Church family,
It is with joy and confidence in the Lord that we gather together this June for our Annual General Meeting (AGM). At this time of the year, it is helpful to look back and see the Lord’s blessings on us over the year that has been since our previous AGM in May last year. As a church community, it has been a great blessing to continue to walk together in faith, share our lives together and grow in our understanding and commitment to the Lord.
Over the past year, we have welcomed a number of visitors into our church community, whether for once off services or on a more regular basis. We have held services for baby dedications, baptisms, weddings and funerals and shared in the experiences and emotions of these together. Through all of this, we have maintained our focus on the Word of God as our guide to teach, rebuke, correct and train us in the paths of righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16).
I am very thankful to the Lord for the wonderful ministry team of Adam Long as our Associate Pastor and Corinne Eades as our Church Administrator. Both Adam and Corinne continue to lead various ministry areas in our church, support me in my role and faithfully serve the church community. I am also thankful to the Lord for those who serve on the church Council – Brian McDonald (chairperson), Steve Groves (treasurer), Katie Price (secretary), Ben Jefferies (Assistant chairperson) and Wez Blackett. These leaders continue to offer great support and wisdom to the ministry team and skilfully oversee the governance of our church. In particular, I thank the church Council for their hard work and leadership in guiding us through the Incorporation process and legislative constitutional changes which are now both in place.
I’d also like to sincerely thank all those who volunteer in our various church ministries. Our church truly could not operate as it does without the dedication, passion and hard work of our volunteers. I thank those who serve in kids church with Kate Yeo, our youth and young adults programs with Adam Long, our playgroups with Jan Shanhun, our men’s and women’s groups, various Bible studies and the women’s craft group with Brenda and all those who serve quietly behind the scenes. I also thank those who serve during the church services such as on worship teams, welcoming, leading announcements, locking up, serving communion, sound desk operators, helping in the kitchen, collecting the offering and Bible readings. Finally, I want to thank those who pray regularly for our church and those who provide care and support for those in need.
We are thankful for God’s blessings upon Stepping Stones as it continues to operate successfully as one of the major missionary arms for our church, ministering to the needs of children and their development in the wider community. It was once again a blessing and privilege to invite the Stepping Stones families into our church for the Christmas concert last year to celebrate the year together. We intend to keep this tradition going this year and look for even more ways to integrate our church with the Stepping Stones community.
One way we hope to achieve this is with the relaunching of the holidays kids club program in the first week of the July school holidays this year. We are prayerfully hoping that some of the children that previously attended Stepping Stones and are now in primary school will attend the kids club. The focus of the kids club will be on “Following Jesus the Light of the World” and it will be based around the theme of a cave quest. We are purposely targeting a smaller audience for three half-days rather than five in order to run a holiday program that is sustainable according to the resources and size of our church. My wife Caren is overseeing this program and would greatly appreciate any support and help you can provide.
The East Freo Fresh program has continued to roll out successfully over the last year with a number of changes implemented throughout our church. We thank the Lord for the new comfortable chairs in the church auditorium, the renovation to the upstairs room, the acoustic panelling and resurfacing of the timber floors in the church hall, and the lighting and projector works in the auditorium. During the final week of the July school holidays this year we intend to paint the church auditorium to bring it up-to-date with the rest of the church. I am pleased to provide an update on the program as follows:
- Phase 1 – website, emails and weekly news – Completed
- Phase 2 – foyer – Completed
- Phase 3 – upstairs room – Completed
- Phase 4 – auditorium and hall – Partially Completed (remaining: auditorium painting)
- Phase 5 – major outside deck renovation – considering for early 2020
Finally, in terms of the preaching and teaching ministry, we have covered a large amount of Biblical ground over the last year as we have worked our way through various sermon series. These have included – The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached series where we walked through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, a series on the Grace of God, an expository walkthrough of 1 and 2 Peter in our Insights From the Inner Circle series, and more recently our Passion of Christ and impacT sermon series. At present we have just begun a new thematic series called A Faith Worth Treasuring where we are considering how our faith can be the greatest treasure we have. I would like to thank Adam Long and Mike Crouch for their regular and encouraging preaching and the various guest preachers we have welcomed throughout the year. Going forward we plan to begin a new expository series following the July school holidays.
It continues to be a blessing and privilege to serve as a pastor in our church and I thank each of you for your encouragement and support shown to my family. Thank you for taking the time to read this report, but please know that the ministry team is always willing to visit and chat with you if you have any prayer or pastoral needs, or if you have something that you would like to discuss. My prayer is that by God’s grace and providence, the year ahead will be a blessed year for all of us individually and as a church community.
May the blessing of the Lord be with you all.