Building unity and harmony between the churches in central Bromley, and building bridges of trust and friendship between the churches and the commercial / retail community....this is the task of the Town Centre Chaplain.
Russell was commissioned as the new Bromley Town Centre Chaplain serving the Churches Together in Central Bromley (CTCB) and started officially on 1st Sept 2010. This position had been vacant for about 18 months. In his own words...
I was chatting with Jonathan McGill of Bromley Town Church about networking between the churches and also about going into the parks, shops, and businesses in Bromley when he encouraged me to apply for the position of Town Centre Chaplain. I did so and surprise, surprise...I got appointed!
There was a lovely gathering in the Bromley United Reformed Church building on Sunday evening 26th September to officially commission me as chaplain. There was a nice crowd and I counted 15 church leaders there. It was a great expression of unity among the Bromley churches.
My vision for the Chaplaincy is:
1. for it to cultivate good relationships between the churches in Bromley. Consequently I make time and effort to meet with the leaders of the many churches in Bromley and I try to attend meetings in the churches. Because Amazing Grace gathers on a Saturday evening it leaves me free to fellowship on a Sunday. Sometimes I'm out ministering...but if not I often attend one or two of the gatherings of other local churches on Sundays. This has really helped me to build good friendships there.
2. To engage with the commercial and retail community on behalf of the church and to build bridges of trust and friendship. I don't see that so much as evangelism, but as pre-evangelism. To this end I meet with the leaders of the Glades Shopping Mall, the leaders of the Bromley Borough Council, and management in the many other businesses in Bromley.
3. To facilitate the ministry of members of the Churches Together in Central Bromley who feel they would like to participate and contribute to the service of the church to the business community.
I'm delighted at this opportunity to serve the wider church in the wider community. Because it's only 20 hours a week, I'm confident it need not encroach on my ministry to the Amazing Grace Church. Please pray for me that God might use this ministry for His glory! Thanks.
Carry each other's burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. — Galatians 6:2
Thoughts on Today's Verse...I feel so burdened myself, that sometimes I can't even see others burdens. But Jesus reminds me that if I am to be like him, I will be a burden carrier. This is why he came, why he died, and why his resurrection is so important — to lift from us the burdens of sin, death, and depravity. He has blessed us by carrying our heaviest burdens so that we might lighten the load of those around us.
My Prayer...Compassionate Father, help me to see the burdens in the lives of others around me and then respond to those burdens with help. I want to be a blessing to the broken and discouraged, so please help me find my place and my way of serving to your glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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