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.
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. — Philippians 2:14-15
Thoughts on Today's Verse..."Don't complain or argue!" We don't normally associate these things with purity and blamelessness. Paul was extraordinarily close to the Philippians and knew them well. He knew their weaknesses and shortcomings. He also knew the destructive power that complaining and arguing have on the life of an otherwise vibrant community of Christians. Let's heed his warning today, as we see church after church taken under by the negative and cynical spirit that pervades modern culture.
My Prayer...Forgive me and cleanse me, O God, from my argumentive spirit. Please empower me with your Spirit to use my speech only to bless and to build up, never to tear down or discourage. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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