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.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. — Isaiah 6:1
Thoughts on Today's Verse...We often view difficult times, crisis times, as bad because the circumstances we face are very hard. But difficult times can also be an opportunity for our hearts to re-awaken to the steadfastness and the gloriousness of God, as well as our great need for him in our lives. The crisis of Uzziah's death for Israel and Isaiah became the great opportunity for Isaiah to see God in a fresh way and to be called into a special ministry for God. How can God use your crises, hardships, trials, and difficulties? Why don't you ask him to show you!
My Prayer...Holy God, I confess that I get discouraged enduring hardships. I sometimes wonder where you are and why you have forgotten me. Deep in my heart, dear Father, I know you are there. But sometimes, O God, it is difficult to keep my faith burning brightly when I don't hear your voice or see you face to face. Please strengthen my heart with your Holy Spirit and help me "see" you in a fresh way so that I will open myself to you and be tuned more perfectly for your service. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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