Been having difficulty using Church App on your mobile device? You need to download the app again, but search 'Church Suite'
Operations Manager | full time
A vacancy has arisen within East Midlands Christian Fellowships (EMCF) for the role of Operations Manager...
We are so excited about the Easter Services at Community Church Derby during Easter week.
There's a lot happening behind the scenes at CCD.
Here are some of the great events we are planning - put the dates in the diary and book that annual leave!
I am constantly amazed by and grateful for the variety of gifts, skills and leadership that God provides in and through his people. In the context of talking about the body of Christ, the Apostle Paul highlights a number of these:
“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:27-28)
Sometimes we can be tempted to think of some gifts or areas of life as somehow being more ‘spiritual’ than others. However, as the Psalmist wonderfully expresses “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it!” As presence carriers, God has called us to influence all areas of society and as such, activities like providing education and running a conference centre are equally as important as preaching on a Sunday morning!
At our Family News Night we introduced a number of new staff. Each of these roles includes an element of administration, management of people and finances and are therefore very important for us. Please do pray for Debbie, Ian and Steve as they settle into these new roles. For those who were not able to be there, here is some more detail about their areas of responsibility within the EMCF Derby Hub:
Riverside Events Management (Centre Manager)
- Oversight of REM day to day operations
- Providing a friendly and welcoming environment
- Staff Recruitment and Management
- Management of relationships with internal and external users and customers
- Business management, sales forecasting and marketing
- Management and maintenance of Centre facilities
- Centre Safety Management
- Financial management
Emmanuel School (Head Teacher)
- Leadership and oversight of School
- Curriculum planning and monitoring
- Staff leadership and development
- School discipline and development
- Ensuring good communication with parents
- Financial planning
- Ensuring statutory regulations are met
- Safeguarding/health and safety/pupil welfare
- Co-ordination of extra-curricular activities
Derby Hub (Executive Leader)
- Providing strategic operational leadership which releases senior leadership from day-to-day management
- Promoting a culture consistent with our values across the Hub
- Leading the Hub Operational team
- Staff Management and mobilisation of congregation
- Calendar and events management, inc. Sundays
- Welcome and integration through clear and effective pathways
- Financial planning that supports the vision and mission of the church
During the autumn I had a picture of a blanket of grey fog settled on the congregation. The fog was soft and comforting. In this vision the fog started to dispel and was gently blown away by the Spirit. I felt that God was saying to me that a new season was coming and that in His gentleness He would start to blow away the fog and would start to bring fresh clarity. As He brooded over us there was invitation to rest in His safety, but the invitation was to move from comfort to compassion. He was sending a fresh new wave of love and compassion.
Have you noticed a change? Over the last two weeks I 'feel' there's been a shift during our corporate times of worship. As we gather together, everything's the same but there's something different. Suddenly in the middle of worship there's s p a c e where Holy Spirit lingers unusually long. His presence has been manifest by peace and silence as we wait on Him. My heart has been beating hard as His presence thickens in the air.
This week I was chatting to a number of people who spoke to me specifically about what God was doing and speaking to them in those silences. There's been calls to intercession, there's been calls to count the personal cost of revival, there's been a burdening to seek after Him. In all this there's been a feeling that hearts are coming into alignment with His. I've been receiving emails about what people feel Holy Spirit is doing as He broods over us. How about you, what do you feel?
I've really appreciated how Holy Spirit has been resting awhile and many of us have sensed Him draw close and it's been unexpected and sacred. Two people recently had visions of dew coming down from heaven and raining on us during worship. There have been tongues and interpretations, faith filled prayers imparting fresh faith and I sense a hunger for more stirring within. I'm sure there is so much more that God is doing that hasn't been articulated by people or shared and I'm also sure that there is an increased burdening for Him to move within and amongst us.
Colossians 3:12-17 says:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
We've been in our EMCF series ‘Better Together’ speaking about unity, and I think for all of us there has been a healthy measure of challenge about how we walk in love for one another, how we reach out with one another, who we are and where we find our identity. It's been good hasn't it? A timely reminder that we are called to this walk together and to know who we are in Jesus Christ.
I'm not surprised that Holy Spirit delights in our unity.
Last year, in the Hub, we felt convicted by two things:
- That we needed to host regular nights of prayer for personal revival and revival for the city, so in October we launched Awakening. We felt it was important to provide a space for everyone to engage in this, so we made the decision to have a space for youth and young adults to pray, worship and receive input alongside the rest of the church praying, worshipping and encountering God on the same night.
- That we needed to get scripture in us, we needed to know His word come alive in us to sustain us and nourish us, so in January we launched Bible in a Year.
Awakening nights have been times of encountering God and hearing His heart for us and the places we put our feet. There's something supernatural that happens when we sing and speak out our God-given dreams because they somehow reach to every corner of the Earth. When we lay our hearts on His, we somehow access His joy and desire, and as we speak we prophesy His desire into our reality.
Moving from comfort to compassion is something only God can do within us. If you sense that feeling of God wanting to breathe fresh hope, fresh vision, fresh love and fresh compassion into your spirit, perhaps there's an encouragement for you to act - get along to an Awakening night and spend an extended time in prayer and worship, perhaps it’s time for a revival in you.
If like me you are sensing this shift in our corporate times together, get in touch, we'd love to hear what God is saying to you and laying on your heart.
Are you ready to ride the fresh new wave of the Spirit that's coming?
I have decided to write to you all as we begin this significant new year of 2017.
As EMCF, we have had some major changes over the past few years, but God continues to bless us (including over 70 baptisms across EMCF in 2016) and we have many stories of changed lives.
As we know, 2016 has been a year of international turmoil, including some big political decisions that affect us all. Yet we remain confident in the One who 'raises up and brings down'! We need to continue to trust in Him. He is in charge!
I want to communicate to you all some of the exciting developments and plans that we have for the future of EMCF. We are going into 2017 with a fresh sense of God speaking to us and have some exciting ideas around a 'Vision Recast for EMCF'. Our preaching series throughout January is entitled ‘Better Together’ and will take place across all of EMCF. We look forward to seeing everybody at the EMCF Celebration in Derby on Sunday 12th February at 10.30am.
We trust that you will join with us, as we believe that God has spoken about a greater focus on our togetherness. This will involve 3 main ideas:
A NEW NAME FOR EMCF
East Midlands Christian Fellowships has been our overarching name for around 36 years. Many of you will know the story, and how we wanted the name to reflect our vision and expand our horizons at the time. It has served us extremely well over this period of time, and has helped us to stay focused on our vision for the East Midlands.
However, we now believe we have come to a time when we want to have a stronger corporate identity, with a new name that is simpler and more contemporary. EMCF has been the name for our charitable trust; it has given us our identity as a corporate group of local churches. Today we want a name that will not restrict us geographically, but will allow us to continue to Go - Plant - Build into the future, without boundaries. Our vision is to see this group of local churches develop into more of a 'movement' that will expand and grow over the next few years.
The new name will only apply to EMCF....we intend to keep the local church names (i.e. Belper Community Church, Pathway Community Church, etc.) Each local church would be subtitled ' A part of [our new name]'.
This would involve a new logo, website and visuals that would unite the local churches in a more defined way as part of our corporate identity as a charitable trust.
A NEW WAY TO EXPRESS 'BELONGING TO THE CHURCH'
Many years ago, we used to have a church 'membership' - a defined point of belonging to the church as a 'committed member', with clearly- agreed expectations for everyone who was committed to the church.
In recent years, we haven't had any defined points of commitment, but instead we have expressed a more general level of acceptance for everyone.
Whilst we definitely want to continue with this acceptance that everyone is welcome and can
participate in church life, we feel that it would be a helpful step to re-introduce a fresh sense of agreed expectations for those who are clearly committed to our church.
We will be calling this 'Partners in the Vision'. As we unpack this for you all, it will be with the intention of helping people to grow in their sense of belonging to the church with a greater level of commitment.
A NEW LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAMME
Leadership training has always been a priority for us as the church has grown over many years. Today, we see the need to put a greater focus on developing different sorts of leaders for the 21st century. We want to help people to grow in their God-given gifts, especially those with gifts ofleadership and ministry.
We intend to encourage each local congregation to take responsibility to develop local leaders, but then as we grow stronger in our corporate identity, we expect to train more mature senior leaders together. A new programme will be established this year, called 'INSPIRE', which will have the potential to train leaders from across EMCF and further afield!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There are a couple of things that we would value...
Firstly, we want your input and thoughts about a new name. It could prove to be more difficult than we think to come up with a new name that everyone is happy with. However, we want to respond to the changing times, and to what God is saying to us today. If you (or your group/ community) has any brilliant ideas that might help us, then send them in to Julie Hill at the CCD office (firstname.lastname@example.org), and they will be seriously considered. Thanks...everything helps at this stage!
Secondly, you may want to give us some feedback on the idea of 'Partnership'. It is aimed at helping people to fully realise their sense of belonging to EMCF (or whatever the new name will be). We aspire to be a regional 'movement' that has the potential to make a huge impact in our generation, right across this region and beyond! The kingdom of God needs highly- committed people who are agreed in their love of the church and its mission!
Finally, we would want to encourage everyone to pray for this next year. We believe that God has significant things for us this year. We continue to pray for His Presence to fill the region, and for there to be an expectation and faith for wonderful and unexpected things to happen!
I trust that you feel a great sense of optimism and faith for this coming year. We believe that it will result in a significant 'step change' for us.
I get a bit excited about Christmas. My husband rolls his eyes at me whilst mine sparkle as I talk about all the plans I have. It includes making gingerbread houses, watching Christmas movies with hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, driving round the streets to see the Christmas lights, going to the pantomime, visiting Christmas displays in the local garden centres, making Christmas cards and planning what presents we are going to buy. I enjoy thinking about how to make not only the day but the build up to Christmas special and memorable for my children.
I want the children to look forward to the day and build a sense of anticipation and expectation in their hearts. On the evening of the 30th November when the children are asleep I decorate the hallway and stairs with a Winter Wonderland display. There are snowflakes, penguins, snowmen, tinsel, a Christmas postbox and an advent calendar full of chocolate. So, on the 1st December when the children wake up the journey to Christmas has begun.
There are suitable oohs and aahs as they come down the stairs and excitement to see the snowflakes dangling from the ceiling, to touch the fluffy snowmen and of course taste the chocolate peeping out of the calendar pockets. I film their response every year so I have a memory to treasure.
The decorations in my home shout loudly ‘Christmas is Coming’ but I never want it to drown out ‘Christ Came’. As a parent whose heart is set on discipling my children Advent is a precious season and one I want to experience with my kids. There are actually lots of practical and fun ideas online that will give you plenty of opportunity to help you as a family to participate in Advent. Here are 5 that I’ve chosen to share with you.
Daily Readings of the Christmas Story
Here is a great, simple resource of 25 daily readings re-telling the Nativity Story that are suitable especially for young children. http://happyhomefairy.com/bible-verse-advent-cards-free-printables/.
Acts of Kindness
For those of you who are ‘do-ers’ the Bible Society have an online Advent Challenge that you can get involved with. Simply follow this https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/get-involved/adventchallenge/ and sign up. You will be given a choice of 3 Acts of Kindness each day of advent and you can pick which one suits you the best.
This is a great way to look at God’s story of salvation from the stories of the Old Testament leading up to the coming of Christ. Each day there is a picture to colour that represents a story from the Old Testament which is then hung on your Jesse tree. Click on this link https://www.myjessetree.com/ to get free copies of the printable ornaments.
Salt dough Spiral
I like this visual idea to show that during Advent we are waiting to celebrate the arrival of the Light of the World. You can use one candle and move it forward each day or add a candle each day so that the spiral is full of light on Christmas day. It provides opportunity to talk about Jesus is our light, our hope in the darkness. Here is a recipe for how to make it http://www.kimzkitchen.com/family-snapshots/how-to-make-an-advent-spiral-and-why-today-isnt-too-late/
Reverse Advent calendar
Grab a hamper or a large cardboard box and each day of Advent you add something to it and on Christmas Eve you donate the contents to a foodbank or to someone you know who is in need. What a great way to get kids involved in giving at Christmas.
I hope that these have given you some ideas for what you can do at home. The best thing is that even if you haven’t yet thought about celebrating Advent with your kids there is still time to do these. If you have any other suggestions and ideas please do comment below.