Dear <<First Name>>,
A lot has been happening in our lives lately and I am struggling to know where to start describing it all. Here is an attempt . . . A week or so ago, we shared with our church family, via a letter, that we feel that God has placed it on our hearts to start a new church. We have been praying about this for months now and with the full support of our sending church in the USA, we are joining with 3 other couples to embark on this new venture. Our desire is to see a church where we can get to know God more as Trinity and share Him with others. At this point, we are in what we are describing as "Phase One" which is simply taking time to pray and seek God's heart together and ask Him to direct us as we pursue the start of a new church. We don't have a venue, a name or even a final vision statement but we have a passion to see our town of Chippenham reached with the gospel and a vibrant, healthy church established with healthy relationships at the core which will be attractive to those who don't know Jesus yet. We are having a weekly prayer meeting which is open to anyone interested in praying for the new church. The four couples, with input from others too, will be discussing vision, values and the shape of the new church over the next few months. Hopefully, at the end of this Phase One, we'll be confident of God's direction and able to start meeting on Sundays, unless He closes the door.
Our decision to leave Ladyfield Church has not been easy in any way and we have agonized and prayed much about the right way to do this. A lot has happened in the lead-up to our decision, but we are committed to moving forward and not speaking about or dwelling on the past. We are so thankful to have the Ladyfield elders' support and backing as we pursue the start of this new church and our desire is to extend love and grace to everyone around us. Please pray for us to do this well and for much wisdom as we pursue God's heart for this new church. We are excited about the future and can't wait to watch God at work in touching and changing lives. If you would like more information about our plans or more detailed prayer points, please let us know as we will put together a list in the next few weeks.
Ministry is often really full-on for us and if we're not careful, every gap in the schedule gets filled and we are not allowing time for rest and refreshment. About a year ago, with this need in mind, we scheduled a vacation/holiday in Italy and the time has come for us to leave! We didn't know how the timing would work out, but the Lord did. Coming off the back of this intense time in our lives, we do feel in need of a break. We were supposed to leave today but due to several of us being unwell, we decided to delay leaving til tomorrow morning. Please pray we will all feel well enough tomorrow, especially Peter as he does the driving. We have two full days of driving to reach the Val di Fassa, in the mountains where we are staying. Please pray for us . . . we need sleep and rest and time to pray and just laugh, play and connect as a family.
Thank you for reading and for your prayers. With our love,
Peter & Melanie