Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
I invite you to read the following Christmas/New Years greetings from your elders. To what they have written, I simply want to add how grateful Daniela and I are to be here and serve the Lord with you through the ministry of IBCZ. We have just celebrated the coming of the Savior, and around 30 years later Jesus promised He would never leave us or forsake us. What a glorious promise from our Lord! As we move into a new year, we have the assurance that God will be with us, leading us, encouraging us, sometimes challenging us, and always empowering us to accomplish His will. Let us be diligent in seeking the Lord’s will for us, and then offering ourselves freely and fully to the Lord to make His will a reality.
May the Lord’s favor rest upon each of you as we enter a new year!
Grace and peace,
“14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” – Hebrews 2:14-15
This season may we invite you to reflect, to be humbled, to celebrate and to glorify God by being reminded that our Lord Jesus Christ came to die. That in His death, He has disarmed and destroyed our enemy – the devil. By His death our sins are covered and because of His death no one can bring a charge against God’s elect. In Him we hope and we are fearless to endure.
He is our peace. What a gift!
In and for His glory,
Once again we come to the close of another year when we approach again the season of Joy at our Saviour’s birth and look forward to what God will do with us singularly and corporately through the coming year.
2018 was a time of change at IBCZ; we have said goodbye to Jim & Anne and welcomed Bob & Daniela. Jim & Anne helped us keep settled during the year they spent with us and pastor Jim was particularly helpful to the Pastoral Search Committee. Indeed, I send again special thanks to the PSC for their unstinting work and commitment they gave to the cause to select Bob & Daniela.
Many of us also had medical issues, which for the most part, God has generously undertaken to resolve and we continue to pray for those with issues in this area. Indeed Carol & I would like to thank the fellowship for their understanding in regard to Carol’s long absence as she waited for her operation. We thank God for a successful outcome and her continued improvement and recovery.
We hope to encourage the members to consider once again their service to the fellowship for 2018. On the diaconate front Susy & Mieko will step down; however, we already have two members who agree to stand for election at the GM. In addition, we hope to present to the church at the same meeting member(s) who will join the eldership.
Since Nicole Henderson stepped down from the creche team we have struggled in this area, but starting in the New Year a new initiative ‘Little Seeds’ led by Stephanie & Jessie initially with willing helpers will approach this very important undertaking with a new programme.
The Children’s Ministry has again been led by Natalia who is really competent in this area but as always, we still would like some new teachers or prospective teachers to join us as well as more commitment for the role of class helpers.
The missions support continues, and after the completion of support for Novimost we are now meeting as a team in January to consider another area of mission we feel able to commit to supporting.
Women at the Well have met successfully during the year for items of study and fellowship, not least for their Christmas dinner where they were waited upon by two dashing waiters – they were dashing up and down stairs all night!! In the new year there will be discussion regarding leadership as two have recently had to step down.
So, it remains for me to give thanks to you all who attend regularly at IBCZ, even though often substantial distances are covered Sunday by Sunday. We do value our fellowship together and the love and joy you bring to the church.
May God Bless you all in 2019 – Happy Christmas,
John & Carol
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