Achievements- Last year . Details of the mission & life of our church.

EBENEZER METHODIST CHURCH Achievements in 2023-Under the umbrella of the ‘Alive and Well’ initiative Churches across the Circuit, including Ebenezer, experienced change in their worship pattern during 2023, with more combined services and local arrangements. Whilst some of our congregation find it difficult to travel to other Churches, there are many who enjoy coming together and getting to know other folk in other churches. This pattern of togetherness has also brought together the Leadership Teams of St Helier Methodist Centre, Georgetown, St Martin and Ebenezer in social events and combined monthly meetings, where relationships have been strengthened and areas of mutual interest discussed. It is likely that we will see further changes next year, as there may be very limited presbyterial resource in September 2024. The Invitation process to replace Rev Tony Morling, which began in October, has not yet presented any suitable matches, so managing the Plan with just Rev Peter Goodhall and one third of Rev Dawn Saunder’s time will no longer be sustainable. We are blessed to have the support of Helen Higginson who joined the Circuit as a Lay Worker in June working with Churches in the east. Helen took over the reins from Lorraine Wheeler and has been leading services, helping with some of our pastoral work and attending Pickles and Generations. Rev Tony was appointed our Minister in September and has led monthly Communion services when the URC has joined us at Ebenezer on the first Sunday of the month. We particularly enjoyed coming together for our Harvest celebrations, when we focused on the ‘Gift of Rivers’, and for our Christmas Carol & Communion Service and Pantivity; the latter led by Rev Dawn continued to follow a donkey theme with children from our Pickles community getting involved and joining in lots of ‘Hee Haws’. Worship on the third Sunday of the month is at the URC where we are always assured of a warm welcome. Whilst we may have seen changes in our worship patterns, the work with our Pickles community has remained consistent, with Pickles, Pickles Plus and Generations. Whilst children move on to nursery and new sets of families join, it is amazing how very soon the new community comes together as they are enveloped in a strong sense of ‘belonging’ and the ethos of mutual support for one another. Amy and Kirsty are passionate about what they do and their support for our families, very often under the radar, is ‘over and above’ their normal duties and creates a tight-knit and caring community. Pickles went into the Church at least once a term to celebrate Mothering Sunday, Harvest & Christmas and for our ‘Graduation’ ceremony, when books were given out to all the children moving on to nursery. Our Pickles cake sales were really well supported, with busy mums and grans baking and everyone enjoying each other’s cakes. During the year £192 was raised for the BBC Children in Need Appeal and £177 for the Tiny Seeds Charity. Ebenezer hosted the Trinity Lent lunch on 21st March and thanks to all our soup makers and helpers, particularly Joyce Perchard for all her organisation. It was a wonderful community event with about 80 people coming together from all walks of life, plus Year 6 at Trinity School. Together with the two lunches run by Trinity Church the sum of £1,720 was raised and shared between the British Red Cross and All We Can- Ukraine Appeal. We were delighted to welcome back the Jersey Chamber Choir Cantabile to Ebenezer for their Passion Sunday Concert on 26th March, which was another poignant performance. Over 100 guests attended and £975 was raised for the Jersey Women’s Refuge and the Bailiff’s Ukraine Appeal. As part of Holy Week, a Circuit Maundy Thursday Communion service was held at Ebenezer, led by Rev Danny Wheadon. Palm Sunday on 8th April brought a new dimension to worship with an Easteractive service and the creation of Easter gardens. Families from our Pickles community joined us, together with friends from the URC, and the children and adults alike were thoroughly absorbed throughout the service. 1 Our Parish Liberation Day Service with friends from Trinity Church was led by Rev Danny and Iris Prigent from the URC told the story of her late husband who, during the Occupation refused to obey the German officers and got deported to Alderney. We joined in the Parish Remembrance commemorations at Petit Port and the war memorial in Rue de Diélament on 10th November and continued to contribute to the ‘Tattler’ Parish magazine every quarter. Trinity School was very welcome at Ebenezer for their Carol Service on 11th December and it was great to see a packed Church enjoy the children’s performance. On the property front, we are grateful to Michael for dealing with all the ongoing issues that frequently surface when managing old properties. The church outside and front of the cottage have been decorated. The flat was redecorated inside, the first time since built in 2009 and new secondary glazing fitted to address the condensation in the two bedrooms. The projector for the screen on the west hand side of the church became faulty and had to be replaced. As one of the highest points in the Island, it was incredible that Storm Ciaran in November caused little damage to our properties. The hall lost some slates on the east side and the gale force winds opened a cracked panel in the southwest window of church, but apart from that we emerged unscathed. Our hall is fully booked during the week of school term time (apart from Mondays) and our main hirers are Baby Sensory and the Jersey Dolls House. The church was used again by the Jersey Youth Performing Arts (JYPA) for their ‘Frozen’ rehearsals and Christmas production. Our finances remain in a healthy state despite our membership and giving being down. Fortunately, we have the rental income from our flat and from an average of 18 spaces rented out in our top car park. However, after 11 years our current tenants gave notice to vacate the flat in February 2024 and we pray we will find new tenants quickly and easily. The Parish continued to support Ebenezer with a donation of £5,500 towards our ongoing renovation works and community outreach. It now costs c.£47,000 pa to cover our routine annual costs and salaries and the importance of the covenant scheme, where we can reclaim tax, becomes ever more important. It has been suggested that we might like to consider TRIO (The Responsibility Is Ours) when wishing to increase our giving. Our annual Gift Day raised £980 and under our ‘Window to the World’ scheme we made donations to Mind Jersey Youth locally and the Bible Society overseas. Our charitable donations in 2023 totalled £5,749 and we have supported the Poppy Appeal, the Storm Ciaran Appeal and the Turkey Earthquake Appeal. We also agreed to increase Connexional grants to £2,100 due to the financial climate. In addition, we continue to collect food items and toiletries throughout the year, which are delivered at regular intervals to Jersey Women’s Shelter. Our Harvest dried goods were shared between Mustard Seed and the Women’s Refuge. We continue to visit and pray for those members who are not able to join us, and the Pastoral team of Joyce P, Ruth and Maureen met with Rev Tony during the year. Members from Ebenezer joined in the well attended Circuit Bible Study focusing on Philippians, hosted at Ebenezer, and led by Rev Tony and Helen. The Connexion is running an initiative called ‘New Places for New People’ and to get congregations thinking about what they might possibly do, £500 is available to each Church to be used for work outside of the Church. Rev Tony challenged those at our Church Council meeting in November to come up with ideas and the following three were prioritised: (1) Order some wooden crosses for gifting to people we might come across, (2) Deliver a small Christmas gift and card with details of our services to everyone living in the Highfield Apartments and (3) Organise a regular games afternoon for our seniors. It is with some joy that we can report that each of these three ideas has been put into action and it’s a blessing that two people from the Highfield attended our Carol Service. We continue to be forever grateful to our Leadership team; Michael, Anne, Ian and Jane for their commitment, wisdom and hard work and to all other members of the Church who hold office. Our congregation may be small, but we are a close-knit Church family who come together in worship, fellowship and mutual support for one other. This review of our year features some really positive and tangible achievements and we look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead in 2024 as we live out our purpose to be enriched with God’s love and share it where people are in the community.                         ROSEMARY PARKER March 2024

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