Letter from the Church Council

Remembering that our church year concludes at the end of November, it is with great joy and gratitude that we reflect on the blessings we have received as a congregation and as individuals during 2023. With the closing of one chapter comes the anticipation of a new one. December marks the beginning of our church new year, a time for fresh beginnings, renewed commitments, and a deeper connection with our Lord. Let us enter this new season with hearts open to the possibilities that God has in store for us as individuals and as a church family.

Reflecting on this year, our church community has come together in prayer, fellowship, and service in a wide variety of ways. And we have, once again, witnessed the power of inter-denominational collective faith and the impact of our shared commitment to living out Christ’s teachings. Together, we have embraced challenges, celebrated victories, and supported one another on our spiritual journeys, even as we have acknowledged our different backgrounds and milestones in our individual journeys of faith.

A major recent development has been Council’s November 2023 decision to recommend that ACC supports two missions to ‘unreached’ groups in Tanzania. If approved by our congregation at the forthcoming AGM in February 2024, this will involve ACC contributing to the support of a Tanzanian missionary in Kilwa Masoko (in collaboration with Avant Ministries) and to supporting a Tanzanian missionary couple in Kondoa Rural (in conjunction with AIM).

Through your generous contributions and unwavering prayers, we hope to be able to extend a helping hand to those who may not yet have heard the message of hope and salvation. The work of such missionaries has long intrigued me. From meeting a young missionary lady in Nairobi airport who was en route to Mogadishu a few years back, to a childhood friend moving to spread the word in the Middle East, these people are the heartbeat of our Christian faith. And this is just the beginning of what could be an incredibly exciting opportunity for us as a church. There is little more thrilling in life than having an opportunity to spread the Word to those who have not had the opportunity to hear it. And I can foresee ACC embracing this over the coming years. There will surely be opportunities for members of our church communities to visit these missionaries at work, to spend time
with them, perhaps to live alongside them for short (or longer) periods; our mission can be a beacon of light, spreading the love of Christ to the farthest corners. May the seeds we plant grow into flourishing gardens of faith, bringing about transformative change in the lives of those yet to be reached.

Of course, there is a fair degree of difficulty in finding a consensus on all issues, particularly where different Christian denominations are involved. But the beauty of ACC is that we are inter-denominational, and we already host a wide range of different perspectives on our Christian faith, each being challenged in different ways every week. As such, we will never find a church which is entirely in line with all of our views, but we have tried hard to find like-minded interdenominational organisations which are as close as possible to our vision, with little room for controversy.

As we enter the Advent season, a period of anticipation and preparation, let us draw parallels between the themes of Advent and our mission in Tanzania. Advent is a time of waiting, of hopeful expectation for the arrival of Christ. Similarly, our efforts in Tanzania echo this sense of anticipation, as we work to bring the message of hope and salvation to those who have yet to encounter the transformative love of Christ.

In the midst of our own Advent preparations, may we keep in our hearts the image of families in Tanzania eagerly awaiting the Good News. Let us reflect on the joy and hope we can share with them, symbolising the true essence of Advent – the coming of the Light into the world.

As we conclude this year, let us carry the spirit of love, compassion, and hope into the days ahead. May the light of Christ guide us in the coming year, and may our collective efforts continue to make a positive impact on the lives of those we touch. Thank you for being an integral part of our church family. May God’s grace be with you as we embark on a new chapter together.

In His Service,
Michael Murray – ACC Council Chair