Letter from the Church Council

At the recent AGM in early February, ACC was, again, blessed with a new Council. This year saw the entry to Council of some wonderful talent, with members from across the church stepping up to help guide our direction through 2023 and beyond. The new members are: Andrea Thomas who has been a committed sound room technician and WoCo member for a number of years, Jessica Shayo who has been a dedicated WoCo chair for just as long and a regular zoom host, and Eliel Gideon who is a former council member and Treasurer. Irene Joel, Wilson Mziray and Erwin Kinsey were all reelected too. Alongside Susan Simonson, Neil Rowe-Miller, Sion Miraa and myself (Michael Murray), this is your ACC Council for 2023.

One of the first items of business for the new council is the election of the ‘executive’ positions. I am delighted to let you all know that this was completed prayerfully at our February Council meeting, with the following being the executive committee for 2023:

Michael Murray (Chair, continuing)
Sion Miraa (Vice-chair)
Eliel Gideon (Treasurer)
Neil Rowe-Miller (Secretary, continuing)

All our Council meetings begin with a prayer and a devotional. Recently we were reminded, during one of these devotionals, of the dangers which church leaders sometimes face in being swept up in admin and not always remembering God. It is critical that we remember God’s presence in all we do, but it is also so important for a Church Council to have faith that God hears our prayers and will meet us at our points of need.

I believe that we have a committed group at ACC who are able to do just that. An example of this is from the end of 2021 when ACC Council decided that we would resume external giving and work towards a full resumption of the community support we had offered pre-pandemic. We put no proviso on this and we acted in faith. As a result, our external giving was able to increase from 1.7M Tsh in 2021 to 18.7M in 2022! Whilst this contributed to a (very) small deficit overall, our financial situation has been nothing short of miraculous and we are well-positioned to kick on in 2023 and beyond. We thank all of you for your generous giving, but most of all we thank our Lord for his faithfulness to us as a congregation.

With this in mind, our new Council takes on a critical role in the history of ACC. Opportunity abounds but there are dangers too. We live in a generation full of false prophets and misinformation. We must keep ACC focused in on what is important – the word of God and the opportunity to be disciples of Christ. We must be a church of spreading God’s word but we must also be a church which stands up for the oppressed and marginalised in society, as Jesus himself did. But we must embrace the future too. Having become members of Techsoup Tanzania this year and being in the process of registering for the Google suite, we are embracing this and looking at new, innovative ways to spread God’s word. There are opportunities for sanctuary redevelopment too, and if it is the will of God then it will happen. God has been faithful to us thus far.

In closing I thank our committees: Worship, Christian Education, Projects and Benevolence, Evangelism and Outreach, and Finance. They are the engine room of our church and I pray that God continues to bless us with good people to serve.

Michael Murray
Council Chair