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EBA Team News April 2018

By Hayley Beckett on 17th April 2018

This news item has some significant news about the regional team, and some imminent changes, so please do read all the way to the end.

First, however, we want to update you on how Nick is getting on. Clearly his doctors will be advising him on exactly when it is appropriate to begin his phased return to work, but all current indications are that it will be around the middle or end of May. Here is a fuller update taken from his own blog:

‘I am making slow and gentle progress. Each day I try to keep mobile and in particular go for a walk outside. Each day I try to extend the distance slightly and aim to get home feeling slightly out of breath but not breathless. I’ve managed to get out and about. Church on Easter Sunday morning is really special and I was determined to be there. Made it! I’ve also made it to my local Magic Club. I usually feel pretty tired afterwards but it’s good to be doing ‘normal’ things outside the house.’ I’m now on a cardiac rehab programme (starts beginning of May) and hope to have a timetable for a phased return to work soon. I’m not rushing back but am keen to have some targets.  I knew this phase would be frustratingly slow. But it’s important to be patient as my body heals. As always I really appreciate all of the messages of support and encouragement and all of your prayers.’

Secondly, at our EBA Council meeting on Saturday we were able to confirm the details of an exciting missional development within the Association.  As many of you will know Simon has, alongside his regional commitments, been serving nationally to develop pioneering and to support the starting of fresh expressions of church. These commitments have been growing and Simon has been sensing that God is calling him to make this his full-time focus. This will involve him moving into a freelance role encouraging fruitfulness in mission through a company called RiverTree Ltd. (see Psalm 1), which will offer training, coaching and consultancy to organisations, congregations and individuals. He will continue to fulfil his national role for Baptists Together, but the sad aspect to this news is that it means that Simon will no longer be a Regional Minister for the EBA. We will, however, be partnering with RiverTree Ltd. for at least the next couple of years to ensure that Simon’s ministry continues to benefit the Association and its churches. There will be more information coming out to you regarding this, with details of how your church may be able to apply for a grant in order to be involved.

Here is an extract of Simon’s letter of resignation:

‘When I was appointed as a regional minister for the Eastern Baptist Association in September 2013 I was humbled and honoured to have been called to fulfil such a ministry. It has been a role that I have enjoyed, and I hope that the ministers and churches I have served over the past four and a half years have been blessed through the support and encouragement I have offered to them over this time…

…It is with sadness then, yet in the confidence that this is indeed the way that God is leading me, that I tender my resignation as a regional minister in the Eastern Baptist Association. I realise that the timing appears not to be ideal – with Beth only six months into her team leader role and Nick still recovering from his heart surgery – but I am sure that there is a plan in all of this. I will do all I can to minimise the impact of my departure and to help with the transition, and I am certain that God is already at work preparing my successor to fit seamlessly into the team.

I want to be explicit in this letter that I have full confidence in the leadership that Beth is bringing to the Association. I have no doubt that she has been chosen by God “for such a time as this “, and I have particularly valued her counsel and affirmation over recent months. With the gifts that Nick has, the skills and experience that Hayley brings, and the guidance of Linda as Moderator, we have a strong team in the EBA, and are well placed to continue serving our vision of seeing God’s kingdom come in the East of England.’Whilst change is always daunting and presents us with new challenges, it is also exciting to be a part of what God is doing.  I have no doubt that Simon is called to this specific area of ministry and while he will be greatly missed in so many ways as a Regional Minister working with us, we are excited about the opportunities ahead.

The EBA Council have already agreed a plan to recruit and appoint Simon’s successor, with the aim of having that appointment confirmed at the EBA Gathering on 7th July. As ever, thank you for your ongoing prayer support and please be praying for the right person to be raised up to join this amazing team.

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