Sunday, 22nd November, 2015.

Welcome to everyone joining us for our final Tate Street Community gathering for 2015 today. It’s been another great year for our involvement with our local Primary School and we have much to give thanks to God for.

I write this note to you with a growing sense of excitement and thankfulness at God’s provision, along with contentment that even though this year has been hard, our determination to follow wherever God leads us is being honoured. At the Annual Meeting last week I hinted that we would have some big news to discuss and today I can reveal more information about that.

You may recall that in my annual report I indicated that we had some missing pieces to our “puzzle”, which included a “central worship and resourcing hub which the Missional Communities and other Missional activities could orbit around”.

Co-incidentally, some of you may be aware that the newest Anglican Church in our region – “City on a Hill, Geelong” (COAH) – is looking for a more permanent home for worship and general operations.

Therefore I’m sure you can join the dots . . . I have asked COAH to consider sharing our facilities in a kind of symbiotic partnership. Whilst maintaining our separate and inherent identities, (including legal and financial), we would none the less seek to share such other resources as we have to further Kingdom Ministry & Mission. Essentially it’s about them getting a set of buildings to use and us getting a more formal worship service that frees our Missional Communities to push further into their calling.

Most noticeably and significantly, I suspect, is that the arrangement would include COAH taking full responsibility for Sunday morning services, i.e. they will be running them! We will be fully free and welcome to join them and so our two churches will worship together. (My absence today is due to my final piece of research to ensure what they do is suitable for us to participate in – which I expect is not very different to our own monthly Celebration service.)

During the rest of the week there will be little discernible difference, especially with a careful management of diaries - except of course that there will be more people around, more often! (They are currently a church of about 130-150 Sunday attendees). I can tell you that COAH are very interested and just waiting for a formal proposal from us. I can also say that at this stage the Wardens and I are very inclined to proceed.

This will now dominate the meeting of Parish Council for the next two Monday nights. We would all value your prayers as we consider the implications of such a partnership. In addition, it is my hope that we will bring you a draft proposal for your consideration, discussion and indicative vote at a special meeting for the purpose next Sunday 29th November at 12noon. This will then be further taken into account by Parish Council with an expectation that a final & formal proposal could be adopted at another congregational meeting on Sunday 13th December.

I hope to be back at St Matt’s by 12:15 today but Chris, Jeanenne & Michael are also around to answer and take note of any preliminary questions.

God bless, Ian.