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2020 Theme: Hebrews 12:2

let us fix our eyes on Jesus“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)

I can’t believe that another year has passed and we are once again embarking on a New Year. Each year since I arrived in 2016 I have made some mention at this stage about the uncertainty that is facing us in the coming twelve months. Sadly, this year is no exception. The election in the United Kingdom has now made Brexit an inevitable certainty – sooner rather than later – and we will shortly enter the period of wrangling over the exact terms of the split. France too is undergoing a period of political and social upheaval and 2020 will also bring a Presidential election (at very least) in the USA and who knows what else. All in all, the view of the horizon still seems remarkably foggy!

It is, however, particularly pleasing that 2019 has been another very positive year in the Chaplaincy. We have certainly faced our challenges, we have lost some dear friends and said goodbye to others who have moved on to pastures new but I believe that, as a church family we have grown together and enjoy each others’ company over the last year. We have also been blessed with another successful year financially due to lots of hard work by almost everyone but, most importantly, through acknowledging that it is “All Yours, Lord!” and that we worship a generous and faithful God.

Looking forward now, we start from a solid foundation but there is still much to be done. We will need to keep careful control of our money and to continue to challenge ourselves to strength our financial situation even further. However, I do feel that, over the last few years, we have been somewhat budget-driven and have perhaps lost focus on “the joy set before us”. In the past, the only real hard input that the Chaplaincy Council have asked for has been an annual budget forecast from each worship centre. This year, I would like to explore with local committees, local wardens and the ministry team how we can be more engaged with each other in sharing our faith and making the Gospel heard through Aquitaine.

For this reason, for the coming year I have not chosen a slogan, but the bible verse shown above. I couldn’t think of a short, snappy way to shorten it so our 2020 theme is simply “Hebrews 12:2”. This verse will, I trust, help us to look beyond the ups and downs of life and to focus on how Jesus leads us towards the joy of the promises of God. He was willing to face the pain and shame of the cross to show us that way and has promised us a place with Him in God’s kingdom. The future of our church family does not lie in us just working harder or working smarter. Our security can only be found by fixing our eyes on Jesus and following where he leads us.

I hope that this verse will soon be firmly lodged in our collective memories and repeated as a constant reminder to us all at every point in the year. I pray that we can look forward to many more great blessings in the twelve months to come and I am looking forward to journeying along this path with you all.

Happy New Year!

Tony Lomas

Prayer for the Year

Heavenly Father,

as we journey along the path you have set before us,

strengthen our resolve to follow where you lead,

to speak your word with confidence,

to share your peace in our troubled world

and to show your love without counting the cost.

In the name of our Lord Jesus,

author and perfecter of our faith.