On Maundy Thursday, we’re reminded that good leadership serves. Because all power was entrusted to him, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:3-5). Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday 11 March drew us together as one church, across our 6 congregations. Servant leadership is part of that meeting. We recalled the goodness of God to and through us over the past year. Our ‘ministry report’ is worth prayerfully reading through (still available on Elvanto). Add it to your ‘Quiet Time resources’ to inspire gratitude each day! 

The AGM recognised God’s generosity, as we set aside some to serve us in leadership in the year ahead.   Our new parish council was elected and selected. Parish council’s role is governance, creating the conditions for us to do gospel ministry – like a good referee, they are doing their work well when you don’t notice all their hard work.

Wardens: Jeff Robinson, Rob Thomas and Varun Varghese. 

Parish Council: Simon Darby, Greg Engel, Renee Tenhave and Kate Williams. Clayton Childs is still drafted to serve as treasurer. 

We also added Emma Kipps and Sue Radkovic to the cathedral chapter, should we need to find a new Rector.

Pray for all to grow in Christlikeness and skill in service. Pray according to Hebrews 13, that our church family might make their service a joy.

Not only were considerations raised for the Parish Council (welcome at any time), there was a chance at our first meeting on Monday 18th to improve both our AGM and our work as PC. We recognised features of the meeting were imperfect – even distracting – and our desire is an AGM that uplifts. Some plans are: 

  • Having nominations in earlier, so that brief bios (listing relevant gifts) can be provided in advance. 
  • Clarifying with the diocese the ‘alternative’ form of voting – with simpler guidance in advance, should that alternative remain. 
  • Communicate more clearly the function of Parish Council. With that, communicate the work, membership and function of the sub-committees. We welcome people offering their service in support. So if you’ve gifts to offer in each of the following areas, contact: 
  • Finance: Rob, Simon or Clayton 
  • Property (improvement – major works): Jeff or Renee 
  • Property (maintenance): Varun or Greg 
  • Policy, people and compliance: Kate  
  • Clarify the ‘numbers’ used in the ministry report. Because we have a ‘low bar’ model of membership; a number of ministries outside Sundays (eg. people who come to Growth Group or youth, but don’t make church); and simply make errors in counting – numbers in our reports become messy. To summarise this year: page 5 – 659 members (including all) and Page 14 – 569 regularly attending on Sundays (with average attendance of 499). 

The AGM was also a chance to talk ‘big picture’, beyond just the urgent. Our unwavering vision is: ‘to see more disciples of Jesus shining as lights in our city’. That vision means growth. Growth through conversion, not transfer. Growth in maturity, that we’d shine brighter for God’s glory. Our preaching in May will explore this Vision and its expression in Engage, Evangelise, Establish and Equip. 

5 in 5: Our 5 focus areas for the next 5 years

In the coming years, we’ve identified 5 focus areas to serve our unchanging mission: 

1. Congregational growth & church plants

Our aim is to see St Michael’s a church of 800 members within 5 years.   

2. External caring for the marginalised

Our aim is to be known for active commitment to our community’s marginalised.   

3. Internal Pastoral Care

Our aim is to be a community where every member cares for the practical and spiritual welfare of others – and know who cares for theirs.   

4. Training and sending disciples to serve elsewhere

We aim to see all departing members equipped to explain the gospel and serve their new church, and send people into paid gospel ministry.  

5. Property strategy

We aim to have a clear and achievable major property site-plan that serves current and future ministries.   Details of the next steps for property were presented, and in coming months we will be offering ‘town hall meetings’ so we can all engage in the conversation. 

Each are spelt out more in the Rector’s report, along with how our parish and staff are structuring to serve. That report is still available to read here via Elvanto.    

As you pray in the light of the AGM, remember Proverbs 16:9:

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.’ 

In Him, 

Mark Smith 
Senior Minister | Congregational Pastor 8am & 7pm

February Finance Update from Parish Council

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

Parish Council would like to express how very grateful we are for your generous support of ministry here at St Michael’s. The Parish Council has committed to providing regular updates on church finances to all congregations of St Michael’s. Each month we will inform you of the giving for previous month and for the year to date (shared via E-news and accessible in Elvanto member area). Once per quarter we will present a more comprehensive update to you within the service.

In February, ~$77,000 was generously offered for ministry. We praise God He’s provided 92% of budget – recognising it’s still ~$6,500 short. Year to date, we are consistently meeting 95% of the budget developed from pledges in 2023 ($8,433 short of the planned $168,000). For the most part, giving has increased in line with what we received in the pledges, even though we are below budget at this point.

Mindful of this, the most important action we must all take is to pray.  Our Father gives what’s best and invites us to make bold requests (Luke 11). Please join us in prayer for the Lord’s provision for, and work through, our ministry. Pray too for wardens and parish council’s wisdom in managing all Christ entrusts to us. 

In sharing this, we want church informed, not burdened. We recognise that many are impacted by the increased cost of living through inflation and interest rate rises. Not everyone who pledged last year is able to offer what was pledged at the time. We also recognise that people put payment arrangements in place to occur automatically and perhaps have not updated the details to match the pledge, or go some way towards it.

Thank you for your prayerful and considered heart-driven, cheerful financial support of ministry here at St Michael’s.

In Christ, 
Parish Council