New Team Leader for Norwich Area URC

Ian Fosten 2013Revd. Ian Fosten has been appointed to the ministry team which looks after 7 United Reformed Churches in Norwich and surrounding areas. Ian is no stranger to the area having served in Norwich and Wymondham between 1981 and 1996. He subsequently worked on Holy Island (Lindisfarne) and in Lowestoft where he still lives and is a director of the Seagull community theatre. By way of introduction Ian writes:

Hello

One week into my new role within the NAURC team I have already begun to feel the benefit and the delight of being in a familiar place and among familiar people – no need for a lengthy induction process here! What will take a little more time is getting to know, by listening to the people in the seven churches, where and how we see ourselves. Beyond that lies the patient, attentive business of discerning where as ministers, leaders and members we are to invest our time, energy and care if we are truly to make the most of the opportunities and resources that God has given us.
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A couple of weeks ago I listened to Steve Chalke as with characteristic passion and challenge he set up some guideposts for the church in Britain as  it works out its role today. Steve, who is the leader and inspiration behind the Oasis Trust, advised Christians to ‘get savvy’ about the needs, opportunities and skills required to function well in what he described as ‘post-welfare state Britain’. ‘Learn how to read the Bible and lead worship, but learn also how to read a spreadsheet, apply for grants, and run a business/school/library (…..theatre?)’.  His words were not intended to launch overtired and often over stretched Christians into panic at the thought of yet more demands but to encourage us to adopt a renewed way of seeing our work. The question we need to address is not ‘how do we keep the church going?, but ‘how do we help build the Kingdom of God in our time and place’? In this he is only echoing the words of Jesus, ‘Seek first the kingdom of God …. and all these other worries will resolve themselves’.
 
My hope and prayer is that together we can delight in uncovering the answers to this latter question which God has already set out as stepping stones for the next part of our journey. Practically, although I shall be in the Norwich area often, I am still living in Lowestoft but I shall be pleased to make myself available to all the churches via telephone or email. If you contact me on 0779 106 8080 or email ian@fosten.com I will respond. Meanwhile ….
 
… have a good Autumn.
 
Ian