13 September 2022
I hope you are all having a nice autumn. It is Rentrée season in Paris as everyone is returning from their August holidays. New families have been visiting during the summer, and we are excited about all the opportunities that come with this season.
There are many updates since the last newsletter, and one big development concerns structural changes that will help the organizational efficiency of the church. After last year’s sermon series on Churchology, we moved into establishing a deacon body. In the past, we have had “ministry leaders” who managed their ministries under the supervision of the Pastor. These ministry leaders now have the Biblical title of “deacon" and they will meet together in order to support each others’ ministry and help keep the church as a whole moving forward under the same vision.
One of the reasons for this move was the time limitation of council meetings in managing administrative and ministry items on the agenda. With this new setup, council will focus on the administrative tasks, while the deacons’ focus will be on the church’s ministries. In addition, council will be moving forward reflecting the exciting new “family of churches” reality we have with our church planting.
Past these internal structural advances, God has brought us much fruit. Between the two churches, we baptized 8 people from 7 countries in the spring. The two baptism services we had were a great encouragement to us as we shared in celebrating new birth in Christ.
We completed a sermon series centred on gratitude : A Thankful Church. We explored what it means to be a thankful church and how gratitude should be foundational for a relationship of creatures to their Creator. In the summer, we focused on the Cloud of Witnesses looking at Old Testament characters and exploring how they pointed us to Jesus. These sermons are on our YouTube channel if you are interested in listening to some of them.
We have a solid, growing young adults group and several in this group are stepping up in service at both churches, some of whom are council members and deacons. Recently they organized their own retreat in Vexin-sur-Epte from 25th-28th of August where they had some in depth studies around apologetics. It is exciting to see this group of young people investing their lives in the local church and the kingdom of God.
In the beginning of September, our youth group had their Euroventure camp. As many of you know, this normally happens in July in Grindelwald, Switzerland, but due to continuing Covid restrictions, the in-person camp had to be cancelled this year and the camp celebrated online. With these restrictions, our youth group decided to do their own camp together in September. A group of 16 rented an AirBnB near Etretat for an unforgettable weekend reflecting on our identities in Christ. Jaime and Anabel did a great job of organizing the event, and we are thankful for what God is doing in the lives of our teenagers.
I’d also like to give an update on the Tate family. The Tates have now been in Paris a year, completing their “Year Zero” of language study and cultural adjustments in preparation for a church plant. They have faithfully invested their time and gifts into EIC and we are excited about moving forward with them. The current plan is a church plant in the south part of Paris near Cité Universitaire, and we have been encouraged to see how God has been opening doors. As we move into the fall, John Hugh will begin meeting with small groups in the area to hopefully prepare the way for a Spring 2023 launch.