Pastoral Refuge

l-r   Jonathan Middleton, Peter Fullerton, Stuart Beggs

Jonathan Middleton, Peter Fullerton, Stuart Beggs

tend the sheep

Last Sunday, a significant step forward in the life of Refuge was taken. Having spent the previous two weeks considering the Bible’s teaching on eldership, we spent the morning looking at the Apostle Peter’s appeal to elders to shepherd God’s flock—recalling, also, how faithful our Chief Shepherd has been in leading us to this point. 

the appointment of shepherd leaders

We devoted the second half of our service to the appointing of three elders: Peter Fullerton, Stuart Beggs and Jonathan Middleton. We heard testimonies from elders-to-be before they made vows in the hearing of the congregation. The elder’s wives and the congregation also made vows and the service closed with the elders being prayed for.  

The appointing of Refuge’s elders was a year-long process. Those considering eldership went through a humbling process of self-examination: they studied the Bible’s teaching on eldership; prayerfully considered their own suitability and calling; read books on the subject; and submitted themselves to the recommendations of two elders from Re:Hope Church

It was great to have Russell Drummond (one of those elders from Re:Hope) at our service to encourage us, and guide us through our vows. It was also our pleasure to welcome Andy Hunter, representing the FIEC (Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches) who also had words of encouragement for the congregation, and led us in prayer.

prayer for transition

Refuge is undergoing a change—we trust in line with God’s Word—and we would value prayers for the ongoing transition.We are deeply thankful to our existing leadership who have guided our church over the past year and a half and who will continue in their roles going forward.

As a church family, we are thankful to have a God who has proven Himself to be faithful in shepherding His people through tough times. We have a new-found confidence in Him as we look to the future; we have a Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who promises to continue guiding us through times of hardship and times of joy. He will lead us home! Refuge Church can say along with David, the shepherd-king of the Old Testament:

Surely your goodness and love will follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
— adapted from Psalm 23:6