President’s report to AGM of Joie de Vie – May 2017

Assemblee Chretienne Joie de Vie
Annual General Meeting
President’s Report 2017

Do you ever ask yourself ‘what am I doing here?’ It is a quite normal question to ask, as circumstances fall in on us. It is a question I have asked myself over the last 12 months, as family events have piled up on us … but it is quickly answered when I look back over the past year.

The raison d’etre of Joie de Vie is expressed in our mission statement: ‘To know Jesus Christ and to make Him known’ … and it is what underpins all we seek to do in the area, as expressed in our Statutes ‘to support financially and through its activities the Christian witness in the area’. It also charges us to reach out to those whom we meet and encourages us to have the confidence to speak in His name. Last year was Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday, an event we marked by giving away 70 copies of the book: The Servant Queen and the King she serves. This speaks of Her Majesty’s faith, in her own words. We know, from what others have told us and our own experience, that this has been well received by French and British alike.

We continued our established pattern of joint worship with local French Christians joining for worship in Espace Notre Dame for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Good Friday evening we met in Eglise St Gilles to observe that most solemn day. A very powerful and moving recognition of what Jesus did for us all. Eglise Ste Croix was the venue for our service of Readings and Carols for Christmas – followed, of course by mince pies!

The Autumn saw an increase in permanent residents worshipping with us-100% more than the beginning of the year! We also received a request for the baptism of their baby from a young couple living in Apremont. Mum is French and Dad British and we are working with them to prepare for the baptism on July 23rd 2017. The local Catholic Priest has made Landevieille church available to us.

An encouraging number of visitors has continued to seek us out and we have again welcomed returning speakers and worship leaders. Thanks, too, to Ruth Amos who helps to lead our worship and to Jackie Malone when she is here. We are so grateful to those who support us from year to year..and the many who keep in contact during the winter months. It is always a joy to worship with old friends and meet new ones.

The Little House was well used last year and we had requests from several whom we had not previously met but who had seen our leaflet. Please help us to promote this aspect of JdeV’s ministry by telling others of the availability of TLH.

Roger and I are grateful for the support of you all, and especially the bureau members: Jenny Seller, Robert Brown, Kevin Borrett and Christine Shaw (Treasurer). Also Kate Brown who takes minutes for us. Our thanks go to Graham Morrell who was a bureau member but has now stepped down. We appreciate the encouragement he and Sharon have always given us. Thanks also to Colin Bessant, our accountant, and his son Andrew who runs the website. Neither of them charges for their expertise but we did send them some wine to share!

Roger and I have been so aware of the care and support we have received from many of you, as we have faced several family deaths and Roger’s heart attack. It has not been an easy year, but knowing that so many of you uphold us in prayer has been a real blessing and comfort. We have also been greatly blessed by the local French community who have been there encouraging us…and this brings me full circle to where I started. We, as Christians, are called to reach out to all around us and to let them know Who is our inspiration and support. Let us all witness to the Source of our life and being, not in an aggressive way, but by responding in love and compassion to all we meet.

May God continue to bless and grow Joie de Vie Christian Fellowship.

Berenice Fray, President.

To Know Jesus Christ and to Make Him Known