What exciting times we are in! The restrictions of “lockdown” are slowly being removed and it is becoming very clear that the church family has grown rather than shrunk during the covid crisis.

And it is equally clear that God has every intention of leading us into even more fruitfulness as we co-work with his Holy Spirit to see His kingdom grow in each of us and throughout Teesside. Every one of us can expect to see God move.

With such an exciting future before us, we need to look after our church leaders, particularly our Senior Leaders, Martin and Lynda Dunkley. We want them to be fully fit and healthy and perfectly in tune with God so that they can respond to Him and lead us most effectively.

And so we have decided that Martin and Lynda should take a short sabbatical this year to give them an opportunity to get some significant rest, to enjoy communing with God and to seek his guidance for them and for the church in these coming years.

The elders and directors of the church are in full agreement with the proposal. Sabbath rest is a clear biblical principle. And we value our leaders very highly and want to care for them in a godly way.

Martin and Lynda will combine annual leave with a three month sabbatical to open up a period of four months from 19th April to 22nd August. During that time they will visit other churches and apostolic networks and begin to explore what new links God might be opening up for TVC Church and Taking Ground. But they will also spend some of the time at home, seeking God for direction for them as leaders and for us as a church on the move. You may even see them at the Oakwood Centre on some Sundays when they are not visiting other churches. But they will not be carrying responsibility and will be there simply to enjoy fellowship with all of us and with the Lord.

While they are away, the church will be led by the eldership and, where appropriate, by the directors. The eldership will be steered jointly by Matt Biddlecombe and Matt Horner.

I’m confident that this is a great opportunity to see Martin and Lynda get refreshment from God and also to receive new battle plans for the way ahead. 

I invite you to join with us in blessing them as they make their plans and in praying for them throughout this time. We are trusting God for exciting outcomes. And we already know that God is faithful!

If you have questions or simply feel the need to discuss the matter, do contact any of the elders.

God bless you,

Ray Mills (on behalf of the elders of TVC Church)