I'm writing to you as I complete my first three months as Chief Executive of CMF. Settling into the role, I'm incredibly grateful to God for his gracious provision and excited about the many opportunities that are before us in the family of CMF. I'm grateful for the sterling work of Peter Saunders over so many years and to our excellent staff team for keeping things moving forward during the transition.
We are now firmly into our 70th anniversary year and this is a perfect time to reflect with gratitude on God's provision, whilst looking forward to the many opportunities that lie before us.
We recently had a fantastic National Conference, with excellent teaching and a really positive, united spirit amongst those present. If you've not yet listened to the main talks, let me encourage you to do that via the website or the CMF Podcast.
opportunities and encouragements
The rest of 2019 is filled with exciting opportunities for us as a Fellowship. But I need your help to raise £80,000 so that we can grasp these opportunities firmly as I get established as your new Chief Executive.
In May we launched our new Evangelism and Apologetics Track, where eleven of our members will spend a year growing their gifts and experience as evangelists and apologists, under the capable tutelage of our new Evangelism Associate, Richard Scott. Many of you are familiar with our flagship faith-sharing day conference, Saline Solution. We plan to use this Track to test and refresh some of our other existing material along with Richard's own, coming up with a revitialised evangelism resource that will serve to equip many more members to share their faith effectively in the coming years, sitting alongside and complementing Saline.
In June our new Associate Head of Graduate Ministries, Steve Sturman, will join the staff team to focus on developing our pastoral care. Steve's role is a response to the widespread personal challenges that many of our members face around the country. At our recent National Conference I was forcefully struck by the isolation and demoralisation felt by many of our junior doctors. Their hours may be better protected than in previous generations, but the loss of team structures and stability is felt keenly. We are determined to provide better pastoral support for our members wherever they may be in the country. Who better to provide this than supportive local teams of doctors and nurses who understand the pressures and isolation felt by their peers?
This is one reason why I am so excited by the growth of our Catalyst Teams. One of the key features of our 2020 ACTIVE five-year plan is developing our volunteers. It has been such a delight to see the Catalyst Teams project turn from a dream to a growing reality over the last two years; we have progressed from the initial vision, to link keen individuals, and now to seven functioning pilot teams, able to share their successes and challenges, encouraging one another in the task ahead.
This new model is a real step change in our approach to volunteers, using high-impact principles that have energised the recruitment, training, support and collaboration of these local teams. But let me be clear: having Catalyst Teams is not our goal. They are a tool and a strategy to encouraging and enabling members everywhere to Connect and Grow, Speak and Serve.
I need your help
CMF's ministry has grown significantly in recent years by God's grace, enabling us to expand the support we give our members. We remain ambitious for growth, but the expansion of recent years has left our financial reserves depleted, and the Board and senior management team are united in their desire to consolidate that recent growth and to stabilise our financial reserves in order to build further organisational resilience and continue the Fellowship's growth in a sustainable way.
Our annual Spring and Christmas Appeals are a regular part of our budgeting. We recognise that many of our members prefer to give to CMF's work financially in response to specific periodic requests, whilst others prefer to give regularly.
In order to receive a small surplus for this financial year, the Board and senior management team set a budget last December that included £80,000 for this Spring Appeal. Please would you prayerfully consider helping me achieve that target?
I am incredibly excited about the many encouragements and opportunities that we see around us as we mark 70 years of God's faithfulness to CMF. I would be delighted if you were able to stand with me in order to help consolidate recent growth and build resilience for the future.
Thank you for being part of CMF, in whatever way that you contribute to our Fellowship.
'And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.' (2 Corinthians 9:8)
Mark Pickering - Chief Executive Officer, CMFDownload Appeal PDF