Monday, August 1, 2016

Willow Creek GLS - One & two day options

In October we've got the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit coming up, and this year I want to encourage everyone who is part of Kerith to plan to come along as an investment in our personal growth. As every year there's an amazing line up of speakers with people from the church, business, charity and academic worlds - people we can all learn from if we are humble enough to hear God speaking through them.

In past years we've always run the conference on a Friday and Saturday. I've long thought that this gives us the worst of both worlds, in that there are a bunch of people who can't make a Friday because they can't get the time off work, and a bunch of people who struggle with the Saturday because that's key family time. Also for church teams wanting to come a Friday often isn't great because you're getting ready for Sunday. We're therefore going to try something a little different this year!

On Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th October we'll host the full blown conference with the majority of the speakers from the live event which takes places in Chicago in August. You can book into that here. I'd encourage everyone who can get time off work, child care, college or whatever else you might do during the week to come to these two days. Also for church teams to book those two days as a key team time - staying in local hotels if you can in order to maximise the time you have together to discuss all that you're learning.

Then on Saturday 15th October we'll do a one day version of the GLS, showing what we think are the best talks from the two day event. You can book that here. I want to encourage anyone who can't make it to the two day event to come to this.

If you're not part of Kerith then until the 5th August you can use the discount code GLS16SO to get 25% off.

If you do regularly attend one of our Kerith sites then we have a host church discount code which will get you 65% off. You can get that code by emailing our Kerith reception, but only if you really do come regularly!

Either way the conference represents incredible value for money. I'm always amazed how we can think nothing of pay a load of money to go to a football match, the cinema or the theatre, but then question the cost of a conference like the GLS. Jesus told us that "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21). Be willing to invest in something which will do not only your heart but also your mind and soul incredible good.

See you there :)

Simon.

 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Kerith Academy - It could be you (or someone you know)

Last Sunday we had the graduation of this year's group of Kerith Academy students. It's been brilliant to watch them grow over the year, and to celebrate all that God has done in and through them. We're going to miss them, although it's going to be exciting to see what happens next

We're now recruiting for the 2016-2017 Academy year, and I want to encourage you to think about whether this might be a next step either for you, or for someone you know. At the core of the Academy are two days a week of theological and leadership training. On top of that students can choose to serve two days a week in a Kerith ministry, five hours a week in a Kerith ministry or be based in another local church for their volunteer time. The Academy is open to anyone over the age of 18 so please don't exclude yourself!

You can go here for all the details, watch the brilliant promo video or take a look at the prospectus. You can apply online, or if you have any questions then please don't hesitate to email our Academy Lead Ben Pocock.

Simon.

 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Create Hope - Volunteer Fundraiser Wanted

One of my passions is for Kerith to be a community which resources and equips people to do amazing things which will never have a Kerith "badge" on them. Whether that's running a school, building a company, running a charity in the UK or overseas, being involved in the world of media, politics or healthcare, or anything else which engages someone's faith, passion and gifting in something not directly linked with Kerith. That to me represents success every bit as much as our CAP centre, youth work or ministry in another nation going well.

One of the shining lights in this area is Catherine Barrett, who has founded Create Hope, a Christian charity offering play therapy and therapeutic support to children, young people and families to support them with their emotional needs. It's so exciting to see how Create Hope, under Catherine's leadership, is growing both in terms of the depth of support it can provide and the number of people it is supporting.

One of the keys to Create Hope growing is money, and to that end Catherine is looking for a volunteer fundraiser who can give some time to doing grant applications for the charity. There are more details here, or just email Catherine if you'd like to find out more. You might not have any play therapy skills, but an hour or two a week from you filling in grant applications could allow you to directly impact the lives of children and families in our community desperately in need of the help Catherine and her team can provide.

Thanks,

Simon.

 

Friday, July 22, 2016

September Dates - Alpha & Vision

I wanted to let you have three midweek dates for September.

On Tuesday 13th September we're having a prayer meeting for Alpha from 7.30-8.15pm in the K2 Hall on our Bracknell site. This will be an opportunity to pray for the forthcoming Alpha courses on all three of our sites. We'll be joining with people from all across the UK by joining with a prayer meeting being live streamed from HTB in London - the church where the Alpha course originated.

As an encouragement to come here's a great video from Pete Greig reminding us of the importance of prayer in seeing success through Alpha. Please put this in your diary and be there if you can.

 

On Tuesday 20th September we've got our Autumn Church Vision night which will start at 7.45pm for drinks in the Kerith Centre and go through until 9.30pm. In the past we've referred to these as our All Leaders Meeting, but I want to widen this out and invite everyone to be there if you possibly can as we've got some significant new vision to talk about for 2017 and beyond.

Then on Wednesday 21st September we've got our Alpha Launch Curry Night. It's going to be a great evening but you can only come if you bring a guest! Tickets cost £5 which you can sign up for here. Please be talking to your friends about it and inviting them to come along.

It's going to be an exciting Autumn!

Simon.

 

Friday, July 15, 2016

I Am

On Sunday we start a new series, looking Jesus seven "I Am" sayings in John's account of the life of Jesus. These are:

  • I am the bread of life
  • I am the light of the world
  • I am the door
  • I am the good shepherd
  • I am the resurrection and the life
  • I am the way the truth and the life
  • I am the true vine

This first Sunday we'll be looking at Jesus being the bread of life at the 9am and 11am in Bracknell, and Jesus as the light of the world at the 10am in Sandhurst and the 6pm in Bracknell.

I think it's going to be a really good series as we dig deeper into who Jesus is, his unique claims and how that impacts our lives and how we live.

See you there :)

Simon.

 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Meet Matt & Bianca

This weekend we've got the privilege of having Matt and Bianca Olthoff with us, coming all the way from sunny Southern California. I first met Matt at a church learning event in Windsor where a bunch of European churches came together to be coached by church leaders from the US, then met Bianca some months later at a similar event where she'd come along with Matt. Catrina and I had a meal with them and felt strongly to invite them to come, so here they are!

Bianca works as Chief Storyteller (how cool a job title it that!) for The A21 Campaign, a global anti-human trafficking organization which was founded by Christine Caine who many of us will have heard speak at different events. She's one of those people who just lights up any room she walks in to, and has an infectious enthusiasm for life and for God. She's also very prophetic and has a remarkable teaching gift.

Matt is based at Mariners Church in Irvine California, a church of around 15,000 people based on 5 sites. For years he was on staff overseeing discipleship in the church, but more recently he has felt the call to Europe and is now helping to build churches across Europe. Matt's family are originally from Germany - he wasn't too happy about the football result last night! Matt is a great communicator and has a powerful story to tell, both from his own life and his revelation of God through the Bible.

Bianca is going to be speaking at our REAL women's conference this weekend. Please can I encourage any women out there who haven't yet booked in to come along. Even if you can't make the whole event you can get a ticket for either Friday or Saturday evening for just £7.50 cash on the door. Parking is in the college, and there's a special welcome area if you're worried about being there on your own. I'll be around too, so if you do make it please come and say hi.

Then Matt and Bianca are both going to be speaking on Sunday. Matt will be at the 9am and 11am in Bracknell, and Bianca at the 10am in Sandhurst and the 6pm in Bracknell. If you miss Bianca in the morning then please come and catch her in the evening.

Finally Matt is staying on for a few days to meet our staff team, helping us think about how we are organised and how we can communicate what we are doing better.

It's a huge privilege for us to have Matt and Bianca with us. Please make them feel incredibly welcome, and be open to receiving all God has for you through them.

Much love,

Simon

 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Thanksgiving for the Life of Louise Holt

We're going to be holding a Bracknell based thanksgiving for the life of Louise Holt on Saturday 16th July at 3pm in the Kerith Centre. I know that many of us who knew Louise and wanted an opportunity to celebrate her life weren't able to make it down Cornwall for the thanksgiving which took place down there last weekend, so this will be an opportunity for us to do that more locally. Louise's husband Andrew, and their children Hudson and Grace, will be there as part of the celebration - everyone is invited to come and join us in remembering Louise.

Andrew wants the dress code to be 'cheerful', with no black and no ties - I'll leave it to you to interpret that appropriately! We'll also be serving refreshments after the meeting to give us further opportunity to share our memories of Louise.

Please continue to pray for Andrew, Hudson and Grace in their loss. I spent time with Andrew today and it sounds like they're all doing really well, but let's be praying for God's ongoing comfort and strength for each of them in the coming days.

Much love,

Simon.