Friday, May 11, 2018

Thy Kingdom Come

“Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done” (Matthew 6v10)


Then on Friday 18th May we will gather together for our  ‘Kingdom Come Night of Prayer’ from 8pm -2am at the Windsor Gospel Hall (in Dedworth, SL4 5SL). Let’s join as one church to pray for more of Gods kingdom. As a church we go deeper with a half night of prayer 3 times a year, where we encourage everyone from all our sites to come together. These are incredible times of hearing God's voice and personal refreshing. Come for the whole time or pop in at any point between 8pm -2am as we join together.

From Thursday 10th through to Sunday 20th May we are joining with Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury) as he calls on churches across the country to pray ‘Thy kingdom come’. We believe when God’s kingdom comes we see salvation, righteousness, justice, peace, joy, comfort and healing. Join with thousands of others in praying to see and experience more of His kingdom on earth. Here are four ideas on how to get involved:
  • Prayer Room – we have a prayer room at our Bracknell site which you can book out to pray for an hour (or more) by yourself or with friends. Book your slot here and enjoy space and time away from distractions. There are resources to help you pray, or feel free to simply sit and ‘be’ with Jesus.
  •  Be praying for the group of people you are seeking to reach as part of our BLESS series.
  •   Social Media – we’ll be sharing verses of scripture and encouragements to pray from ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ through our social media streams. Do check those out.
  •  There are loads of resources to help you and your family or small group to pray – see the Thy Kingdom Come website.
Then on Friday 18th May we will gather together for our  ‘Kingdom Come Night of Prayer’ from 8pm -2am at the Windsor Gospel Hall (in Dedworth, SL4 5SL). Let’s join as one church to pray for more of Gods kingdom. As a church we go deeper with a half night of prayer 3 times a year, where we encourage everyone from all our sites to come together. These are incredible times of hearing God's voice and personal refreshing. Come for the whole time or pop in at any point between 8pm -2am as we join together.

Simon

Monday, April 23, 2018

Join us at Wildfires (early bird rate ends Sunday!)


It’s just over a month until a load of us head off to the Wildfires Festival, and I wanted to both update you on what is being planned, and encourage anyone not yet booked in to book in before the early bird rate ends this Sunday. If you are going to book in be sure to do it via the Kerith specific booking site to new sure that you get to camp with the rest of us!

Wildfires is an opportunity for us to spend time together as a community with a bunch of other like minded churches, not only to have an amazing time together but to contend for revival in our nation.

Below are a few things I thought you might be interested to know.

Our village: So far we’ve got around 80 people from Kerith registered to go. We’ve got our our own ‘village’ where we all get to camp together, with a village tent which will seat up to 200 people for us to gather in, eat in and do whatever else we want. Anyone with a caravan or hiring a tent will be in an area very close to our village. Apparently our village will also have its own fire pit - I can’t tell you how excited I am about that!

Day visitors: I know for some people the idea of camping is a complete non starter! If that’s you why not come down for one day as a day visitor, or find an Airbnb or somewhere else to stay nearby. You can book day tickets here

Timings: The festival runs from 9.30am on the Monday to late on the Wednesday evening, and will finish with a bonfire and a free hog roast for everyone. I’d encourage people to also come to the Big Church Day Out on the Saturday and Sunday before Wildfires which is included in the cost of your Wildfires registration, but if you can’t make that ideally you’ll want to get there on the Sunday and stay until the Thursday morning to get the full experience.

Labs: There will be interactive seminars every afternoon on subjects such as Leadership (with Nicky and Pippa Gumbell from HTB), Spirituality (including moving in the prophetic with Julian and Katia Adams), Relationships (including Nicky and Cilla Lee of Marriage Course fame), the Big Issues in Society and Hearing Stories (including amazing stories on the growth of the church in Persia).

Contributors: As well as the people mentioned above other people involved in the festival include Christy Wimber, Pete Greig, Lucy Peppiatt, Tim Hughes, Martin Smith and others. You can find a full list here.

Kids and Youth: A big focus for the event is creating spaces where our children and youth can powerfully meet with God. Many of us will have stories of how God met with us as youngsters at events just like this. If you have children in those age groups please see this as an opportunity to make a big investment in them. You have no idea what God might do!

Revision: I realise that there will be families with teenagers who have exams coming up who will be wondering whether to go. Wiston House, which is the stately home on the site, will be used as a revision space for the young people who have exams. There will be teachers there, along with people to pray for them whilst they revise (open from 1pm – 5pm all three days).

Bursaries: We don’t want lack of finances to be a barrier to anyone coming. Some very generous people within Kerith have already offered to help fund people who might not otherwise be able to go - if that’s you then I’m very grateful. If you too would like to help pay for someone else then please contact Sarah Harvey. If finances are an issue for you in terms of coming then please contact also Sarah who will help collate requests for help and try to make sure everyone who wants to go cam get there.

Facebook: We’re going to set up a Facebook page so that everyone going from Kerith can keep in touch and ask questions. Once it’s up and running I’ll let you know where it is!

If you’re not currently booked in I hope that’s encouraged you to come. If so book in here before Sunday to make sure to get the early bird rate. And if you do have any questions please contact the amazing Sarah Harvey who is our group coordinator.

Blessings,

Simon

Friday, April 13, 2018

Kerith West Wight launches this Sunday


I’m really pleased to let you know that this coming Sunday (15th April), our newest fledgling site will be launching. Kerith West Wight will be meeting monthly at 10am in West Wight Community Centre, on the 3rd Sunday of every month, led by the wonderful Ben Britton and his team.
Ben & Anna Britton are originally from the Isle of Wight, and during their time living in Camberley were part of our Sandhurst Site. Ben was involved in the worship and tech teams, and Anna was also involved in the worship team, as well as leading the Alpha course. They were also small group leaders before they moved back to the Isle of Wight in 2016.
 Since moving back to the island they have been gathering people in their living room and that number has been growing. Over the last few months they have begun to meet on a Sunday morning which has continued to grow, with over 30 people at their last meeting.
Last year Ben approached us to explore the possibility of joining what they are doing with Kerith, and after a number of meetings with the elders and staff team. and discussions with the trustees, we all sensed that God was in this and we should pursue it. We are therefore so excited that this Sunday they officially join the Kerith family.
 This is a new opportunity for us as a church, as it is our first site that is close relationally, but not geographically! Ben and his team will be leading Kerith West Wight under the leadership of the elders, and receiving support from the central office team. Although not a full site like our Bracknell and Sandhurst sites are, and as our Windsor site is about to become, we are praying that God will continue to bless the community over there with more people finding their way back to God through the community growing in their love for God and love for people.
 Soon they will have a presence on the Kerith website, and for now you can keep up to date with the news from West Wight via the facebook page here.
 As Ben and the team continue the great work they are doing out there, our hope is that in time they become a fully-fledged site, meeting every week, with team members on staff. We don’t know what God will do in West Wight, but we do know his Kingdom is always advancing, whether in Bracknell, Windsor, Sandhurst or the Isle of Wight – so let’s pray that His will be done, and Kerith West Wight will bear much fruit!
Simon

Thursday, April 5, 2018

TRUTH Men’s Conference - Saturday May 12th


I want to invite all the men of Kerith Community Church (and any other men who fancy coming along) to our TRUTH Men’s Conference on Saturday May 12th 2018

The event will run from 8am until 12.30pm and will include:
  • Hot breakfast on arrival
  • Stirring worship
  • Two straight-talking sessions from our good friend Sean Green, senior pastor of Reading Family Church
  • A whole bunch of other guys eager for TRUTH on how to do life well
Matt Ranger, who is leading the event, assures me there won’t be any fluffy decorations, scented giveaways, or beating around the bush. Just a great does of life giving TRUTH, and a bunch of guys wanting to cheer one another on. 

Tickets are a very reasonable £10. I just bought mine, you can get yours here

See you there,


Simon

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Book Review: The Book That Made Your World


I recently finished reading “The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilisation”. 

It’s written by an Indian philosopher called Vishal Mangalwadi, who from his position outside of our culture examines how the teaching of the Bible has shaped Western civilisation. He not only looks at what has shaped our culture, but also how other world views have shaped other cultures. He also illustrates much of what he says from his own fascinating life story. 

Areas where he looks at the impact of the Bible include:
  • The roots of our passion for scientific, medical and technological progress
  • The social and economic empowerment of women
  • The transformation of education
  • Our Western values of compassion, human rights, wealth creation and strong families
  • The development of languages, art, literature and music
It’s quite brilliantly researched and written, and helped me again to appreciate just how unique the Bible is, not only in showing us the way to be reconciled to God but in its ability to speak into, inspire, instruct and shape every aspect of our individual lives and our society as a whole. 

However, on a more sobering note he considers not only what got us here, but also what the future holds in an increasingly secular age which rejects both the authority and the teaching of the Bible. His last paragraph, which I’ve included below, is worth pondering on and praying over, not only in terms of the future for Western civilisation, but also for us as individuals as we consider the place we allow the Bible to take in our lives.

Simon


“Rome’s collapse meant that Europe lost its soul - the source of its civilisation authority - and descended into the ‘Dark Ages.’ The Bible was the power that revived Europe. European’s became so enthralled with God’s Word that they rejected their sacred myths to hear God’s Word, study it, internalise it, speak it, and promote it to build the modern world. At the dawn of the 21st century, the West is again losing its soul. Will it relapse into a new dark age or humble itself before the Word of Almighty God?” 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Job Opportunity: HR & Safeguarding Administrator role

Due to people changing roles within the Kerith Staff Team we’ve got a full time job opportunity for somebody to work as an administrator for HR and Safeguarding within Kerith.

You can get more information along with a detailed job description here. If this might be of interest to you, or to someone you know, than please take a look. Otherwise please join me in praying that we find the right person to fufill what is a key role for us as a community.

Blessings,

Simon

Friday, March 9, 2018

The day I applauded too


I remember the first time I was on a flight where people applauded when the plane landed. It was going to Poland about 12 years ago, and I must admit that I remember feeling a bit superior about it. Why applaud? What did they expect to happen? Planes take off and planes land, why would anyone think landing was an event worth celebrating when it happens thousands of times a day all around the world. I would never be one of those people who applauded something so mundane.

So it has continued over the years. Lots of flights, lots of applause, but never me.

That was until this Monday. I was on an EasyJet flight into Lisbon. There was a big storm over the city, and as we approached the airport the plane was bouncing around all over the place. I had a window seat, so could see what was happening as we came into land. One moment we were over the runway, the next moment we were off to one side or the other. That was until about 50 feet from the ground, where the pilot decided it wasn’t going to happen and aborted the landing. We rapidly accelerated back up into the air.

Everyone was very calm, but suddenly landing didn’t seem like the formality I’d always assumed it was! We climbed round in a big circle and around 10 minutes later came in to try again. Once again the plane was all over the place, and just before we touched the ground I’m sure the plane was pointing more across the runway than along it. But the pilot executed one of the smoothest landings I’ve ever experienced, and once all the wheels touched the ground everyone applauded. And I applauded too.

One of my daily disciplines is to try to pray what we call the Lord’s Prayer every day. Not in the rote way I did at school where the aim was just to get through it as quickly as possible, but slowly and thoughtfully, pausing over every phrase and even individual words. Almost every time I do it one part of the prayer will particularly resonate with me, and I’ll stop and spend time there. Reflecting, meditating, thanking, talking to God and listening to what he might be saying. Who knew you could have a deep encounter with God simply reflecting on the word “our”!

Well on Tuesday morning I got stuck in the phrase “Give us this day our daily bread”. Such a simple phrase which I must have prayed thousands of times before, yet on Tuesday it took on a whole new significance. Reflecting on all the things in life which I take for granted, but each of which is a miracle of God’s provision to be grateful for, to be applauded. Planes landing, a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear, food to eat, water to drink and wash in, my family, my friends. The list goes on and on.

So from now on I’ll be applauding in a fresh way. Applauding the things I take for granted. Grateful, thankful and humbled by the God who day after day pours out a grace I haven’t earned and I don’t deserve. And all of that before I get anywhere near Jesus!

Simon