Tuesday, March 21, 2017

February 2017 Giving

Sorry it's a bit late but I wanted to update you on our giving to the end of February.

As you can see above February giving was excellent, at £11,500 over budget.

This year we've set the monthly budget a bit differently. Over the last few years we simply took the budgeted giving for the year and divided it by 12 to give each month's budgetted giving. This year we've tried to take into account that we know that in some months (such as January, February and August) the offerings are normally lower, and in other months (such as March and June) they are normally higher. Based on the old method this month's budgetted giving would have been £73,360, so either way we're well above budget.

For the year to date we're an even better £12,471 over budget which is great.

If offerings continue to be above budget it will allow us to do even more of what we currently do. Helping people of all ages and backgrounds find their way back to God. People in our local community, in the nation and in the nations.

A huge thank you to everyone involved in the grace of giving at Kerith.

From a very grateful senior pastor,

Simon.

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Kerith Vision Fund Update

For anyone who missed the Vision Fund updates I've given over the last two weeks I thought I'd use my blog to post an update.

You may remember we kicked the Vision Fund off last year where we had our first gift days which raised just under £220,000. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who gave to what was the biggest gift day in the history of Kerith.

We're going to tithe 10% of all the money which comes in for the vision fund, which from these first gift days was £22,000. We're in the process of of giving away the first £20,000 of that, with

So what are we going to use the rest of the money for?

In Bracknell we've paid £110,000 off the mortgage on the house which we bought behind K2, which reduces the mortgage to £62,000. We've given everyone an opportunity to comment on what facilities we think we'll need on the Bracknell site to take us into the next 15 years. That list has been refined and is now with our architect, Scott Allen, who will come up with a plan to redevelop K2 and the Kerith Centre in a way that will meet those requirements. We'd hope in the next two to three months to have a first draft of those plans.

In Sandhurst we've had some very exciting developments. Rather than just a midweek venue which we were originally looking for it looks like we may now be in a position to think about getting a permanent Sunday venue too. I can't say too much more at this point in time, but it could be very promising. Hopefully we'll be able to announce more in the next couple of months, but in the meantime please keep praying for God to open doors and guide us in our conversations.

In Windsor we've looked at something like 25 potential venues where we could hold Sunday meetings. We're now in the process of reviewing all the options and hope to choose one soon. Once we've chosen a venue we plan to start with monthly meetings, and once they're up and running look to move those to being weekly. Depending on the venue we're likely to need quite a bit of the vision fund money to buy items such as PA, equipment for the kids work and signage, as well as paying the rent on the venue.

The great news is that from the first gift day we have the money we need to get all three of these projects up and running.

As a next step we're going to have two more gift days this year. The first gift day will be the 23rd and 30th April where we're looking to raise another £200,000. This would allow us to pay off the the remaining £62,000 of the mortgage on the K2 house (which will leave us debt free as a church), have another £20,000 to give away and the remainder will go to the next stage of each of these projects. Please be thinking and praying about what God would have you give, as well as praying for wisdom as to how to use the money we've already God and for doors to continue to open for us.

Simon.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Kerith Vacancies - Morning Receptionist & Saturday Caretaker

Due to some staff changes that have come about in the last few weeks we are currently recruiting for the following positions:

  • Saturday Caretaker - (Term Time only) 5 hours each Saturday to prepare the Kerith Centre ready for our Sunday meetings. This will involve setting out chairs in the auditorium, moving furniture, cleaning of the public areas and toilets plus additional tasks to support conferences and weddings.
  • Morning Receptionist – Monday to Friday, 9am – 1.30pm. We are looking for someone who will exude our ethos of “Love God, Love People” to be the first point of contact for all staff and visitors when they enter the Kerith Centre. The role involves dealing face to face with a diverse range of visitors, managing incoming calls and basic ministry administration.

Both of these roles are key to making our Sunday and Ministry work happen with excellence. If you or someone you know is interested in either job, application packs are available from the Kerith Centre reception desk. The closing date for both roles is Monday 27th March with interviews anticipated for the week commencing 3rd April. If you would like further information on either role please contact Ali Hudell, HR Manager or Jake Harvey, Site Services Manager by email or via telephone on 01344 862699.

Simon.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Marriage Course - Starting this week

One of the best things Catrina and I ever did for our marriage was to attend the Marriage Course. It wasn't that our marriage was in crisis, it wasn't, but as we did the course we learnt a whole load of principles which have allowed us to build a much better and stronger marriage.

The course originated in HTB in London, the church which also started Alpha. We travelled up to HTB to do the course, but found it so beneficial that we then helped run it in Bracknell to make it easier for others to attend. Catrina and I don't personally oversee the running of the course any more, but I'm delighted that others have taken it on and make sure that others can continue to benefit from it.

We've got two courses starting this week which are going to be run in peoples homes. On Wednesday 8th March we've got a course starting in Sunningdale, on Thursday 9th March a course starts in North Bracknell.

Amongst other things the 7 weeks of the course will help you to:

  • Understand each other’s needs
  • Communicate more effectively
  • Grow closer by learning methods to resolve conflict
  • Recover from the ways you may have hurt each other
  • Recognise how your upbringing affects your relationship
  • Improve relationships with parents and in-laws
  • Develop greater sexual intimacy
  • Discover each other’s "love language" and much, much more....

Who wouldn't want that!

The Marriage Course is for couples who are in a married relationship and seeking to strengthen their relationship. Some couples do the course to invest in their relationship, others need more urgent help. Either way, the course offers a lifetime of practical ideas and tools to help keep your relationship strong.The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

The Course is run in the Leaders home as a small group. The evening consists of a meal, DVD interviews and talks and time for private discussion between you and your partner. You never share anything about your relationship with anyone other than your partner.

The cost for the course is £40 per couple, which includes a meal every week and all the course materials. If the cost is going to be an issue for you please let us know as we woulnd't want cost to be a barrier to anyone attending

You can get more information and find sign up here.

Simon.

 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Generous

Yesterday we started our new series on generosity. We're taking seven weeks looking at how we handle our finances and possesions, and how through using them as God intended we can live a more generous life. You can find the audio podcast of the first weeks message here.

As part of the series we're encouraging everyone to participate in daily generosity challenges, which we hope will move us as a community to grow more generous hearts and be a blessing to those around us. Every day we'll be putting out a challenge on social media (twitter, instagram and facebook), but you can also get a whole weeks worth by clicking on 'subscribe' on the "what's on" page of our website and entering your email address. You'll have missed the email with the first weeks worth, but don't fear, you can find them here.

Let us know how you're getting on using the hashtag #generosityshift. We'll feature some of the most interesting things people have been doing each Sunday.

Have a great week being generous :)

Simon.

 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Supporting our local Fostering Team

One of the most exciting things we've got involved in over recent years has been the initiative to encourage more families to consider fostering and adoption in order to provide safe, loving homes for some of the most vulnerable children in our community. This has been headed up by the amazing Penny Lander, with lots of practical support and encouragement from our friends at Home for Good.

We have a number of people in our community who have either adopted children or are in the process of becoming adoptive parents, but as far as I know only have one couple in the church providing a foster home (they're an amazing couple in our Sandhurst community who recently moved to a bigger home just so that they could foster more children). Penny is really keen to encourage more people to consider the possibility of fostering, and asked me whether I'd blog about it which I'm delighted to be able to do. Here's what Penny wants to say:

If you live around Bracknell, you might have seen the new Recruitment Officer for Bracknell Forest council fostering team giving out balloons at the Sports Centre last month. The reason she was there is that children in our area who go into care are not guaranteed being able to stay with a family locally, because of the shortage of foster carers. That can mean living in a residential home, or being placed out of the area, away from school and friends.

We want to support our colleagues at Bracknell Forest Family Placement Team, and help find local homes for local children.

Across our church community we already have fantastic foster carers and adopters. But there will also be some of you reading this who have been thinking or praying about fostering. If that’s you and you know now is the time to find out more, then a good starting point is Home for Good, the national charity we partner with. You can contact me via the Home for Good website. Please also take a look at the council’s website, and scroll down to a couple of excellent videos of foster carers. The Home for Good website also has some great resources.

Thanks so much,

Penny.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Philippines Cake Sale

In December our Filipino community held a cake sale at our Bracknell morning gatherings to raise money for friends and family back in the Philippines who have been impacted by the latest typhoon there. I recently got the email and photos below from Marizel who helped organise the cake sale, and wanted to share it with you all.

A huge thank you to everyone who bought a cake, and to our Filipino community for making all of this happen.

Simon.

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Hi Simon/Catrina,

I'm glad to let you know that the funds raised through the Cake Sale in December managed to afford food packs for 122 families in Tuguegarao and Solana, both towns are the hardest hit by the typhoon Lawin. The distribution were held on the 26th and the 30th of December. I am attaching few photos taken during the distribution. These photos speak of the joy and gratefulness these brethren feel towards the generosity all the people from Kerith has extended. On behalf of all the recipients, I'd like to extend my sincerest thanks to everyone at Kerith Community Church. May God return all the favours a thousandfold to you all! God bless!❤️

Much love,

Marizel