One of the things I wanted to use this blog for was highlighting things which go on in the life of the church but which from just coming on a Sunday and being part of a Life Group you might never get to see.
One of our five purposes as a church is to reach out with ministry, meaning practical demonstrations of the love of Christ (the others are to reach up in worship, out in evangelism and in in fellowship and discipleship).
As part of that most of us would be aware of our Christians Against Poverty Debt Counselling Centre and the impact that is having (although you may not know that Andy Jackson has been nominated by the CAP central office as Debt Counsellor of the Year in the Credit Today Awards which is a national secular award - how cool is that - let's be praying that he wins!).
However, I think many of us would be unaware of the reaching out that goes on with respect to people of all ages in our community with special needs. Those who come on a Sunday night may have seen Hilltop, our ministry to adults with a learning disability, which joins us for the first 20 minutes of the evening gathering once a month. More hidden away is Konnections which is our multi-faceted support ministry for families with special needs children, headed up by Catriona Mitchell. Take a look at their page on the website for a better description of what goes on than I could give here - but I really wanted to highlight something we did for the first time this Easter which was to run 4 days of Youth Respite. Rather than me waffle on any more I'll let Karen Metha who lead the Respite Club say a few words about it, along with some pictures of what the young people got up to.
Over to Karen.......
A quick “hello” from Youth Respite. We had four fantastic days on our first Youth Respite Scheme.
I know people in general were pretty excited about the snow at the weekend, but I have to say that the thought of sloshing around Legoland or Bournemouth in three inches of slush didn’t fill me with joy. But the snow lovers enjoyed their morning and then the snow made a rapid exit giving way to blue skies and quite a bit of sunshine, which seemed to follow us were aver we went – God is good!
The staff team this week has been quite amazing. For a number of them this has been their first experience of working with the over 11’s and they have all done really well. The youth we are providing respite for really enjoy having other young people around to just hang out with, and although the staff took their responsibilities seriously, they still managed to create an atmosphere more akin to friends going out, and just having a good time.
I hope that this is the first of many schemes we offer to this age group, I know that the staff team has already asked about the dates for the summer!
Although this ministry only serves a small percentage of our community, it provides for the most vulnerable and in many ways the most over looked members of our society I don’t think we can over estimate the difference that Konnections can make to the lives of people going through really tough times, with not much relief in sight. It is such a privilege to part of such an amazing ministry and to have the chance to show the love of Christ – no strings attached. I know that it speaks powerfully to parents, professionals in Bracknell but most of all to the children and young people themselves.