Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Invites

We originally printed 2,000 of the Christmas invite leaflets, which were all taken on the first weekend we made them available. We then printed another 1,500, all of which went this weekend. I'm so encouraged that so many people have taken them. If you took them and haven't given them out yet please can I encourage you to give them out prior to our first carol service on the evening of the 12th December.

If you are going to have any left over then please can you bring them back next Sunday (5th December) and we'll make sure they get delivered to some of the streets which haven't yet been covered before the 12th.

Please be thinking about who to invite to the Christmas events. I'm going to be doing blogs describing each event in more detail over the next two weeks, so hopefully you'll be able to pick the best event for your friend, neighbour, workmate or relative. If in doubt invite them to the 19th!

Simon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Two Sunday Reminders

First that Michael Ross-Watson is speaking in all three meetings on Sunday. He's going to bring a different message in each meeting. At the 9 he's going to share his story of salvation, at the 11 he's going to talk about God healing him, and at the 7 he's speaking on Joshua and faith. We will record and podcast all three, but why not also consider coming and hearing Michael more than once - you won't regret it! We will also be having an appeal and praying for the sick at the end of all three meetings.

Secondly we've got our first "Discover Kerith" lunch this Sunday after the 11am meeting. This is an opportunity for anyone new to the church who wants to find out more about us and how they can connect with us to come along, meet some people and have their questions answered. Food will be served under the balcony after the 11am meeting, I'll do a short talk and then there will be an opportunity to chat and meet people. There are already over 30 people coming but plenty of space for more, so if you want to come just turn up on Sunday morning. Children are really welcome too.

Hope to catch you this Sunday - it's going to be a great one.

Simon.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Peach and Coconut - So what about tithing?

The chapter for this week is here. There was a lot of material to cover on Sunday, hopefully having it in written form will make it easier for people to digest, think about and comment on. I do appreciate all the people who have been giving me feedback on the various chapters. They're really helping to shape what's going into the book so please keep them coming, either via comments on the blog / Facebook or by emailing here.

If you want to give your finances the once over before Christmas why not think about doing the CAP money course, which starts this Wednesday (24th November) at 8pm in the K2 Hall. Catrina and I did it a few years ago and it transformed our financial planning.

Hope you have a great week.

Simon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

9am Coffee

Since we started doing three meetings on a Sunday, people coming to the 9am have suffered (in the loosest sense of the word!) in that it's the only meeting where you can't get a tea or a coffee before it starts! But no longer. From now on we will have tea and coffee available before the 9am - which if you're anything like me is when it is most required in the day! Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to make this possible.

One day we'll even have lattes as well as filter coffee :-)

Simon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Foodbank on the BBC website

Following on from Monday's programme on Radio Berkshire there is now an excellent article all about the Foodbank on the BBC Berkshire website. If you're free on a Monday or Thursday I know that Pat and the team are always on the look for more helpers, or if you're free at other times then there is always work to be done in the warehouse. Just contact Pat Hallett via the Kerith reception. Alternatively why not look at the list of food the Foodbank gives out and buy some extra next time you go shopping.

So proud of our team.

Simon.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Michael Ross-Watson @ TMTL

Hopefully you've already got it in your diaries that Michael Ross-Watson will be speaking at all three meetings on Sunday 28th November. I wanted to let you know that you've got another opportunity to hear him before then, on Thursday 18th November when he is speaking at There's More to Life, our group for the retired. They meet at 1pm for lunch (bring your own sandwiches), Michael will start speaking at 2. The leaders of TMTL have asked me to extend an invite to anyone who wants to go, retired or not!

Michael is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met, and we are so privileged that he and his wonderful wife Esther have chosen to make Kerith home when they're in the UK. I'm not going to say any more than that about either of them, just make sure you catch them on either the 18th or the 28th, or both!

Simon.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Foodbank on Radio Berkshire

Our Foodbank is going to be featured on the Andrew Peach Show on Radio Berkshire on Monday morning from 7am to 10am. Maggie Philbin will be interviewing members of the team every half hour from my office!

This is a great opportunity to talk about all that is happening in Foodbank, and a wonderful recognition of all the hard work which our amazing team are putting in. Please pray that it will go well, and listen in if you possibly can.

Simon.

Three Blogs to Watch

I want to recommend three Kerith blogs to you.

First (and I'm in no way biased!) my wife's. Catrina has recently done a whole series of character profiles of some of the key people we work with in Serenje. Bishop Kasele, Pastor Ngosa, Pastor Chizunga, Pastor Mtongafarmers, volunteers, clients and the District Commissioner all get a mention. I realise that sadly most of you will never get to visit Serenje, but these excellent profiles will give you a really good idea of some of the key people out there, and some of the people directly affected by the money we've given. You can get to the whole blog here.

Secondly Ken and Ann Bothamley's Balkans blog. Ken has been out in Albania with Lee Layton-Matthews and Tom Klitgaard, and has written some great reports on what they've been getting up to. I think you'll be encouraged by the fruit our links in Albania are bearing.

Finally Zoe Hayes Serenje blog. Zoe interfaces between Kerith and Tearfund and helps organise all the trips out there (although much of the work she does goes on behind the scenes, she has been vital to the success of the project). Zoe periodically updates the blog with information she gets from Tearfund and other sources.

I personally sign up to get sent an email when each blog gets updated - there's a box on each of the blogs where you can sign up. That saves me having to visit them on a regular basis - leaving me more time to check on Newcastle United's progress here!

Simon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Don't Look Back

I thought our three preachers on Sunday - Ben Pocock, Lydia Harris-Lane and Liam Parker - did really well. It makes me so proud to see people from our community flourishing, in whatever context they are in, and I certainly felt very proud on Sunday.


At the end of Lydia's preach I encouraged everyone to write the words "Don't Look Back" on a piece of paper and stick them somewhere that you'll see them every day. We need to be people who live life looking forward to all that God has for us, rather than back at past failures, sins, hurts or anything else that will cause us to get stuck. Why not take a moment to listen to what Lydia had to say here (she only had 13 minutes after all the baptisms were over, so it won't take long!), and then find your piece of card and stick it up somewhere.


Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:13-14)


Simon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remembrance Sunday

This Sunday we will be having a minutes silence at the 11am meeting, to remember all those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today. To give all the people dropping children off time to get into the meeting we will hold the minutes silence at about ten past eleven. If you normally come to the 9am meeting and want to take part then please feel free to stay until the minutes silence at the 11am meeting and then leave.


Can I also encourage people to buy a poppy and support the work of the British Legion. There are poppies for sale at The Kerith Centre reception if you haven't managed to buy one elsewhere.


Simon.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pride of Kerith

Congratulations to Janine Jackson who last night won the "My Hero" award at the annual "Pride of Bracknell" event.

Janine was nominated by her husband Andy (who himself is a hero in many ways) for the way in which, despite losing her leg to cancer, she has continued to make outstanding contributions to our church community (producing "Word on the Street" and "The Vigil" amongst many other things), the wider community (including teaching at Brackenhale) as well as being a brilliant mum and wife. I'm personally very proud to be able to count Janine as one of my friends, and to have seen the many ways God has worked in and through her over the last few years. She is truly an inspiration.

Look out for photos and articles on this in the Bracknell News.

Simon.

A House of Prayer

Prayer is so key to all that we long for God to do amongst us, both individually and as a community, so I want to give my strongest possible encouragement to come to the prayer meetings next week, Wednesday and Thursday at 8pm in K2,

First of all we have much to give thanks for - the Serenje Gift Days (I can't wait to let you all know the total on Sunday),  fruit in so many of our ministries (as one example the foodbank has received twice as much food as last year in donations from schools and churches, and gave out food to 64 clients yesterday), growing numbers on Sundays and so much more. Before we do anything else let's come together and thank God for His amazing goodness to us.

On both nights I'm going to spend time sharing some of the vision I was going to share at the cancelled All Leaders Meeting. This will include news on upcoming speakers and conferences, vision for Christmas and  thoughts on the need for K3! Jon Hulme will also be leading us in praying for our international involvement and for other areas of church life.

Should be a great two evenings - please don't miss it!

Simon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sunday Baptisms

This Sunday we've got baptisms - very exciting! If you, or someone you know, would like to get baptised then it's not too late. Just contact reception or send an email here and we'll arrange for someone to meet up with you and talk through what is involved. We will have clothes and towels available on the day for anyone who makes a last minute decision, but it's always better to wear your own stuff!

I know that for me taking the decision to make a public declaration of my love for Jesus by being baptised was one of the most significant steps in my development as a young believer. Somehow that very step of obedience and identification with Christ is something which God just loves to bless - don't miss out on all that God has for you, or your friend.

As part of our development of up and coming preachers we've got three different people preaching on Sunday. Ben Pocock is preaching at the 9, Lydia Harris-Lane at the 11 and Liam Parker at the 7. I'm really looking forward to hearing all three of them, as they're each developing their own unique style and anointing.

Hope to catch you on Sunday,

Simon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Magazine Q&A

Back in the office today after a week away. Tuesday is always full of meetings - fun but I'm ready to go home now!

Anyway, before I go I need to ask for some help. As part of the next magazine the team would like to do a piece where people send in questions which I would try and answer. Questions can be on anything, from why we do what we do in church life to why our dog is called Nemo (well maybe they need to be a bit more interesting than that!). Please feel free to leave questions as either a comment on the blog / facebook or sending an email here. A free ride in the 2CV for the person who sends in the most interesting question!

We need questions by the start of next week. Thanks so much.

Simon.