Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Our Week of Prayer - Be 1 of 168 :)

To tie in with our Vision Fund Gift Days we're holding a week of 24-7 prayer in our prayer room from 3pm on Sunday 30th October to 3pm on Sunday 6th November.

We've had weeks of prayer before, but have never managed to fill all 168 one hour slots that make up a week. I'm asking whether you could join us in prayer for at least one of those slots

Talking to people I realise that quite a few people have never been in our prayer room, so just wanted to emphasise how easy it is to use!

First where is the prayer room? Well if you come out of the front doors of the Kerith Centre on our Bracknell site and look across the car park you'll see the studio directly opposite you. Downstairs in the studio is where our creative arts team hang out during the week, and upstairs is our 24/7 prayer room.

The process for booking a slot in the prayer room is:

  • Go to the booking page for either October, or November, and look for a slot that works for you.
  • Click on the slot you want to book and a form will pop up for you to fill in.
  • Enter your name, email address, the amount of time you want to book for and whether you want to book the prayer room for exclusive use (you want to pray on your own) or whether you're happy for other people to join you.
  • Click on "book" and that's it done. You should get an email pretty much straight away confirming your booking.

An hour before your slot you'll get an email with a four digit access code which you type into the keypad by the front door of the studio when you get there and which will give you access to the prayer room. Alternatively press the door bell and if there's someone already in the prayer room they'll hopefully come down and let you in!

 

When you get up to the prayer room you'll find lots of resources in there to help and inspire you to pray. That includes a variety of different places to sit, books, music, tea and coffee making facilities, a prayer wall to write on and much more. Make yourself at home and enjoy spending time in God's presence. Remember that it's more about being than doing, more about listening to God and meeting with him than praying your way through a shopping list of requests.

There are still loads of slots available. I'd love it if we could fill every one - something we really should be able to do with our community our size - so please play your part and book a slot now! You won't regret it :)

Much love,

Simon.

 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Vision Fund - What is your beehive?

I've been challenged recently reading some of the early history of our church, and particularly around the building of our first building which opened in 1892. We've got records of two very different people who gave gifts to help fund the building.

The first was from a Mr Slyfield - this is what is recorded about him in July 1992:

'Mr Slyfield, who has recently been converted, promised to give, as an offering to the Lord, whatever he realised by the sale of a hive of bees. At the Opening Day, he gave a half sovereign saying 'that's the result of the bees'.'

The second is from someone far more famous, Charles Spurgeon, who was the most celebrated preacher of his day, regularly preaching to crowds of 10,000 plus.

We have this record of a letter he wrote to the church prior to the opening of the building:

One person giving a half sovereign (50p), another giving £50 up front with the promise of another £100 to come. Both giving according to their means, with the result of their giving along with that of a handful of others achieving something remarkable, the provision of our community's first building.

All those years ago both Mr Slyfield and Mr Spurgeon made an investment to provide space for our fledgling church to meet. Many years later we now stand at the same point, needing to invest again to provide more meeting space to allow us to continue to grow.

  • In Bracknell we need more space for children on Sundays, for midweek activities and for offices.
  • In Sandhurst we need a midweek meeting space for social justice, courses, prayer, parent and toddler groups and much more.
  • In Windsor we need a space to start gathering on a Sunday.

To help achieve all these things we've established the Kerith Vision Fund which we're starting with gift days on Sunday 30th October and Sunday 6th November. We're looking to raise an initial £200,000 to allow us to pay off a chunk of the mortgage on the house behind K2, start funding the midweek space in Sandhurst and Sunday space in Windsor, and give away £20,000 to churches overseas.

I realise that some of us come like Mr Slyfield with limited resources, and some like Charles Spurgeon with the ability to give far more. The goal is not for everyone to give the same amount, but for each of us to do what we can as we invest in the generations to come.

Please can I encourage us all to be thinking and praying about what we are going to give. Remember that God loved Mr Slyfield every bit as much as he loved the the far more wealthy and famous Charles Spurgeon, and I suspect was as delighted in Slyfield's gift of the beehive as he was by Spurgeon's much larger gift, not because of its size but because of the heart that it demonstrated.

You can give to the gift days on the actual day, or online via our website. Thank you in advance for playing your part

Much love,

Simon.

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Willow Creek GLS - Don't Miss It!

Our two day Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit starts tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at 9am, with the one day highlights version on Saturday also starting at 9am.

It's still not too late to book in! You can get tickets on the door, but if you're part of Kerith and want to get our discount rate (or any of the other discounts available) you can only get them by booking online beforehand for the two day event or the one day event (if you need the Kerith discount code then message me, phone our reception on 01344 862699 or email info@kerith.co.uk). Including our volunteers we've already got over 300 attending the two day event and over 200 coming to the one day version, but there's still plenty more space for you to come to what is going to be an outstanding event. Please don't miss it!

For all you smartphone and tablet users there's a brilliant Summit app available which gives you all the speaker info, the timetable, space to make notes and much more. Search for GLS16 in the iTunes or Google Play app store and get an advance view of all you've got to look forward to.

Just in case that's not a possibility for you I've included the schedules for the two events below.

See you there :)

Simon.

 

 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hazel Thompson

Our house is quite a busy place, with people regularly coming for meals or to stay with us overnight. Earlier this year one of those people was Hazel Thompson, who was working with our daughter Alice on a project for Cinnamon Network. We'd never met Hazel before, but it became apparent pretty quickly that she's a quite remarkable lady, working as a Photo Journalist for organisation such as the New York Time, The Sunday Times and the Guardian.

Her photography has taken her to over 50 nations, using her skill, and her passion, to photograph and film injustice and prejudice; telling powerful stories and creating global awareness around social and humanitarian issues. This has included highlighting the issue of teenage runaways in the UK, sex trafficking in India and children being illegally imprisoned in Filipino jails. Hazel is also a Christian, and clearly sees what she does through her photography as being part of her response to God's call on her life.

As soon as I met Hazel I thought this would be someone it would be great for all of us to meet and to hear from, so I'm delighted that this Sunday Hazel is going to be with us at all four meetings. We'll get to hear from her, and to see some of her photos and short videos, all of which is going to be deeply inspiring and challenging.

See you there :)

Simon.