Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Vision Fund Gift Days

Greetings from the 100 degree heat in Lusaka, Zambia! I want to warn you in advance that this is quite a long blog, but if you can please make the time to read it all the way through to the end :)

On November the 5th and the 12th we’re going to be having the next offerings for our vision fund - can I encourage you to be thinking and praying about what God would have you give.

We launched the vision fund last September with the goal of allowing us to develop our Bracknell, Sandhurst and Windsor sites. To date we’ve raised over £300,000, which has allowed us to do the following:

In Bracknell we’ve been able to:
  • Pay off the mortgage on the house behind K2, which this time last year stood at over £170,000.
  • Make an offer on some additional land around K2 - we hope to complete the purchase of this in the next few weeks using money from the vision fund to pay for it.
  • Draw up plans for a redevelopment of K2 which should give us the facilities we think need on the Bracknell site for the next 10 to 15 years. We’ll be in a position to share these plans early in the New Year.
In Sandhurst we’ve been able to:
  • Draw up plans for a potential permanent home for Kerith Sandhurst. This is in partnership with another organisation. Please be praying for this as in the next few weeks we should know whether this is a door God is going to open, or whether we need to be looking elsewhere for a permanent home for Sandhurst. I’ll hopefully be in a position to share more on this soon.
  • Invest in making our Sandhurst Sunday venue simpler to set up and tear down including acquiring a large storage container and buying flight cases to move all the equipment around. 
In Windsor we’ve been able to:
  • Agree a deal to hire the Gospel Hall in Dedworth for the next three years, giving us a midweek home for Kerith Windsor.
  • Refurbish the Gospel Hall, including redecorating, putting in a new carpet and buying new furniture.
  • Buy the equipment required to start meeting on a Sunday in Windsor, including our own portable PA, signage and toys for the kids work.
We’ve also bought a van to allow us to more easily equipment between the sites. It’s silver and covered in Kerith logos - you can’t miss it!

In addition to all that we’ve also tithed on the money that came in, allowing us to give away £21,000 to churches in Albania and Estonia, give to the Partingtons in Bolivia and support a number of local projects. There is still another £9,000 of tithe which we’re in the process of giving away. 

I think that’s an amazing amount of progress to have made in a year. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has given in the last year, making all of this possible. 

So what next? Well by buying land, paying off mortgages, exploring potential partnerships and drawing up plans it’s likely that some time in the near future we’ll be launching into at least one building project. We’ll also want to be in a position for Kerith Windsor to start meeting every Sunday from some time in th second half of 2018. It therefore makes sense to start accumulating funds now, even if we’re not exactly sure what they’re for or what how much we’re going to need. 

I’ve recently met with leaders of two different churches which both want to embark on building projects. Over the last few years one has built up a fund of over a million pounds, and the other has accumulated nothing, even though they knew what was likely to be coming. You can guess which church is better placed to move ahead quickly. I would love us to be in the former situation, so want to encourage all of us to be praying about what we should give.

We’re going to have midweek vision meetings in the New Year where we hope to be in a position to talk about all the plans in much more detail. If you want to put them in your diary now they’ll be in:
  • Sandhurst on Tuesday 9th January
  • Bracknell on Wednesday 10th January
  • Windsor Thursday 11th January
Until then please have confidence that whatever we do, all the money raised will go to helping create spaces where we help people find their way back to God. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this :)


Simon

Monday, October 16, 2017

Zambia Bound

I’m travelling out to Zambia this afternoon with a team from Kerith and would really value your prayers. Our itinerary is as follows if you’d like to pray for us on specific days.

Monday 16th - Overnight flight to Zambia via Dubai (sadly BA no longer fly direct any more)
Tuesday 17th - Arrive in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia
Wednesday 18th - Spend a day with Sam and Hannah Fairs-Billam seeing the work of Tehila
Thursday 19th - Travel up to Serenje and in the evening meet with local pastors and dignitaries
Friday 20th - Visit some of the Church Community Mobilisation projects we as a church have helped sponsor in Serenje
Saturday 21st - Spend a day at the girls dormitory meeting the girls and seeing thebuilding 
Sunday 22nd - Preach in Pastor Samson Kasele’s church 
Monday 23rd - Travel back to Lusaka

The rest of the team then fly home and my wife Catrina, our daughter Alice and I are staying on to spend a few more days with Sam and Hannah. We then fly home, leaving on Thursday 26th and landing back in the UK on the afternoon of Friday 27th. I’ll then hopefully make it to at least some of the half night of prayer that evening.

I remember Erwin McManus once saying that when people travel you shouldn’t pray for them to be safe but to be dangerous! A bit of safety wouldn’t go amiss, but we do want to be dangerous for the kingdom - for a bit more of heaven to come to earth because of what we’re doing. We’ve already massively seen that with the whole Serenje project. Please pray we’ll see more of that in the coming days.

Thanks you!


Simon

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bracknell Prayer

Our Bracknell site has a few different opportunities for us to pray together coming up.

This is what Mel Woods who helps create the space for us to pray in Bracknell has put together.

Simon

————————————————————————————-

On Tuesday 10th October we’ve got our monthly prayer meeting from 8-9.30pm in K2.
We’ve got the theme of ‘celebrating the body of Christ’, taking time to pray for one another, for families, for our small group communities, and that through our love for one another the world would see Jesus. 

On Friday 27th October we’ve got a half night of prayer, running from 8pm until 2am on the Saturday morning.
As we’ve done in the past we’ll split this into one hour slots, with a different person leading each hour. If you can’t make all of it then please feel free to come for the slots which work for you.

We’re then going to have a week of prayer running from Friday 27th October to Friday 3rd November. 
We’re running with the theme of ‘changing seasons’ – so in the prayer room we will have resources around.
  • As the leaves fall off trees in Autumn, are there things God is asking you to let go of or that he wants to strip away (Heb 12.2 throw off everything that hinders)
  • Who is our harvest? Who would you like to see come to know Jesus?
  • The abundance of Gods blessings, how a good harvest was a celebration, that after sowing and toiling and waiting you got to reap the harvest. What do we have to be thankful for?
  • Encouragements in the waiting period – what promises of God can we stand on.

You can book into the prayer room here

Monday, October 2, 2017

Kerith Leadership Day - Saturday 14th October

I really want to encourage as many of us as possible to get to the Kerith Leadership day coming up on Saturday 14th October.

We’ve made this day by taking the very best talks from two day Global Leadership Summit which we’re hosting on the 11th and 12th October, and putting them into a one day event which we’d love everyone in Kerith to attend. We realise that it can be hard to get to the two day midweek event (although if you can get the time off then it will be well worth it) but hopefully everyone can make it to at least some of the Saturday.

I know that some of us will be put off by the term “leadership”, but at the end of the day leadership is all about influence, and we are all called to have influence in our families, amongst our friends, in our workplaces and in our wider world. Come and be equipped to make a difference where you are.

On the day we’ll get to hear from church leaders such as Bill Hybels and Andy Stanley, business leaders including Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook, leaders from organisations seeking to bring justice such as Gary Haugen from International Justice Mission, and some brilliant talks from people challenging the way that we think about the world including Julia Funt and a guy called Fredrik Haren (who has a very funny story about a swimming pool!).

During the day there will be process time to think about the implications of what we’re hearing. I’d encourage you to sit with friends and people you serve alongside so that you can share wisdom and thoughts on the talks. Why not also plan to book lunch with some friends in our shiny new town centre - lunch is from 1-2pm if you want to make a booking!

If you’re part of Kerith you get a special discounted rate. You can sign up for the Saturday event here, or for the two day GLS here. If you’re not part of Kerith then you can sign up here.

Don’t miss it!

Simon