Thursday, May 2, 2019

Don’t miss the opportunity to sign up for a small group


We had a brilliant time yesterday evening gathering the leaders of all the new and existing mainland Kerith small groups for a time of encouragement, equipping and prayer for one another.

It was so exciting to see the army of existing small group leaders being joined by a whole load of new leaders who are adopting the termly small group format. There was a buzz of excitement in the room at what God might be about to do as we enter a new chapter in the story of small groups in Kerith. 

Our termly small groups start next week, and if you’re not yet in one it’s not too late to sign up. There are groups running the growth track courses, praying for revival, dog walking, mountain biking, combining craft and Bible study, getting people from couch to 5K and much more. Over 200 people not previously in a group have already signed up to join one, but there are still lots of space for more people to add to that number. You can even sign up for more than one if you want to! 

You can see all the small group options here. You can also filter down the options by site and by the day of the week the groups meet to find one that works for you. Please step out (even if you’re a shy introvert like me) - it will do you good and you will do others good.

Blessings,

Simon

Thursday, April 25, 2019

New Series - 40 Days with Jesus


On Sunday we start a new six week series looking at the life transforming encounters different people have with Jesus after His resurrection. This week we’ll hear about the first person to meet the resurrected Jesus, Mary Magdalene. 

The series is based on a 40 day devotional book written by a good friend of ours, Dave Smith who leads KingsGate Community Church which has sites in Peterborough, Cambridge, Leicester and London. If you’re not currently immersed in a different Bible reading plan then I’d really encourage you to get a copy and go deeper with what we’re going to be teaching on the Sundays. 

We’ll have a limited number of copies of the devotional available to buy on Sunday at our three mainland sites priced at £4 - please bring cash as we don’t yet have a way to easily process card payments (we’re working on it!). You can also order the book online from Eden where it costs £3.99 (plus £2.50 postage if you spend less than £10, so you might want to buy something else). If we sell all the ones we’ve ordered we’ll get more for next week.

Sunday is also the first time our Kerith Blackwater Valley (BV) site meets at the Village Hotel in Farnborough. If you’re not part of our BV site please be praying for them, as they’ve got a big launch Sunday with the mayor and several local councillors coming along. If this is your site then have a great Sunday in our new location. All very exciting. 

Wherever you’re going to be I pray you have a fabulous Sunday as we continue to celebrate that “He Has risen!”. 

Simon

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Kingdom Come prayer this Wednesday


This coming Wednesday (24th April) is our next Kingdom Come night of prayer. This is part of our new rhythm of kicking off every term with an evening where we can come together as a community to worship God, and to ask Him to move in our lives, in our church, in the nation and in the nations. The evening will run from 7.30-9.30pm and is at the Kerith Centre on our Bracknell site. The evening is open to anyone who wants to come, although we will spend some of the time praying for things specifically happening within Kerith. 

The evening will be a mixture of prayer and worship, with our friend Pete Greig from 24-7 Prayer coming along to equip, lead and encourage us to pray. Pete will also be talking a little bit about the brilliant new book, “How to Pray”, and the revised Prayer Course which 24-7 Prayer have just released. 

I’d also encourage anyone who can to fast for the day, as a statement of our desire and longing to see God’s kingdom come and His will done. 

We’re asking all those able to make the walk to park at the Braccan Walk Car Park, which will cost £1.50 if you arrive there after 6pm. Please leave about 10 minutes to get from there to the Kerith Centre as you won’t want to miss the start of us gathering together.

It’s going to be a great evening, especially off the back of all God did in and through us over the Easter weekend. Hope to see you there!

Simon

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Good Friday Gathering


Over the years our Good Friday gathering has become one of the highlights of the year for me. An opportunity to stop and reflect on the enormity of the events of that very first ‘Good’ Friday, and to share together in the bread and the wine remembering Jesus body given for us and his blood shed for us. 

For the last couple of years we’ve held it “in the round”, which gives it an even more intimate feel as we worship and reflect facing one another. We had so many people coming last year that we had to seat people in the balcony, which wasn’t the best of experiences for those people, so this year we’re having two meetings, one at 6pm and one at 8pm, in the hope that everyone can be seated downstairs. It’s all taking place in the Kerith Centre on our Bracknell site, and parking for everyone who can manage the walk is in the College car park.

So please come! In the middle of enjoying the chocolate, the hot cross buns and the glorious weather which is forecast this weekend (yay!), take time to stop and reconnect, to commune with others and with the God who loves you more than you will ever know. And get there on time, both to make sure you get a seat, and to be there for the opener which you won’t want to miss.

See you threre :)

Simon

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Decluttering our lives of Fear, Anxiery and Worry



On Sunday we had the final week of our Declutter series. I know from the feedback that lots of people have found it a really helpful series - you can find the podcasts for all the talks here. If you missed any of them I’d really encourage you to go back and listen to the ones you missed.

This final week we looked at dealing with Fear, Worry and Anxiety. You’ve got the choice of two different versions of the talk, one from me and one from my wife Catrina

As part of the talk we showed a video about the two different pathways which exist in our brain when we experience fear and worry. This was teaching I first heard last year, and which I’ve found hugely helpful as I’ve reflected on dealing with my own anxieties. I hope you find it similarly helpful.

Blessings,

Simon

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Could you lead a small group for a term?


At the end of 2018 I had one of those ‘aha’ moments as a leader where you know you need to help facilitate something changing. I was at one of our “New to Kerith” lunches on our Bracknell site where once a term we invite all the people who have visited Kerith for the first time and filled out one of the “Connect with us” cards for lunch after the 11.30am meeting.

There were around 50 new people, which was great, but as I went round chatting to them I heard the same comment again and again. They’d tried to join a small group in order to build deeper friendships within Kerith, but either hadn’t been able to find a group that worked for them, or had contacted a number of existing groups which were all full.

The reality is that we’ve got a set of brilliant small groups in Kerith, with some amazing leaders, but we simply don’t have enough of them. One of the main reasons for this is that people haven’t wanted to sign up to lead a small group because historically it has been an open ended commitment with no foreseeable end!

We’ve therefore decided to try a new way of running small groups with groups which run for a term, where the leader is free (within limits) to choose what the group does over the term. We’re going to launch the new structure in Bracknell after Easter, as that’s where we’ve got the greatest need, although if you’re based at one of our other sites then please speak to your site pastor as they may be able to get you up and running before the official launch on your site. For more details take a listen to our recent Bracknell site vision night

So would you be up for leading one of our new small groups? I’m going to be leading a group studying the Prayer Course. Would you be up for leading a group doing a growth track course, studying a book of the Bible, praying together, going out running or something else. 

You can read more details about what is involved in leading a group and register your interest here. Please take a look and consider giving it a go! Both I, and all those people in Kerith looking for a small group, will be very grateful! If you’re going to lead a group after Easter it would be really helpful if you could register by this Sunday to give us time to process the applications ready to launch groups after Easter so do it quickly :)

Thanks so much,

Simon

Friday, March 8, 2019

Dr. Lucy Peppiatt with us this Sunday


On Sunday Dr. Lucy Peppiatt, the Principal of Westminster Theological Centre (WTC), is going to be speaking with us at all our meetings in Bracknell and Sandhurst (Kerith Windsor will hear her a week later on Sunday 17th March).

From September we are going to be hosting a WTC hub in Bracknell, which will allow anyone on a part time basis to study theology at a every level from a Certificate in Higher Education all the way through to a Masters Degree. I’m passionate that as a community we become better equipped theologically, and my hope is that a number of of us will take this opportunity to deepen our understanding of the Bible and how to apply it. We also want to offer these courses as a resource to other local churches. 

As an aside we’re also going to relaunch what used to be called Invest, which will be a two year theology course run termly on a Monday evening which academically will be closer to GCSE level. This will be accredited by Moorlands Bible College, and I hope will be a great route to a whole load of us getting better equipped theologically. More details on this coming soon.

On Sunday we’re hosting an open afternoon at 4.30pm in K2 on our Bracknell site where leaders from other churches can come along, meet Lucy and hear more about WTC. If you know any leaders of other local churches please pass this invite to them. However, it struck me that as well as for leaders of other churches it might also be a very helpful afternoon for anyone in our community who thinks they might want to get a qualification with WTC and would like to hear me, so if that’s you please consider yourself invited! If you can register in advance that would be helpful, but if not just turn up.

We’ll be talking more about all of this over the coming months, including at the Bracknell and Windsor vision nights next Tuesday and Wednesday nights respectively. 

Blessings,

Simon