Today was the first day of this year's Kerith Academy (what we used to call the year team). This year there are seven young people coming for a year to be trained in children's work, youth work and the creative arts. Five of them are from our church, one is from Banbury and one from Poland (I'll post a photo of them all later in the week - we forgot to take one today!).
They will spend two days a week working in their chosen ministry area, one day a week getting theological and leadership training, will be involved on Sundays, will hopefully have a day to stop and then will be looking for work the other two days to support themselves. Ben Pocock, who joined the staff last week, is overseeing the Academy with Lee Layton-Matthews helping with its development.
This style of ministry development, with people receiving a mixture of practical and theological training, is something we'd really like to develop further. Next year my prayer is that we might have 20 people on the programme with a mixture of all ages and people from Kerith, elsewhere in the UK and overseas. Perhaps you would like to be one of the 20!
We'd also like to take the theological and leadership training we deliver this year, and from next September set it up as a two year rolling programme presented one evening a week which anyone from Kerith would be able to attend. People would be able to start the course at the beginning of any term. One of the results of the Reveal Survey we completed earlier this year was that people wanted more in depth Bible teaching, hopefully this would be one way we could meet that need.
Please be praying for our new Academy students. We'll be introducing them on Sunday so look forward to seeing them all there.