Thursday, December 27, 2012
Please use the day to meet with friends and family, focus on God, and take a stop before we enter into what is going to be an action packed 2013.
We are meeting on Sunday 6th January for a Vision Sunday, back at our normal times of 9am, 11am and 7pm. I'm going to be taking a short look back at some of what God did amongst us in 2012, and then looking forward to some of what we think 2013 is going to involve for us as a community. It's going to be a great kick off for the New Year, so please be there if you possibly can.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
As a church we've been involved in prison ministry for a number of years. When I first joined the church there was a group who regularly visited Huntercombe Prison in Oxforshire (which at the time was a young offenders institute). I particularly remember one year taking our son Zak there (he was only about three) on Christmas Day to sing carols with the young people - I'm not sure you'd be allowed to do that any more! In more recent time Lee and Sonia Brett have done a great job leading a group visting various local prisons and running services - I went along with them recently and had a very moving time. We'd like to see that ministry grow, and supporting Caring for Ex-Offenders is part of that.
You can find a great video about the work of Caring for Ex-Offenders here. Please take the time to watch it, and to think about what you're going to give on Christmas Day.
Friday, December 21, 2012
As part of the move a group of staff, both past and present, met this morning to remember the time we've had in the Kerith Centre offices, and to thank God for all that has gone on there. The photo on the left is of some of the people who were there.
It was amazing to hear Ben Davies tell the story of the journey God has had on when it comes to offices. When he first came to the church in 1964 his office was a room in his house. He then moved to a run down council provided office, before making the move to a portakabin outside the church building which used to be on the K2 site. We then in time added a second portakabin, before making the move into the Kerith Centre offices in 1989. Initially three were a handful of people in the main office, with Ben Davies, Ken Bothamley and Malcolm Kayes in separate offices. In time we've packed out the main office, as well as filling Ken and Malcolm's old offices with the youth and pastoral teams, the Rochdale room with the Creative Arts team and the Spurgeon room with the Social Justice team.
It's important for us to remember that God is always on the move, and that this move to The Barn is just the next step on the journey God has for us - all very exciting.
People have been asking a number of questions about the office move. Penny Lander, who has been expertly planning the move, has been collating the questions and asked me to share these answers with you via the blog. I hope they're helpful, but if there's anything else you'd like to know then please get in touch and we'll do our best to make everything as clear as possible.
- Where is everyone working? The Creative Arts Team are at the Studio, the Facilities Team are at the Kerith Centre, the K4 team are at the K4 shop, and the Social Justice, Operations/Finance/HR, Youth, Kids, and Pastoral Teams are all based at the Barn.
- When does this happen? The Kerith Centre offices will be packed up on Friday 21st December, and the move into the Barn happens on Wednesday 2nd January. In between the offices are closed for Christmas/New Year.
- How do I contact staff? The main phone number and direct numbers stay unchanged – you can phone in just the same and be put through to anyone in the Kerith Centre, Barn or Studio. Email addresses also stay the same.
- When is the Kerith Centre open? The Kerith Centre will be open 9.30-5.00 Monday to Friday as at present, though once a month on a Thursday it will open at 10 following staff training.
- How can I meet staff? You can meet them at the Kerith Centre, the Barn or the Studio.
- How can I do photocopying? There will be a photocopier in the same copier room as at present, available in the same way as now, including on Sundays. Just ask at reception when you come in.
- Where do I send post to the church? Still to the Kerith Centre address.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
On Sunday 23rd December at 10am, 4pm and 7pm we've got a host of favourite Christmas carols, alongside readings, performance items and a short message. If you are bringing children aged 0-11 to the 10am or 4pm meeting, they can join in with the children's christmas parties over in our K2 building across the car park. Registration is from 10 minutes before the meeting begins. There will be mince pies after each meeting too!
On Christmas Eve at 3pm and 5pm we've got a fresh look at the nativity story with a fun production for all the family. Last year was the first time we've done this meeting twice, and it was a huge success.
Then on Christmas Day at 10am bring your present, wear your Christmas jumper and invite your family as we celebrate the birth of Christ. There are no children's groups on Christmas day but lots of fun to engage them in the meeting, which will last for an hour.
Six meetings in three days - it's going to be great! Hope to see you there.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.That challenge to pray continually in each and every situation life throws at me, is a huge challenge for me. Yet I know that when I do it, when I remember that I never go into a situation where God has not already gone ahead of me, and that there is nothing which happens to me which I can't turn to God in prayer, not only changes my perspective on life but also opens the door to me asking God to intervene and break in.
One of my goals for 2013 is to help every one of us to get closer to God in prayer. One way we're doing that is by beginning the year with 40 days of prayer and fasting. We're going to start on Wednesday 9th January, meeting at the Kerith Centre for an hour to pray together from 8-9pm, and will then meet at the same time every Wednesday through to February 13th. We're also going to encourage people to fast on those Wednesdays.
In parallel we're going to have a Sunday preaching series called "Keep in Touch", where we're going to look at six different prayers in the Bible. This will start on the 13th January and run through to the 17th February. More details on this soon.
Please can I encourage you to put those dates in your diary, and try to make as many of those Wednesdays as you can. You won't regret it!
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Two of the speakers, Gordon MacDonald and James Emery White, have been to Kerith before. Gordon, and his delightful wife Gail, have been over a couple of times, preaching on a Sunday, speaking at a men's day and running a marriage seminar for us. James came over in 2011 speaking at a two day conference with John Burke. They are both outstanding speakers with some unique insights on engaging people and culture.
The other speaker, Mindy Caliguire, is part of Willow Creek Community Church, and speaks extensively on spiritual formation. Andy Jackson and Lee Layton-Matthews heard her speak at an event they were at recently and highly recommend what she brings.
You can find a load more details on the conference here, as well as all the booking information.
If you're part of Kerith then there is even a special rate for you! You can book in at the under 30's/full time student/OAP rate, which gets you in to one day for £30 or both days for £55. If you want to do this then you'll need our church login for the Willow site - email reception at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don't know what it is.
Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
First of all this Thursday (13th December) we've got an all church prayer meeting at 8pm in K2 - please come if you possibly can as it will be great to pray for one another and all the Christmas events. We are NOT meeting on Wednesday to pray, as Hilltop have their carol concert that evening and we want to make sure we have enough space to park all of their minibuses.
The Thursday morning 6am prayer meeting for finance will be on this Thursday (13th December) but then won't meet again until Thursday 10th January.
Finally in the New Year we're going to be doing 40 days of prayer and fasting. I'll do another blog with more details on this soon, but as part of it we'll be having weekly prayer meetings starting on Wednesday 9th January and then running every Wednesday through to Wednesday 13th February. We'll meet for an hour each Wednesday to pray in the Kerith Centre. Please put these in your diary, and plan to be at as many of them as possible!
Hope that clarifies things - if not you know where to ask :)
Friday, December 7, 2012
Please also be busy inviting people to our meetings on the 23rd, 24th and 25th - you can find all the details here.
Hope to catch you on Sunday.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Are you putting as much effort into preparing for the second coming of Jesus as you are into preparing to celebrate his first coming?I know that many of us are putting huge amounts of effort into preparaing for Christmas - buying trees, putting up decorations, choosing presents, writing cards and ordering extra food and drink. All of that is great, and hopefully will lead to some great and memorable times together with friends and family. But do we have the same sense of purpose in terms of making sure we would be ready if Jesus were to return today?
I'm not going to rewrite the preach in my blog, but instead in summary to say that in Matthew 24 & 25 Jesus tells us four stories to tell us how to be prepared for his return. The principles in these stories could be summarised as be holy, be ready, be faithful and be compassionate.
Let's allow those four words - holy, ready, faithful and compassionate - to summarise who we are and what we do as we prepare to celebrate the first coming of Jesus.
Friday, November 30, 2012
The K4 shop is proving to be a great success on a number of fronts. Not only is it raising funds which will allow us to do even more to serve our local community, it is also raising the profile of Kerith in the town (we're having to print more LinK magazines for December because so many people going into the shop are taking them) and is providing training opportunities for people looking to get back into employment. All very exciting.
Hope to catch you Sunday.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Whilst anyone will be able to see what’s going on through our website, we would also like to give everyone who calls Kerith their home access to this new community tool, which will issue a secure username and password. If Kerith has been your home church for a while, you may have received an email recently listing the current contact details that we have for you. If you have not received the email, your contact information may be missing or out of date – we’d like to fix that!
If you would like access to this new tool but have not received an email about this, please update your contact details here by 13th December.
Stay tuned for further info about this and our new website coming very soon! We expect to start using them in early 2013.
Thanks for doing that.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Throughout Advent I'm going to be using a set of daily Bible reading notes from John Piper, which are contained in a short booklet he wrote called "Good News of Great Joy". You can get an electronic version of the booklet here. It's available both as a PDF, and in versions which will work on a Kindle, iPAD, iPhone, Nook and pretty much any other ereader known to (wo)man. You can also get the readings via John Piper's daily Bible reading app - search for "Solid Joys" in the Apple App Store. If none of that works for you please let me know and I'll try and source a paper copy for you.
Whatever you do I encourage you to have a plan for getting into your Bible every day, and allowing God to speak to you through it. If you haven't already got a plan then why not use this one!
Hope to catch you on Sunday.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
"The Department of Work & Pensions have started sending out letters about the Winter Fuel Payment (£200 per household). Last year we donated ours to Christians Against Poverty (CAP) to help with clients in fuel poverty. We will do the same this year.
It dawned on us that, although for many the WFP is an important part of household income, for others it is less important & wonder whether it’s worth making an appeal for those where the WFP is nice to have, but not essential to donate to CAP/Crisis Intervention to help those who really do struggle with winter fuel bills."
If you're a pensioner, and you are able to do what Clive & Glynis has suggested, then please can I encourage you to think about following their lead. You can either give on a Sunday via the offering envelopes (just write on the envelope that this is for the work of CAP), or you can give online. In fact I'd encourage all of us whenever God blesses us with something beyond what we need, whether that is a benefit, a bonus, an inheritance or a lottery win(!), to not only feel blessed but also to think how you can use it to be a blessing.
But can I also make an appeal to those in our community who desparately need the WFP, and whatever other money you are receiving, not to feel in any way guilty about that, but instead just to thank God for his provision for you. In fact I'd encourage you to be open about your need. One of the signs of God's grace being on the early church was that there were no poor among them, and that needs to be true for our church community too. Our pastoral team regularly meet with the leaders of TMTL, our ministry to the retired, to make sure that the pensioners in our community have homes which are well heated and maintained, and that their other needs are being met. We're just about to spend over £3,000 on food vouchers to give to families and individuals in the church who we know are going to struggle over Christmas. If you're in need please let someone in leadership know, so that we can have true biblical equality, as expressed by Paul in these words to the church in Cornith:
Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.” (2 Corinthians 8:13-15 NIV)
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Dear Pastor Simon,
I am holding in my hand right now an offer letter from the office of the Commissioner of Lands which gives EFZ authorisation to begin the construction works. Its awesome - it all happened in one day - Yesterday!! Its a miracle which brings rejoicing.
Follow up steps will be communicated to you by Pukuta. There was a bit of dancing for the Victory at our EFZ devotions this morning - you can guess who led the dance!
This is all for now.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying - please join me in a victory dance alongside our friends at EFZ! We can now move on to the next stage of actually getting the dormitory built, and then moving the girls in there. Praise God :)
Friday, November 23, 2012
I'm not going to be around in the morning, as I'm going on a prison visit with Lee and Sonia Brett and the team they gather. They are doing some amazing work, and I'm really looking forward to being a part of it all, as long of course that I get let out at the end of it all!
Hope to catch you Sunday evening if not before.
Friday, November 16, 2012
They want to run a focus group discussion on the subject of Christian charities. They are looking for people to join in with an easy-going discussion where you sit in a circle with a few others to lend your opinions about Christian Charities and Tearfund. You don't have to be knowledgeable about anything - the only requirement is that you are over 16 years old and prepared to lend your honest opinions for about an hour.
If you are able to come along then I know Tearfund would really appreciate it, and so would I :)
Hope to catch you on Sunday.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
The picture above is of the kids music CD which our worship team have produced - we've been listening to it today and it sounds really good. Everyone coming to the conference gets a free copy. We'll also be making backing tracks, sheet music and all that sort of stuff available too, so hopefully it will get used widely.
Hope to see you there on Saturday.
Monday, November 12, 2012
I know it's late notice, but I thought you might like to know that on Tuesday 13th November Easthampstead Baptist Church are hosting an event called "Let's Talk About Sex", run by an organisation called Romance Academy. They were started by Rachel Gardener after she appeared in 2005 on a BBC Documentary called "No Sex Please We're Teenagers". Catrina heard her speak recently at a womens' event and said she was brilliant.
The purpose of the evening is to help equip parents, carers and other adults to to talk with their teenagers about sex and relationship. It's running at the Easthampstead Baptist Church building (RG12 7NS) and runs from 7.30pm-9.45pm. You can get all the details here.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
To see what a great day it's going to be take a look at the speaker lineup here. Rob Parsons, who is one of the main speakers, is an outstanding communicator with a passion to see children not just survive but thrive in church, and I'm pretty sure will be worth the conference fee alone. On top of that there are a great lineup of both Kerith and external speakers, with a very wide range of topics being covered.
I'd love it if everyone at Kerith working with children and youth were to come to the conference. We all have so much of learn in this area, and this will be a great environment both to be inspired and equipped.
And for those outside Kerith I'd love to have you there too. If that's you please consider coming, and bringing your team.
You can book online here, with a special concessionary rate for under 18's, and one free place for every four booked. For Kerith people who are likely to be booking in individually we'll make sure you get in at that reduced rate, which is effectively £16 each - just book in at the full price and we'll make sure you get a refund on the day. Also if there's anyone from Kerith who would like to come but is struggling financially please let us know as we don't want finances to stop you being there on the day.
If you have any questions then please ask, either by emailing us at email@example.com, phoning reception on 01344 862699 or speaking to Lydia Harris-Lane or Yvonne Scott on our kids team.
It's going to be a great day, I'm going to be there and I'd love to see you there too!
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Thanks in advance and hope you're having a great week.
Monday, November 5, 2012
- Regular Giving up to September 2012 - £13,059
- Cash given in the Gift Days - £40,020
- Pledges to be redeemed - £13,821
- Expected regular giving to September 2013 - £15,545
- Provisional Gift Aid Claim - £11,845
- Total - £94,290
If you're interested you can hear a recording of what I said on Sunday here.
I've got a couple of requests.
- If you've made a pledge please redeem it in the next couple of weeks. You can do this by putting it into one of the regular giving envelopes, writing on the envelope both your name and that this is to redeem a Serenje pledge, and then putting it into the regular Sunday offering or handing it in at reception.
- If you haven't yet given and would still like to be involved then its not too late. Just use one of the giving envelopes and make it clear on the envelope that your gift is for Serenje. All money we receive over the £80,000 will go to other nations we are involved in.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Here are a couple of pictures of the operating theatre.
What I love about Howard and Elizabeth is that God gave them a vision to do something, and they then took the gifts and talent they have to make that vision a reality. What step are you going to take today to make a God given dream begin to become a reality?
Friday, October 26, 2012
Just a reminder that this Sunday we're having our second gift day offering for Serenje, aiming to raise £80,000 for year 5 of the project. Pease be thinking and praying about what you're going to give. This Sunday I'm going to be speaking on God putting creativity in the heart of every one of us, and will be interviewing Howard Reece-Smith about all that has achieved in the hospital in Serenje as he has followed the vision God gave him.
Finally don't forget that the clocks go back an hour this weekend, hopefully making it easier for all of us to get there on time :)
Hope to see you this weekend,
A village welcome
The Head of Misolo Kipiki Basic School
A greeting from Loveness - one of the amazing volunteers
Bishop Samson Kasele
Thursday, October 25, 2012
We need to give final numbers to the Hilton next Wednesday, so if you want to come you need to book before then. Numbers are also limited to a maximum of 70 people, so if you definitely want to come then why not phone the Kerith reception on 01344 862699 to make sure of your place for what I'm hoping is going to be the first of many events like this.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
This time round we're privileged to have Steve Tibbert from King's Church in South East London with us (this is the church our good friends Mick and Val Taylor and William and Hilary Dalziel are now part of). Steve is going to be sharing the story of King's Church, which has many parallels with our own story at Kerith. Steve will talk in particular about their growth over the last few years (they now gather over 1,200 people on a Sunday) and their experience of being one church on multiple sites. I'll also be sharing some news, we'll hopefully have time at the end for some Q&A, and we'll start the evening with cheese and wine, so it should be a great evening.
If you're a leader in any context in Kerith then you should have already received an invite for Tuesday, but if not please consider yourself invited and come along.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Sam, Hannah and the girls are doing brilliantly. They've had their fair share of challenges and problems, but they've overcome them all amazingly, God has certainly been with them. This is a short video they recorded to say hi to everyone.
their blog (which encourages them more than you could know) and know that they're making a real difference.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Amazing progress has been made since we first visited Serenje five years ago, and I can't wait to get to talk about it all.
As a bit of a taster I thought I'd include a couple of pictures from Misela Kapika Basic (Primary) School. This first one is of some of the new classrooms which have been built using the extra school fees the school has received from children being sponsored by the project (the eagle eyed will also spot Leah Mutala).
Please get there on Sunday if you possibly can, and be thinking and praying about what you are going to give.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Andrew is part of the leadership team of Kings Church in Eastbourne, and I've known him for a number of years as someone I'd say hello to whenever our paths crossed. However, this Summer he spoke at the One Event I was also part of, and Catrina and I had the privilege of getting to know Andrew loads better. He's one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet (if you're ever looking for someone interesting to chat to over breakfast Andrew is your man!). He also has an incredible understanding of the Bible, with two degrees in theology (if you want to be slightly scared take a look at some of the papers he's written here), but has a rare ability to take all of that knowledge and package it in a way in which 'ordinary' people like you and me can understand and digest.
He's written a number of books, including God Stories, and Incomparable, both of which I know a number of people in our community have read and really enjoyed, and which are available from our resources area.
His latest book, "If God Then What", takes a look at some of life's biggest questions and explores some of the possible answers. I particularly enjoyed this review of it, interestingly written by an atheist! He'll be speaking on some of the questions he raises in the book. We'll also be selling copies of the book for £5.
This will be a great talk to invite people far from God to, in particular people who have intellectual objections to and questions about Christianity.
Don't miss it :)
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
If you could let us know in advance that either you, or a friend, are coming then that would be helpful - just phone reception on 01344 862699. But if you aren't able to let us know, then feel free just to turn up.
Sadly I won't be there for the first night as I'll still be in Zambia, but I'll be praying for everyone, and looking forward to hearing about it when I get back.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Friday, October 5, 2012
What has happened to him is representative of what the project has achieved in the whole community.
Felix Kalunga is a small scale farmer based in Kashitu community. Felix is 32 years old and has 7 children, five of whom are in school, while the other two are still too young to start school. Felix is one of the hard working farmers who has been receiving agricultural support since 2010. In the 2010 - 2011 farming season, he received 15kg of beans and a 50kg sack of sweet potato vines.
From that initial 15kg of beans he managed to harvest 350kg. He sold 300kg for $360, and kept the remainder to feed his family and to have seed to plant for the next season. From the sale he managed to buy 3 pigs for $50 each. He also spent $56 joining a cooperative so that he can get subsidised fertiliser to allow him to grow maize, a staple food in Zambia.
The rest of the money he used to buy clothes for his family, vegetable seeds and a treadle pump. The treadle pump helps him water his vegetables in the garden. These include tomatoes, cabbage, onion, rape and impwa (wild egg plant). The garden has again helped Felix in meeting his most immediate needs such as paying for his school going children, buying school equipment (uniforms, books, pens and pencils) and for other household goods.
In the 2011 – 2012 farming season, Felix received 15kg of seed out of which 10kg were groundnuts and 5kg beans. From the 10kg of groundnuts he received, he harvested 215 kilograms of unshelled groundnuts. He is so thankful to the project for empowering him with seed farming techniques and is ready to take up responsibility for his livelihoods. He has kept enough seed for the 2012 – 2013 farming season and is one of the farmers who will not get seed for the next farming season.
He said that before the project came to his community, he used to have a lot of problems in making ends meet in terms of providing enough food to his household. He even said that the little they could harvest would not last until the next farming season. Today, he is able to pay for his children’s school fees and buy decent clothes, something he could not manage do before. He further encourages other farmers in the community to work hard so that they remain better than they were before the project started in terms of food security. He really thanks God for this project and the entire staff who have made it possible that the needy (poor) people in the communities are empowered in food security and livestock.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
On Sunday afternoon I'm flying out to Zambia with Andy Jackson, Zoe Hayes and Howard and Elizabeth Reece-Smith. Andy and I fly back the following Saturday, the others stay a little longer. We're going out there for a number of reasons:
- To spend time with Sam and Hannah Fairs-Billam, who have moved out to Lusaka (the capital of Zambia) for a year to set up a child protection policy in partnership with the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ). You can catch up on what they're up to here. It will be great getting to spend time with them, and catch up on all that they're doing.
- To meet with the senior leaders in EFZ to discuss what we do beyond the end of year 5 of the Serenje project. We'll also be meeting up with Bertha, who is the Tearfund country rep for Zambia and is going out to Zambia on the same flight as us. We had a great time yesterday at Tearfund talking though possibilities beyond the end of the project - hopefully I'll be able to talk about that more when we get back.
- To travel up to Serenje and meet with the pastors and vounteers. It will be great to see our friends Bernard and Samson again - it was only this time last year they were with us for the GLS. It's always an incredible privilege to meet children who are now back in education, families who now know where their next meal is coming from and community leaders who now feel a sense of hope about the future because of what we've done.
- To make sure the dormitory gets built as quickly as possible. It has been held up over getting planning permission - please pray that we have success in overcoming that hurdle and moving it on and getting the girls in there.
- To top up our tans before the winter! Not really, but it will be the hottest month of the year in Serenje, so we'll be thinking of you as Autumn sets in here :)
Please be praying for us, for the families we leave behind, for all the people we'll be meeting and especially for progress in getting the dormitory built.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
- Our growth in Sunday numbers means we have run out of space for children's work on a Sunday, particularly at the 11am meeting. We want to use the space freed up in the Kerith Centre to do children's work on a Sunday, and in particular to run separate teaching for years 5 and 6 (the 10 and 11 year olds).
- We have also run out of space to run courses midweek. Freeing up the offices will provide us with more space to run courses and small groups during the week, as well as giving us more break our rooms when we run conferences and other events.
- The current office space is completely full, especially with the addition of 15 Academy students this year and the hope to have more in future years.
- As we look to become a multisite church meeting in multiple locations, and doing social justice in each of those locations, having an operational hub which is more central to all those locations makes a lot of sense.
The plan is as follows:
- A number of the staff will be staying at the Kerith Centre, primarily the receptionists and the facilities team.
- Through November the Creative Arts team (all the music, video, print media, website and production people) will move to the Studio, the building in the Kerith Centre car park. This will become a creative arts hub, with a recording studio / practice room upstairs.
- Also through November and Decembr the rest of the staff will be moving over to The Barn, which will become the operational base for everything which happens at Kerith.
- Once everyone has moved out we'll start work on converting the Kerith Centre offices to rooms which we can use for kids on a Sunday and other ministries midweek.
ps - I've included some more photos of The Barn below - God is good!
Monday, October 1, 2012
I am Marta Lingyte, I am from a beautiful country in northeast of Europe called Lithuania.
I'm nineteen years old and I've been amazingly blessed with a christian background since childhood.
I was involved in worship and youth ministries in my church and my desire is to work with it in the future.
Energy , positive attitude and sociability are the features that I like the most in me and I consider those as wonderful gifts from my Heavenly Father!
I came in England in order to have foundational year, to discover Gods will, to learn how to serve people and to learn about leadership in church.
It is a huge privilege and blessing to be a student at Kerith Academy and I hope we will get a chance to meet and to work together for His Kingdom! :)
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
If you're coming into the Kerith Centre you can buy a copy from the resources area for £5.
If you live in the UK you can phone reception and order a copy using a credit/debit card for £6.50 including postage.
From anywhere in the world you can go to Amazon and buy the Kindle version for £4.49, or the print on demand version for £6.99, plus whatever postage you have to pay. These versions are slightly different in that the sentences which get repeated twice in the introduction in the version we've been giving away have been removed (no perfect books allowed!) and the print on demand version has a shiny cover rather than the nice matt cover on the ones we had printed.
Finally you can listen to the audio book version for free!
I hope that all makes sense. Now time to start writing the next book :)
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
This year I will be working as SLT Team Assistant. I hope that during this year I will learn a lot and will have great encounters with God.
Just as a reminder if you're part of Kerith (however loosely you want to define that) you can come to one day of the conference for £25, or both days for £35. In addition, if you want to come to both the conference and the business and community leaders breakfast I'm hosting on the 2nd November you can come for a combined price of £45.
You can book with a credit or debit card by phoning the Kerith reception on 01344 862699, or by cash or cheque if you come to reception in person.
If you're wavering over whether or not to come then just come! I've already seen it once live in August, and can't wait to get to see the whole thing again. Pick up the phone and make that booking :)
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
In it Kenneth Bailey looks at the whole life of Jesus, taking subjects such as his birth, his attitude to women, his parables and his teaching on prayer, taking away our Western understanding of what Jesus said and did and putting it back in a Middle Eastern context.
It's the sort of book which you can dip into and out of, with each chapter standing on its own. That means that although it's quite a long book, over 400 pages, you really can read the chapters on any order which takes your fancy (at least that's what I'm doing!).
I found that on pretty much every page there is something which challenged or changed my view of Jesus, helping me to understand just how radical and counter cultural he truly was. Although I wrote most of "The Peach and the Coconut" before getting hold of this book, it reassured me to find that Jesus was even more peachy than I'd understood him to be. In particular understanding how radical in a Middle Eastern culture Jesus was in the way he treated the woman caught in the act of adultery (chapter 17), the woman who anointed his feet (chapter 18) and Zacchaeus (chapter 13) spoke to me deeply.
Some of the sections on literary styles may seem a bit confusing (they are to me at least), but the stuff which sits around them is absolute dynamite! I'd recommend everyone who has read the gospels and has a reasonable understanding of the life of Jesus to get a copy of this book and to devour it, chapter by chapter.
There is often a copy of this book at the Kerith resources area. If not you can have a copy ordered, or you can get it from Amazon.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Sunday, September 23, 2012
In coping with a child with special needs, my polarised view of life has been widened. I feel God has used these experiences to humble my heart, and shape it for serving those who are feeling broken, or who struggle to feel accepted. Even in this fallen world, I am convinced that God provides enough of all we need: food, money, resources, love and affection – but it is often down to us to see that it is distributed as needed. I have come to Academy to clarify this calling, and to learn how to be more effective in serving His hurting people, and showing them that NOBODY is beyond the love of God.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
I was born in Zimbabwe and grew up there for the early years of my life. When I was younger I remember going to church regularly every Sunday however I aside from knowing he was my saviour I never pursued a personal relationship with him. When I moved into Bracknell in 2008 I started coming to Kerith and it was here that I was invited to "Friday Night Thing" now known as Life the Friday night youth event. Life helped me a lot in having this personal relationship with God and when I knew I was ready I got baptised. I am now on the Kerith Academy as I know it's year which is crucial to my growth in God.
Friday, September 21, 2012
I want to say a huge thank you to Rosie Donnan who oversaw the recording and production of the audio book. Just having to listen to me read the entire book deserves some sort of award! Also to those who lent their voices to reading the chapter headings, Bible verses and personal stories - see if you can work out who the mystery voices are.
I hope you enjoy it :)
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Many of you will know that my background isn't in church leadership, but in electronics, designing computer chips for a whole range of different applications. I don't use too many of my electronics skills in what I do at the church (and I refuse to get involved in trying to fix the photocopier) but I do draw a lot on what I learnt about building businesses, about creating the right culture, about the need for a clear vision, about being honest and ethical, about the importance of hard work, about building and managing teams and about taking calculated risks in order to grow.
So here's what I've done. On Friday 2nd November I've booked a room at the Bracknell Hilton (the one by Sainsbury's) from 7.00-8.30 am to gather and equip Kerith people who are leading in the market place. There will be a full cooked breakfast, tea, coffee, orange juice and all that sort of stuff. For this first one I'm going to speak about my experience of seeing BlueArc, the company I've worked for over the last 13 years, go from a small venture capital funded start up to being acquired by Hitachi Data Systems last year. If this first breakfast works then I'd love in future to get other leaders in to equip and envision us.
Tickets for the breakfast are £15, available either from the Kerith Reception or by phoning the church office on 01344 862699. There are only 70 places available so please get in quickly if you want to come.
I'd also like to encourage everyone who comes to the breakfast to also come to the Willow Creek Leadership Summit on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th October. Having heard the talks live in August I can assure you it is brilliant - in particular the talks by Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni and Condoleezza Rice will give you enough leadership thoughts and ideas to keep you going for quite some time.
People from Kerith can book in to both days of the conference for £35, or one day for £25, again via reception or by phoning the office. However, if you book in to both the breakfast and the two days of the conference you get a combined rate of £45 - there's a bargain!
Hope that all makes sense, and I hope both of these are events which will serve you well.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
It is based on a similar piece of media from another church, but obviously using our people and some of the excuses people make for not coming to church in our context. Colin Boyle, Andrew White, Lee Rowbotham and Andy Emery have done a brilliant job of turning the initial idea into a reality - well done to all of them.
For me it brilliantly captures some of what it takes for us to be a peachy, welcoming community.
I hope you enjoy it - if you do why not share it with friends who may be using some of these excuses for not coming to church.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Because we will be booking a large number of people into the conference we'll get a group rate of £65 per person, as opposed to the standard rate of £115. We wanted to make sure that this rate is available to everyone in Kerith.
The HTB Leadership Conference is put on at the Royal Albert Hall in London, with the aim to build church and business leaders. The conference runs all day from Monday 13th - Tuesday 14th May 2013. In 2013 the speakers are Nicky Gumbel, Bill Hybels, Patrick Lencioni and Steven Furtick with more speakers to be announced (for more information about the conference see here). Videos and podcasts of this year’s talks (Rick Warren, Tony Blair, the Bishop of London etc) are online here).
We want to offer everyone in Kerith the opportunity to attend the conference at a significantly reduced rate. As I've already said the group rate per individual to the conference is £65 (compared to the standard rate of £115). If you would like to join us, we need to have your booking details and payment before 30th September. Booking forms are available at Kerith Reception on Sundays or during the week. Credit Card Payments can also be taken over the phone on the reception number 01344 862699. We know that tickets will sell fast and it’s allocated seating in the Royal Albert Hall so make sure you get your details to us before 30th September - after that you'll need to make your own booking.
Friday, September 14, 2012
This book is an expanded version of that talk. As a book it really spoke to me, and ministered to me. Especially the middle chapters on how God works through the mess and brokenness in our lives. I think it would be a great book for anyone going through a tough season of life, or anyone you may know who is wondering where God is in all that is happening to them.
Jeff is going to be speaking at Greyfriars Church in Reading on the 29th November, as part of his Seriously Funny Tour with Adrian Plass. If you're free then I'd thoroughly recommend getting along to hear him.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
For the next two Sunday's we'll still be giving away free copies (and I'll be signing books for anyone who would like a signed copy). After that they'll be on sale from the Kerith Centre resources area priced £5, and from Amazon in both Kindle and paper format.
We're also doing an audio version which will be free to listen to from the Kerith website. I'll do a blog to let you know when that's available - hopefully in the next few days.
So far I've been really encouraged by the response to the book. If you picked up a copy last Sunday please can I encourage you to read it, and to let me have your feedback - both positive and negative. One of the things Shauna Niequist said to me when she was over was that your first book is your worst book - I want to make sure that if I do ever write another book it's an improvement on this one :)
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I hope those who managed to pick up a copy of the Peach and the Coconut on Sunday are enjoying it. If you missed out then come this Sunday and get your copy.
Hope you're having a great week,
Friday, September 7, 2012
In this latest book Jim looks at what causes some companies to do really well in times of uncertainty and chaos, and why others struggle or even collapse. He starts off with an analysis of why in 1911 Amundsen succeeded in his quest to be the first person to reach the South Pole, and Scott failed (quite hard to read as an Englishman brought up to think of Scott as a hero who could do no wrong). He then draws a whole load of principles out, illustrated by that story but underpinned by all of their company research.
It's a superbly written book, nothing dry or dull about any of it, and I think the principles he brings out will become part of our language as we grow as a community. Concepts such as "the twenty mile march" (try and achieve the same amount every day, week or year regardless of how good or bad the conditions are) and "fire bullets, then cannonballs" (take small experimental risks before betting everything on what could be a big risk) have lots of relevance for where we are going as a church, and in particular as we develop a multisite strategy.
I know that some struggle with whether we should apply business ideas to church life. For me it comes back to the eternal question of the tension between the soverignty of God and human responsibility. At the end of the day we know that it is only God who produces genuine growth, and that unless God builds the church we labour in vain, but at the same time we have a responsilibilty to create an environment where that growth can happen. If we can learn things from people like Jim Collins then it seems to me it would be sinful not to.
So I'd encourage both business and church leaders to get hold of a copy of this book, and apply it to your situation. Also book in for this years GLS where you can hear Jim talk all about the book - more details on this to follow.