Thursday, February 28, 2013

Giving to Grow - 2013 Gift Days

For the last few years the main thrust of our Gift Days has been raising money for our Serenje HIV / AIDS project in Zambia. With that season of our involvement in Serenje coming to an end (although I'll be talking soon about what we'll be doing beyond the end of the project to make sure everything that has been achieved there continues) we feel it's time to invest locally for growth again. This is especially with a view to us meeting in Sandhurst from September, as well as looking to continue to grow on our Bracknell site.

Therefore this year we want to raise £310,000 by the end of September, over and above our regular giving, in order to fund growth. This is made up as follows:

Finish Paying for Reception - £99,000 - in the summer of 2011 we did a big project to refurbish the whole of the reception and entrance area, as well as building the Brook Lounge, moving the tech desk from the balcony to downstairs in the auditorium and buying a digital sound desk. We still need to raise £99,000 to finish paying for all those changes.

Launch the Sandhurst Site - £100,000 - we will need funds to launch the Sandhurst site, and make sure it is of the same quality as the Bracknell site. This will include the set up and hire costs for the venue, equipment which we will need to buy, publicising what we are doing and a whole host of other things.

Improve the Bracknell Site - £50,000 - while launching Sandhurst we want to continue to improve the Bracknell site. This money will allow us to replace the carpet in the auditorium, buy a vision mixer, redevelop the Rochdale and Spurgeon rooms and the main office now the staff have moved out and buy display screens for K2 and a number of rooms in the Kerith Centre.

Allow us to buy the College House - £30,000 - we are in negotiation with Bracknell and Wokingham College to buy the house which is immediately behind K2 (often referred to as the caretaker's house). We will take out a mortgage to buy the house, but this still need to find the money for the deposit, legal fees and some improvements which will need doing. In the short term we will use the house for Academy students, longer term there are a range of ideas on what we might do with it.

Tithe on the Income - £31,000 - we want to give away 10% of all the money which comes in. This will go to churches and other organisations both in the UK and overseas.

We will be having Gift Days on the first Sunday of every month, starting this Sunday (3rd March). I'm going to be writing another blog tomorrow, helping us think about what we might give, but for now please take a moment to look at the list above and think how amazing it would be if we were able to do all those things by the end of 2013, and how it would set us up to grow in 2014 and beyond.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013


This Sunday is one of ever popular Ten10 Sundays, with ten different preachers across the three meetings speaking for 10 minutes each. There is very little co-ordination between the speakers as to what they're going to speak on, so it's always amazing to me how what they bring always dovetails together so well - I've got no doubt that it will work the same way this time too.

The speakers at the three meetings are:

9am – Martin Lines, Steve Cronin, Pip Reeve

11am – Mark Jolly, Sam Jackson, Steve Parker

7pm – Neil Taylor, Irene Mooney, Gabriele Bytautaite, Sue Ranger

Stephen Matthew spoke last week about the importance of empowering people to be involved in the life of the church - this is one of the many ways we are seeking to do that.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Sweetly Broken

If you had the privilege of being in church on Sunday morning, then you may well have the chorus of the song "Sweetly Broken" which Amanda and the band taught us going round your head. I certainly have, not in that deeply annoying "It's a Small World" way any of you who have been to a Disney theme park may have experienced, but in a way which has been ministering to something deep within me. You can listen to the song and read the lyrics here, although I have to admit I'd bought it on iTunes by the time I got home :)

Callum, Marta and the rest of the youth band did something similar in the evening, teaching us the song "One Thing Remains" by Jesus Culture. I first came across this song at the One conference last summer and absolutely love it. You can listen to it here.

If you missed church completely on Sunday then as soon as its up please make sure to listen to Stephen Matthew message. It was so relevant to where we're at as a community and I know really spoke to me.

Hope you have a great week and happy listening.


Friday, February 22, 2013

X3 Pure Course

Pornography must be one of the biggest 'hidden' issues which Christian's struggle with today, especially in an age when the internet makes it so freely available. Many of you will have heard me speak on how when I first started travelling with work, one of my biggest struggles was with watching the wrong stuff on the TV in hotel rooms. I know that many of you could tell similar stories, and that many in our community live with this as a daily struggle.
I'm therefore delighted that Iain Bailey, part of Kerith, has been piloting an 8 week video based course, called X3 Pure from, which aims to help men struggling with any sexual sin. He's about to run the course again, starting on 13th March from 8-10pm.
Numbers on the course are limited to 10 people. The course costs £20 for the 8 weeks which covers printing costs, DVD cost and refreshments.
This is what one of the guys on the pilot course had to say:
"Going through the video teachings and discussions each week with the group gave me a hope that addiction to pornography could be overcome for good and that I didn't have to keep relapsing after a few free days. The video teachings have given me a greater understanding of sexual addiction and helped me ask some difficult questions of myself. It also showed me a way to break free of addiction and in the weeks after the group I have become far more confident in my ability to resist sexual temptation and pornography."
If you're interested in being a part of this next course then please email Iain at with the subject line "Men's Group".

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Freedom in Christ - Just Do It

We've got a new Freedom in Christ course starting on Wednesday 27th February, and I want to strongly encourage everyone in our community who hasn't done the course to sign up and do it.

The reality is that all of us live with huge amounts of baggage in our lives. Things we've done and which have been done to us, things people have said to us which have stuck with us and now define us, lies which we believe about ourselves and past failures which constantly haunt us. Jesus came to set us free from all that stuff, but the reality is that even when we make the decision to follow him, the stuff doesn't just disappear but can do easily continue to define who we are and how we think and live.

The Freedom in Christ course is a structured place to work all of those issues through, and I can't recommend it strongly enough. If you've never done it before, or if it was quite some time since you last did it, then please consider doing it this time round.

Robert and Stacey who lead the course are two of the most down to earth people you could hope to meet, and do a great job of creating a safe environment in which to explore all of these issues.

It is a 13 week course which runs through to the 19th June. The cost is £20, which includes the cost of all the course materials, all of the refreshments and a day away. If cost is an issue for you then please let us know as we don't want it to be a barrier to anyone coming.

For this course we will also be offering signing for anyone in our deaf community who wants to attend.

If you are interested then please get a sign up form from the table in reception on Sunday, or phone reception on 01344 862699 to register.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Crossing the Line

It's been a full on start to the year. Preparations for the Sandhurst site, lots of preaching, 40 days of prayer, the Willow iDisciple conference and much more. I'm feeling physically exhausted and in need of a break (although hugely encouraged by all God is doing), so in the language of Bill Hybels I'm going to 'cross the line' once I've finished writing this blog, turn off my email and stop for the next 4 days. That also means no finance prayer meeting on Thursday morning - I hope all of you who are normally there manage to have a lie in instead!

I'm going to relax, read books, spend time with the family, walk Nemo, do some half marathon training and see if I can manage to watch all of season one of "The Killing" (I love Scandinavian crime dramas!). I wrote in the peach and the coconut about the need from rhythm in our lives, and I know that these next few days are part of me finding rhythm in mine, and being ready to go again all the way through to Easter. I hope you're managing to find rhythm in your life too - if not remember that nobody else is going to make it happen for you :)

See you soon!


Stephen Matthew here on Sunday 24th February

Stephen Matthew of Abundant Life Church (now called Life Church) in Bradford is going to be speaking in all three meetings on Sunday 24th February. I really want to encourage you to get to at least one of the three meetings, as Stephen is an outstanding leader and communicator and I know you'll really benefit from hearing what he has to bring.

I have got to know Stephen over the past few years, first through visiting his church in Bradford, and more recently when we both spoke at the same conference. He is one of the most down to earth, likeable people you could ever hope to meet, which he combines with an incredible passion and heart for God and for the church. I'm personally really looking forward to him coming down and getting to spend more time with him - I'm sure you will too.

Hope you have a great week, and hope to see you Sunday.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Business and Community Leaders Breakfast

After the success of the Business and Community Leaders Breakfast we organised last year we've put dates for two more in the diary, for Friday 1st March and Friday 28th June.

The breakfasts will be held at the Bracknell Hilton, Bagshot Road, Bracknell, RG12 0QJ. We’ll be gathering from 7.00-8.30am to equip those who are leading in the market place. There will be a full cooked breakfast with a vegetarian option available as well as pastries, croissants, fruit platters, teas and coffees.

As well as an opportunity to gather together and network with other leaders, and to enjoy some great food, we'll also be hearing from a different leader at each breakfast who will inspire and equip us to lead more effectively and to better serve the people we lead.


Tickets for the breakfast on the 1st March are on sale now. They are priced at £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.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Last Night of Prayer

This Wednesday (13th February) is the last of our nights of prayer as part of our 40 days of prayer and fasting. I've so enjoyed us gathering together over the last 5 weeks, and been so encouraged by how many have made it to the prayer meetings. Please make it for this final Wednesday if you possibly can - we'll be meeting from 8-9pm in the Kerith Centre.

Hope to see you there,


Monday, February 4, 2013

Wednesday Nights of Prayer - Week 5

This Wednesday is number 5 of our prayer meetings, which are part of our 40 days of prayer. This week we're going to reflect on Janine's preach on Sunday on being thankful. We'll also be praying for our proposed new site in Sandhurst, as well as for continued growth at our Bracknell site. If you haven't done it already please consider fasting on Wednesday and using the time you free up to talk to God.

We're meeting from 8-9pm in the Kerith Centre. Hope to see you there.