First of all I wanted to thank everyone who invited guests to last weekends Kerith Carols. We had an amazing time with eight meetings across our four sites. Including the 100 people who watched the live stream over 2,000 people experienced the Carols and the feedback has been hugely encouraging. I was incredibly proud of our teams who worked so hard to make it all happen, but even more proud of how so many of us had stepped out and invited friends, relatives, neighbours and workmates. Without guests these events are just a bunch of us singing some carols, but with guests they are an amazing opportunity to share the good news of Jesus. I know some will have had the disappointment of people turning down an invite or saying yes but not then making it, but that bit isn't our responsibility. Our responsibility is to have enough love and courage to give an invite and create a space where people can hear the gospel message. The rest is then up to them and the Holy Spirit. So well done!
This coming Sunday (22nd December) Blackwater Valley, Windsor and West Wight are meeting at 10.30 am as normal, but there are some changes for Bracknell where instead of the normal three meetings we have two.
The first will be at 10.30 am where we there will be farm animals for the children to look at before they go into kids work. We would also love it if children could come dressed as a nativity character or in a Christmas jumper, but there is no pressure if for any reason they can't or don't want to. For the adults we have hot drinks, mince pies and biscuits served in the Kerith Centre reception area. As on the other sites we will be singing carols and hearing a great message on the angels' song as recorded in Luke 2.
The second Sunday meeting in Bracknell is at 3.30 pm and will be a much more reflective gathering. Perhaps 2019 has been a tough year and you would like time to reflect on that, or maybe you just need some space to slow down in the middle of all the mayhem of Christmas. There will be readings, music, prayers and space to reflect on the hope of the Christmas story.
Wherever you are this Sunday please do all you can to either make it to one of our gatherings, or to another expression of the body of Christ near where you are.
I'll leave you with some more photos from our Kerith Carols. All but the second one from West Wight are taken by the brilliant Stuart Bailey. I'm very happy to acknowledge the West Wight photographer too (who I'm sure is also brilliant) if somebody can let me know who took it!