Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Church offices update

Just to let you know why we need more space midweek, a 7 day snapshot:

Sunday - the Newcomers lunch was almost at full capacity

Monday - the Marriage Course was at capacity!

Tuesday - Alpha Course, 31 in total but we can always squeeze in more! 

Today - Band practice for 10th anniversary celebration.

Thursday - Toddler group is now at capacity (it has a waiting list); Lifegroup in the evening.

Friday - Band practice; our growing youth group meets upstairs!

Saturday - Women's coffee & pastries - expected to be at capacity!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

More potential venues?

We looked at four more buildings today...
We all sense that finding a building to lease will be a lot easier than getting planning consent to use it for church... but we do need to first find a building!
Please do keep praying about how much you can give to the vision fund ... 

Thursday, 22 September 2011

RFC group ride

On saturday we've planned a group ride for those of us who like the feel of smooth tarmac under our bike wheels ...

James has planned a route of approx 20 miles taking us to the north of Reading, check it out here. I suspect the pace will be around 15mph but we will slow down to look after everyone who rides out.

We are meeting at the Shell garage on Shinfield Rd, for a 9am prompt start, whatever the weather.

Hope to see you there!   

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Essential reading for all @ RFC

My outline of Sunday's sermon is below (listen to it here)

They were called by God (Josh 1v1-5) God had called His people out of Egypt and into a promised land; As God was with Moses, so he promised to be with Joshua... Incredibly we live in greater days than these!!! We are called by the same God yet His Spirit dwells within us! And we have a different calling as a people: to become a growing, Jesus-centred community; serving the town of Reading and beyond. We are a community with a God-given destiny, set apart to herald hope & usher in the kingdom of God. 

They were rallied by Men (Josh 1v10-11) Joshua sent officers through the camp to rally God’s people and they resolved to follow… But we don’t rally to a mere man (albeit Joshua) rather we follow one greater, the God-Man Jesus! We rally to His banner, we march under His orders, to extend His kingdom. Jesus has sent His officers (Julian Adams & Chris Hall) through our camp preparing us for ‘suddenlies’ of a building & new people. As pastors we sense that Jesus is rallying us through prophecy to ‘get our supplies ready, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you’. 

They responded as One (Josh1v16-17) The entire Israelite community prepared & positioned themselves to come into a good land; it required faith & trust, courage & unity to move forward as ONE people… 10 years ago we were 30 people with a sense of unity & destiny. Now we are 300. Our history teaches us that in the next decade we could double the amount of people we gather. Very soon our Sunday venues will start to tell new-comers we don’t need them because most seats are taken. We need to seriously explore leasing a building so that we can do everything from under one big roof. One of the ways we can get our supplies ready as a community is with a ‘Vision Fund’ – a fund we all give to, over & above our regular giving, to seed things like a bigger venue, new staff & ministries. 

They dedicated themselves (Josh 3v5). God’s people under Joshua dedicated themselves to God and prepared for an amazing tomorrow... How much more so should we who follow Christ?! Let’s believe God has an amazing tomorrow for us as we become a growing, Jesus-centred community; serving the town of Reading and beyond. Let’s start this next season by setting ourselves apart, to pray, give, serve, love and worship our great God.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Homework for Vision Sunday

For those who are around on Sunday could you please read Joshua 1v1-18 and 3v1-5. It would also be helpful for you to pray through these two prophetic words:

Julian Adams on Sunday 16th Jan 2011: “I really believe God is suddenly going to open up even things like land and building for you very quickly, suddenly there’s going to be a opening, suddenly there’s going to be favour even at a council level and where there’s been closed doors suddenly things are going to break open for you because there’s going to be a residential anointing almost in the building that when people come into places like this they’ll come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and I believe we’re in that season where the unusual is going to happen”

Chris Hall on Sunday 13th March 2011: “I sense that you will need to be prepared not only to think about buildings but also about how you operate because this new group (of people I am adding) will not simply be an extension of the growth you have already seen but something quite different in numbers and kind. I believe this needs to happen before the 'harvest' will come”.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Getting our supplies ready

In a few weeks time will shall be celebrating our 10th anniversary at the Town Hall. It will be a great moment to remember all that God has done amongst us. But the context of that morning is not just 'remembering' but also one of 'getting supplies ready' for our future.

This Sunday I hope to paint a compelling picture of what God has called us to as a growing, Jesus-centred community. We shall be revisiting Joshua 3 and recent prophetic words; daring to believe that God would continue to use us. 

Please pray that Sunday would be a key day for us in this next season of Kingdom adventure & advancement.

Hope to see you there!  

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Theology Matters

Mark Amos, who is a member of RFC, has made his first contribution to the newfrontiers 'Theology Matters' website.

He asks the question "How far do we create for ourselves our own personal Jesus - a version of Jesus that makes us feel comfortable and self-satisfied? Or are we genuinely seeking the real Jesus?"

To read the article click here.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

A day with friends

Liz and I spent today with RFCs elders & deacons - Our community is well served by them and they are great fun to be with!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Viewing buildings

Tomorrow we are gathering the elders & deacons together. To help fuel my own faith & vision tanks, I tagged along with the RFC Facilities team as they viewed two properties at lunchtime.

The first property was a warehouse of 10, 000 sq ft subdivided into two main spaces of 6,500sqft and 3,500sqft; the carpark had space for 80 cars. It was a basic shell with offices and very easy to see how we could use this site.

The second was an industrial unit of 18,000sqft over two floors, with parking for 100 cars. It was a much more complex building to understand how we would use it ... but was thrilling to consider given all the space it offered.

We won't be making any quick building decisions but am looking forward to bringing my unique contribution to the team tommorrow!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Some dates for your diary

All these people can be contacted via the church office:

This Sunday 11th September we’ll be having BAPTISMS. If you would like to be baptised or would like to explore this as the next step for you, please contact Scott Taylor.

On Saturday 17th September there will be a QUIZ NIGHT with a meal from 7-9:30pm @ Church Offices. Tickets cost £3, please contact Roy Avis or Lesley Holland asap.

On Sunday 25th September there is a NEWCOMERS LUNCH from 12:30-3pm @ Church Office. If you are new to the church or don’t feel connected yet, we’d love you to join the pastors for lunch. Please contact Karen to book in.

On Monday 26th September the MARRIAGE COURSE will be starting, and will run over 7 Mondays from 7:30-10pm @ Church Offices. The cost for the course is £70 per couple. For more information or to sign up, please contact Lucy Thomas.

ALPHA will be starting on Tuesday 27th September. If you’d like to come or have a friend who is interested in joining the course, or would like more information, please contact Scott Taylor.

On Saturday 1st October we will be having a WOMEN'S COFFEE & PASTRIES  MORNING from 8:30-10:30am @ Church Offices. Cost will be £2, booking details to follow soon!

The next MEMBERSHIP SUNDAY is on Sunday 2nd October during the morning and evening meetings. This is an opportunity for you to find out more about the vision & values of the Church. To book your place, please contact Karen.

RUGBY WORLD CUP, Join us for a big screen viewing of what will hopefully be England’s quarter final match on Saturday 8th October at 8:30am. Bring your own snacks, teas & coffees will be provided.

If you're not a member of RFC but would like a letter about our 10th ANNIVERSARY MEETING @ Town Hall on October 9th, please let church office know your home address.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Bournemouth pier to pier 2011

Yesterday I swam the 1.4miles between the piers at Bournemouth and Boscombe. It was a charity swim for British Heart Foundation, thank you to all those who sponsored me  
A mass start of 1200 people is always going to be chaotic, so I decided to get towards the front and swim hard to avoid this. A good plan ... I was involved in very few collisions of note.
I still get really nervous waiting at the start signal ... but it's also exciting when we all head off. There was a collective cheer as we entered the water!
It was ideal swimming conditions, flat calm with the wind & current behind us. The water was clear and at one point I was able to follow a submerged cable, so even swam straight for quite a distance! 

I ended up tracking the guy below most of the way, he was easy to spot being one of the few swimmers not in a wetsuit. We sprinted to the finish together and he wanted to know our time.
I guess the question remains, what swim challenge do I attempt next year?

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Introducing ...

Kathy Bond has started working in the church offices today as an Intern, her project being Youth & Children's work. She graduated this year having studied Food Science at Reading and also celebrates her first wedding anniversary this Sunday (Steve plays guitar in an RFC worship band).

Josh John has now finished his internship with us and today starts as a full time church worker with responsibility for worship & media. Next month Josh will marry Claire, who also did an internship with us! 

I am so looking forward to seeing how God uses the staff team over the coming year ...