Wednesday, 31 August 2011

What's your RFC story?

As part of our 10th Anniversary celebration on 9th October @ Town Hall we plan to take a brief look at our history. We would love some stories of what church has meant to you over your time at RFC.

They don’t have to be just happy stories – we want stories of us laughing and weeping together – doing life together. Obviously we’ll have limited time to reflect on our history, as we have lots to pack in on the morning, but we’d like to share a few of the stories that have brought us this far. 

Please could you email them to Kerry Cowieson at to read and collate.

1st Thursday

Tomorrow is the next '1st Thursday' - a day we set aside for prayer & fasting. We plan to gather at 8pm at the church offices to worship Jesus, seek God's council & encouraged each other. 

If you are able, please try to fast, if only for one meal - it can be so helpful to let your hunger remind you of our dependence on Him ... 

I hope to see you there!  

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Come ride with us

This mornings ride (as planned by James) was a gentle 30+ miles on quiet roads north of Reading. All was very pleasant until we arrived at Streatley Hill, near Goring. Apparently it is a well known 'lung buster' a sharp incline that snakes up the side of the valley by the Thames. I can't remember the last time a hill hurt that much, I literally couldn't talk when I reached the top. 

Anyway, the point of this posting: there are a growing number of road cyclists in RFC and we thought it fun to have a group ride once a month on a Saturday over the winter. The idea being we ride 30-40 miles at a pace the slowest can comfortable hold whilst sitting within the group. James is thinking of starting around 8am, maybe later in deepest winter. 

Next year we could also ride the circular Isle of Wight route (a classic) and have a few other days out on our bikes. 

It will primarily be a social ride to help like minded people connect, NOT a hard training ride. If you are interested contact James Keith via church office or let me know your details to pass on to him.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Henry Olonga @ RFC

On Saturday 10th September Henry Olonga will be joining us for breakfast!

Henry was the first black player to play test cricket for Zimbabwe. He wore a black armband in a Cricket World Cup match to protest against the policies of his government. This act led to a warrant issued in Zimbabwe for Henry's arrest on charges of treason and forced him to retire from international cricket and temporarily go into hiding.

He is a gifted singer and has recorded CDs and about a year ago released his biography entitled Blood, Sweat & Treason. 

The cost of the breakfast is £5 so please contact Josh John to book your place early.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Tears in a big tent

Today I travelled with Pete Horne and my son to visit the camp that some of the children of RFC are attending this week.

The activities on offer were superb: archery, high & low ropes, BMX track, wood working, kayaking etc.

But my highlight was the afternoon main meeting where 190 children gathered to worship Jesus. The speaker gave a clear gospel presentation and many young hearts responded.

Tears came to my eyes as I watched children from RFC stay behind after the meeting to linger in the atmosphere of worship. To see Sarah Horne talk with them and encourage them to pray for each other was inspiring.

I am so grateful to the team of 71 helpers/leaders who have been making this happen.

We shall hear more from our children themselves this Sunday morning.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Anne says 'Thank you'

I know we are not perfect as a church ... but let me tell you about my day.

Six weeks ago Anne first came along to RFC and told her story. Her husband had just been diagnosed with cancer and the outlook was bleak. Two weeks ago he died (aged 59) and today I led the service at the Crematorium.

Miranda, Josh J & Kat led us musically and a good number from RFC managed to be there to show our support for Anne and her bereaved family.

Afterwards we hosted a wake at the church offices - Josh B had swapped his working week around to come in, set up and be available. By 6:30pm the family & friends had left and Josh B was hoovering, Kinga was washing up.

Anne's family were hugely touched by the church's big heartedness towards them. I realize that we can't all be at everything, yet I know any would have served if asked.

Every so often we get glimpses of what God has been doing in our hearts, and it is thrilling.

I am so thankful to be part of a community that endeavours to embrace relative strangers in their darkest moments ... surely the gospel is bearing fruit amongst us.

And Anne says thank you.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

beautiful & inspiring

probably the closest you can get to 'creating art' with a bike & video camera .....

Saturday, 13 August 2011

one highlight from the leadership summit

A hugely instructional moment for me - Bill Hybels gracious response to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultze' withdrawal from speaking at the Leadership Summit.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Let's try to make a bigger impact

Like many I am still trying to process the violence on the streets of our country.

It is hard to reconcile the anger felt by a community in Tottenham because of a shooting, with the appalling copy cats acts of looting across our nation. Homes and business' have been destroyed and replaced with loss, fear & anger. Is this really a true reflection of the nation we live in? I think not (at least I hope not).

Many experts will now comment on these events; hopefully looters will be brought to justice; and I trust lessons will be learnt. 

But we at RFC can play our part, at the very least through prayer. Let's pray for 'Law & order' to be established; for the families coping with upheaval and fear; for livelihoods & businesses to be quickly returned to 'normal'; for peace, forgiveness and reconciliation in the communities affected; and that it doesn't happen in our town.

Lets make an impact at work, over lunches or coffee by bringing a Christ centred contribution into the public conversation. Let's try to use this time to make a bigger impact than hooded opportunistic rioters.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Readifood @ RFC this Sunday

For those who have been around for a while, you'll know that we have green 'Readifood' boxes at our Sunday meetings each week. Readifood provide emergency food parcels for people in need across the town of Reading and we have been partnering with them for a while. Thank you to all you who put food in these boxes.

Malcolm Pierce, who leads the project, will be with us this Sunday to let us know more about what they do. So please buy a few non perishable food items this week so that we can send him off with an even bigger smile on his face!