Friday, 28 October 2011

Hope Church St Petersburg

RFC have been supporting Dave & Hanna Henson and Hope Church for the last few years and next week Liz and I are travelling out there. 
They've just had an outreach event at their new venue (which is in a hotel) and gathered  around 270 people... 37 of whom made some form of response!
Let's keep praying for our friends in Russia. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Why membership?

It's never been about creating a crowd on a Sunday, it was always a desire to build authentic community. 

It's not that we value names on a list, rather a way of meaningfully expressing our togetherness.

It's not so much about believing right doctrine, much more a commitment to lovingly relate to one another. 

This Sunday Liz and I are hosting the RFC membership course. It runs in parallel with whichever meeting you attend (10:20 in the library or 18:30 @ South St). 

Let Karen (at the offices) know if you're coming ... or you can just turn up!   

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

back2basics - Jesus is God

"We are going up to Jerusalem," Jesus said, "and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise." Mark 10:32-34

No army, nation or person has changed history to the degree that a homeless Nazarene who was executed amongst thieves 2000yrs ago. Why? 

Jesus acted as God. The Bible reveals Jesus taught and demonstrated authority over sickness, creation & death; He miraculously fed people; He forgave people their sins & was transfigured before friends; He predicted his own demise, death & resurrection. Only God can do this. 

Jesus spoke as God. He left no doubt about His own claims, he never intended to. He said he came down from heaven (Jn 3v38); He was more than just a good man (Mk 10v18); That He was God (Jn 8v58); That He was sinless (Jn 8v46); He was the Son of Man (Mt8v20); He told his disciples to pray to himself (Jn 14v13); and that He was the only way to heaven (Jn 14v6); that if they killed Him he would rise again (Mk 10v34) 

Jesus was God. When you conclude that Jesus was the Son of God who rose from the dead, living ‘full on’ for Him makes sense. But do we? It has been said that the demons of the bible had a clearer understanding of who Jesus is than most Christian’s do today (Mk 1:24). We need to shape & align our lives in a way that declares Jesus is God. Many of us easily relate to the apostle Peter who made great declarations (Matt 16v16, Lk22v33) and spectacular mistakes (Mk14v68). But Peter was not written off, he was later graciously reinstated & commissioned by Jesus, a moment that carried him all the way to Rome and crucifixion (Jn21v15-19) . 

Jesus knows we are human. And His grace is sufficient for us. If you have made a mess of following Jesus then confess your sins (1Jn 1:9), turn from that way (2Tim2:19), remind yourself Jesus is God (1Pet 3v15) and ask the Holy Spirit for help (2Ti1:14). The bible teaches that Jesus is God, but who do you say He is? And will you align your life to your convictions?

RFC awkward moment of the week

The nights are drawing in so we broke out the traffic wands for the evening venue car parking team on Sunday. Justin was very enthusiatic about this and inadvertently took control of all local traffic at the corner of East St & South St (apparently cars stopped and waited until waved on by Justin).

I'm guessing there's a fine line between awkward & illegal.    

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

RFC typo of the month

Karen is out of the office this week and Josh is dealing with some of her responsibilities. Below is an extract from this weeks Lifegroup notes he sent using her email account to over 240 recipients:

Community Lunch: On the 30th October after the morning meeting (12.45-3pm) we will be holding a community lunch at the church offices. There will be an African theme to the event with bring & share food, fellowship and the opportunity to learn some traditional “Gumboot” dancing, so bring your willies .

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

RFC website 'mobile' optimised!

One of the things we need to keep working on is our communication. Given the number of smart phones in RFC we thought it made sense to optimise our website for iphones & android devices. This should make it easier for RFCers to get to the dynamic content of our website (What's on, blogs & sermons). 

Do take the time to check out www.readingfamilychurch.org.uk on your phone and bookmark it on your home screen. If you do that it will look like an standard app and make it easier to use. 

The next time you see James Keith, do thank him for putting in the volunteer hours in to make this happen!

Friday, 7 October 2011

RFC on Radio Berkshire this Sunday

Yesterday I got a phone call from BBC Radio Berkshire asking me to be a guest on their Faith Show this Sunday from 7-8am.

Mary Green (the presenter) did a story on us in April and now they want to talk about our 10th anniversary and the growth we have seen.

Please pray that I represent us well and enjoy the experience!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Glory or Demise? Back to Basics.

Have you ever thought about the stark contrasts of Jesus' earthly life? His close friends Peter, James & John saw His glorious transfiguration, whilst Mary, Mary & other women witnessed his brutal demise. The same Jesus who spent time with the 'wrong crowd' also amazed religious teachers with his understanding and answers.

The Jesus of the bible can not be captured in a 3 second sound bite rather he needs to pursued. Sometime the best way of doing this is to go back to basics. 

Over the next few months we plan to centre our preaching fully on who Jesus is and how we are to relate to Him. 


We will be having two guest speakers in this sermon series Adrian Birks, a teaching pastor at Coign Church (Sunday 16 Oct) and Dave Bish, UCCF team leader in South West, will also be with us (Sunday 20 Nov).

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Giving for our tomorrow

This Sunday we shall be gathering at the Town Hall (10:15 for coffee & cupcakes!) and towards the end of the meeting we shall be taking up an offering for our Vision Fund.

We hope to raise at least £125,000 over the next 12 months to help us grow into the costs of leasing a warehouse, start new ministries, employ additional staff, etc. We also plan to give 10% of this away to local charities.

Here's how you can financially invest in our tomorrow:

Please pray! Pray that the required finances are released.

Please give! Either by cash, cheque or bank transfer; Or by making a pledge to give a specific amount over the next 12 months; Or a combination of both!

Please be free not to give! If you dont want to, or unable to ...but do join in celebrating with those who want & are able to give.  

We are believing God for an amazing tomorrow, so let's gather together in the centre of our town and tangibly express our love, gratitude and trust in Him.