Thursday, 19 September 2013

Local paper wrap-around

After the success of the adverts in May, this weekend another 68,000 homes will be receiving their free newspaper with RFC on the wrap-around ...

Thursday, 12 September 2013

3 New Interns @ RFC

In case you haven't met them already, let me introduce Charlotte, Becky & Kathryn. They are key members of the staff team and we literally couldn't get stuff done without them!

They each need to raise £230 a month for the next 11 months, so if you could spare £10-20 a month to sponsor one of them, that would really help them. 

Charlotte (left) will be supporting the deacons leading our Crèche, Kids church and Youth. She will be a busy intern!

Becky (right) will be supporting Scott in events and helping students to get plugged in to life here at RFC.  

Kathryn (below) will be involved in Media, Students and all things South Street Arts Centre!  

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Parenting - my notes from Sunday

I spoke on parenting on Sunday ... please note my disclaimer!

Disclaimer: Everything I said was ‘borrowed knowledge’, and was not everything you need to know, nor the only way, to parent.

Their Story, Our Goals: It can be helpful to step back and think about how our kids will tell their childhood story. What Words, Traditions, Memories and People will they remember? Parents get to shape much of this story, but we only get to do that once. Parenting does not just turn out OK, it needs focused attention over years & decades and having an overarching goal can help.  

Rejection & Acceptance: This begins at home and shapes our children. The Words We Use And the Schedules We Choose communicate acceptance or rejection. Our words may be true but do they reject our children? It is helpful to figure out what each child needs to hear to feel accepted and then say it 10x more than we think we need to! The schedules we choose also communicate acceptance or rejection. Kids can’t always see our hearts but they can clearly see our schedules.

Discipline: This needs to be based on the premise they WILL like you later, and later is way longer! 4 Stages of Parenting:
  •          Discipline 1-5: Establish boundaries & authority figures; often reactive.
  •          Training 5-11: Giving instruction ahead of time; showing them.
  •          Coaching 12-18: Encouraging from the sidelines, not charging out into the middle of the field to sort things out. Negotiation.
  •          Friendship 18+: Later is way longer than the first 18 years.

You can’t suddenly add discipline when they are teenagers.  Doing so provokes rebellion and communication breakdown. You cannot “be friends” with your teenager, you are the coach. A Coach is not the same as a friend.

The goal of discipline must be to re-establish broken relationships. It should be related & proportional to the ‘crime’ and they are to be embraced after discipline, the offence no longer mentioned. We are to side with them against their disobedience and with them as they face the consequences of their actions.

Don’t Freak Out: It is probably best not to freak out when our children do or say stuff that shock or surprise. By not freaking out, the lines of communication remain open and you generally find out far more!  

Faith & Family: Fostering a Jesus-centred family life requires us to intentionally mesh our faith into family life. It will be messy and constantly changing in its expression.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Reading Job Club

One of our new initiatives for this term is a Job Club to serve our town. Andy Dickens is taking a lead in this and so far it has been a promising start. Last time they met there were 12 clients, with referrals from the Job Centre, Housing Associations as well as from within RFC.

The club meets every second & fourth Monday at 12noon for lunch together at our offices. Afterwards, they catch up on their job seeking activities and then there is a short skills session. Andy closes the session with a bible verse and a short prayer.
Reading MP Alok Sharma is coming along later this month to officially launch the initiative and we will invite the press along.  Meanwhile, if you know anyone who would benefit from being part of this club, please ask them to phone Andy on the Job Club dedicated line of 07900 877712.     

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Proud dad ... Worried dad

Joshua turned 15 in August which is the age at which he can race with seniors. On Sunday, Joshua did his first open water Sprint Distance Triathlon and he came 38th of 273 finishers. I am a proud dad

The swim was 750m in a lake and he did well in the mass start, surviving an impromptu headlock from a fellow swimmer in all the thrashing around! His 22km bike went really well, as did his 5km run.

Family Green were out in full voice to cheer him round and our Tri club kept up the support. He loved the whole experience. 

He now tells me he is looking forward to racing the Hart Sprint Distance triathlon next May as we can both race it and he is confident to whoop me! 

I am a worried dad.