Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Catalyst is coming ...

We have taken delivery of some feather banners to mark our camping zone at the Catalyst Festival ...
There's still time to book yourself in.  

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Road trip to Bedford

One of the consequences of jumping to two mornings meetings is the pressure of time, resulting in our sung worship sometimes feeling 'hurried'. 

Now seems an apropiate point to look at this. We thought that if we took our worship leaders to another church who have two mornings meetings, we could observe how they do it and learn from them.

So, on Sunday morning, seven of us got into cars and headed up the M1 to Bedford, to experience the worship at the King's Arms church.

It went well.

As their first meeting started, I reminded our gang to "not get lost in worship but to remain objective" ... but let's just say I failed to do that!!!

It was brilliant to quickly feel at home, even though the songs were largely unfamiliar. It felt unhurried and intimate; less contributions than expected but God's presence was tangible. At the end they had a prayer/prophetic team who ministered to us/others. 

Afterwards we went to Burger King to share notes (the Angry Whopper was very tasty). We came up with a few lessons learnt and associated actions, hopefully we will be able to outwork these over the next few months. 

We have much to learn from The Kings Arms and yet we were all grateful for where we are as a church. 

We are really well served by our musicians, lead worshippers and worship leaders, do personally thank them next time you meet one!      

On a different note, they have a fabulous 30,000 sqft warehouse which is the footprint I have been asking God for when we get our building. It was very stirring to be given a quick tour ...

Friday, 25 April 2014

RFC @ the Madejski

Its been a year since we jumped to three congregations over two sites ... creating space & fuel for our growth momentum. It is hard work and we under estimated the complexity, but God has grown us through the process.

Twelve months have passed and we have so much to celebrate and give thanks for. I can't imagine us only having one morning meeting now, choice is good! 

On Sunday 8 June we have booked the conference centre at the Madejski Stadium to gather all three congregations to celebrate together. 

Evan Rogers will be leading worship, there'll be personal stories and a full children's programme. The venue seats 500 and we plan to fill it, so put the date in your diary and come ready to enjoy a taste of our future.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Bristol with buddies

Alistair thought cycling back from Bristol would be a good training opportunity so me, Craig & Alistair boarded the 09:57 train on Monday morning.

It took 1hr15 minutes to get there by 'speeding train through rolling hills' which hinted at the terrain & distance we were to cycle.

The route was mainly on the A4 and it does gets hilly in places ... cycling past the White Horse carved into the hill at Cherhill was brilliant. 

I now know that Bristol Temple Meads to my house is 85 miles and it takes 4hrs 47 minutes of cycling (if you average 17.2mph). Also, I now know that Marlborough is half way to Bristol and the Costa there does a tasty Ham & Cheese Panini.  

That said, I can not adequately explain how tired I was when I got off my bike. Liz said it was comical. 

My next cycling adventure is in May, in the Lake District for a long weekend, with nine others from TVT ... hopefully at a more sustainable pace. 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A little bit of Turkey

On Saturday I am flying out to Istanbul to carry Dave Devenish's bags in his travels. I am really looking forward to stepping out of my routine here and taste a little bit of 'East meets West'.

I have travelled with Dave a few times before and it inevitably involves lots of listening, laughing, meals and enthusiasm for the nations. I will undoubtably learn loads just watching David interact with people from other cultures and his unique teaching.

But I also plan to press into God for myself. Being away from responsibilities and in an alien culture can really help with perspective to my successes & challenges, hopes & disappointments in Reading. 

I'm taking a book entitled 'enjoying your prayer life' by Mike Reeves and plan to reread it a few more times... it's very short but super helpful.

My job is one of 'Privilege' but also 'Pain' ... this trip should be the former.