Thursday, 17 December 2009

Christmas 2009 @ RFC

It may seem that Christmas has been somewhat low key at RFC this year. We have for sure had a short Christmas series based on Christmas carols. This Sunday we will have a family meeting that will look at the carol Joy to the World. We will have some fun together and we shall celebrate Christmas across the ages. We shall also meet together at the offices at 10am on Christmas morning to remind ourselves of the reason we look forward to this time of year.

However we have done some community things. The Whitley cluster once again helped out at the North Whitley Residents Association Christmas party for the over 60's in the local area. It was a great success with 84 of our older neighbours coming out to enjoy food fellowship and fun. Phil the singer provided entertainment and an array of sandwiches the like of which I have never seen before, where devoured by the partying matriachs and patriachs of Whitley. It was great to have conversations with them and enjoy the richness of their experiences. There was an man who hadn't left his flat for 15 years, telling the organisers that this had changed his life, plus another lady who found that a friend from 20 years ago was still in the area and a friendship was reunited. It was truly a privilege to be there.

Another group went to Douglas Court - a residence for the elderly in Early. Sean and the team had a fantastic time singing carols, and talking to the residents. (Read here for more details.) Still another group went carol singing around Earley on Saturday afternoon. They went to some 35 houses and gave out mince pies at each after singing a verse of a carol.

We are going into this Christmas time taking opportunities to meet with our local communities and being good news to them as well as taking opportunities to share the good news with them. As we head into 2010, we can build on this momentum and we can become more involved with the areas in which we meet and live. this will, God willing, mean areas like the Oxford Road and Lower Caversham as we continue to see people coming from those areas. Who knows we may be even doing some town centre things as we embrace new people as a result of our Sunday evening meetings. Whatever God has in store for us we will be faithful with the message that he has given us and continue to seek to be good news to the town that we have been called to.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The bell rings again!!!

It is with joy that I write, after a months absence, to tell of a bell ringing in the church office. Alpha@CoffeeRepublic has just finished and it has been over the course of 10 weeks that we have seen our God do an amazing work in the life of one of the girls. She arrived on the first night on her own. She declared to me that she didn't think that she could be a Christian - not because of any anti belief system, but just because!

What then happened was, that she got involved into the social fabric of the church. She found that people just loved and accepted her for who she was. No hidden agendas or ulterior motives. She asked many questions and posted many objections. However over 5 weeks, her confidence was growing both in herself and in her new found friends. Twice she came close to accepting Jesus but something just held her back.

Then last night 0n the walk back from the coffee bar, she said that she wanted to follow Jesus and she wanted to commit her life to him then and there. We got back to the office and stood with her as she prayed a prayer of commitment and then we prayed with her. Following this the bell was rung to celebrate once again with the heavenly realms as one sinner repented and turned to Him.

Let's continue to pray that we will have more stories like this - not just through Alpha but also through our own personal contact with people.