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Simon & Catrina Benham
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of our Kerith Community Church LinK magazine.
You’ll see from the cover that the theme of our 7th LinK magazine is “This is Love”. At the heart of the Christian faith is the message that there is a God who loves us. That love is demonstrated so clearly in the two celebrations at the start and end of the term covered by this edition of the magazine, Christmas and Easter. At Christmas, as children up and down the nation take part in nativity plays recreating that first Christmas, we remember that God loved us so much that he came to earth in human flesh, as Jesus, as Emmanuel, as God with us, to identify with our pain, our sorrows and our weaknesses, and to bring us the message of God’s love for each one of us. Then at Easter we remember that Jesus demonstrated the full extent of God’s love, when he freely chose to die the most hideous death imaginable to pay the price for all of our sin and brokenness, so that we might have the opportunity to come into a life changing relationship with God.
'This is Love' is the exciting new album from Kerith's worship team. Available free from Kerith reception.
The apostle John put it so clearly when he wrote "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10). I hope you enjoy this issue of LinK as we explore God’s love, and the implications of His love for every one of us.
Simon. Senior Pastor
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TEAMLINK Chief Editor Beccy Oliver Copy Editor Steve Scott Consulting Editors Simon Benham, Penny Lander, Colin Boyle Magazine Coordinator Joanna Krzeczunowicz Editorial contribution Karen Mehta, Michael Ross-Watson, Suzanne Whitton, Eileen Scott, Shauna Niequist Art Director Mike Charlton Head of Photography John Mitchell Photographic contribution Sarina Cooper
CONTENTS A journey of discovery
What is love?
Pushing doors - Hannah & Sam Kerith in the news
Karen Mehta - loving others
The Liam Parker Interview
Meet Mike Maton Texts for life
Worship & justice
Shauna Niequist - being REAL
Sixty seconds with Ben Oliver
Dates for the diary
Who to contact
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A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY KERITHDIRECTORY INvest
The marriage course
The Alpha course
Freedom in Christ
Building great relationships
Introduction to the Christian faith
Evening theology study course
Bereavement course Coping with the death of a loved one
Year training in theology and practical service
Musical tuition in the context of worship
Practical skills to help with parenting
Realise your spiritual gifting
for children aged 7-11 who want to know more about God
Kerith courses & academies
dance group for children aged 5-11
Midweek small groups
Life within Kerith
Parent and toddler group
Dynamite choir for children aged 5-11
Midweek group for the retired
Group for the deaf and hard of hearing
Children’s ministry Sandhurst
Unique women’s ministry
Young adult community
Women’s book club
Women’s mentoring programme
Women’s writing group
Encounter Twinkles babies
Youth ministry Jewels 1s
Ground breakers 5-7s
Precious Stones 3-4s
Rock solid 8-9s
Boulder gang 10-11s
Sunday children’s groups that meet in K2, our building across the car park from the Kerith Centre
United men’s ministry
Little Gems 2s
Single Parents’ Group
Midday bible study group
J Generation Sunday youth meetings
Project 125 Life
T.O.B Youth drama group
Friday night youth event
Schools’ work Networking within local secondary schools
Supporting leaders in two churches
Developing leaders and supporting youth events in churches
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Act for Justice
Free debt advice through a national charity
Group for adults with learning disabilities
Feeding local people in crisis
Support and awareness of human trafficking in the local community
Practical help for people in crisis
Kerith in the Community
Support groups for children with disabilities and their families
Courses Car parking
District line Outreaching work of Kerith
Kerith Community Church
Oakwood youth challenge Partner organisation, outward bound activity and leadership training centre
Sibling Support Youth Sailing
Respite Saturday and holiday clubs for disabled children
Youth Monday night youth group
Drama Sunday meetings and productions
adult worship bands
youth worship band
Support group for mothers of disabled children
Sunday buddies Support for disabled children during our Sunday childrenâ€™s meetings
Sound, lighting, projection & recording
Video editing and animated production
Website, graphics, set design and literature
Helping establish first Lithuanian Willow Creek Leadership Summit
Church plant in Melle
Five-year programme supporting HIV/AIDS projects in Zambia
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KERITH SPECIAL FEATURE
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BY MICHAEL ROSS-WATSON
Jesus said that the whole law of God is summed up by the command to love God and to love others. Response to a commandment should be a decision of the will and not an emotion. We choose to love. God first chose to love us unconditionally when there was nothing lovely in us and it was totally undeserved. His love was revealed in His practical and amazing giving. He so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Love always gives. Jesus’ parable about the prodigal son – who takes his inheritance while his father is alive, but ends up penniless – gives a beautiful insight into God’s love. The prodigal suffers in his rebellion and is desperate and broken. His father longs for his son to return home. One day the father sees his broken son Hollywood and the media in the distance coming home. He runs to him, embraces him and blesses him. The father puts a robe around his son and have corrupted people’s covers the stains of his sinful life. He puts a ring on his finger understanding of love and that speaks of acceptance. On his sore and bleeding feet he puts shoes. Sons, not servants, wear shoes! The father is saying you portrayed it as a sexual, are my beloved son and not my servant. This parable pictures the love that God, the Heavenly Father, has for us and His romantic, and emotional loving acceptance of us when we turn to Him.
feeling. Some kind of chemical reaction. Without doubt there is emotion in love, but love is primarily a choice and not an emotion.
When we really experience the Father’s love for ourselves we will want to respond by loving, obeying, serving and worshipping Him. The Bible says that we love Him because He first loved us, and when we genuinely experience His love we find freedom from fear, guilt and condemnation.
One of the clearest evidences that we have experienced God’s love is that we treat people in the same way that God treats us. Love is kind, forgives and cares. Love is not proud and judgmental but instead covers a multitude of sins. We are to love practically in the same way that God loved us by giving and forgiving. The apostle John says that we are to love not only with words but also in deeds and truth. This will certainly mean the sharing of our possessions and may even mean laying down our life for others. When we do this we are moving in God’s direction and He pours His love into our hearts. C. S. Lewis said: “To love at all is to be vulnerable!” When God loved us by giving His Son to die for us he made himself vulnerable and many people rejected Him. To reach out to others and love them makes us vulnerable but the alternatives of selfishness, hard-heartedness and pride are almost unthinkable.
Make a choice today to love God and to love people! www.kerith.co.uk
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KERITH FEATURE - ZAMBIA MISSION KERITHDIRECTORY
IN MARCH, SAM AND HANNAH FAIRS-BILLAM WILL MOVE THEIR FAMILY TO ZAMBIA TO WORK ALONGSIDE THE EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP OF ZAMBIA (EFZ) HELPING THEM DEVELOP A CHILD PROTECTION TRAINING PROGRAMME. THEY TOLD LINK ABOUT THE JOURNEY GOD HAS TAKEN THEM ON IN PREPARATION FOR THEIR MOVE.
When Sam and Hannah first met – she a social care student and he the owner of a local juice bar business – they shared a passion to help society’s marginalised. Sam’s love for those on the extremes has led him through training as a paramedic to working for the London-based charity SPEAR, which seeks to support the homeless and those at risk of losing their accommodation. Hannah has worked for a number of years in children’s rights and advocacy – being a voice for children in vulnerable situations. Sam became a Christian on Alpha, a course for those with questions about the Christian faith. They had first heard about the Kerith shortly before when a leaflet dropped through their door and Sam, who was not a Christian at the time, amazingly encouraged Hannah to attend.
Han & week Sam o in Z n thei r amb ia A researc ug 2 h 011
Soon after, they met Guy – a man living on the streets who was asking for money
outside the Kerith Centre. Instantly they felt challenged to get involved in his life. Hannah recalls: “It’s a sense of justice for me. I didn’t want to ignore him and wondered what he must have been going through to end up begging on the streets.” They invited Guy for meals and he even spent a week with them while detoxing from his alcohol dependency. Sam said: “Getting involved with someone’s life can be inconvenient and messy, but God blesses us massively when we have the courage to step out.” In 2007, Sam flew out with a team from the Kerith to Serenje, Zambia. He observed first-hand the five-year project supporting those living with HIV/AIDS in the region, in partnership with international development agency Tearfund. Having two young daughters has curtailed foreign travel in recent years, but Hannah began to feel God was calling them to something new and different. Following an email to the director of EFZ, which partners with Tearfund, they were invited to move out to Zambia. Realising they would need to raise £30,000 to make the move happen, recent months have been
If you want to find out more or donate, please visit www.tehila.org
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an exercise of faith for Sam and Hannah. Sam said: “We were really nervous about raising the money, but we knew that if God wanted us in Zambia we just had to be bold and ask if people could support us. We were fully aware of the financial climate, but we had to give it a go! The first
Faced with moving to a potentially difficult place, Hannah has grappled with all the usual questions posed for a
was also a powerful reminder that their skills could be of such benefit in Zambia. Hannah recalls: “I felt that
Isla & Amba Sam, Hannah, donation was £3,000 and within five weeks we’d raised £25,000. It is mind-blowing and we still can’t get our heads around it.”
mother of young children. Sam jokes: “If you knew how long it takes Hannah to buy a pair of boots then you’d know how important it was for us to get a strong, decisive confirmation from God about where we were going to be based – in the capital Lusaka, where the EFZ is based, or in Serenje.”
For a while the confirmation did not come, but while on a visit to Lusaka they witnessed the aftermath of a horrific road accident en-route from Serenje. With Sam’s paramedic training they stopped to help, even driving one patient from hospital to hospital to find the care required. The harrowing situation brought into sharp focus the cost of following God’s prompting to move. But it
God was telling us it was going to be OK, but it was going to be hard.”
Sam and Hannah are now in the final stages of their preparations to move – the fulfilment of a vision that has required the pushing of many doors. As the Bible says in Matthew 25:40 – “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
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KERITH IN THE NEWS KERITHDIRECTORY
A look back at what's been going on at the Kerith, through the eyes of the local media.
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KERITH COMMUNITY KERITHDIRECTORY
I was seven when I first heard about Jesus and about forgiveness, and that I was loved for just being me. It took me a few years to really understand, but I remember sitting in church at the age of 10 and being filled with an overwhelming sense of peace and love, and a warmth that washed through me from my feet to the top of my head. After a few years, I moved to another church where I had a large group of friends, and it was there that I had my first real experience of a WE ARE PREPARED TO ROLL social justice ministry. UP OUR SLEEVES AND FEED Whilst I learned lots about social issues THE HUNGRY, SPEAK UP FOR during this time, I did THOSE THAT HAVE NO VOICE, not have the strength wisdom to grow in VISIT THE PRISONER AND CARE or my relationship with FOR THE WEAK AND THE SICK. God and I drifted away from church life completely. I got married when I was 22, but the marriage was not happy. I was subjected to a level of domestic violence that left me bruised, battered and whimpering in the corner. I experienced severe anxiety attacks almost every night. My husband got a job in Portugal, so I stayed behind to sell our home. It was soon apparent that he was involved with someone else, and I was unable to make contact with him. I was left with a mortgage I was unable to pay and utility bills I could not meet. While the practicalities of a divorce were worked through, I struggled to keep a roof over my head. Eventually all I was left with was a Fiat Panda. In the year leading up to this I returned to church and started to reestablish my walk with Jesus, and God began to heal and restore me. A year and a half later, I met Mukesh at a friend’s wedding. His kindness and gentle manner were so attractive after so much hurt and pain. We married in 1993 and Amy was born in the following year. Having Amy made me think very seriously about my faith. I knew I wanted her to grow up knowing the love and peace that I had felt when I was 10 years old, and I
wanted that for myself again too. I was baptised in 1996 and for a while things were very happy and calm and our little family thrived. In 1998 our son Kiran arrived nearly 11 weeks premature, weighing just 2 lbs 12 oz, and this started another stormy journey. In the following year and a half we were told that he was profoundly deaf, that he had a rare genetic condition, and that he would probably never sit or walk, and may not survive childhood. During this time God surrounded us with amazing people, the numerous nurses and therapists who turned out to be Christians and the church friends who decorated our house when we were away with Kiran at a clinic in America. We also learned how hard it was to navigate the health, education and social care maze, and saw how many parents struggled to get the right help for their child. Instead of fading as he grew, Kiran has steadily flourished. We have seen many prayers for him answered in the last 13 years, and his own courage has pushed him on. In the next few months he is likely to be back in hospital for another ear surgery and I am sure he will approach this with his usual tenacity. We moved to Kerith Community Church in 2005 attracted by love, sound teaching and practical social justice ministries reaching out into the community. I fully believe that the church should be engaged in the social justice issues of our day, demonstrating to the outside world that Christians don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. We are prepared to roll up our sleeves and feed the hungry, speak up for those that have no voice, visit the prisoner and care for the weak and the sick. By doing this we don’t just bless the broader community, but the church community too. Such works help us to see Jesus in the poor and the lonely, the sick and the marginalised, and to reach out and help. This journey has changed me. I can draw on knowledge from my personal journey and bring some support to others who are going through their own life storms. I know that Jesus loved me before I ever knew him, and gave me the peace and freedom I have today. I am compelled by this love to be his hands and feet.
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KAREN MEHTA RUNS KONNECTIONS – KERITH’S MINISTRY FOR DISABLED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES www.kerith.co.uk
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KERITH INTERVIEW - LIAM PARKER, YOUTH PASTOR KERITHDIRECTORY
As a child I was brought up in the Salvation Army. My dad is a Christian and although my mum and two brothers aren’t, we were used to going to church regularly. My mum was an amazing support to dad and would come and serve when he preached. From as young as I can remember I would speak to God often. When I was 15 my dad said I could leave church if I liked. It was my choice now, but Jesus was my best friend so why would I want to leave? I didn’t go through a rebellious stage – I had a fun youth group and the big thing that helped me I think was deciding that I wasn’t going to drink alcohol. The Salvation Army taught abstinence and my
conversation with my agent when I explained God’s change of plan! First I worked for the Salvation Army as the youth pastor at my home church, and then later met Lee LaytonMatthews who was youth pastor at the Kerith at the time. He began mentoring me and I ended up coming to
YOU’D BE SURPRISED AT HOW THE YOUNG PEOPLE RESPECT SPIRITUAL AND GROWTH AND A LIFE WALKED WI faith held to it. There were times I wasn’t invited to parties but mostly it was a great opportunity to have conversations with my peers. As a young teenager I started seriously getting into acting. When I was 12 I auditioned for the Hugh Grant film ‘About a Boy’ and about once every two weeks I was out filming or auditioning for films. I was in a number of Harry Potter films – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the best to see me in! I worked with Anthony Minghella in ‘Breaking and Entering’ where I doubled for one of the leads. It was an amazing experience – I was on set with the other actors and had my make-up done next to Jude Law! The turning point was when I was asked to do a dramatic reading at the Royal Albert Hall for a national Salvation Army event. I realised how awesome it was to combine drama with the Gospel. Even as I was speaking I realised this was what I wanted to do. I’d planned to be an actor and proclaim God while working, but instead I said: “God why don’t you decide!” I remember an amazing
work with him. We used to get about 50 teenagers at the Kerith Youth Group but we realised we were probably just entertaining rather than leading them closer to Jesus. After the summer of 2009 we decided it was time to include a talk every week. As I prayed about it I asked God to add 200 to our number. The first night that we added the talk was awful – we didn’t even get to speak as most of the youth walked out! The next week I did manage to speak – 60 youth attended and 14 of them got saved! In three months we went from 50 to 300 and in spring 2010 we had to move from K2 into the Kerith Centre as we’d grown so much. We estimate more than 1,500 young people in Bracknell have been associated with LIFE to date, and our vision is to reach 2,350. When I do school lessons there are normally a few in the class wearing the LIFE wristband, and recently I was teaching in a local school about prophetic words and a girl said she’d been to LIFE the
For more details on the LIFE ministry contact: email@example.com
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L MATURITY WITH GOD. week before and had been prophesied over. She explained how it had been spot on. One of the boys asked what LIFE was and was shouted down by the rest of the class saying: “You don’t know what LIFE is?!” I’ve found that our young people respect spiritual maturity and a life walked with God. They are inspired by the older people who live this out and set the example for them. Sometimes they don’t feel worthy to chat with them, but they’d do anything to spend time with inspiring people. My encouragement to those people is that if you are on fire for Jesus and continue living an inspiring life, the young people will be drawn to you.
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KERITH INTERVIEW KERITHDIRECTORY
Mike Maton and his wife Virge first became part of the Kerith community in 2010. Their first child Sophia was born in November and as well as overseeing two private businesses, Mike also works full-time for a wireless data management company. But life hasn’t always been straight-forward for the 32-year-old.
How were things for you as a child and teenager? I’ve lived in Windsor all my life and at the beginning things were pretty cool – we lived in a big house with my mum, dad and two brothers, and life was really nice. But my dad decided to leave the family and that was the start of some rocky ground. My mum remarried but my second dad also left, and when he did that he left with most of our money. We went from having everything to pretty much living with nothing. We moved from one council house to another and it became really hard for us. While this was going on one of my brothers got heavily into the drug scene as well as petty crime, he was stealing most of my music equipment, and he was also physically and verbally abusive. I was stabbed, chucked down the stairs, pushed through mirrors – it got very intense. We had many drug dealers coming and causing problems. We received threats our house would be fire-bombed and we had to evacuate and live at someone else’s house. How did you manage to cope? My mum was a Christian and although we weren’t going to church as much, there was always a faith element. I became a Christian as a teenager when a friend invited me to an event at Wembley Stadium. The evangelist Billy Graham made an appeal and I knew I had no hope but to go and give my life to the Lord. That started a process of things really changing for me. I was so trodden down by things that had happened that it took a long time for me to rediscover my confidence.
I’d lost both my dads so seeing God as my Father was really quite difficult, but slowly and surely I began to really trust God and what he was doing. What have you learnt through your experiences? During my life I’ve had to learn to adjust to a lot of things, but I once heard someone talking about turning your fear into faith, and for me that was incredible. I’d always looked at things so fearfully but it was only when I started putting my faith in God that things really started changing dramatically. At the time I was just hoping to get through weekby-week and if I hadn’t changed my fear into faith it would’ve just crippled me. Looking back at the times I’ve had, I’d never have dreamed I’d be doing what I’m doing now and it was only through God’s grace and understanding that He got me to where I am now. What advice would you give to young people today? Don’t let your past dictate your future. As a Christian, whatever’s going on in your life you’ve got to push through it and believe good is going to happen and things will work out, even if you don’t see it. Never stop dreaming big, and don’t waste time on things that will slow you down – many times I tried to be a person that I wasn’t and it stopped me from being productive. Trust in God’s timing and his lead, and believe God’s got a bigger purpose for your life.
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TEXTS FOR LIFE WHY WE NEED TO GET INTO OUR BIBLES A recent study by Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago looked at what causes the biggest life change in people who are either investigating the claims of Jesus Christ, or who have already chosen to follow Him. They looked at all sorts of factors, such as going to church regularly on a Sunday, volunteering to help other people, meeting with a small group of Christians during the week and praying regularly. All of these had an impact, but they found that the thing which had the biggest single impact was people regularly reading the Bible, and applying what they learnt to their lives.
At Kerith we want to help everyone to learn how to read, understand and apply the Bible for themselves. An important part of that is us learning to memorise sections of the Bible which will help us in our everyday lives. On one occasion Jesus was being tempted by the devil to give up on his mission - on each occasion he overcame the temptation by quoting the Bible. We want to give everyone who comes to Kerith a similar ‘toolkit’ of memorable Bible verses, so from January we’re having a series called ‘Texts for Life’ where each week we’ll be learning a Bible verse together.
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KERITH FEATURE - TEXTS FOR LIFE KERITHDIRECTORY
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. John 3:63a
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1 For preachers and dates please see page 25
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He has showed you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Godâ€™s will for you in Christ Jesus.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
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KERITH SPECIAL FEATURE KERITHDIRECTORY
HELEN COTTEE WORSHIP PASTOR
Worship is central to the Christian faith; the purpose of which is to give honour and worth to God.
To love God is to worship Him. Worship is central to the Christian faith; the purpose of which is to give honour and worth to God. In Mark 12:29 Jesus tells us what is first in God’s heart – that we love Him with our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love those around us as we love ourselves. As we worship, we get to know God better and we learn more about what He loves. These two things just can't be separated. If we love God, we surely must love the thing which is most on His heart – people! This is why worship and reaching out to others are so closely linked. We have been called to be God's hands and feet on the earth until Jesus returns again. That means more than passive observation when we see injustice in the world around us. The link between worship and justice is such a strong one, and one which many Christians – perhaps in particular those of us who live comfortable Western lives – have forgotten about or simply ignored. If we want God to delight in our worship then we need to be willing to engage in God’s heart for this world – that we give all we can to those who are lost, disadvantaged or down-trodden. That our worship will not just involve our voices to sing; but also our prayers, our money, our time and our hearts.
Want to get involved in Kerith life? Don't know where to start? From January the Kerith website will publish all the vacant volunteer opportunities so you can see exactly what there is to get involved in. Just go to:
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What inspired you to write your first book ‘Cold Tangerines’? I felt like a lot of the Christians I knew were keeping themselves busy pointing out what’s wrong with the world – what’s broken, what’s sinful, what should be protested. I understand that, but at the same time I think there’s a lot right with the world too – a lot of beauty, hope and evidence of God’s fingerprints. ‘Bittersweet’ reveals some difficult times in your life, what was your motivation? I didn’t want to write it at all. I wanted to skip straight to ‘Bread & Wine’ (due out in Spring 2013), the fun one about dinner parties. I tried and tried, and then finally realised that life as a writer sometimes means telling even the stories you don’t want to tell, the ones you didn’t want to live through and don’t want to re-live on the page. But re-living is a writer’s responsibility, and more than that, honesty is a writer’s responsibility. Can you tell us three things you are passionate about? 1. The people I love – family and close friends. 2. Books – I love to read, and a well-written sentence or paragraph brings me so much joy. 3. Cooking and sharing meals with people I love.
We are very excited to be welcoming Shauna Niequist as the guest speaker at REAL 2012, our conference for women taking place on June 22-23. Shauna is best known as a gifted writer but she is also a wife, mother and the daughter of Willow Creek Senior Pastor Bill Hybels. LinK caught up with Shauna to whet our appetites.
What can we look forward to hearing from you at REAL 2012? Much of what I’m writing about right now is about navigating the seasons of our lives with grace and perspective. What is God calling me to in this season that’s different from the last season? What needs to end? What needs to begin? It’s helpful for me to think of my life in small segments; changing according to the ages of my kids or the opportunities I’m given. I’m excited to talk about living well wherever we find ourselves, in all sorts of seasons.
Shauna’s books are available in the Kerith bookshop and there are many excerpts at www.shaunaniequist.com/books Tickets for REAL 2012 are on sale at www.kerith.co.uk/real2012 or from the Kerith Centre reception.
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SPEED DATING - THE ONE MINUTE INTERVIEW KERITHDIRECTORY
What does your role of Executive Pastor actually mean? I help organise the leadership team so that the way we meet, communicate and make decisions is more effective, and also more fun. It means there’s a structure so that as much as possible of the day-to-day running of the church is off Simon’s shoulders. What do you do at GSK? I’m representing the sales side of a project that is creating a computer system that will help GSK sales teams all over the world plan how they promote products to customers. Things like BOGOF (buy one get one free) deals actually cost companies a lot of money so they need specialist programmes to organise that. Who is the last person you texted? Someone sent me a text earlier in the day to tell me they’d just become a Christian, so I replied to say, ‘Brilliant news, welcome to the family. We’ve got a lifetime ahead of us of working out how much God loves us’. Which website do you visit most? BBC – news, weather, iPlayer…CBeebies! What was your first car? When I was a salesman for Walkers crisps I had a Peugeot 406 estate – you could fit loads of packets of crisps in the boot! What was the last music you bought? Ages ago – I bought the Leona Lewis CD which my eldest daughter plays constantly on the iPad.
MEET BEN OLIVER - KERITH’S EXECUTIVE PASTOR. HE IS HUSBAND TO BECCY AND A FATHER OF THREE DAUGHTERS. THREE DAYS A WEEK HE WORKS FOR GLAXOSMITHKLINE IN SALES. IN THE PAST HE HAS REPRESENTED THE BRANDS RIBENA AND LUCOZADE AND WORKED AS A SALESMAN FOR WALKERS CRISPS. AND YES, HE DID MEET GARY LINEKER.
If you were going to sing a song at karaoke, what would it be? I wouldn’t, I would find being the centre of attention like that so uncomfortable. I would actively walk out if anyone started to sing ‘I Will Survive’, it’s a pet hate of mine when women really get into that one! How do you cope being the only man in the house? I’ve always been used to being surrounded by girls because of my two sisters. I basically go along with what they do and if I can’t take anymore then go and do a monotonous digging job in the garden, go to the driving range or go for a drink with someone. The one thing I refuse to endure is craft, because of the potential for uncontained mess – they can make it a lot faster than I can tidy it! Have you ever been mistaken for anybody famous? People used to say I look like David Duchovny from ‘The X-Files’. But no-one’s ever called me David!
Have you got any nicknames? Yes, sadly my initials are B.O. which I’ve never been able to live down. I was called ‘Benardinho’ when I was at university and playing a lot more football – after the incredible footballer Ronaldinho. Finally, tell us something about Ben Oliver we don’t know. I’m a proficient windsurfer. Thanks Ben... mind if I have a crisp?
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KERITH PREVIEW KERITHDIRECTORY
Mums the â€™ word
EASTER Good Friday The Afternoon Movie In the afternoon there will be another opportunity to bring your family to Kerith at the movies! We will be showing a DVD appropriate for all ages to enjoy together.
Mothers Day 18th March 9am and 11am
Good Friday night The Cost of the Cross An opportunity to spend time reflecting on the cross - its cost, its implications and its impact on us today.
We love MUMs at Kerith and this Mothers Day is no exception - so whether you are a Mum, have a Mum or know a Mum, these meetings are an opportunity to invite them along to celebrate Mums everywhere!
Easter Day The Power of the Cross We love to celebrate that Jesus is Alive! So the Easter Day meetings are set to be a highlight in our Spring calendar. Invite your friends and neighbours to what is going to be a brilliant day!
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
Two days of inspiration, encouragement and skill development with a dynamic line-up of leaders and thinkers via a large screen.
7th & 8th October 2012
Saturday 17th November 2012
A conference for kids' ministry leaders
Do you want to be inspired to be the best you can in kids' work for under fives up to pre-teens? ADVANCE will challenge and encourage kids' ministry leaders from any style of church, no matter the size of their present kids' work. Incorporating a fun atmosphere and awesome worship, there will be inspirational teaching to stir up the hearts of those who already serve, and others wanting to get involved to ADVANCE to the next level in kids' ministry. Information coming soon - check our website www.kerith.co.uk
REAL 2012 for all women is happening on the evening of Friday 22nd and all day Saturday 23rd June. Speakers include Catrina Benham (Kerith) and Shauna Niequist (Willow Creek Community Church). To book go to: www.kerith.co.uk/REAL2012
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The Bereavement Course The Bereavement course is for anyone who has been bereaved. Based on Christian principles, the course is suitable for everyone whether recently bereaved or dating back several years with or without a Christian faith. Attendance is not advisable for those who have been bereaved within the past 3 months.
A comprehensive yet astonishingly simple money management course to help you get, and then stay, in control of your finances. A three session DVD based course for anyone- no matter your financial situation.
Invest is Kerith’s training course for all those wanting to deepen their knowledge, understanding and application of the Bible. This course is open to everyone - no matter what bible knowledge or ability you feel you arrive with!
Freedom in Christ The Freedom in Christ course is designed for Christians who would like to take hold of what the bible has to say about them and apply it to their lives. This course is an excellent progression from Alpha but is a great refresher for those who’ve been Christians for years.
An opportunity to enhance your marriage by discussing topics asfvaried as communication, parents in law, quality time, sex and much more! With a meal and a talk each week, this course gives you time during the sessions to discuss with your partner all those things you don’t get round to at home!
At Kerith we follow the pattern of Jesus in giving thanks for children, or what some people would call a dedication. We pray, giving thanks to God for the children as well as asking for blessing and protection over their lives. We also pray for wisdom for the parents. From 2012 we will be having three thanksgiving Sundays spread across the year where families can join together in giving thanks to God for their children. Thanksgiving dates are: 5th Feb, 20th May & 23rd Sept. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Alpha Course
Alpha is an opportunity to explore the meaning of life through a ten week course designed as a basic introduction to the Christian faith. We run an evening and a daytime course (with a crèche) so you can choose a time that suits you best. Come relax, eat, share your thoughts and explore the meaning of life.
08 Jan 15 Jan 22 Jan 29 Jan
Simon Benham Simon Benham Liam Parker Michael Ross-Watson
Psalm 119:11 Matthew 22:37-40 Matthew 28:19 2 Corinthians 9:6
05 Feb 12 Feb 19 Feb 26 Feb
Sola Osinoiki David McAuley Simon Benham Ten 10
Philippians 4:13 Micah 6:8 Romans 8:28 The Words of Jesus
4 Mar 11 Mar 18 Mar 25 Mar
Tim Hughes Simon Benham Lydia Harris-Lane Various
John 6:63a 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Romans 12:1
01 Apr 08 Apr 15 Apr 22 April
Simon Benham Simon Benham Simon Benham Simon Benham
John 3:16-17 Easter Day Celebration Texts for Life - all twelve Prodigal God Series commences
For contact details see pages 26-27 www.kerith.co.uk
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KERITH CONTACTS KERITHDIRECTORY COURSES Freedom in Christ The Freedom in Christ course is designed to help you take hold of the amazing truth about who you are as a follower of Christ. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: email@example.com Course Leaders: Rob & Stacey Omokaro
Discovery Workshop A 3 week training course to help you to discover your spiritual gifts. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Course Leaders: Geoff Hawke & Mark Ridgway
Bereavement Course A 5 week training course facilitating how to deal with your grief. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: email@example.com Course Leaders: Pete & Alex Moon, Sue Davis
INvest Evening course aimed at helping you to grow your relationship with God through the study of the Bible and its practical application. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org To sign up for INvest visit: www.kerith.co.uk/invest Group Leader: Ben Pocock
For start dates of all courses see page 23
The marriage course
An opportunity to enhance your marriage by discussing all those things you never get time to do at home. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: email@example.com Course Leaders: Jonathan & Sue Davis
For advice on handling your money better on a day to day basis join the CAP Money course. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Course Leader: Helen Dodwell
The Alpha course Alpha is an opportunity to explore the meaning of life through a 10 week course designed as a basic introduction to the Christian faith. Find out more:: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Register via www.kerith.co.uk Course Leader: Caroline Hanbury Email: email@example.com
An 8 week programme designed to help develop practical skills to become more effective parents. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Course Leaders: Duncan & Sharon Klitgaard Richard & Hazel White
MEETINGS & GROUPS Kids 2
at the kerith We welcome all children from birth to final year of primary school, including those with disabilities. To find out more come along any Sunday to K2. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 visit: www.kerith.co.uk Under 5s - Lydia Harris-Lane email@example.com 5-11s - Yvonne Scott firstname.lastname@example.org Group Leaders: Lydia Harris-Lane and Yvonne Scott
Life groups doing life together Small midweek groups that meet in peopleâ€™s homes. We seek to get to know God more and do life together. Find out more: visit: www.kerith.co.uk Visit the Life Group Stand in Reception after a Sunday meeting for a chat. Email: email@example.com Group Leaders: Ben & Beccy Oliver
Encounter Midweek Bible Study
SPARKLERS parent and toddler group We are a large and friendly toddler group for all pre-school children (including babies) and their carers. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Group Leader: Dany Smith
An informal opportunity to explore the Bible, led by Ben Davies. 12.50pm Wednesdays. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: email@example.com Group Leader: Ben Davies
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MINISTRIES & KERITH IN THE COMMUNITY UNIQUE ministry for women Unique is the ministry for all women. Find out more: catrinabenham.blogspot.com Group Leader: Catrina Benham Phone: 01344 862699 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SIMPLY EVENTS Look out for these large events for women coming together to share fun and faith.
Konnections support group
EXPOSITION A women's writing group for those who would like to grow in the art of writing. Meets third Friday of the month in K2. Group Leader: Jacqui Webber-Gant:
Foodbank Restoring dignity reviving hope Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: email@example.com Group Leader: Pat Hallett
Thereâ€™s more to life
TMTL is a group dedicated to the retired. Thursdays from 1.00pm. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Group Leaders: Roy Buck, Bob Wilson, Bill Dick, Dave Barker.
Single Parents Group A group for single parents which meets every second Friday night to pray, support one other and have fun. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: email@example.com Group Leader: Sarah Hardy
young adult community
HILLTOP is for adults who have a learning disability and is a place where they are welcomed and valued. Sundays, once a month from 4.45pm. Find out more: Pick up info from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Group Leaders: Melita Cullis & Hazel White
A mentoring programme to meet together regularly to support one another. Group Leader: Caroline Hanbury
A book club for all women who enjoy reading or want to be motivated to read more books. Meets bi-monthly. Group Leader: Ope Olugbile
EXP is the community for 16-30(ish!) young adults. We meet for various social events and gatherings throughout the year. Find out more: www.kerith.co.uk/exp Phone: 01344 862699 Email: email@example.com Group Leader: Ben Pocock
Youth & LIFE at the Kerith
A number of different groups that seek to support both children with disabilities and their families Find out more: Karen Mehta-01344 828802 firstname.lastname@example.org or Sandy Carter-01344 828809 email@example.com Group Leader: Karen Mehta
Crisis Intervention Serving the whole of Bracknell community with practical help and support to families and individuals alongside other services in the area. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Group Leader: Catriona Mitchell
Christians against poverty UK Free debt advice from award winning charity for anyone struggling with debt. Find out more: Appointments freefone: 0800 328 0006 Bracknell Centre: 01344 828805 Centre manager: Andy Jackson
Act for justice We are a group dedicated to praying, fundraising and campaigning to raise awareness of trafficking in our local community Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: email@example.com Group Leader: Lianne Allen
A community of young people school years 7-13. Find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org www.kerith.co.uk/youth Group Leader: Liam Parker
Deaf hope A group serving the deaf and hard of hearing in the Kerith community. Find out more: Pick up info from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: email@example.com Group Leaders: Mark & Alex Hooper
Worship Academy Music courses for school years 6-11 covering drums, guitar, keyboards and vocals. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Group Leader: Dave Betts
RECRUITMENT Kerith Volunteers Meet people and get involved with the many projects and ministries that make up Kerith Community Church. Find out more: Email: email@example.com Direct line: 01344 828808 Group Leader: Sue Ranger
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OVER 900 PEOPLE OF ALL AGES AND TYPES GATHER ON SUNDAYS AT 9AM, 11AM & 7PM TO WORSHIP GOD, HEAR GREAT TEACHING & BUILD FRIENDSHIPS.
welcome The early bird meeting
The fancy a lie in meeting
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TO WINKFIELD ROW WINDSOR
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TO MAIDENHEAD WARFIELD WINDSOR
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WARFIELD ROAD A3095
The night owl meeting
Kerith is not just about Sundays. There's loads going on during the week, for more information go online or ask at the Kerith reception.
To catch the latest Kerith news and thoughts from our Senior Pastor, Simon Benham subscribe to www.simonbenham.com twitter: @simonbenham
TO BAGSHOT M3 J3
kerith community church The Kerith Centre Church Road Bracknell RG12 1EH Tel: +44 (0)1344 862699 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.kerith.co.uk 01344 862699