Faith in the Community Wokingham Borough

Encouraging Christians in Wokingham Borough to Engage with their Communities

Month: June 2016

Earley and East Reading Churches at East Reading Festival

Last weekend Churches Together in Earley and East Reading (CTEER) came together to provide a church zone at the East Reading Festival in Palmer Park.  The festival is “a celebration of the diversity of the local community and aims to strengthen the connections between the people and organisations of the area.”  There were over 50 stalls and 3 performance stages at the free festival and the church zone was a key part of the festival which welcomed over 5000 visitors.

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A wide range of churches worked together at the East Reading Festival including Vineyard with the Healing on the Streets team, Wycliffe, Park United Reformed Church, Anderson Baptist Church including the Nepali congregation, Earley Christian Fellowship, Brookside, St Nicolas Church, Wesley Methodist and CAP (Christians against Poverty).  Here are some of the photos celebrating the presence, prayer and praise that blessed the festival and the community.

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The puppets came along from Wycliffe

 

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The Boys Brigade organised a game of football

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There was worship by the Nepalese church

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Home For Good and Christian Community Action were in attendance raising awareness of their charities

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Messy Church was visited by many families and there was a tent available for specific prayer

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Healing on the Streets were praying over anyone who wanted to be blessed with it

 

We are called to be in the world but not of the world; the presence of the churches together at East Reading Festival showed this in all it’s fullness.  We look forward to coming along again next year.

With thanks to Steve Blunden for the wonderful photos.

#PrayerStop at Kings Church

 

#PrayerStop is an opportunity to stop for a while from the daily routine, have prayer for healing or for something that concerns you, and receive insight into your situation.

When you arrive you will be welcomed and asked to fill in a brief form to say what you want prayer for.   The welcomer will show you into the Encounter room, a beautiful, peaceful area where you can enjoy God’s presence and experience his love and goodness.  There are things to read, to look at, to be creative or space to just be quiet.   When you’re ready you will be taken to one of the prayer booths where a team of three people will welcome you and spend time praying and listening to God for you.

The whole visit takes about 45 minutes, and all our visitors report what a good experience it is.  Everyone is welcome to come, whether they attend a church or not.

#PrayerStop is held on the second Saturday each month
between 10.30 am and 12.00 noon
at Kings Place, 9 Station Road RG40 2AD

Park in the nearby council car parks or on Alderman Willey Close.

For more information
email prayerstop@kingschurch.org.uk 
or you can find us at www.kingschurch.org.uk/prayerstop
or follow on Facebook at http://bit.ly/prayerstop

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Encourage Newsletter June 2016 Summer Holidays

Welcome to your monthly i need to buy Pregabalin Encourage newsletter from Faith in the Community Wokingham Borough.  This is your resource; to tell the community what you are doing and to find out what might be useful for people you are supporting. Share this on your website, within your own communications and across the social media networks AND keep sending us your good news.

Each month Encourage will have focus on one area of need being tackled in our community. This month… Summer Holidays.

The summer holidays are approaching and we know that this is a time of both challenge and opportunity.  It is a challenge for parents who have to balance life, work and children; a challenge for grandparents who might be doing more childcare than normal and a challenge for the rest of the community who might see their normal activities stop for many week.

But we are all about opportunities to meet the needs of kids, parents, grandparents and everyone else in our communities; so here is a selection of what is going on through July and August this year……

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Refugee Week 2016 in Wokingham Borough

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20th to 26th June 2016 is Refugee Week and today we are highlighting some of the many different events which have been taking place across Wokingham Borough and the nearby areas.  The theme of this years Refugee Week is “ source Welcome” celebrating the welcome shown to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, and seek to encourage and inspire communities to continue to welcome new arrivals in the weeks, months and years to come.

The Refugee Week website writes about why “welcome” has been chosen as the theme this year
During the second half of 2015, the ‘refugee crisis’ was accompanied by incredible acts of welcome by communities and individuals across the UK and Europe.  Some were getting involved in refugee rights for the very first time, while others were continuing the volunteering and campaigning they are committed to all year round, year on year.

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Wokingham Methodist Church organised a day of prayer and reflection with resources around the theme “Different pasts, Shared futures” on Saturday 16th July.

St Nicolas Earley collected items including towels, toiletries and children’s clothes which were made into Care Packs for expectant mothers, babies and families as part of the Samara’s Aid Appeal.  The cost of delivery to the refugees in the Middle East is being funded through the sales of Ice Cream Sundaes on Sunday 3rd July.

Palmer Park United Reformed Church held a day Refugee Week Cultural Event on Sunday 26th June including prayer stations, international foods and music and a chance to get to know different cultures.

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Clare Hooper, from Wokingham Baptist Church is part of the steering group working with Wokingham Borough Council to work out how refugees can be supported locally and says that the process is moving along well with a suitable house being sought in the borough.  A summary of how this works is provided below by St John the Baptist Church in Crowthorne

In December 2015 a meeting of Wokingham District Council was chaired by Simon Price and subsequently addressed by: Daniel Hobbs from the Home Office, Deputy Head of the Government’s Resettlement Programme; Ray Millard, the partnership manager S.E. Strategic Partnership for Migration; Nick Hagbourne – Reading Refugee Support Group; and Zaimal Koroma – Reading Red Cross. They described their experiences in Reading. The Government has pledged to take in 20,000 refugees from the United Camps in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Life there is very basic although the Government has already spent billions in aid there.

Of the 20,000 promised, the first 200 came in September. It was expected that 1,000 would be resettled before Christmas. Daniel Hobbs is in charge of this resettlement programme together with the help of “a team made up of local government representatives”. Of the numbers seeking resettlement there were two levels of screening including medical screening done, first in the camps and again on reaching the U.K .but those selected would match up to the following criteria: women with children on their on their own; survivors of torture; those with particular medical needs; those with problems of sexual identity.

Each local authority is being asked to house five families. Five-bedroomed houses are being sought for which the rent and maintenance would be paid over a five-year period. Support from the Overseas Development Aid would be provided. After five years the resettled family can return or apply for resettlement. A case worker and translator would accompany each party of refugees. For practical reasons the authority is hoping to find accommodation within reasonable distance of work which does present difficulties. It is probable that Wokingham’s refugees will probably be placed in the Woodley/Earley area.

You can also read this report by The Wokingham Paper which was written about this important process.

 

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In neighbouring Reading the Reading Refugee Support Group is hosting the bid to become a Town of Sanctuary for Refugees.  RRSG help refugees and asylum-seekers overcome the many challenges they face and help them to be independent, to access their rights and to encourage their self-esteem and confidence.  This week they hosted, at Reading Film Theatre, Nicky’s Family film which tells the nearly forgotten story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II.  This was followed by a Panel Discussion.

Last, but certainly not least, a Wokingham Borough resident, Rachel Bradley, has continued to inspire and encourage gossip girls (and guys) across Wokingham to donate items needed by refugees in The Jungle in Calais through the Gossip Girls in Action Facebook Group.  This group has over 1100 members who have already delivered clothing to refugees and are currently collecting food to be delivered at the same time as the colouring books and stationary items on the trip next month.  Please join this group if you would like to donate the following items:

Tuna
Coffee
Tea bags
Salt
Sugar
Tinned pulses/beans (any variety other than baked)
Rice
Tinned tomatoes
Vegetable Oil

 

These are just a selection of the collections, prayers and discussions happening across Wokingham Borough to support refugees, if you know of something else then please comment to spread the word about the good news.

 

 

 

How to… Communicate as a Church

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buy modafinil in the us What is Communication?

  • Not telling, but being heard
  • Not informing, but engaging
  • Not broadcasting, but interacting

 

What is Church?

  • The people not the building
  • A cross generational community
  • The most complicated of organisations

 

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Who do you want to communicate with?

  • The church community / congregation
  • Anyone who is connected with the church
  • Everyone living in the area around the church
  • Absolutely any one who is interested to hear from us

 

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How to communicate within the church

  • Realise that communicating within the church is a ministry
  • Put in the time, it is a conversation with many people and that takes a lot of effort
  • Encourage everyone in the church to be part of the communication – they have networks
  • Make the communication relevant for each generation

 

How to communicate outside the church

  • This is mission and evangelism, own that
  • Give information about what you offer and how to join
  • Share the good news about what you are doing and planning
  • Get everyone in the church involved and sharing the communication
  • Build networks of sharing communication to broaden the breadth and depth of reach
  • Use a range of communication to reach the different generations

 

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Communicate to every generation

When working with Traditionalists (born before 1945):

  • Use formal greetings and salutations: Mr. or Mrs.
  • Ask them how they want to be addressed.
  • Respect their experience and acknowledge it in front of other team members.
  • Give feedback face to face.
  • Include them in groups that have a defined hierarchy, even if they are not the lead.

 

When working with Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964):

  • Involve them in group decisions.
  • Communicate with them more often.
  • They thirst for reporting on progress and status.
  • Greetings can be less formal and more relaxed than Traditionalists.
  • Recognize their titles and status in the group.
  • Remember, they are extremely competitive.

 

When working with Generation X (born 1965 – 1982):

  • When communicating the “what,” remember the “why.”
  • They like to be abreast of the bigger picture.
  • Let them know you care about how the job affects them and their family.
  • Communicate with them less often.
  • They do not need to be micromanaged.
  • Give them the result you want, and let them determine the best course of action.
  • No long meetings or lengthy communications late in the day (especially Fridays).
  • They get anxious when they believe work is cutting into family time.

 

When working with Millennials (born 1983 – 2000):

  • Communicate in small bits of information.
  • They are used to conversing in sound bites.
  • Communicate often, but not face to face if possible.
  • Use e-mail or text messaging or even messaging.
  • Reinforce positive performance and/or behaviours.
  • When communicating the “what,” don’t be as focused on the “why.”
  • Concentrate on results.

 

 

Methods of  Communication
T – traditionalists            B – Baby Boomers
X – Gen X                              M – Millennials

  • Announcements (T, B)
  • Sunday sheet (T, B)
  • Church calendar (T, B)
  • Notice board (T, B)
  • Sandwich boards (T)
  • Newsletters (T, B, X)
  • Posters and fliers (T, B, X)
  • Word of Mouth (B, X)
  • PowerPoint slides in church (B, X)
  • Website (B, X)
  • Emails (B, X, M)
  • Blog (B, X, M)
  • Facebook (B, X, M)
  • Twitter (X, M)
  • Instagram (X, M)
  • Snapchat / Whats App / Text Message (M)
  • Videos (M)
  • Personal Invitation (T, B, X, M)

 

Home for Good: how you can help

On Sunday 5th June 2016  Woodley Churches Together invited Bethany Hare of Home for Good Reading and Wokingham to speak at Praise in the Park.  Rather than summarise her inspirational talk, we have decided to share it in it’s entirety.

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Hi my name is Bethany Hare, I am the project worker for Home for Good Reading and Wokingham.  For those of you who don’t know Home for Good is a christian charity, we are raising awareness of the need for local foster and adoptive parents we want to find a home for every child who needs one and we believe that the Church can make a difference. Home for Good are also encouraging Church’s to offer support to foster carers, adopters and their children.
I want to start by asking you three questions which I want you think about throughout my talk

Do you believe God Loves you?

Do you believe he has a plan for you?

And how do you share God’s love with others?’
My talk today is going to be based on Jeremiah 29 verse 11 ‘for I know the plans I have for you, declares the lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’
Now I don’t know about you but there have been several occasions in my life when I have doubted and questioned this. I would love to be able to turn around and say yes throughout my life I have been certain God loves me and has a plan for me, plans for welfare… however I would be lying. When I am going through difficult times, I have turn to God and said ‘right ok…where are you? Now would be the perfect time for you to share my plan with me…’ It got me thinking that If I struggle to come to terms with this as a Christian then imagine how the vulnerable children in our society would react to the idea that God loves them and has a plan for them. The children who are not able to live with their own family and are living in uncertainty, who are waiting for a family, a place they can have stability. The fact God has a plan for them and does not want to harm them would be very difficult to grasp unless the love of God is demonstrated too them through others.
A foster carer recently shared with us that when things seem particularly demanding These words of Joni Earekson Tada inspire her in her fostering.  ‘But God didn’t send a greeting card to show His love, He came Himself. He didn’t just tell us He loved us, He gave up His own life on our behalf. You can talk and sing about love until the cows come home. But at the end of the day, real love means sacrifice.’

I have been a social worker for almost 7 years now and although there are challenges and difficulties I enjoy it. 3 years ago I got baptised and a lady came up to me and said to me ‘God has given me a picture for you. It’s a picture of stepping stones. God wants you to know he has laid a path for you. You don’t need to be afraid he has cleared the way.’ Ironically a few months later I was off work due to personal reasons unsure if I could ever face being a social worker again. I doubted what I was supposed to do and what my plan was…this was the time I was referring to earlier about shouting to God and asking him to shed some light. I decided to go back to social worker however began working supporting and assessing adopters and foster carers. I was happy in my role and had no plans to move. At the same time several members of my church including the youth workers had it on their heart to set up a support group for foster carers and adopters. We had a meeting to discuss this and at the end we prayed. Both the youth workers said to me they felt I should contact Home for Good and see if they have any jobs. Little did they know the job description for Reading and Wokingham Project worker was just being finalised. I applied for the role and on a Wednesday I found out I had an interview, on the Thursday I found out I was going to be made redundant at my current work place and on the Friday I found out I had the job for Home for Good.
This is my testimony of God’s love for me and his plan. Although I still go through difficulties and have no doubt I will continue to face struggles I hold on to God’s plan for me and declare that God will pull me through.

I am sure there are many others who are able to share how God has showed his love for you and have amazing testimonies and others who would say I haven’t experienced that. God has shown his love for us time and time again although sometimes when things are difficult it is hard to remember this. But it is written down for us as a constant reminder.

The bible is the ultimate love story…it is about God’s love for each of us.  A God who is our father.  He has adopted us and has an amazing plan for us. Too often adoption is seen as a negative however it is positive. We have been chosen by our father. We are not a mistake, we are loved and cherished.

Father’s Love Letter is a compilation of Bible verses from both the Old & New Testaments that are presented in the form of a love letter from God to you.
My Child…You may not know me, but I know everything about you. (Psalm 139:1) I know when you sit down and when you rise up. (Psalm 139:2) I am familiar with all your ways. (Psalm 139:3) Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:29-31) For you were made in my image. (Genesis 1:27) In me you live and move and have your being. (Acts 17:28) For you are my offspring. (Acts 17:28) I knew you even before you were conceived. (Jeremiah 1:4-5) I chose you when I planned creation. (Ephesians 1:11-12) You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. (Psalm 139:15-16) I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. (Acts 17:26) You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) I knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13) And brought you forth on the day you were born. (Psalm 71:6) I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. (John 8:41-44) I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. (1 John 4:16) And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. (1 John 3:1) Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. (1 John 3:1) I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. (Matthew 7:11) For I am the perfect Father. (Matthew 5:48) Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. (James 1:17) For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. (Matthew 6:31-33) My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Because I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3) My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. (Psalms 139:17-18) And I rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17) I will never stop doing good to you. (Jeremiah 32:40) For you are my treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5) I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. (Jeremiah 32:41) And I want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jeremiah 33:3) If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. (Deuteronomy 4:29) Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) For it is I who gave you those desires. (Philippians 2:13) I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) For I am your greatest encourager. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. (Psalm 34:18) As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. (Isaiah 40:11) One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. (Revelation 21:3-4) And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. (Revelation 21:3-4) I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. (John 17:23) For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. (John 17:26) He is the exact representation of my being. (Hebrews 1:3) He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. (Romans 8:31) And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. (1 John 4:10) I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. (Romans 8:31-32) If you receive the gift of my son, Jesus, you receive me. (1 John 2:23) And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. (Romans 8:38-39) Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. (Luke 15:7) I have always been Father and will always be Father. (Ephesians 3:14-15) My question is…will you be my child? (John 1:12-13) I am waiting for you. (Luke 15:11-32) love your dad almighty God

Do you believe God Loves you?

Do you believe he has a plan for you?

Do you share God’s love with others?
God loves us and if we believe this it is our job to show God’s love to others in our society through acceptance, kindness, love and respect.
God is our ultimate father and is well pleased with us. I want you to think about what God’s plan is for you? Can you share his love in your local community or through your work?

As part of Home for Good what we want to do is reflect God’s love to our vulnerable children. It is amazing how the simplicity of love; acceptance is to children who have never experienced it before.
In Reading we have pledge to find 50 homes for local children and in Wokingham we have pledged to find 2o homes for the local children in care. These sound like a lot however, when you consider how many churches we have across Reading and Wokingham….it is not that much.
There are different ways you can support home for good
Can you help home for good come to your church to promote fostering and adoption?
Can you support those in your community who are already fostering or have adopted?
Could you consider fostering or adopting a child?
If you would like to find out more please contact Bethany Hare, Reading and Wokingham home for good Project worker.

It may not be Home for Good that God has placed on your heart but I would love you to come away from today thinking about What has God placed on your heart? What is your plan?
I want to finish by reading Jeremiah 29 verse 11 again and declaring it over all of you. ‘for I know the plans I have for you, declares the lord, plans to prosper you and NOT to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

 

Below is a video of the last segment of Bethany’s talk; we hope this inspires you to pray about what God might have put on your heart and to share with your friends and neighbours.

Bethany Hare, Home for Good at Praise in the Park Woodley 2016

How to… Pinterest

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What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by posting (known as ‘pinning’ on Pinterest) images or videos to their own or others’ boards (i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned.  It is a pin board on the internet.

 

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What are the benefits of Pinterest?

As a family and children’s leader I have boards for just about every Bible story as well as ideas for games and prayers and quiet time and plays.  You name it, it has a pinterest board so that I don’t loose an idea, no matter where I find it.

Planning
This is the main way most people use pinterest, to help them store ideas they find online and make sure they can find them again in the future.  Of course many of these may well be pinned and never seen again, but who knows.

Recording
People love to take photos, of their crafts, of food, of holidays and anything else; pinterest is a great place to keep these organised and share them with your friends and family.

Inspiring
Pinterest might be a place you find inspiration or somewhere you hope to inspire others; or perhaps a bit of both.  It is a place to share and find and browse no matter what your interest.

 

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How to get onto Pinterest

Click here for a video guided tour of Pinterest to see it in action.  If you like what you see then the best way to learn is to give it a go, or come along to our workshop day, see below.

 

Online Mission

Online Mission: Would you like some training?
We are putting together a one day workshop to increase your confidence and use of social media. We are keeping the cost of as low as possible and expect it to be £25. This day will be entirely practical, allowing participants to learn from the experience of creating a video, uploading it to YouTube, Tweeting about it and sharing it on Facebook. Fill in the form below if you would like to be kept informed or have any questions about what the day.