Welcome to new readers joining us this month. We appreciate your interest and support whether in prayer, financial giving or both. We thank God for you.
Last month’s newsletter where we shared our heart for seeing CEI expand through the addition of at least four more workers sparked some encouraging, affirming responses and conversations. Please pray that doors will open for the person who is already working with us from time to time and that someone else who is sensing God’s call will know what God may be calling them to. Yet another person was talking with us just this week and that could lead to other kinds of involvement. This is exciting! If you missed the November letter you can find it at https://www.counteveryonein.org.uk/blog/
Thank you for following our progress through 2018. After the hectic summer months of travel from festival to festival, spending weeks away from home, it is quite a relief to be focusing instead on church engagements, conferences and training days. We are also enjoying more leisurely but constructive, stimulating meetings over coffee or lunch. Already though we are having to think and plan for next year’s festivals.
One Sunday evening in November we travelled down to Godalming in Surrey to an evening service led by the group at Godalming Baptist Church in conjunction with some from Guildford and elsewhere. What a warm welcome we received and it was thrilling to see how God is bringing people into relationship with Him and with each other. Please pray for groups such as this that they will enable more people with learning disabilities to join in with church.
This is a season for catching up on administration as well as meeting up with friends and supporters, as we did during November and continues into December. We have been in our house now for three months but there are many more months of work ahead that will be taking up much of Pete’s spare time. It will be worth it in the end though, as we keep reminding ourselves.
So, to return to the heading,what are we waiting for? What a silly question, you may be thinking at this time of year!
Yes we are waiting for Christmas, of course – but remembering that Jesus is the reason for the season and celebration food, presents, parties or even carol services mustn’t get in the way
New Year – what has God got in store for Count Everyone In?
Plenty of events and festivals, yes
More training days to be arranged, please
Charity (CIO) status soon, hopefully
New colleagues, one or maybe two already, but we are praying for four
Surprises that we cannot imagine!
Our concern is that the majority of people with learning disabilities rarely have the opportunity to experience more than the razzamatazz of Christmas. Unless someone helps them to understand who Jesus is and what his coming to earth was all about then they are missing out and so is the church as a whole. Is your church doing anything to welcome and include people who are so often ignored?
Perhaps your church during this period of Advent prepares not only to celebrate the coming nearly 2,000 years ago of Jesus as Emmanuel, ‘God with us’, but also teaches about the need to be ready for the return of Christ at a time known only to God the Father. That is what we are waiting for! Jesus will return and take us to be with him in our forever home. If we believe that he will only take those who have trusted in him then we need to think and pray carefully about who we should be sharing the love of Jesus with. Please join us in praying that forgotten people will be remembered. Advent is a time to assess the effectiveness of our lives and witness in our homes and communities. How are we doing as Count Everyone In? And how about you?
We have had a hand in the production of an attractive Christmas booklet that you may like to give to family and friends, including people with learning disabilities. OUTSIDE/IN is a beautifully illustrated FREE booklet told from the perspective of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and sages, outsiders who find themselves included at the very heart of the story. These resources will equip you to invite others into the story that is for EVERYONE this Christmas. Produced by Lifewords in partnership with Biblica, Livability, Torch Trust and Count Everyone In. Let the story of Christmas turn your church and your community OUTSIDE/IN. https://www.lifewords.global/christmas
We recently bought a batch of greetings cards from Tua Phelps-Jones, a good friend of CEI, and we were delighted with the quality, choice, price and speed of delivery (and the free gift!). Do take a look and, if you choose to buy, Count Everyone In will benefit.
Go to https://www.flamingopaperie.co.uk/web/tuaphelps-jones and look for the Customer Club tab where you will find more details and can sign up. You will see that there are special offers from time to time and you will get a small gift with your first order. Christmas cards, wrapping, tags, advent calendar cards etc are available as well as general cards so take time to browse and find what you like. Delivery is £3.50 but free for orders of £30 or over. Thank you so much for your custom!
That we will have the ‘right’ people for all the 2019 festivals, especially worship leaders and signers
For more workers so that the CEI team grows to at least four more people with the passion and drive to follow God’s calling and for funds to make it possible for them to work with us; pray also for those who are already interested, that God will reveal his way for them
For more and more people with learning disabilities to come to know Jesus and to grow in their faith, taking their places in local churches that welcome and value them
For good health so that we don’t let anyone down
For safe travel especially as the temperatures plummet
Dates in our diary:
Meet up with old Prospects friends
Riverside Vineyard, Feltham with Rob, Cathy, Josh and Matthew 6:30 pm Praise Club, Crossways Baptist Church, Dorking
Lunch with two supporters from Worthing 7:00 pm Neighbourhood Watch meeting
Charity Christmas Fair, Highclere Castle
St Nic’s Open Day; All Soul’s Christmas Praise
St Nic’s 10:00am & 6:00pm services; lunch with Saunders family, Hungerford
Reading ‘Prospects’ groups Christmas celebration, Wycliffe Baptist Church
Lunch meeting with Janneke Klos
Friday 14th – Sunday 16th
6:00pm St Nic’s Carol Service
Christmas lunch with Christine’s brother in St Albans
Mencap Carol Service at St Nic’s
Final working day of 2018
10:00am Morning Srvice at St Nic’s
11:00pm Midnight Communion at St Nic’s
10:00am Family Communion at St Nic’s
10:00am Morning Service at St Nic’s
Count Everyone In will be at:
Know & Grow (basic), Crowborough, East Sussex 19 January 2019 Word Alive, Prestatyn 13-18 April 2019 Cranham Baptist Church, Upminster 29-30 May 2019 Le Pas Opton, Spring Harvest Holidays, France 3-10 June 2019 Keswick Convention (week 2) 20-26 July 2019 Creation Fest, Cornwall 3-9 August 2019 Westpoint, Exeter (Newfrontiers) 22-26 August 2019
How about joining us? Get in touch for further information and to book for Know & Grow training (basic & advanced): firstname.lastname@example.org
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Thank you once again for standing with us. You don’t know how much it means to know that you are praying for us and supporting in other ways too.
May the joy of the angels, The gladness of the shepherds, The worship of the wisemen And the peace of the Christ child be yours, Be yours this Christmas.
Love and blessings,
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