Pete & Christine’s News Dec 2017
The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news. It will bring great joy for all the people”. Luke 2:10 (NIrV)
Joy – not just for those who can read the words for themselves but for everyone. Not the fleeting pleasure of Christmas parties and presents but the deep, lasting joy of God’s presence through His Son Jesus Christ. Joy for all people!
Friends with CEI – it was a joy to present the first ‘Friends with CEI’ certificate to Waltham Chase Methodist Church on 26th November. Since then we have received an application from Grace Community Church, Stevenage and within the next week we anticipate welcoming two more churches. Please note that being ‘Friends with CEI’ does not preclude churches and groups from being linked to other organisations. We aim to be a resource for advice, training, access to online resources (being developed) and branded clothing. We also offer prayer support.
Good news! – following a most enjoyable ‘Friends of Jesus’ celebration day in Stevenage, one man decided it was time to give his life to Christ. The folk at Grace Community Church are now looking for the best way to support him so that he grows in his faith and understanding.
Training – if people with learning disabilities are to experience the joy that comes through God’s forgiveness, then our churches need to be equipped to communicate effectively. That is where we come in:
Saturday 11th November saw the culmination of several months’ work developing the first two modules of brand new Count Everyone In ‘Know and Grow’ training. What a thrill it was once again to be delivering training! We were hosted by Basingstoke Baptist Church, a church that is taking positive steps to be accessible to people with learning disabilities and 12 of their number were among the delegates. Others travelled from East and West Sussex. Feedback was encouraging: “It felt fresh and new”; “I learnt a lot”; “You made me think”; “Thank you for the useful manual”.
Do get in touch if you are interested in hosting or attending a day that comprises either 1) the first two modules or 2) two more advanced modules alongside a refresher of the basics. The latter is intended for those who have already attended a basic training day and have first-hand experience of Christian ministry with people with learning disabilities.
Presents – how about buying the New International Readers Version – accessible edition (New Testament) for your family or friends? We take copies of this edition of the New Testament wherever we go and it is always popular. At £7.99 it could be just the answer to your Christmas shopping dilemma! Go to https://www.biblicaeurope.com/our-work/the-accessible-bible. If you enter ‘PW’ in the discount box, it won’t help you (sorry) but it will benefit Count Everyone In (CEI).
Family – we look forward to spending Christmas Day with Christine’s dad and brother in St Albans, then two days later we welcome our two sons, daughters-in-law, five grandchildren and one dog here for a couple of delightful days. It will be noisy but fun! We recognise that not everyone is blessed to have relatives with whom to share the joy of Christmas and in many cases the local church family fulfils this role. Wherever, however and with whomever you may be spending Christmas, it is our prayer that you will experience the joy that Jesus came to bring.
2018 Count Everyone In will be at:
Word Alive, Prestatyn 7-12 April
Catalyst Festival, Stoneleigh 27 or 28 May
Spring Harvest Holidays, France 4-11 June
Keswick Convention 23-27 July
Westpoint Event, Exeter 24-26 August
Social media – See www.counteveryonein.org.uk (https://www.counteveryonein.org.uk/) and you can also keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter. Please follow, like and share.
December diary dates:
During the month we shall be following up new contacts, supporting other enquirers and developing further resources. Life is anything but dull.
Friday 1st Lambourn Christmas fair
Sunday 3rd Christingle service, lunch with friends and a ‘Sing Christmas!’ rehearsal
Tuesday 5th Planning meeting with Kevin (Lodge Trust) in Bicester for Word Alive 2018
Wednesday 6th Homegroup Christmas get-together at our home
Friday 8th Taking Dad to a wheelchair appointment in Welwyn Garden City
Saturday 9th ‘Sing Christmas!’ community choir concert at St Nic’s
Sunday 10th St Nic’s morning and evening, plus Newbury Festival of Light
Tuesday 12th ‘Encounter’ church prayer meeting
Thursday 14th Mencap Carol Service, Newbury
Friday 15th Visit Dad in St Albans
Saturday 16th Church Open day
Sunday 17th Carol Service
Friday 22nd Christmas drinks and nibbles with our neighbours
Monday 25th Celebrate Christmas with Dad at Grace Muriel House, St Albans
Wednesday 27th Christmas for 11 Winmills at our home
Thank you for standing with us in prayer; please let us know how we can pray for you. Thank you too to those who have supported us financially in these early months of Count Everyone In. Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to others.
“May the God who gives hope fill you with great joy. May you have perfect peace as you trust in Him. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.” Romans15:13 (NIrV)