Build carefully ….
February 2019

We work together to serve God …..
You are like his building.
God has given me (us) the grace to lay a foundation as a wise builder.
Now someone else is building on it. But each one should build carefully …..
That foundation is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3: 9-11 (NIrV)

Yesterday we had the joy of attending a Prayer and Encouragement evening with learning disability ministry group teams and some members from across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. Some of these groups, and more elsewhere, have become ‘Friends with Count Everyone In’. Each group has its own leaders and members, all individuals and each person different but the groups are part of the ministry of the local church.
The strengths, needs and preferences of each one contribute to the unique personality of the group. Hence, no two groups are identical but they share the common aim to celebrate the love of God and offer new life through Jesus Christ. Groups have a wide variety of names, such as Open Hands, Meet Monday, Thursday Fellowship and Friends Together,which emphasise the importance of being in relationship with one another and with God. Doorway, Acorn, Prospects and Causeway (yes, some of the older groups still use that name!) speak of beginnings that lead or grow to much more. Some groups are called Shine or Sonshine, indicating their aim to show the light and love of Jesus in a world of sin and darkness. Many readers are involved in some form of church ministry, be it in leadership or in a support role (including, most importantly, prayer). Let us be sure to build on the best foundation, Jesus Christ, and to support one another in Christian growth towards maturity, regardless of our intellectual capacity. On a lighter note, perhaps, beware of adopting names that could attract unhelpful abbreviations or acronyms ….. take ‘Friends of God’ for instance (F-O-G)!
In our January newsletter we omitted to mention a couple of events that we attended in December. One was the annual Christmas celebration at Wycliffe Baptist Church, Reading with original, dramatic contributions from each of the former Prospects groups in the area. There was even a brand-new Christmas worship song written by Tony Phelps-Jones, former ministry director for Prospects, now retired but leading the Yateley group. At an informative and inspirational disability symposium run by the Seventh Day Adventist Church we were invited to speak on our experience of learning disability and spiritual ministry. It was good to enjoy fellowship and life experience with this lovely group of evangelical Christians who share our passion to make the gospel accessible to all people, especially those often overlooked in our communities.
Moving towards February (where did January go?), our home has become like a honeypot attracting countless tradespeople buzzing around and busying themselves all at once. The timing wasn’t of our choosing but it is the way things have worked out. Oh, how we look forward to the day when we shall have a converted garage in which to work, a home with freshly decorated rooms, bathrooms with toilet seats that don’t slide around and showers that deliver more than a dribble! It is lovely to see progress being made, even though there are unforeseen problems and costs along the way. What a relief it is at the end of each day to shut the front door and feel an uncanny peace descending on the house, knowing we shall not be disturbed until next morning.
The first Know and Grow basic training day of 2019 took place at All Saints Church in Crowborough, East Sussex and we were thrilled to have 25 people in attendance including friends old and new. The interest and excitement in the room was so encouraging and we look forward to seeing much fruit from that day. The following day we were at Christ Church, Guildford for their Ability Sunday service with the Open Hands group. Our input was minimal but it was good to see group members relaxed and willing to take part in the service through drama, readings and prayers. Janneke was with us over the weekend and her contributions, especially Makaton signing, were warmly received.
Count Everyone In is a partner organisation with Churches for All, whose strapline is ‘enabling churches where disabled people belong’. We attended a recent meeting in Birmingham to report on and plan for future opportunities for support and collaboration, such as the Christian Resources Exhibition at Sandown Park in October.  As we were in Birmingham this was an ideal opportunity to visit Andy, Emma and our granddaughters before setting off for home.
Thanks to technology we are able to reduce travelling by holding some meetings via Skype and FaceTime etc in preparation for the summer festivals. Next week, however, we have a face-to-face meeting with three staff members from the Lodge Trust, two of whom we have not worked with before.
We value your prayers as we get to know each other and prepare for Word Alive in April because, before we know where we are, the festival season will be upon us. Time will fly!
Website Keep visiting our website because you could well find something new. There’s information on the Ideas tab about how to download the fonts we told you about last month and also a new idea about running a CD loan bank. Why not check out the Blog tab where you will find a Guest Blog entitled Mission on your Doorstep?
Accessible Bibles The reprinted New International Readers Version (NIrV) – accessible edition (New Testament) is now in stock at Biblica Europe. Even more exciting is the news that you can get a beautiful, dark blue, hardback copy for just £9.99 and even a softback Mark’s Gospel at just £2.00. Take a look at  If you place an order for the whole New Testament in either hardback or softback you might like to help Count Everyone In by entering Pete’s initials (PW). Remember, if you are looking for the whole Bible in the NIrV it is available in smaller print either from Christian bookshops or online.

Prayer points

  • Thankful for work done so far to make our home more comfortable
  • Pray that the garage conversion and finishing off by Pete will soon provide us with a dedicated workspace that we can lock up and leave at the end of each day
  • Continue to pray for a successful and speedy outcome as our CIO (charity) application is scrutinised by the Charity Commission
  • Pray for Count Everyone In trustees Tim (chair), Dorothy, Jonathan, Keith, Rick and Val as they take up their new roles
  • Pray that we shall be guided by the Holy Spirit in our discussions with festival organisers, devising CEI programmes and writing teaching etc
  • Thank God for all those who have agreed to serve on this year’s festival teams and for those yet to be invited
  • Pray especially for Janneke as she works increasingly with us and for others who are considering joining us – remember, we asked God for 4 people!
  • As ever, please pray for health, strength and safe travel
February dates, correct at time of publication:

Friday 1st                Take grandsons to and from school
Saturday 2nd          Safeguarding training at St Nics, Newbury (our church)
Sunday 3rd              Pete & Christine speaking Reigate Baptist Ch. 10:30 am service
Tuesday 5th             Skype with Chrissy Cole re regional celebration, Cambridge
Wednesday 6th       Homegroup (led by Christine)
Friday 8th                 Preparation with Lodge Trust in Birmingham with Word Alive
Saturday 9th            Local CEI supporter coming to supper
Sunday 10th            Worship and fellowship at St Nics
Monday 11th            Neighbouthood Watch meeting
Tuesday 12th           St Nics Encounter prayer meeting

Saturday 16th          Start of family holiday in Devon

Saturday 23rd          Home
Tuesday 26th         ‘Leading Well’ training CPAS at St Nics

Wednesday 27th   Homegroup (led by Pete)


CEI Events April to August 2019 

Sun 7 April                             St Albans Prospects 3:15pm, Cornerstone Church                                                                            
Sat 13 – Thurs 18 April       Word Alive, Pontins, Prestatyn                                                                                                              
Sun 19 May                           Shine 15th anniversary, Worthing Baptist Church                                                                                
Weds 29 & Thurs 30 May    Friends of Jesus, Cranham Baptist Church, Upminster                                                                    
Mon 3 – Mon 10 June         Holiday week in France, Le Pas Opton                                                                                                  
Sat 22 June                           Celebration Day,  St Martins, Cambridge                                                                                              
Sat 20 – Fri 26 July             Keswick Convention, St Herbert’s School, Keswick                                                                            
Sat 3 – Fri 9 August            Creation Fest,  Wadebridge, Cornwall                                                                                                    
Thurs 22 – Sun 25 August Westpoint (Newfrontiers), Westpoint, Exeter                                                                                         

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