New Pound Coin

The Suffolk Gazette is a brilliant satirical news website (which the powers that be and those lacking in any semblance of humour would label as fake news) which has even fooled Sky News into reporting on one of its articles, much to the hilarity of those of us that love the Gazette.

However, today, in celebration of the new Pound coin being released they've accidentally wandered in to the realms of real news as they posted an article entitled: "New one pound coin worth only 58p after Article 50 triggered tomorrow".
This has really made my day!

Jayden is the first Competition Challenge winner from The Gathering's Homework Club and we are thrilled for him.

Thank you Green Shoots for being such a brilliant partner to us. 

The good news keeps on coming... as of next term we're moving from three to four sessions and this will allow us to serve 24 kids rather than just the 12 we can presently.

Thank you Lord for your favour!

This is a question that has been bugging me for a long time and hopefully my response to it might stir some discussion.

I used to think that question bugged me because I lead a small church, but on reflection I've come to realise it's more about the kind of people that ask the question and the hidden motive behind it.

Not so long ago we were at a Hillsong Leaders Network meeting and the speaker posed a question to each pastor present: "If your church was to close down tomorrow, would anyone notice?". Now obviously the members would notice, but that wasn't what the question was about. The question was about how involved in your community is your church and how genuinely are you serving the community?  In the light of this, ask yourself the question again.... It makes you think doesn't it!

Happy Birthday

I'm posting this a day late, but want to wish Joel a very happy 14th birthday.

Paula said it best on Facebook: "Today this amazing human turns 14! Happy birthday Joel! The courage and integrity with which you face life constantly inspires and challenges me and those moments when you "hit gold" and you laugh and find such joy are priceless. Keep on being all the young man that God made you to be and I pray that you blossom, flourish and fly high this year!"

Happy birthday son!

"On Friday 3 March 2017, a local disaster was duly declared and promulgated in the Provincial Gazette".

Finally the City of Cape Town is getting serious about our two year old drought!

It's good to know too that they are now targeting the highest water users and visiting their properties to issue fines. Sadly however, it's all too little too late, they should have been taking serious action six months ago.

Recently a list of Cape Town's top 100 residential water guzzlers was released and one property alone uses over 700,000 litres of water a month. In the Helderberg the top user guzzles over 230,000 litres a month. To put that into context last month we used 4880 litres.

Random Stuff

So here are a few random pics of things that we have been blessed with at The Gathering and things that we have done in the last few days.

Some of this is very random. You have been warned!

Having just passed our second year in our current premises we thought it was time to install a mirror in our bathroom, and having sought a quote from a local glass company (Lens Glass) they blessed us with the mirror for free.

A mirror might not seem like a particularly big deal, but having gone two years without one in the building, and with a few of us having been caught short with unfortunate marks or dirt that a quick glance in a mirror could have sorted out before any embarrassment occurred, we are very grateful for this blessing at The Gathering. Thank you Len & Jenny at Lens Glass!


Scorchio!

When we started our soup kitchen almost two years ago we received a lot of unhelpful and downright negative advice which I'm happy to say we totally ignored.

One of the more ridiculous bits of advice was that: 'you won't need to open in summer because no one wants soup when it's hot'. Well today was the hottest day of summer so far with the temperature indoors hitting 34°C and yet we served 50 people and our soup was all gone in fifteen minutes. So clearly there's no need for soup in summer, but I'm really happy to waste my time in such a brilliant way.

We've just had a 48hour flying visit from Colin & David from Christians Abroad and have to say it was a great visit! It was pure pleasure to entertain them, to show them what we're busy with in our ministry and to introduce them to The Gathering and some other dear friends, including one or two old friends in Chris Nissen Park.

On Wednesday morning we spent time with Lionel & Rose of Key Ministries (our covering organisation locally) and in the afternoon Colin & David threw themselves in to helping with our Homework Club, assisting some of the kids with their maths. In the evening they got to meet some of our church members at our homegroup meeting where it was good to share a meal over conversation.

Soup Kitchen

The Gathering's soup kitchen was great last night and it got us thinking about what we might expect this coming winter in terms of numbers.

Having been running the soup kitchen for almost two years we've established some patterns and the most noticeable one is how the numbers of folk wanting soup in summer is clearly down on the winter numbers. However, of late, despite Summer being long and hot, we've noticed the numbers creeping up and we're regularly serving 40+ people, most of whom are regulars.This coming winter is being predicted as a long cold one and as such we can expect to be serving 60 to 70+ folk each week. What a great problem to have!

Maths@Home

We're almost at the end of our third week of The Gathering's Homework Club and it's been an incredible ride so far.

From Precious being trained in the role of Facilitator just days before we started to our opening day with a ton of teething issues, to kids finding their feet and getting cheeky, it's all been good.

We had a very helpful visit on Monday from some of the Green Shoots team, they loved what they saw and gave some very positive feedback and suggestions which we're now working on.

We also decided to change the times of our Friday sessions because all the local schools finish at 1pm. So I had the joy of visiting each family and took the opportunity to find out how the parents and grandparents feel about the Homework Club. Well the response was overwhelming!