When I saw this Facebook post earlier today I couldn't help but respond knowing that The Gathering serves soup and sandwiches every Thursday in the Firgrove community.

Having invited the poster along I wasn't really expecting her to turn up, but it was a pleasure to meet her at tonight's Soup Kitchen and to be able to serve her and her grandchildren.

I love that we radically impacted her and her expectaions of the community just by doing what we always do.

Two Gentlemen of Verona

Or in this case, Two Friends via DHL.

We know you wish to remain anonymous but we really want to thank you for your faithfulness to God!

Thank you! 

Thursdays

It's a real joy to see our new Homework Club spaces filling up.

This is our early group from 3 to 4pm on a Thursday, they're such a calm group which is a welcome contrast to the crazy bunch on a Wednesday afternoon! 

It's also working really well having our Soup Kitchen running just half an hour after the second session has finished and it's great to see so many of our Homework Club kids coming for soup.
Planting a new church is never easy and doing it from scratch is tougher still, and at times it's easy to feel down and like nothing is going to plan. Those negative feelings can be especially tough to deal with when growth is slow and commitment of some is sporadic at best.

However, as one persists and remains faithful in prayer, things begin to turn and whilst I don't think church planters ever have that feeling of "we've done it" things do seem a lot more positive through faith and prayer.

Golaccio!


Finally after a few weeks I managed to get hold of a big enough piece of netting to finish off Eli's football goal and he's really pleased with it.

The completion of the goal nicely coincided with him finally getting his new De Beers football shirt which has his name and favourite number on the back and if I'm honest, he's a little bit more excited by the kit than the goal.

Oh well, I tried!

Paula & I had the privilege of attending Green Shoots 5th Birthday Celebration last night.

For those that haven't kept up, our Homework Club at The Gathering runs Green Shoots Maths@Home online programme.

Our Homework Club is a complete joy to run and as an extra privilege last night I was asked to share a little about the impact Green Shoots has had on our learners and the wider community.

I spoke briefly about two boys who had both been written off by their schools, with one of them doing Grade 3 for the third time because he failed the year. However after just one term on the Maths@Home project both boys have done really well at school, with one of their teachers asking his mum about what was going on at home because his whole attitude and work ethic had changed massively.

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!