Church Life

STUDENT WORK REFLECTIONS 2018/19

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Hi there, my name is Mikka and I have had the privilege of being in post as a Student Work Co-ordinator (+ other roles) at Redeemer Church for a year now. I just wanted to take this opportunity to reflect and share what’s gone on amongst us particularly in the student world over the last year, to thank God for all he has done before launching headlong into 2019/20!

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Three things in particular that have struck and surprised me during this last year:

1.      Our students love Jesus and love to share him with their unbelieving friends - this is what you dream of as a student worker! I’ve been encouraged and challenged by their boldness in taking opportunities that I didn’t at University – just stepping out as they hear God call, as they spot an opening in a conversation with a friend, opening the Bible with their course friends, inviting friends to church (and not just to the Christmas service!) and not just going it alone but doing it together as a team. It’s been a fruitful year in terms of all sorts of students coming through our doors and some being added to us because our students have shared Jesus with their friends. I pray this culture continues to grow amongst us, that boldness and faith to see God do amazing things through our young people on campus and in every area of life, would rise.


2.      They’re adventurous and willing to serve – in so many different ways, each week on serving teams at church and on the Christian Union (CU) committee but over the summer we also got to send some of our best to serve at other church events within our family of churches, Relational Mission (RM) in Frankfurt, Germany and Gouda, the Netherlands. We were delighted to send them so confidently, knowing they would be great and real blessing to those receiving them.


3.      They do community well and have a lot of fun whilst they’re at it – admittedly most students have more unscheduled time on their hands but how they choose to spend it now they’ve got free reign is important. I love that they spend time eating together, building quality relationships where they can encourage and challenge one another and look out for each other/ new people. This says a lot when they’ve grown up in a world dominated by technology, where loneliness is rife and it’s easier to look out for number 1 rather than bothering with others.


We love having students as a part of our church family – they’re a valuable part of the church being built here in Colchester. They bring energy and enthusiasm that’s contagious; the mixing in with families in the church is wonderful where both students and families help and learn from each other. This sort of culture takes effort, prayer and patience but it’s so worthwhile – we want to make sure we maintain and build on this for all those who will be a part of our church family in months and years ahead!


I’m so proud of our students – for who they are and all their efforts, big and small. I’m so looking forward to seeing what this year will be like - we’ve sent on some champions to their new jobs, placement years and years abroad; we’re eagerly awaiting the return of those who have been away for the past year as well as those who have been gone over the summer; plus, any new additions that we get to welcome to Redeemer – first, second, third or fourth year; Masters or PhD; for a term, a year, two years or three; we are thrilled to have you amongst us and can’t wait to be a part of your story. Roll on Freshers week!

SERVING BEYOND: The Parkers visit the Sheppey Gospel Plant

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SERVING BEYOND

At the core of what Redeemer is about is that we are ALL ‘SENT ONES’ - the reason Jesus has not taken us to glory is that we GO to those who do not yet know him so that they to can one day join him and us in glory! We love to invest in and celebrate what God is doing ‘beyond’ us through our members. Sometimes we GO to do a specific activity, or to serve a particular event - at other times to serve as needed, learn, build friendships and bless in any way we can.


Ben & Mikka Parker

Ben is one of the Elders at Redeemer and works full time at the local University. Mikka is on staff at Redeemer coordinating administration and Student work. Together they lead a Life Group


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This was back in March…find out more about the Sheppey Gospel Plant HERE

On a fairly grey Sunday morning in March, Ben & I left Colchester for equally grey Sheerness, specifically the Isle of Sheppey to visit our friends the Spocchias. Matt and Helene moved to Sheppey in July 2018 with their two children Martha, 5 and Edie, 3 to start a church plant following a prophetic word given to Matt, 12 years prior!

It was great to spend time with them in their new home on the island, getting to know the kids and hearing about all that’s happened in the last 9 months. As we ate brunch, they shared about the amazing opportunities God has already provided them with, particularly in the area of work for the Canterbury diocese - they’re both working part-time, together running a Food Bank where they’re encouraged to pray with the people who use the service + Matt’s been going to the same cafe most days to prepare sermons for Sundays and meeting people through that plus a whole host of other ways of integrating within the community.

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Their Sunday gathering started at 3pm - it was lovely to be back in a living room situation with the rest of their core team (Josh Glover and James & Becky Cole from Canterbury), a visiting couple from the City Church Canterbury and a guy called Alli who’s local, from the island and has been a Christian for a long time but has been without a church family until now! It was great to sing and worship together, a couple of encouraging prophetic words were shared before Matt opened the word. Having heard Matt preach a couple of times before, it was so good to see him adapt to this new situation, especially in honouring this new congregation where the talk can’t be longer than 20 minutes - he can expect to be interrupted and have questions asked by both the kids and adults.

After he talk it was feeding time at the Zoo - spag bol for all, the footie was on the TV, the girls got us to join in with their games and a bit more time for catching up. And I’ll be honest it was a late one, we almost hit 12 hours with the Spocchs and what a delight that was to see this wonderful gospel plant in action. Please join with us visiting, supporting and praying for them, see the video below to meet them for yourselves.

SERVING BEYOND: Al McDonald - Berkel, Netherlands

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SERVING BEYOND

At the core of what Redeemer is about is that we are ALL ‘SENT ONES’ - the reason Jesus has not taken us to glory is that we GO to those who do not yet know him so that they to can one day join him and us in glory! We love to invest in and celebrate what God is doing ‘beyond’ us through our members.


Alastair McDonald

Al is one of the Elders at Redeemer and is a full time secondary school teacher. He lives with a great passion to see everyone enjoy the fullness of life Jesus offers - to experience healing in every way and never to ‘settle’ in our pursuit of breakthrough and healing. Here is his recap of his time away


It was with a great sense of adventure that I headed off to Berkel, Netherlands on Friday 5th April 2019 for the ‘Training in the Supernatural’ week-end with Grantley & Floss Watkins. It was a joy to be part of the ‘Ministry Team’ alongside others, there to serve our ‘Relational Mission’ family of churches in this great nation.

The Friday night session consisted of faith building stories of Jesus’ healing power at work in people’s lives.

The Saturday sessions looked at the ‘Apostolic Foundation of Signs & Wonders’ followed by ‘The Baptism with the Holy Spirit’ with a tremendous response from those gathered desiring more of His power to touch their lives. The final session of the day was on ‘Dealing with Disappointment’ which was really helpful in encouraging us to live with the mystery while pressing in for more of God’s power to be released in signs, wonders & miracles. The Saturday evening provided us with an opportunity to have a meal together followed by a fun quiz for all the family.

The final session on Sunday morning was on ‘Becoming a Faith Filled Community’.

Over the week-end I was so encouraged to have words for people to build them up, to bring restoration to situations & to help some encounter the Holy Spirit afresh.

Thanks to my Redeemer Church family for their financial support, their prayers & their encouragement. Thanks to Bas & Carline Visser & family for providing accommodation for me and for being great hosts. Thanks to God for a beautiful opportunity to work together with His people to see more of His kingdom come & His will be done in the Netherlands as it is in heaven. ❤🇳🇱

WHO CARES? INTRODUCTION

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WHO CARES? OUTLINE

Who Cares? is an initiative birthed by Rob Tervet out of a Relational Mission church in Attleborough. It is an inter-church initiative asking the community ‘What hurts the most?’ and responding as local churches, bringing the hope of Jesus to the hurts of people, and growing in awareness of how our communities are hurting. The ‘togetherness’ helps raise the profile of the initiative across the region, but each church responds as they see fit - which may well be partnering with other churches!

In simple terms there are three phases to the initiative and the timing we are doing them;

  1. The LISTENING Phase (SEPT - OCT 2019) - getting into the community and asking a simple, anonymous question: ‘What hurts the most?’

    • This could be ‘high street’ questionnaires, door knocking and/or asking the question in your current ‘spheres of influence’ - e.g. Toddler groups, colleagues, sports clubs, neighbours etc

  2. The RESPONSE PREPARATION Phase ( NOV 2019 JAN 2020) - Gathering the responses and preparing how we will respond and bring the hope of Jesus to the main challenges.

    • Assess the responses and decide what to address and how

  3. The RESPONDING Phase (JAN - MARCH 2020) - addressing the key challenges.

    • For example: Sermon series? A Guest speaker in the toddler group who has found peace and hope in Jesus for her ‘Mother Guilt’? Personal Testimonies….


WHO CARES? RESOURCE VIDEOS


KEY DATES & EVENTS 

—> WEDNESDAY 27th MARCH 2019 - VISION EVENING - 7:30pm at Plume Ave Church (directions)

  • VISION EVENING for all church leaders and Christians interested in engaging in the event.

  • SPEAKER: Rob Tervet - Founder of Who Cares?

  • HOSTED by Plume Ave Church

  • WORSHIP by Redeemer Church Colchester

—> JUNE 2019 - TRAINING CONFERENCE - Details TBC

  • VISION EVENING for all church leaders and Christian interested in engaging with Who Cares?

—> SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2019 - LISTENING PHASE

  • Engagement/Surveys/Questionnaires

—> JANUARY 2020 - MARCH 2020 - RESPONDING PHASE

  • Bringing the hope of Jesus to the main hurts raised


OTHER RESOURCES & LINKS


STORIES