It’s an exciting new season … let’s do this together!

Life moves in seasons. We  go through different phases, such as child, teenager, parent, student, young adult,  grandparent, employee, manager, owner, retirement, engagement, bereavement, new babies, empty nest and so on.

Each season has its own blessings and challenges, and it’s important to recognise, embrace and enjoy the season we’re in. Sometimes we can be so keen to get onto the next season of life that we forget to enjoy the season we’re in.

Church life moves in seasons too

We’re at the start of a very exciting new season for Welcome Church with a huge opportunity ahead, perhaps the biggest  opportunity we’ve had for about 45 years. From January we will be meeting in our new, purpose built building in the heart of Woking, and we want to maximise this great opportunity for the church and the gospel.

What a moment this will create! I believe we could see hundreds or people coming to our big launch Sunday on January 19th; it’s a God given opportunity to create the most exciting Sunday morning we’ve had for years.

The season we are in now is all about that

The activities we will be doing over the coming year are all about getting us ready for that and making the most it; it’s our number one top priority for the year ahead. Let’s recognise the season we are in and make sure we embrace it and enjoy it.

To help us all to maximise the opportunity this new start creates, we’ve made some big and exciting plans, so let’s all be ready to get involved.

Welcome Church Fun Day

The first step in our big plans is the Welcome Church Fun Day tomorrow.  (Sat 28th September, 11am – 4pm, Schifano’s Field in West End).

This date also coincides with our church’s 140th birthday.

The Fun Day has something for everyone: BBQ, Ice Creams, Candy Floss, Teacup Rides, Inflatables, Magic with Peanuts the Clown, Live Music, Tractor Rides, Assault Course, Games, Competitions and more.

IMAGE 27-09-2019 AT 17.05

Do pray that the sun comes out for us, at the moment it’s looking GOOD! 🌞

We’ve given the full details out lots of times on Sundays, so I won’t repeat them here, but if you have any questions please ask. And if you’re reading this and you’re not from Welcome Church and you want to come – you can. Just reply to this post and I’ll send you the details ASAP – we would love you to join us.

Just do one thing

For this event we  want everyone to do one thing: bring someone with you.

Bring a person, bring a family … just bring someone. It’s an easy invitation to make, so let’s all be on the front foot with it. And it’s absolutely not too late to ask people, you can even do it on the day.

Making a Triple Jump

The world record for the Long Jump is 8.95 metres. But the world record for the Triple Jump (also known as the Hop, Skip and Jump) is an incredible 19.29 metres – that’s a whole lot further.

We are thinking of this launch as a triple jump.

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Hop: bring people to the Fun Day

Skip: bring them to our Fireworks event (9th November)

Jump: invite them to the Big Launch in January

Of course we have lots of other things going on too, not least our Carol Service for Woking at HG Wells on 15th December with the Cobham Brass Band and our amazing new Welcome Stories initiative.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what God does through us all in the next few months!

Having fun in Bognor Regis!

 

There are some times when I am just so proud of our church and the stuff we do … like our recent Bognor Regis Community Fun Day (or ‘Wspólny Dzień Zabawy’ as the Polish version of our flyer said it).

Bognor Regis Community Fun Day!

Bognor Regis Community Fun Day | Grace Church | Steve Petch Blog

Over 100 Grace Church people, from all three of our sites, helped to run the event on Hampshire Avenue Recreation Ground and we estimate that around 2,000 local people came along and took part in various ways. Highlights included:

  • Over 1,000 hot dogs and hamburgers served … for free
  • Over 1,000 home made cup cakes made and given away … for free
  • Over 1,800 drinks given away … for free
  • More than 1,500 sweets and prizes won or given away from our competition stands … which were free
  • 5 live owls made friends with lots of our guests … for free
  • A giant 85ft inflatable assault course was jumped on by a lot of people … for free

Bognor Regis Community Fun Day | Grace Church | Steve Petch BlogYou get the idea by now, it was all for free, including:

  • Several summer fete style games (made especially for the event free of charge by a local shop owner who liked what we were doing).
  • A teddy bears picnic with inflatable ball pool, bouncy castle and party bags
  • A taekwondo display

And of course there was excellent live music too from several different people and groups.

As one of my friends said to me on Twitter:

“Who could imagine you could have so much fun in Bognor?”

Why do it?

So why would we do an event like this, and why would we do it for free? Because we have been so blessed by God ourselves that we want to bless other people in turn.  Jesus said,

“Freely you have received, freely give.”

God’s Grace is when he gives us what we do not deserve and could not earn. That includes all the good things in life that we enjoy, whether we acknowledge it or not, but most of all it includes God’s mercy and forgiveness which we can find through knowing his son Jesus:

“For God so love the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him might not perish but have everlasting life”

John 3v16

It’s hard to be certain what the long term impact of a day like this is; it’s certainly not something that can be easily measured. Following the day we received lots of positive comments from local people, which was great, but the best thing for me was that people joined us on Sunday morning as we held our church meeting in the marquee on the green, and that some of them made a choice to receive the forgiveness Jesus freely offers for themselves.

That’s more than a long term impact – that’s something which will last for eternity.

Grace Church in Bognor Regis…Here for good!