Archive for October, 2007

Great Website

by Colin Dexter

Big thank-you to all who contributed to setting up this website, & Hi Carys & Julian.

Missions

by Colin Dexter

Don’t forget that Sunday 11th November will be a morning when we think & pray about the missions we support.

Fellow Agapites

by Ceri Jones

Hello! What a lovely way to keep in touch with you seeing as I’m in a different country and all. I hope you’re all well and enjoying Wales. England is cold and full of people who suddenly like rugby!!

I’m busy-ish job hunting and decorating. Prayers for a job would be much appreciated! (specifically, the ‘right job’ if that’s any help!)

So, I thought I’d tell you a it about what I’ve been up to as I rarely see any of you 🙁

Having finished working for Ambassadors in Sport in May I enjoyed a month off before going to the US with them to coach Americans the sport they call “soccer”. I saw God do some amazing stuff in, through and around me. Some examples being (apart from getting a tan which is a miricle in itself!) the wonderful nature I saw – from the huge, beautiful waterfalls to 2 giant dragonflies having ‘fun’ in mid air; the many kids giving their lives to God; and the chance to stand in front of over 400 kids over the 5 weeks and tell them that I knew God loves me and that He loves them too, no matter what mistakes we make He’s faithful and never stops loving us. Awesome God. Awesome privilege!

Since coming back I’ve seen how much I’ve grown this past year. In church I am leading worship and trying to teach some new songs (at first it was quite daunting being up there alone but now I’m gutted when someone else gets to do it!!!), I’m due to do some kind of pastoral course in January, am doing a theology course, enjoying helping at youth club and looking to what the future holds with excitement and ambition! More importantly I know God better and want to know Him even more!

So, I’m glad I get to contact you guys via t’net. Let me know your news – The Family keep me pretty well informed and it’s cool to hear Sparx is going great!

Stay cool agape-ers,

love cej

Jumping in.

by John Pinkstone

Hello everyone. Thought I would jump in and try this out even though I have just got out of bed (it’s 14.20, but I am working nights tho, in case you think I am really that much of a slob). Well done Liz, the web site looks really good and is very easy to use, although I could not access the map. Hope to see you all this Sunday, going to have some breakfast now.

Love

JP

4th and most recent!

by Colin Dexter

Fortnight beginning 24th September

Firstly, I would like to apologise for not writing up a report of last week, 24th-30th. I don’t have a good excuse, so I won’t give one! Sorry.

But you are very lucky; you get two weeks squashed into one sheet today!

I was in college on Monday and Tuesday both weeks, the first and hopefully only, double sessions of the term. From now on we are strictly once a fortnight!

College was good, policies and procedures – yey, essential but very boring!

On Tuesdays we are doing a module called biblical themes. We looked at different world views and theologies, very interesting!

On Wednesday I spent my first session at the TLC after school club. They have around 25 children along to the group every Monday and Wednesday, where they play games, do quizzes, make crafty stuff and design posters using the computers. It is a fun session for all involved. The hope is that I can encourage planning meetings and the use of a programme so the sessions become more organised and directed.

Deb led the youth cell group in the evening, and although I think most of the group were half asleep due to a very late night the night before, I felt it was a constructive session, and everyone learnt something.

On Thursday I tried the school again, but my contact wasn’t in all day, and Friday was an inset day. Hmmm, never mind, there is always next week!

We ran the second younger youth group (that really needs a name- ideas on a postcard please!) on Thursday evening, with 6 girls at the TLC cafe. The group went well at the cafe, and lessons were learnt with the lay out of the room. We talked about Jesus and played some games.

Friday was spent moving a load of stuff from my parents house in to Hannah’s old house. It was lots of fun, but I did feel exhausted come Friday evening! Jon was at a wedding on Friday, so we weren’t able to do the detached session.

(If anyone would like more information about detached work, or would like to volunteer for a few session on a Friday night please come and speak to me!)

That brings us back to Wednesday again, I spent Wednesday moving what I thought were the last of my bits over to 250 Elm Drive, and then set up for the evening youth cell social before heading out to the TLC after school club. I sat in the computer room during most of the session, which was a really good chance to get to know more of the young people individually. The session went really quickly but was great fun – the young people are really lovely, although I did meet one horror who stamped on my foot. Oh the joys of youth work!

I finally contacted the school on Thursday morning, and organised my start date as next Thursday. I am still feeling really excited about the schools work, so please pray I don’t become despondent – I need to remain on my toes and keep striving for great things at the school.

Friday was a really exciting day –Jon Rowlands and I went out on a detached session, in search of Keryn’s house – Jon asked for directions from two young people on Elm drive, and they walked and talked with us for about ten minutes as they led us to the right house!

We walked on from the house up to the park and skate park on Holly Road. We found a group of young people who were the sort of emo/goths who hate to be labelled emo/goths!

They were a very sound bunch who stood and chatted to us for over an hour.

We talked about all sorts of stuff, mostly random, until my hands became too cold to stay out any longer and we went home. I must remember gloves next time!

Big thanks to Jon for doing the detached sessions with me. I think their going well, and hope implement some of Jon’s and my ideas to reach more young people more regularly.

  • Please pray for the year 11 students I will be mentoring from next Thursday, and also for me in that situation, that the work will be effective and worthwhile.
  • Please continue to pray for the young girls who are coming to the Thursday youth group – that they can grow at their own pace of understanding, and that I won’t assume anything in the answers I give them.
  • Please continue to pray for Deb as she leads the Wednesday night group – she is doing a great thing really well.
  • Pray also for the young people we meet during the detached work, and for Jon and myself to say what God wants us to speak into their situations and the confidence to approach new groups.
  • Please pray to for my commitment to college, I’m really enjoying the work, and don’t want to neglect my studies. I really want to pass!!!!

Thank you for your continued support in the work going on in Ty-Sign. If you would like any more information on anything that is going on please ask!

I have changed my mobile number – if you haven’t contacted me in the last week check with me that you have the right one! Please come and visit me – I love visitors! Just give me a bell before you turn up! Thanks!

Bex.

3! Predictable!

by Colin Dexter

Week starting: 15th September

What happened

This week is described by the college as an induction week, and it has been the first week when I have actually felt that I have started doing Agape youth work. The ideas and plans became groups and sessions, and meetings happened with outside agencies that mean I can do all of the things I’ve been thinking about and talking about for months.

Sparx was on Monday, we had a bumper number of kids turn up, hitting about 16 I think, and it went really well.

I finally met with the assistant head of the comprehensive on Tuesday. It was interesting to find out that the area they needed someone to be working was with the higher achievers in all years, but especially in year 11 as they approach their GCSE’s. As a result I will be meeting with 24 expected high achievers next week (hopefully) and setting up monthly mentoring sessions for the young people. How exciting!

Unfortunately I had neglected to write ‘Tea at the Dexter’s’ in my diary, (Sorry again Deb!) so I missed that on Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday I had lots of visitors, including Anne Jones who is now my

‘pastoral supporter’ – the name my college give to a mentor’y type person. (Probably a good thing they use that name, mentor’y type person doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue!)

Deb led the youth cell on Wednesday evening, as we looked at Revelation 1. It was a good session with questions flying everywhere.

Thursday evening was the first younger cell group, we had a good number for the first night, although there were some concerns by parents about it being in someone’s house, so we need to think about using the TLC café for this group.

On Friday I did a final tidy up of Karen’s house before she came back. At 11 I had my first line manager meeting with Tim. I spent the afternoon catching up on some reading for university on Monday and then later in the evening Jon Rowlands and myself went out on to the streets to do some detached work. While we were out we met a group of young people who at first seemed very wary of two adults coming to say hi, (as they should be!) but when we saw them a little later on they chatted to us a little more.

We also met the police community support officer, Jason, who may well pop in for a cup of tea on Sunday morning! Say hi! It was a horrible evening for detached work with the rain but it turned out well. This is going to become a regular activity on a Friday evening, and with another volunteer/more time put in it will hopefully happen on a Thursday evening as well.

What’s coming up next week?

I am in college on Monday and Tuesday next week, but will returning for the TLC committee meeting on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday I will be volunteering in the TLC café, going along to the youth group in the evening, and then up to youth cell with Colin and Deb.

I hope that the meeting I am waiting for at the school will be on Thursday morning, and there is the younger cell in the evening. This is our first look at who Jesus is!

On Friday I may/may not be in the school in the morning, but will otherwise be found in the TLC café. With the detached session in the evening my week is complete!

Prayer points

· Please pray for the younger group as we take a look at the bible, for some it is the first time, for others the 101st time! Pray for consideration to those to whom it is new, and for the chance to go a little deeper with those who have heard it all before.

· Pray also for the detached sessions, primarily that we are safe, but also for the young people – that they will enter into conversation with us, and get to know us a bit.

· Praise God for his provision this week, in volunteers, petrol, and satsuma’s!!!

blog 2!

by Colin Dexter

This is the 2nd I wrote – obviously!!

Week starting: 7th September

What happened – I spent most of Monday writing up some information about schools outreach work to take into the meeting with the assistant head at Risca Comprehensive School.

It was also the first Sparx of the new term, and I thought I was doing really well when I was there, with costume, early! Unfortunately I realised I had forgotten the promised pizza, so I had to run back up the hill and cook the pizza’s, making me only just time for the start. My apologies to everyone at Sparx, I will remember the pizza’s in the future!

Sparx was great; the kids seemed to enjoy themselves! I had the opportunity to speak to a few of the older members about the younger youth club, and had some positive feedback.

On Tuesday I saw Tim drive passed me on the way to work as I sat at a bus stop waiting for my lift to Oxford Brookes University for the residential ‘community week’.

The three days were mostly uneventful, we had a bunch of lectures, most of which proved to be a bit of a waste of time, but some really useful lectures and lots of information and positive meetings with lecturers. We went down to the pub on Wednesday evening to watch the football, and I sat outside with the other non English, non football fanatics and laughed at the facial expressions of those watching. Fortunately England won, and there were no tears!

I did get the opportunity to talk to some of the first year Bristol CYM students, one of whom has a placement at St Paul’s in the centre of Newport, and another who was born and brought up in Cwmcarn.

On Friday I finally got through to Mrs Cooper, and arranged a meeting. I finished off the schools info I had started on Monday, and visited the TLC café. I sat and chatted with Glyn and some of the women in the café, and then with Cindy when she arrived with the fruit and eggs.

I had had the intention on Thursday evening of going out with some flyers about the youth group, but a combination of not having the addresses of the young people and being so tired after the residential meant that I put it off. As I write this it is Friday, and I will be going out tomorrow morning with the flyers to get them out before the end of the week.

What’s coming up next week?

My meeting with Mrs Cooper has been arranged for Tuesday afternoon. Some of the week depends on the outcome of this meeting, although I expect they will ask me to complete a CRB check before I can properly go in to the school in the capacity that I would like to.

On Wednesday morning I will be going into the TLC café in attempts to meet some of the young mums and other women who hang around in there.

In the evening there is the youth cell group. Thursday will eventually be spent with the school and students, although this depends on the meeting outcomes.

There is the younger youth cell in the early evening, and after that I will hopefully be doing a hour or so of detached outreach work, similar to that which will be taking place in the school, but around the estate with another adult. I will be approaching some people to help with this!!

On Friday I will be catching up on some bits and pieces and meeting Tim for my first line manager meeting – exciting!!

Prayer points

+ Please continue to pray that Mrs Cooper is open to suggestions with the school work, and that we can find a way to benefit the students in the greatest way possible. Please pray that I clearly communicate what I need to say at the meeting, so we can all be clear on what is available and possible.

+ The residential was positive, please pray that I can cope with the extra demands on me as a second year – I’m excited about it! Also that I can get hold of the books I need for the first term.

+ Continue to pray about whether you would like to be involved in the younger cell (and any other activities) and let me know ASAP if you can be involved.

Bex’s blog

by Colin Dexter

I thought it would be a great idea to put my weekly reports online – they will become more like blogs as you read through them!!This is the first I wrote – Week starting 1st September

What happened – This was my first week of working with Agape, so like a first week in any job it was a bit random! I have made multiple forms, created beautiful child protection policies, and invented programs for the youth cells groups, been to meetings, won the three legged race, made phone calls and written letters.

I met with Deb Dexter to discuss the youth cell group, and the possibility of starting a younger cell for years 6-8, and continuing the older group for those in years 9-13. It was a very constructive and we came away having made some decisions and identified some prayer points for the youth cells.

I have been trying to contact the assistant head of Risca Comprehensive this week, to set up a meeting in response to the letter I received from her before the summer holidays. I haven’t been able to talk to her yet, and although they seemed eager for me to visit the school and support their students we do need to get this rolling soon.

I have moved in to Karen’s house on Thistle way. Karen and her husband are away for a few weeks so I guess I’m house sitting for a little while.

If you want to pop in for a cup of tea/coffee/coke/lemon squash/milk/water give me a ring, you are always welcome!!!

Then there was the sports day. We met some students from Risca Comprehensive, and while Joe did the energetic bit of playing football with the boys I sat and chatted to two girls who had come up to the astro turf with them. It was a good day all round, and although we came fifth of seven churches I think we supported our participants greatly and technically should have won!! But we’re not competitive!!!

What’s coming up next week?

Next week I will try the school again and try to set up a meeting for Friday.

On Tuesday I start Uni with a residential ‘community week’ in Oxford. I am there until Thursday, so I won’t be at the cell groups.

I will be visiting parents and young people in the year 6-8 age bracket on Thursday evening to inform and invite them to the younger cell (that needs a new name) on the following Thursday.

On Friday I hope to spend sometime with Tim on the estate and meeting with Mrs Cooper at Risca Comp.

Prayer points

+ Thank God for Karen’s willingness to let me stay in her house – being on the estate full time is something I was praying would be possible.

+ Pray that Mrs Cooper is open to suggestions with the school work, and that we can find a way to benefit the students in the greatest way possible.

+ Please pray also that I settle back in university well, and that God will enable all the crazy ideas I have in my head to settle down and that he will tell me which ones to move forward with.

+ I was going to ask you to pray for somewhere to hold the first couple of younger youth cell, but praise God Shelia has come to the rescue again.

+ Please think and pray about whether you would like to be involved in the younger cell (and any other activities) – we need to find a/many volunteers to spare an hour a week or if there are a few of you, one hour a month etc, because I can’t be the only leader at the group. You can be as involved as you want to be – we will take anyone from sitters in the corner to squash makers to session leaders. There will be a rota appearing at the back, please write your names up if you want to help out.

This has been a great week to settle in. Thanks to all of you who have helped! It’s great to be back!

Youth worker joins Agape team

by Liz Owen

The youth ministry at Agape is growing and developing with the addition of a part-time youth worker who will be based on the Ty-Sign estate. Working within the church, colleges, local schools and in ‘detached’ work on the estate, Rebecca Owen is a welcome addition to the community.

For more information on the work to be undertaken, please read the youth pages and watch this space!

A warm welcome!

by Liz Owen

I am pleased to welcome you to Agape Community Church’s blog!

To start with you may be asking, what is a blog and how do I take part?

This can be simply answered by saying that it is an interactive tool that allows users to post questions, discussions, photographs, links, commentary or news on various subjects; it offers readers the opportunity to add to discussions and reply to opinions or ask questions.

All entries to the blog are written in chronological order and are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order (so to read a list of entries from the beginning, start at the end and work your way up!)

The best way to learn is to take part and have a go, so feel free to jump right in and start talking!

How to use this Blog – A guide!

1. In order to write anything in the blog you first need to register your name and e-mail address. Go to the Interact menu option and then click on ‘Our Blog’ and the blog page will appear. On this page you can see the posts and comments that have been made about them.
2. In the box on the right hand side of this page entitled ‘Welcome to our blog’ you can click on the first link to register your details and the second link to log in once registered.

3. Click on the first link entitled ‘click here to join’ and put you name and e-mail address in the box that will now appear. A password will be e-mailed to you to ensure privacy.

4. Click on the link you will be given in your e-mail and enter your log-in details.

5. The page that now appears is ‘WordPress’ the program that the site is written around. From here you can add comments to previously written blog posts, write your own posts by creating a new category (discussion topic), view other comments and manage your own profile (e-mail address and other info)

6. We’ll start by writing your own post; click on ‘Write a Post’ on the first page you come to. Fill in the ‘Title’ section and then write your text. Tick the box(es) on the right that your text corresponds to i.e. News / Blog / Youth / Prayer Requests etc. and then click either ‘Save’ to review yourself later, or ‘Submit for Review’ once completed. As this is a ‘moderated blog’ all posts have to be submitted for review by an administrator before appearing live on the site.

7. To comment on someone else’s post you can either go back to the web site or click on ‘Manage’ (in the main navigation of WordPress) and then click ‘View’ at the post you wish to comment on. You will then be taken back to the main page and can leave a comment in the available box at the bottom of the page.

8. To manage your own profile while in WordPress, click the Profile navigation button and make any required changes and click ‘update profile’.

  • A point to note: when in WordPress, you can return to the site at any time by clicking ‘View Site’ which appears in the top left hand corner of the WordPress screen.