PICT1789Happy New Year from Transformation Thurrock!

On New Year’s Eve, someone sent me this text all the way from South Africa:

Because God is our Father who offers new beginnings, today at midnight he will shut the door for us on what was and will open the door to us on what is to be. And he only seeks out what is good for us. This is because our yesterdays and tomorrows belong to him whilst our ‘todays’ belong to us. Now this is the mystery of spiritual ‘gates’. He will be faithful unto the end.

Stepping into 2011 brings with it the immense challenges of incredible opportunities for our borough, our nation, and our world. These lie spread out before us like a feast on an enormous table stretching out through this year of transformation and beyond into 2012 and 2013. Jesus invites us to sit with him and eat together! But in order to eat, we have to be awake…

“‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:14-16

Here are just some of those delicious dishes on the menu…

UNITE 30/31 – 30 January
is the newly created interchurch youth service. Linking in with Epicentre and Rock Thurrock, this event will be regular (monthly, it’s hoped) and release young people into deeper commitment, using their talents and developing leadership skills.
The next UNITE 30/31 is 6.30pm Sunday 30 January @ RCCG Fruitful Land, The Anchor, Civic Square, Tilbury

Godfrey Birtill Live – 29 January
Known as ‘God’s Troubadour’, this is Godfrey’s third visit to Thurrock. With a growing international reputation, his songs are recognised as being prophetic for our time. Godfrey doesn’t fit the young contemporary musician image, which sets him out from the crowd. And he’s not just coming to minister to Grays Baptist Church – he’s coming to help transform the spiritual atmosphere over Thurrock and PICT1803bring a word for 2011. If you want to be entertained, don’t come – but if you want to worship, enter the Holy Spirit’s presence, and hear from God in a unique way, then you’re in for a treat.
7pm Saturday 29 January 2011 @ Grays Baptist Church

Rock Thurrock Launch Breakfast – 5 March
Attention all emerging leaders, team leaders, pastors, vicars, curates, youth pastors, youth workers & partners…
Epicentre Thurrock, in partnership with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association UK and Transformation Thurrock, are hosting a Launch Breakfast to present the Rock Thurrock vision for training, Bible study, discipleship of young leaders, and practical evangelism throughout 2011. The Rock Thurrock programme is unique to the UK.
Date: Saturday 5 March, 9-12am
Venue: Thurrock Hotel, Ship Lane, Aveley RM19 1YN
Tickets: £10 – these need to be purchased in advance by contacting Edwin Hughes on 07 866 922 523.

Celebrating R.E. Month – throughout March
This is an opportunity for churches and schools to make excellent links, using Labyrinths to explain the Christ’s Passion. This is supported by Thurrock SACRE and Transformation Thurrock. To get involved, please take up the opportunity for training as outline below.
There is an open invitation to attend a training/sharing of good practice session for Religious Education. This session is called “Learning about and from Easter through labyrinths and reflection exercises at key stage 2”. This will take place at St Peter & St Paul’s Church (Grays Parish Church), High Street, Grays RM17 6LL  on Thursday 27 January 2011 from 1.30 to 3.30pm.
If you need any further information, please contact Deborah Weston on deborah@retoday.org.uk
Please make your booking using the form available from Tim Harrold at Transformation Thurrock on request (tim@transformationthurrock.com), and return it to the Culver Centre by email, post or by booking online. Course number SAC/106.
Address: Culver Centre, Daiglen Drive, South Ockendon, Essex RM15 5RR. Telephone: 01375 413677 Fax: 01708 851789 Email: culver.bookings@thurrock.gov.uk Web: www.culvercentre.org.uk
Please note, bookings cannot be taken by the Church.

Easter Weekend – 22-25 April
Make the most of the excellent opportunities Good Friday and Easter Sunday provide for churches to work together in reaching out to their local communities.
At dawn on Easter Sunday there are always interchurch services at Grays Beach, One Tree Hill and at the Gorge in Chafford Hundred. It’s always a special time, and there’s usually a hearty breakfast available afterwards somewhere!

Royal Wedding – 29 April
An opportunity for community involvement? An opportunity to be Big Society? Organise a street party? Have a ‘do’ in the grounds of your church? Show the wedding live on a big screen and include activities and food? Hold a special prayer meeting for the Royal Family and the state of the nation?
A time for national unity as we celebrate with our future King and Queen. Prince William is said to have made a commitment to Christ…

Thames Gateway Prayernet Princess Pocahontas Prayer Voyage – 7 May
Following on from the previous prayer voyage in September 2009, the TGP is organising another trip from Gravesend to Westminster and back about the much-loved pleasure boat. We will be praying for various landmarks on the way as well as taking the blessings of Kent and Essex to our Parliament. News of how to obtain tickets will be made public nearer the time.
Other TGP events will be taking place throughout the year.

Thurrock Pentecost Sunday / GDOP Community Festival – 12 June
Last year 23 people turned up for Thurrock’s Global Day of Prayer event on Pentecost Sunday. In places like Havering and Maldon, hundreds turned out to worship and pray for their areas. Churches working together in every borough of London did something to mark the day. Why can’t we?
With a little bit of unity and vision, Thurrock’s church can put on an event of massive transformational significance… Who’s up for it?
Thurrock Pentecost Sunday / Global Day of Prayer Community Festival – 12 June (venue tbc)

Stanford Festival – 3 July
Transformation Thurrock are sponsoring an interchurch Prayer Stop during the day. Street Healers, Prayer Walkers and Treasure Hunters welcome!
PICT1791Your church maybe thinking of having its own stall at T-Fest – but imagine how much more effective a churches-together effort would be!
This is an all-day event in and around the centre of Stanford on Sunday 3 July.

T-Fest – 23/24 July
Transformation Thurrock are sponsoring an interchurch Prayer Stop during the day. Street Healers, Prayer Walkers and Treasure Hunters welcome!
Your church maybe thinking of having its own stall at T-Fest – but imagine how much more effective a churches-together effort would be!
This is an all-day event on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July. Features many stalls and a main stage with local and national acts.

Rock Thurrock – 24 & 25 September
Will Graham – grandson of Billy – will be making two presentations of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the young people of Thurrock. Events will also feature top Christian acts.
As ground-breaking, earth-shaking and history-making as these events are, they are not meant to be stand-alone but part of the ongoing Epicentre Thurrock programme (see above).
Venue: Civic Hall, Blackshots Lane, Grays
Dates: Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 September

Thurrock & Havering Schools’ Prayer Day – 1 October
The third annual inter-borough prayer day with a focus on prayer and mission in education. In partnership with Pray For Schools, Prayer Spaces For Schools and the Balstonia Trust.
Saturday 1 October at Aveley Methodist Church (tbc)

Thurrock Day of Prayer – 15 or 22 October
After the success of last year’s seminar-and-worship format, Transformation Thurrock are considering the way forward for TDOP. If you have an interest, please get in touch.

Community Carol Night – 17 December
A night of churches joining together for a celebration of carols and readings.

And a few snacks…

Transformation Thurrock Prayer
This is currently under review and there is a sense that this gathering has run its course. We are now considering taking an active role in the Epicentre Thurrock project by facilitating regular Rock Thurrock Prayer events over the course of 2011.

‘Heal the Land’ Prophetic Prayer Walk Strategy
A small group of people are developing a strategy to begin prayer walking the Thurrock, bringing transformation and healing to the land. There are three aspects to this: walking the major arteries; walking communities; and pinpointing specific places of historical and current significance. The strategy will be launched in the early spring.

Practical Prayer Training
After the success of the seminars at TDOP, we are looking at facilitating more training in Treasure Hunting, Prophetic Prayer Walking, Healing on the Streets, and other streams of practical prayer evident across the UK at present.

Global Day of Prayer London Nights of Prayer
Dr Jonathan Oloyede has asked me to invite Thurrock’s church leaders to a series of nights of prayer throughout the year. The dates are:
Wednesday 26 January; Tuesday 15 March; Tuesday 24 May; Wednesday 13 July; Wednesday 7 September; and Tuesday 8 November.
Times: 7-10pm
Venue: Emmanuel Centre, 9-23 Marsham Street, Westminster SW1P 3DW
Transformation Thurrock has partnered with GDOP London over the past few years and administered the M25 Nutcracker.

Beyond 2011…

Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II – 2-5 June 2012
With an extra Bank Holiday, this historic event is too good to be missed! See the notes on the Royal Wedding above.

London 2012 Olympics & Paralympics – 27 July to 12 August + 29 August to 9 September
Start thinking “What can we Olympify?”! Another major, historic, opportunity to reach our community through all sorts of events and projects.

GSUS Live – September & October 2012
The classroom-on-a-lorry with a computerised RE presentation makes its fourth visit to the secondary schools of Thurrock on the back of the Olympics. Volunteer presenters and technicians from across the denominations will be required!

The Year of Evangelism – 2013
The church of the UK will be engaged in even bigger evangelistic endeavour…

PICT17823Clifford Hill of State of the Nation sees 2011 as a turning point for our nation. Let’s work together to make sure what we do in Thurrock is a turning point for the community in which our Father the Gardener has planted us – and turn the tide for the poor, the lonely, the hurting, the suffering and the lost.

“Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.” Oswald Chambers

“… if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

All of above subject to change. Other events and projects will emerge during the year. If you would like to talk about any of the above or have Transformation Thurrock along to minister at your church, then please feel free to contact me on tim@transformationthurrock.com or 07 929 878 089.