Given it’s only been 8 weeks since we last spoke, it feels somewhat strange to be saying welcome back, but here goes… welcome back!! September finds us hitting the ground running moving from 14 schools to 19 and adding 5 new team members and still seeking more (if you’re interested in joining east to west, please do get in touch – see details below!).
We’re updating our branding (you’ll notice this on emails, newsletters etc…) and developing our comms strategy as well as investing in our team and improving their support infrastructure. With all this change, you’ll (hopefully) be pleased to know that the monthly wePRAY will remain a constant, appearing in your inbox/post box in the early part of each month. Given the increase in provision, rather than hearing from individuals (it’d take 2 years to get through everyone!!) we’ll be hearing from our SLT over this year, who’ll be sharing about their key areas, those they’re working with, and specific prayer needs.
Our theme for this year is going to be movies! They’ll be largely family friendly (all are worth watching however) and we’ll be picking out key aspects of the film linked to who we are as an organisation and what we can ‘borrow’ to help us grow and develop.
I hope you enjoy this series and as usual, feel free to get in contact with your thoughts and feedback.
Pirates of the Caribbean – a memorable moment…
Picture the scene. Our eponymous hero stood atop the rigging of his boat, whilst dramatic music plays, and the sea breeze blows through his long, plaited hair. Looking down, he pulls a face, before jumping and landing in the pooling water in the bottom of his craft. The camera pans back and the ship, turns out to be a small dingy, with a single sail, not the massive pirate ship his appearance would suggest. As he begins to bail out the water, he pauses as he sails past the swinging skeletons of fellow pirates, hung from their neck, a legacy of their lifestyle and the consequences of being caught. He slowly lowers his hat as he sails pass, honouring his brethren. As he continues towards land, the camera travels past sailors unloading a ship, who look up in surprise as the sinking vessel moves past. We are unsure as to whether it is awe of the man, who is now once again astride the top of the mast, standing like a glorious Adonis, or amazement that the boat, now sunk to just below the main sail is still moving. With perfect timing, the boat finally passes below the waves as it reaches the dock, allowing him to step onto the jetty without missing a stride. Captain Jack Sparrow has arrived at Port Royal.
Whatever your view on pirates, their Hollywood caricature or history’s reality, they have always conjured (in the eyes of a primary school aged child at least), visions of adventures and treasure, sailing the high seas and good verses evil. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies feature an anti-hero who despite his flaws and failings ends up helping the stereotypical heroes… whilst always benefitting himself!
So why memorable moments? This month we’ve been intentional about creating memorable moments within our team. We now have 19 different school projects as well the Emerge Project at St. Peter’s hospital. Within our team we’ve welcomed 5 new team members (with more joining in the next few weeks) and hopefully over the coming weeks and months, with you, our supporters as we introduce them to you. The whole point of creating a memorable moment is to help people engage on an emotional level. With this in mind, we took the decision earlier this month to take all our team to the seaside for the day! It was also an excellent excuse to have fish and chips! We’d decided that it would be a great way of re-connecting with existing team, introducing new people, and building community. We were being intentional about creating a touch point for our team to anchor to (pirate pun intended!), especially because the work we do is challenging and emotionally draining. In creating this touch point, we know that others will be facing the same things and we can both support and be supported by each other.
As we spend the year looking at movies, we’ll discover Hope found and shared and how our ethos words are played out in practical terms. It’s my hope that as you watch and/or consider these movies, you’ll also find hope… and compassion, devotion, integrity, community, selflessness, and fun… You may find yourselves looking for these things in other places and situations, using them as a basis to create memorable moments yourself. And the good news is… it’s highly unlikely you’ll need to dress as a pirate to do it!
September Prayer Requests
This month we had the privilege to welcome 5 new team members! They are:
Clive: Clive joins east to west as the Early Intervention Co-ordinator for Woking, covering Woking High, Bishop David Brown, The Winston Churchill School and St. John’s.
Emma: Emma has joined east to west as the Early Intervention Co-ordinator for Elmbridge (covering three schools). She’s based in Heathside, Cobham Free and 3 Rivers.
Luke: Luke has taken on one of our new school roles, at Epsom and Ewell High School, where he has become a Relational Support Worker.
Marella: Marella has also taken on one of our new school roles becoming the Relational Support Worker at Kings International College in Camberley.
Sandra: Sandra has also joined us this summer and is the new Relational Support Worker at Twickenham (another of our new school partners).
Please can we ask you to be praying for our new team members, as well as Rob (St. Paul’s) and David (CEO), who both joined us during the latter part of the last academic year, as they settle into their new roles. Pray that God would bless them and work through them over the coming days, weeks, months and years.
If you follow our social media platforms etc… you may know that we’re also looking for more people to join our team. At present, we’ve got Danica starting at Esher High (in the Autumn), however we’re still looking to recruit a Relational Support Worker at Everest Community College (Basingstoke) and two Early Intervention Co-ordinators in Spelthorne. With Eliz due to give birth in November, we’re looking for someone to lead Emerge during her maternity leave. Alongside this, we’re also seeking volunteers to serve as part of the Emerge team as we grow from 3 to 6 evenings per week.
Please can we ask you to be prayerful in our recruitment, and if you are interested, or know of anyone who might be, in joining our team, please do get in contact with Ian using email@example.com. More information about the roles can be found at www.easttowest.org.uk/get-involved.
COMING SOON: Star Wars: A New Hope