If you currently give by Standing Order to Lloyds bank, or do not give regularly, please would you consider signing up for the Parish Giving Scheme? Forms are available at the back of church. This simplifies administration for this parish, gets us the gift aid sooner, and will allow us to shut the Lloyds bank account which levies bank charges on us. Thanks.
On 11th October at St Mark’s and on 18th October at St John’s and
St George’s we are having our annual TTT service – TTT stands for Time, Talents and Ten Pound Notes. I’m hoping they will be services that are filled with joy. Please do put the dates in your diary and come along as a priority!
What is Christian Stewardship?
Christian Stewardship is not a programme, nor is about raising money. Instead, it is part of our lifelong discipleship journey. We learn more and more about God’s calling on our lives and we learn how to open ourselves up in joyful generosity.
Stewardship is a way of life in which we regard ourselves and our possessions as being held on trust from God, to be used in His service. God has made us His stewards or managers of everything He has given to us: our time, our abilities, our possessions, our money, our whole lives.
Stewardship for Christians is not about giving so that the church can “make ends meet” but, rather acknowledging how generously God has given to us and then generously giving back to God and seeing His church grow as it is resourced for mission and ministry.
How can I know what my calling is?
Often others see our calling before we see it ourselves. But a good start would be to ask questions like:
– What gifts has God given me that might be used?
– What am I passionate about?
– Where do I long to see God act?
– What gives me energy?
When we use our gifts to do something that we are passionate about and it meets a need in God’s world then we have found our calling. It is very a very exciting journey! If you would like to explore this more deeply please talk to Alan or I – we love helping people to explore these things.
How should we give?
In 1 Corinthians 16:2, St Paul, encouraging the church in Corinth to give, said, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income.” From this we see that our giving is:
• A priority: A first call on our disposable income. We give what’s right, not what’s left.
• Planned: We should plan and review our giving to God through the ministry of this Church on a regular basis, using Gift Aid if we pay tax and, ideally, giving by standing order.
• Proportionate: As God blesses us with all we have so our giving should reflect his generosity by us giving a proportion, a percentage of our income rather than a fixed amount. The exact proportion can only be decided through prayer and reflection before God. And, at the right time in our lives and having made adequate provision for those we love, we may plan to leave a legacy as a proportion of our estate.
The Church of England suggests that a good number to start with is 5% of our gross income – or 5% of our net income and give the tax back through gift aiding. This is not possible for some and for others it is too little. You will know through prayer what the right amount is for you.
Come to the services to celebrate God’s generosity to us. Review your calling to see what God has for you this year and review your giving. To find out more email Alan – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01252 820537