Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Later this month we will be thinking about what we do for God in our daily and weekly lives. God gives to us freely, he gives us life, food, warmth and each other. We thank God regularly for all of this and for what he did in sending his Son to bring us closer to him by showing us what God is like - a God of love.
Our first Sunday in October is Harvest, where we thank God for his gifts to us, but our final two Sunday's this month we will consider what we give back to God in gratitude. This will be our two week "Stewardship‟ campaign and our chance to give back to God freely.
Why is this important? Because we put God at the centre of our lives and make him our touchstone in decision making. Stewardship is an important part of this. When we place the God of love in our hearts and in our actions we grow as Christians and draw closer to Jesus, who himself gave his life that we might know freedom, healing and wholeness.
October is a good season to think about our giving. We are encouraged to consider how we spend our time, our talents, our skills and our finances to build up the kingdom of God and to draw other disciples into the body of Christ.
We are going to "make a pledge to God.‟ Unlike a promise which is an "assurance given to a person,‟ a pledge is a "solemn engagement,‟ a type of vow which we hope to fulfil. We will pledge to God what we already do, and what we hope to do for him during the next twelve months. There will be options to pledge money and options to pledge time and talent. We will collect the sealed pledges together in the second service Sunday 27 October, have them blessed at the altar and leave them on the altar during communion so they become sacred. I will not see what you pledge and neither will the PCC, only our Stewardship Secretary and God, will know what you pledge. Margaret will then give the appropriate people the information that they need.
For example, if you pledged you would like to help with gardening or serving at the altar, then those who are in charge of that area of our church life will be told and make contact with you. Similarly, if we know what might be given financially during the coming year, it is easier to budget and plan ahead.
This is a wonderful way to engage fully with church life and therefore with our faith in a God of love.
Church does not ask for a "membership fee‟ like when we join a club or a gym, but we do need your help if we are to continue worshipping God here in this place. God is generous to us, so be part of the sharing of God's grace in this place.
With love and prayers