The Rector Writes
In February, as a Team Parish, we’re focussing on the theme of “GIVE BECAUSE YOU CAN!”
Interestingly the first reaction of our Church Wardens when Revd Mary and I suggested this was… “But how can we encourage people to be there? What do we tell people the special services will be?”, and I have a great deal of sympathy with them. We’re not very good at talking about giving and, if the truth be known, we’re often not very generous in our giving.
There’s an old joke of a wife saying to her husband (or, it could be, a husband saying to his wife) “Darling I’d like a little money”, and the responses comes, “Of course, darling, how little?” And there is the comment overheard about the weekly envelopes used for the collection in our services… “Our Church is wonderful. They provide you with little envelopes, so no-one knows how little you’re giving!”
Our starting point in all of this is that our God gives generously to us, as is shown by his giving of his Son, Jesus. And we often need reminding that our God, through his Holy Spirit, has poured out gifts on each one of us and, in this part of the world, we are so privileged in terms of our resources. We CAN give, and yet we often fail to do so, sometimes for what, to us, feel like very good reasons.
I love one of the translations of James 1:17a: “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from the Father”. And so, following our Father’s example we’re called to be generous in our giving of all we have and all we are. And if we think we are generous, let’s just consider the dictionary definition of “generous”… “liberal, lavish, magnanimous, munificent, open-handed, free handed, bountiful, unselfish, ungrudging, unstinting, unsparing, free”!
That certainly makes me think about my giving!
So, during February, there will be a number of special “GIVE BECAUSE YOU CAN!” services in our Churches and we hope you will come and join us: They are:
10th 11.15am St James', Burton Lazars;
17th 10am St Mary's, Melton Mowbray;
3pm St Bartholomew's, Welby;
24th 9.45am St Mary the Virgin, Thorpe Arnold.
We hope the Sysonby and Freeby folk will come along and join in with one of the other churches.
I mentioned Revd Mary earlier on. She has now had an operation on the arm she broke two days before Christmas, and is signed off work until the end of February. Please do continue to pray for her and husband John and direct any emails, phone calls etc to myself until then.
The Revd Kevin Ashby