Dear Christ Church,
There is much to relay to you this week so apologies for the longer than usual email.
This Sunday we have the Andy Mayo Acoustic Café - flier attached – from 10am for refreshments, for a 10.30am start. Please do pray for those family members, friends and neighbours you would like to bring along. For those of you with children, once you have registered them in Climbers and Explorers please bring them into the church. We ask that they either sit on the floor near your table, at the front of church on the steps or on the benches. This will enable the maximum number of adults to be seated around the tables.
Andrena and Ed wonder if any of you are available on Saturday morning for approximately an hour, from 10-11am, to assist them with moving the Church into "cafe style" ready for the service. More help will be needed moving chairs back after the service on Sunday. Your help would be much appreciated.
At the end of the service the congregation will be encouraged to support Tearfund’s Ebola Appeal. The Ebola virus continues to spread across West Africa. It has claimed 5,400 lives so far and has had devastating consequences for another 550,000 people. The disease is leaving countless children orphaned, stretching poorly resourced health services to the limit, hitting national economies and putting back development gains by years.
‘So many lives have been severely affected,’ says Francis Wahome, head of Tearfund’s work in Sierra Leone. ‘Programmes that were addressing pressing needs such as maternal and child health, malaria, water and food security have come to a halt.’
With the death toll rising as infection rates spiral, stopping the spread of the virus is paramount. Tearfund church partners in Sierra Leone and Liberia are doing this by promoting hygiene education.
Church leaders, who command widespread respect and trust, are playing a vital role in telling their congregations about staying safe, as well as tackling misinformation and superstition. We're also providing hygiene kits to 2,600 families. The challenge is enormous. Please help stop the spread of Ebola.
The attached flier gives details on how you can give via their website, by phone or by text. Alternatively, please use the envelopes and gift aid forms available from the back of church on Sunday, or leave your donation on the collection plates. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Tearfund’. I didn’t find it easy to find the correct website page so I include it here in case you need it:
For those with BBC iPlayer, you can watch the Panorama programme on the subject, broadcast on Tuesday 18 November.
Saturday 29th November
Judith Motto has organised another FAIRTRADE Christmas Fair in the café and halls, from 10am to 1pm. She would welcome help on the day with refreshments and/or helping on a stall. Judith can be contacted on 01689 837351. Please advertise to friends and family.
Sunday 30th November
This is our Advent Stocktake Sunday. Jay, in his Ministry Challenges newsletter outlined three ways we can ‘Stocktake’:
1. Prayerfully consider setting up a standing order to the church for your regular monthly giving if you are not doing so at present. This will enable you to make your giving to God a first priority in your monthly outgoings. This accords with the teaching of the Bible (that our 'first-fruits' are given to God.) Also, as Christ followers, we want to give what is 'right', not what is 'left'. The church greatly benefits from this, as it can budget for the forthcoming year with greater certainty about the giving it will receive. On Advent Sunday (30th November), come ready to declare your commitment to God through establishing a standing order to the church. (For a standing order form, please collect a form from the 'Info Table' at the back of church, or from the pews.)
2. Prayerfully consider how you might review your annual giving to the church. Each year, it is a good practice to consider whether your giving should change. The church throughout the ages has used the 'benchmark' of 10% of our income. If that is not right for your situation at the moment, I would ask that you keep it in mind (as my household does), and perhaps work towards this. On Advent Sunday, come ready to declare your new commitment to God through your giving to the church.
3. Give a one-off gift towards God's work for the New Church Year. For some of you, giving a one-off gift is still the best way of marking your commitment to God and His church. Perhaps it is because you may receive lump sum incomes from time to time. Though this is not a Gift Day in the ways we have had in the past, please do feel free to come on Advent Sunday prepared to make a one-off gift towards God's work.
The work of God is expanding here as we move forwards in the exciting ventures of church ‘regeneration’. God is establishing his work in the Ramsden, but with our new curate Rev’d Dozie Moneme, we hope to continue to grow and develop ministry here. We hope to establish and grow a ‘work’ amongst the 18- 30 age group and to expand our work amongst families and in the area of Mens’ Ministry. We want to continue to reach beyond our four walls to the community to those around us. Advent is a good time for taking stock. Will you and I rise to the challenge of bringing our finances under the Lordship of Christ? Having a healthy 'General Fund' enables us to be responsive to what God might be doing. Let's pray that 2015 may be a time when we see God's work expand through Christ's Church.
His newsletter went on to quite the Treasury Team:
"..... so with a cautious view we are projecting a 2015 deficit of over £32,000. All of these figures are before any gift day contributions. One-off donations could cancel much of the deficit but we do need to work to boost regular planned giving, with people stepping forward to replace other regular givers who, for whatever reason, have reduced or stopped contributing."
With kind regards,