1 June 2015
Stewardship and the Parish Giving Scheme
On Sunday, 10th May 2015, I spoke about the importance to Christian life of “Sharing the Gift” and also asked everyone who is part of our Church to consider joining the Parish Giving Scheme.
The early Christian Church shows us that it is a huge joy and considerable privilege to be able to “share the gift” - and to be in a position to contribute towards the work of the Gospel through the Church. We learn from the Acts of the Apostles that the first followers of Jesus recognised that to receive from God is to share in the gift - all they had came from God and was, in a very real sense, not their own: “No-one called anything their own, but everything they owned was held in common” (Acts 4.32f). It’s easy perhaps for us to say, living in very different circumstances, that these verses do not apply to us today - but it is unwise to try and blunt the force of scripture - they present to every Christian a profound challenge in every age. In 1 Corinthians 16 verse 2, St Paul encourages people to set aside a sum in keeping with their income “at the beginning of the week”. This is a long established pattern for giving. The theological principle is sharing the gift: “God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance”, St Paul writes, “so that by always having enough, you may share it abundantly” (2 Cor. 9.8). The generosity of their giving was exemplary and challenging, not just for the Corinthians and in the neighbouring congregations but for us as well.
Christian stewardship starts with God, and God gives what God is. God does not give something other than himself, something to which he is not committed - he gives the abundance of life into which each one of us is caught, and in this he is committed. Recovering the reality of God - the God of pure gift - is to recover an understanding of a personal God of generosity with whom we are asked to share the whole of our lives. Please carry out a review and renewal of your giving within the context of this theology of Christian stewardship, which is our theology of the Christian life and witness - the theology of discipleship. If you have not already done so, please consider joining the Parish Giving Scheme which is the most efficient and cost effective way you can give financially to St.Eustachius’ Church. If you are not currently giving in a planned way then please do consider if you can support the Church in this way. It will help us to be better stewards of the money God has entrusted to us so we will be able to look to the future with confidence as Christ’s disciples. Information Packs which contain details of the Parish Giving Scheme are available from the Parish Office, or at St Eustachius’ Church. Thank you.
At a recent meeting of the Pastoral Care Committee we have agreed to look at ways of improving our “follow up” with baptism families and their children. This is an important area of Church life and Sarah Pendle has agreed to co-ordinate this work of a new team dedicated to this work on our behalf. I hope that it will also be possible to link this work with the “Open the Book” initiative which we hope to begin in September at our Church Schools. Please pray for this area of our work.
700th Anniversary of Tavistock Parish Church
In 2018, Tavistock Parish Church celebrates its 700th Anniversary as a parish church and St Eustachius’ PCC has agreed to mark the event in significant ways. Thinking about the Church building, the time now seems right to review the ordering of the Church, particularly the West End, and to seek views as to how this may be improved for future generations by making the best use of the space available. A period of consultation within the parish and wider community will be undertaken, and guidance and advice from our Church Architect, Diocesan Authorities, and other interested parties sought. This is an exciting opportunity and the PCC and I will value your support as we consider this and also plan other ways in which we can celebrate our anniversary.