Partners in Ministry
A key value in the life of St. Richard's is that every member has a part to play. Just as when we do a puzzle every piece is needed to make up the whole picture, so we are all called to be partners in the life, mission and ministry of our church.
Each year, every member of St. Richard's is invited to sign the "Partnership Pledge" as a sign of their commitment to this vision for our church.
The theme of partnership is inspired by the apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians in which he writes:
“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now…”
The word Paul uses for partnership is the Greek word koinonia, which is most often translated as fellowship, but means much more than what we often understand by that word. It has to do with an active sharing of life, faith and ministry, with God and one another.
Koinonia is not just being close to one another, getting along nicely; it’s a word which describes the unity of all believers that comes about as a result of our common faith in Christ.
But the challenge we face is this: how do we make our fellowship in Christ a practical reality? How do we translate our spiritual partnership into action?
Partnership Pledge 2016
In particular this year we’ve looked at four areas: prayer, service, giving and mission. The challenge from each has been different but we’ve discovered that every member of St Richard’s has an invaluable part to play in the life of the church:
Prayer: We are all encouraged to set aside time for prayer, and to realise the importance of praying together.
Service: We have all been given gifts by God that he longs to see us use for his glory and the good of our community.
Giving: We are all able to share in the whole ministry and mission of the church by offering our financial support.
Mission: And we are all called to be witnesses in word and action, and to be passionate about reaching those who don’t yet know God.
By joining together in each of these four areas, we are all able to share in the privilege of seeing his family grow here in our community. God longs for us to be Christians whose faith is always being shared and always being deepened.
The Financial Challenge
A key part of our partnership is making a financial commitment to the church. What we see in Scripture is that what we do with our money is an important part of our decision to follow Christ.
In response to all God has done for us, as committed members of St Richard’s, part of our worship means giving to support the whole ministry and mission of his Church. Which means:
If you don’t already give in a planned, regular way would you please consider doing so, either by standing order or gift envelope?
If you do already give would you consider giving a little more? The Church of England suggests 5% of our total income as a suitable starting figure.
Will you be a partner in this work? Will you share in responding to these challenges?
As a particular part of this year’s challenge I’m setting the financial target of raising an additional £10,000 over the next year, money we need simply to cover our costs. That is a lot of money, but remember – your giving enables ministry – and it equates to just 50 people giving an extra £3.84 a week or £16.67 a month.
I’m asking every member of St Richard’s to fill out the Partnership Pledge to recommit ourselves to this work (you can pick up the form in church or download a copy here
As a part of the pledge, I’d be grateful if you could renew your financial commitment (even if the amount given is the same) in order to help us as we plan for the year ahead.
With thanks for your partnership in the gospel here in St. Richard’s,
Vicar, St. Richard's Church