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 2018
This year, from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, we’ve looked at four key aspects of what putting our Partnership into practice involves (links to the presentations used are provided as a reminder of the visuals which accompanied each talk):
Nurturing Faith (Philippians 4:4-9 - Presentation Link)
Recognising that growth in faith isn’t something which just happens, but requires us to be active: Active in prayer, in talking with others about what we see in Scripture, and supporting one another in living our faith out.
Reaching Out (Philippians 2:1-11 - Presentation Link)
Jesus called his disciples to ‘go and make disciples’. This isn’t the Church’s job, but a calling to all of us, that through our words and actions others might come to know the love of God and good news of Jesus.
Giving (Philippians 4:10-20 - Presentation Link)
Being a follower of Jesus means offering every part of our life to him, and that includes our money. Giving generously to support the mission of the church is one of the most challenging but most visible signs of our Partnership.
Commitment (Philippians 2:12-18 - Presentation Link)
Being a member of St Richard’s means choosing to be a partner in the life and work of our church through regular attendance and active involvement. We are all called to offer our time and talents for God’s service.And the point of it all? As Paul prays (Phil. 4:20):
“To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
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:
Will you be a partner in this work? Will you share in responding to these challenges?
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.
As a particular part of this year’s challenge I’m setting the financial target of raising an additional £6,000 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 £10 a month.
Parish Giving Scheme
This year, all members are also asked to join the Parish Giving Scheme as they renew their financial commitment to the church. The PGS is explained in the leaflet you can download here, but will make regular gifts to the church easier:
For you – the scheme uses a Direct Debit, so the money is taken directly from your bank account (monthly or quarterly) while still giving you full control
For the church – any Gift Aid is claimed for us and the total paid to the church within ten days. This reduces both the cost and administrative burden.
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 together with the Parish Giving Scheme 'Gift Form' or download 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
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