Stewart Jones, Vicar of Barlaston writes:
Money is a huge part of our lives: earning it and spending it, worrying about it or ignoring it altogether, barely pausing to consider God within our finances.
The Bible devotes over 2000 verses to the subject and we should not be surprised that Jesus spoke a great deal about money.
· He spoke about money more that He did about heaven and hell.
· He spoke about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.
· Eleven of the thirty nine parables he told are about money.
· One in every seven verses in Luke’s gospel talks about money.
Jesus knows that how we handle money and our practice of generosity either helps or hinders us in living the abundant life he so longs to give us. Being a Christian means at some point we have to deal with our attitude to money.
This booklet and our month of looking at ‘Practising Generosity’ is one way to help us all do that.
So what is Practising Generosity?
It is a learning experience for all of us.
This will be done through the teaching at services and in small study groups meeting for four weeks. There will be two opportunities to join in with these groups. You can either come along on Monday evenings at 7.15pm or on Tuesday afternoons at 2pm. The Monday group starts on 2nd Sept and then for a further three sessions (9th; 16th; 23rd Sept). The Tuesday group starts on 3rd Sept and again runs for a further three sessions after that. (10th; 17th; 24th Sept). You can come along to either session but you don’t need to attend both as they will be the same each week. Do come so that we can learn together, discuss together and grow in our understanding of how to practice generosity in our daily lives.
It is about money!
We are asking everyone who has a commitment to St John’s to seriously think about giving more to the work of the church to ensure we can continue to do the work God has called us to do. In the vision section of this booklet you will find in more detail what we currently believe that looks like and how we will try to make it happen.
We have also included figures showing where our income comes from and what we spend it on. These are summary figures and if you would like more detailed accounts for 2018 then do ask. (Contact our parish office on 01782 373126 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) Alternatively you might want to ask the vicar, Stewart, about this so please do. (01782 361724 email email@example.com)
The figures show how we have had deficits in 2018 and are expecting one in 2019. Our aim is to reach a point in 2020 when that is no longer the case. To reach this we need to increase our overall income by 5% and keep costs the same where possible. That is the challenge we face. It is one we can meet with prayer and generous action.
So do read through this booklet carefully, come along to one of the study groups to learn and discuss together how we can deepen our understanding about how we should give to the mission of the church and respond using the form with this booklet. Thank you.
‘Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.’ (2 Corinthians 9v7)