The Need to Give
Mark Dailey and Alan West
As a stone lobbed into a pond sends ripples to the furthest reaches of the water, so, we hope, this message will send out a signal to the whole of the St Michael’s family. We want this summer to be a season of Living and Giving.
The Giving part will come to a head at the Patronal Festival on 4 October, which will be the climax of a stewardship campaign running through the previous three weeks. As most of you know, it is our policy at St Michael’s to hold a stewardship campaign every third year The last one was in the spring of 2012. For those who have joined us more recently than that, let us explain what we mean.
A Stewardship Campaign is a time when we ask our members to commit to regular and generous financial support for St Michael’s. We hope to sign up many new commitments and we hope those already giving will review and increase the amount of their generosity. This is evidently a good idea, if one believes that people should give, and give substantially, to their church. But why should we? Why should you?
The first, and deepest, answer to this is that giving to the work of God is a part of the Christian life. We are called to give, and to give generously. We are called to commit ourselves financially as well as spiritually. There are many Biblical references to this effect. The teaching of the church has always been so.
The second, and rather compelling answer, is that our church, St Michael’s, depends on our giving for every part of its life and work. There is no state support for Church of England churches, even though ours is the established religion of the state. If we give nothing, St Michael’s will die, close down. If we want to see the building maintained, the standard of worship and music upheld, and our mission to the wider community extended – we must provide the wherewithal.
That explains the Giving in the title. What about the Living? The answer to that is that we don’t want our giving to be set in a context of melancholy acceptance of the unavoidable. We want, through this summer season, to emphasise, by holding a number of enjoyable social functions, that we are a living body of people, bound together by our faith but able to experience and enjoy much else together.
Of course the social committee and the stewardship committee will be working together to create such events – but we are hoping that lots of you will want to join in and help. Please do not be backward in coming forward. And going beyond the committee’s ideas, could you get together with some friends to create an event at your home, in your garden, or anywhere else, to which fellow St Michaeleans could be invited? All offers and ideas welcome.