23 Oct November – Get involved! – Two invitations and a recipe for pre-Christmas contentment
Surely not yet! We said as a Christmas advertisement appeared on TV. Do they come earlier every year? I love Christmas, but I’m not ready yet, and I need to do some spiritual thinking so I am forearmed against the subtle, or not so subtle, messages in the advertising. It’s not that buying presents and partying is bad. It is the inference that we need to act in a certain way to be “better” or “happier” people and families. The consumerist messages are seductive and it helps to be reminded that Christmas is not about spending and debt, then we can enjoy the build-up to Christmas. Newsflash! We don’t need any more “stuff” to be content in our lives.
The Christian secret of happiness is to be content in every circumstance. In 1 Timothy 6:8 Paul says “If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that”. The Christian life characterised by relationship and interdependence is completely upside down to those consumerist values. Our money, our talents and our very lives are gifts from God and to be shared with others in the community of faith, not held only for ourselves. We are merely stewards of all we have been given and gladly give back to God for his work in the world. Rather than store up wealth in Walton on Thames, we are encouraged to make a pre-Christmas cocktail with the less tangible ingredients of righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. These riches are what really bring contentment in our lives, rather than the transitory pleasures that money can buy. So, along with our pre-Christmas cooking, let’s keep in mind this great recipe for pre-Christmas contentment.
Taking seriously how we use our time talents and money has caused us to think and we are offering you a way of considering your response to God in the year ahead in an unhurried way. You are invited to get involved.
“Get Involved Sunday” is a day in November when we commit our stewardship to God for the year ahead in 2017. This is not a desperate plea for money, nor is it a Gift day to balance the budget, but this is an opportunity for each of us to consider our serving and giving for the whole of 2017 ahead of time in an unhurried way. From 6th November there will be letters from us, available and on the web-site, explaining all this and forms to fill in pledging your serving and giving for the year ahead. Sunday 20th November will be a great celebration of all that people already contribute to the church and of their pledges to “Get involved” in the year ahead.
We promised you an opportunity to have your say about the service switch trial at St Mary’s and other worship we offer at both St John’s and St Mary’s. Your comments will help us to shape our worship services around young and old, those who attend regularly and those who do not yet come to church. We are also thinking wider about how God is leading us forward as a church.
We invite you to participate in a Services Consultation in the form of a Survey, on line or on a printed sheet, starting on Sunday 30th October and closing on 13th November.
Thank you for being involved in this community of faith at St Mary’s and St John’s to which God has called us all. We look forward to receiving your pledges and your views and hope that we can all enjoy some pre-Christmas contentment!
Jonny and Cathy