GIVING AND THANKSGIVING: HARVEST TIME!! SUNDAY 9th OCTOBER

HarvestAs usual, our three churches will be celebrating Harvest with their own morning Harvest Festivals. In the late afternoon, we will come together for joint benefice Harvest Evensong at Amberley at the earlier time of 4.30pm. This will be followed by a Bring and Share Harvest Supper. This is always a wonderful occasion, and has seen the relationships across our churches grow with the fun, fellowship and food! Do come and join us for a wonderful celebration - put the date in your diary now!

In addition, that Sunday is also the culmination of our Stewardship Appeal - which has run for several years at Minch and Box, and which was re-introduced last year at Amberley. It is very appropriate that, as we think of the Harvest being gathered in and give thanks for God's provision to us, we in turn think about our own giving, and how we give back out of all that we receive.

Last year, we were so very grateful for the generous response you made to our Stewardship Appeal in both parishes, both in terms of increasing the level of giving, and in joining the Parish Giving Scheme, which helps administration and budgeting. This year as last, we will be sending out a letter, and giving you facts and information to help you consider your giving. The 10% challenge may be one way of responding to this - NOT by promising to give 10% of all you receive as in the old tithing system (but we will not stop you if you feel so inclined!) but to encourage each of us to see if we can increase our giving by 10% of what we already give. In other words, if you give £5 per week, this becomes £5.50. If you give £50 per week, this becomes £55.

Money and Giving - Uncomfortable Subjects!
It is never comfortable talking about money! Yet in the Gospels it is one of the topics Jesus spoke about most! And yes, it was controversial then, and got Jesus into lots of trouble. The truth is, without knowing facts about what church costs, it is difficult to appreciate what level of income we should be giving. And it is too easy, when talking about money, to make those who don't have much and are already giving generously, feel guilty they cannot give more. That's simply not intended! But we do have to prayerfully and with generous heart, consider what our regular giving should be. We believe information is needed to help make that decision, and as part of the Stewardship Appeal, we will again be presenting some facts to consider - what it costs to keep the church open for instance. What each church's individual needs and challenges are at this time.

Again, thank you for your generosity, and for the many ways you give to our churches already. We are deeply grateful.

Helen Bailey