Our Suffering is for Your Consolation

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, oh Lord our strength and our redeemer.

I have to admit that I haven’t always got on too well with St Paul. There are the unfortunate comments about women… but mainly it is just he is so blooming sure of everything – particularly himself. As a lifelong Anglican I find this slightly alarming…

So when I first looked at tonight’s reading – I couldn’t get past Paul saying  “If we are being afflicted it is for your consolation” – it all seemed a bit self important of Paul – and didn’t make a lot of sense.

Then someone asked me if I would visit her neighbour – a lady whose husband of nearly 60 years is in St Gemma’s hospice and very poorly.

Continue reading “Our Suffering is for Your Consolation”

Giving is Good for You

In giving we receive. That’s what we called it this time last year when we launched a giving campaign to increase our financial income. It ended two weeks later with a Harvest Lunch of Thanksgiving. I was delighted with the result. We increased our income, including gift aid by just under a third. There was much to be thankful for.

However we were starting from what I felt given our number and our relative affluence was a low income. Consequently though we’ve made good progress there is more to be done. We are still some way short of meeting our commitments not least to our diocese through our parish share. We have not paid what we have been asked for over a number of years which is something of an embarrassment.

Yet we will get there not because I stand here and make you feel guilty, I don’t want to do that anyway, but because we are growing and know that our giving is central to who we are as followers of Jesus Christ.

Money is of course part of our life. We need it to pay the bills, to support those whom we love, to enjoy our life and to be free from worry. I am not immune to those feelings, quite the opposite and so I have to keep asking myself, as we all should, whether these notes have an excessive hold on me. Continue reading “Giving is Good for You”