In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Acts 20:35 NIVUK
Over the next two Sundays we'll be taking up our Generous Gift Day offerings. The goal is to raise over £100,000 with everything that comes in being given away either locally, nationally or internationally.
I blogged last week about how we're going to do the local giving. We've already had quite a few organisations nominated for local gifts but it would be great to get some more - you can find the details on how to nominate here.
Nationally we're partnering with an organisation called the Cinnamon Network, a charity which exists to equip churches to help those most in need in their communities. One of the key ways they do that is through giving Micro-Grants of up to £2,000 to any church wanting to set up one of the Cinnamon recognised social justice projects. We benefitted from one of those grants when we started up our CAP Job Club, allowing us to buy the laptop computers which we use to help clients to do job applications and complete their CVs.
There are a whole load of Cinnamon recognised projects, some of which we run as a church and others which I suspect will be new to many of us. You can find the full list of projects here - I encourage you to take a look as I think you'll be amazed at the range of projects avaialable. The great thing is that any church, anywhere in the country, can find projects there which would help them to reach needy people in their particular community.
I'd love us to give a big gift to Cinnamon, all of which they will then distribute to churches around the UK to enable them to reach the needy in their community. You only have to think of the impact that our social justice initiatives have had in our local community to think of the difference that our generous giving could make, as it allows churches all over the land to set up projects to reach their communities.
In time Cinnamon will send us back reports from the churches which we've helped, letting us know the impact those projects have made both on the churches themselves and their communities. That's not why we're doing it, but it will be exciting over the coming years to hear about the difference our generosity has made.
Please be thinking and praying about what to give. Being generous will look different for every one of us, based on our own financial situation. Please don't worry about what anyone else is going to give, or about the overall target, but just be asking God what being generous would look like for you.