Partners in Ministry
A key value in the life of St Richard's is that every member has a part to play. Just as when we do a puzzle every piece is needed to make up the whole picture, so we are all called to be partners in the life, mission and ministry of our church.
Each year, every member of St. Richard's is invited to sign the "Partnership Pledge" as a sign of their commitment to this vision for our church.
The theme of partnership is inspired by the apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians in which he writes:
“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now…”
The word Paul uses for partnership is the Greek word koinonia, which is most often translated as fellowship, but means much more than what we often understand by that word. It has to do with an active sharing of life, faith and ministry, with God and one another.
Koinonia is not just being close to one another, getting along nicely; it’s a word which describes the unity of all believers that comes about as a result of our common faith in Christ.
But the challenge we face is this: how do we make our fellowship in Christ a practical reality? How do we translate our spiritual partnership into action?
Partnership Pledge 2017
In particular this year we’ve looked at the three key challenges of the London Diocese Capital Vision. It challenges us as a church to be:
Confident in speaking and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
We are not called to be religious or spiritual people, but unashamedly Jesus-people, rooted in his life and teaching and with a real desire for others to know him.
Compassionate in serving communities with the love of God the Father:
Jesus’ call is not just to proclaim words but, as he did, to match it with action, especially in caring for those experiencing difficulty or struggle.
Creative in reaching new people and places with the Good News in the power of the Spirit:
The Spirit came to empower and guide the mission of the Church. We need always to seek God’s help for all that we do, and we need his inspiration as we find new ways to take the Good News out to those around us.
Much of this can be summed up by the simple phrase:
Roots down, walls down
As individuals and as a church we need to be rooted in Christ, confident in his love and confident of his Gospel. But we also need to be a church without walls, working to remove the barriers that exist between us and our communities, believers willing to go out in the service of God.
The Financial Challenge
A key part of our partnership is making a financial commitment to the church. What we see in Scripture is that what we do with our money is an important part of our decision to follow Christ.
In response to all God has done for us, as committed members of St Richard’s, part of our worship means giving to support the whole ministry and mission of his Church. Which means:
If you don’t already give in a planned, regular way would you please consider doing so, either by standing order or gift envelope?
If you do already give would you consider giving a little more? The Church of England suggests 5% of our total income as a suitable starting figure.
Will you be a partner in this work? Will you share in responding to these challenges?
As a particular part of this year’s challenge I’m setting the financial target of raising an additional £6,000 over the next year, money we need simply to cover our costs. That is a lot of money, but remember – your giving enables ministry – and it equates to just 50 people giving an extra £10 a month.
Parish Giving Scheme
This year, all members are also asked to join the Parish Giving Scheme as they renew their financial commitment to the church. The PGS is explained in the leaflet you can download here
, but will make regular gifts to the church easier:
For you – the scheme uses a Direct Debit, so the money is taken directly from your bank account (monthly or quarterly) while still giving you full control
For the church – any Gift Aid is claimed for us and the total paid to the church within ten days. This reduces both the cost and administrative burden.
I’m asking every member of St Richard’s to fill out the Partnership Pledge to recommit ourselves to this work (you can pick up the form in church together with the Parish Giving Scheme 'Gift Form').
As a part of the pledge, I’d be grateful if you could renew your financial commitment (even if the amount given is the same) in order to help us as we plan for the year ahead.
With thanks for your partnership in the gospel here in St Richard’s,
Vicar, St. Richard's Church