Letter from the Minister.
Rev Phil Summers
Buy your church a cup of coffee.
Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Buy your church a cup of coffee every week.
If everyone did that on top of what they already contribute to the work of our churches, then we would wave goodbye to many financial concerns for the time being. Obviously, I don’t mean an actual cup of coffee; I’m not sure what we’d do if each church welcome area slowly filled up with lukewarm beverages in take away cups. I was just thinking a nice, ‘posh’ coffee in one of our many lovely cafés in Cam, Wotton or Dursley is about £2.50. If you were in a motorway service station, it’s more like £3.25. So, if we all bought the church the equivalent of a cup of coffee a week then the financial burdens placed upon us would be eased considerably. Clearly not everyone can afford a ‘posh’ coffee, but maybe you could consider a mug of instant for £1. (I once asked for an instant coffee in the café in Victoria Park in London – the young person behind the counter had to go and get the owner to find out how to make one!) Maybe some of you can afford two extra cups.
The point is the time has come for us all to consider how much we give to the ongoing costs of being a church. I’d much rather write a newsletter telling you how much Jesus loves you – and he does, more than we can fully comprehend. But we need money to make sure we are here to tell others of Jesus’ love. I would much rather be writing about how the Kingdom of God is in your grasp, within you and around you; all we have to do is live in it. But we need money to be able to offer that Kingdom experience to all. Obviously, I’d like to let you know that the forgiveness of God is ours and we are made whole by the Holy Spirit’s presence. I think you’ve got the point… the work we do to help these truths become a real experience for everyone takes money. Not only to keep our buildings warm and welcoming, to train and support our preachers and ministers, but also to plan for the future.
A safe financial footing helps us dream beyond what we already do. We can become missional churches, reaching out beyond ourselves; but that mission comes with financial implications. I’d love it if that were not so; and I agree, there is something to be said for listening to the promptings of the Spirit and moving forth in faith, praying and trusting that finance will be provided. But in my experience the two go hand in hand. So, keep praying and seeking God’s vision for what is possible in the lives of our churches. At the same time search your handbags and bank accounts and see if you can buy one another a cup of coffee each week.
Oh, and that quote at the top of the page from 2 Corinthians… do as you please, not because I’ve asked and certainly not if you don’t want to or can’t. But if you can and if it pleases you to do so.
The blessings of God encircle you, now and always.