You will be aware that the lead up to Sunday 31 October has been designated as a time of National Giving by the Church of Scotland, and that all one-off donations made in this period will be available for our work at SSCB, and will not be included in our payments to the Central Church – good news for us all. This makes this a great season for us to prayerfully consider what we do with the resources that God has entrusted to us. This is the second in a 4 part series I have written on Giving.
Prior to studying for ministry, I worked for charities, normally fundraising. I have baked scones, opened gardens, abseiled castles, done bike rides, run half marathons, organised flowers festivals, shook collecting tins, dressed up, written letters, and attended dinner dances. There is very little fundraising that I haven’t participated in over the years! And the truth is that I loved it all.
The joy of fundraising is two-fold. Firstly, I got to see people giving their own time and money away, and thoroughly loving it. It may seem counter intuitive, our society places emphasis on receiving, saving and keeping our resources for ourselves. But giving things away- money, time, serious effort and energy, brings a whole lot of joy to those who give. The smiles are amazing. There must be a physical side to this that I’m not aware of, a rush of endorphins perhaps. When people give things away meaningfully, with effort, with a degree of self-sacrifice, they feel and receive a reward. It’s as if we’re given Godly assurance that this is a good thing to do.
The second brilliant side of fundraising is seeing what the giving achieves. Having worked for smaller charities I have seen the smile on the face of the administrator as they open the mail. I’ve seen fundraisers dance with joy when someone replied to their letters. I’ve personally danced with joy when gifts have been given because I know the impact it is going to have. Each and every gift makes a difference. We know that God wants us to care for others, that injustice is not part of His plan for mankind. Every gift helps to right a wrong, straighten an injustice, bring Gods Kingdom a little closer to someone’s life.
Our church income has taken a battering during lockdown due to lack of income from everything from hall rental to cash collections during services. So this is my own Song of Praise for Giving Days, for gift giving, for fundraising, for generous hearts. Over the next 2 weeks, I encourage you to think about your giving – to the church, to charity, to their community – and I encourage you, whatever you are doing, to do more. I do this because I know that generous giving will make you happy, generous giving fulfils Gods purposes and generous giving helps to make the lives of others better.
National Giving Day – 31st October
Start praying and planning now. There’s no better time.
Account name: St Stephen’s Comely Bank Church
Sort Code 80-11-05
Account Number 00294121
[from Cat Rawlinson-Watkins]