ISSUED BY CHURCH OF SCOTLAND STEWARDSHIP & FINANCE

Is our giving a clear sign of our love for God and our commitment to Christ and the Church? Christian giving is sacrificial giving, a response to God’s sacrificial giving in Christ. The motivation for all our Christian Giving should be our appreciation of God’s giving to us – especially God’s sacrificial giving through the life and death of Jesus (John 3.16)  A measure of our desire to spread the Gospel. Everything we have is from God and for God. This means that all our giving should be an act of praise to God. Giving to share and spread the good news of God’s saving grace should be especially important to us. This is the work of the Church (Matthew 28.16-20) _A priority in our personal spending. Our giving for the work of God’s Church should be a priority in our personal spending, as it was for the Israelites, who were expected to bring the “first fruits” to God. (Deuteronomy 26.1-11) A generous proportion of our income. As some of us have much larger incomes that others, our offering should be a proportion of our income rather than a fixed sum of money. If our offering is truly a response to God’s giving to us, it will be a generous, even sacrificial, proportion of our income. (Psalm 116.2)

What happens when we place £10 in the offering plate on Sunday?

  • It goes to 121 - No
  • It all goes to help churches in poor areas - No
  • It pays the Minister - No

Rather, it provides a powerful ministry locally, nationally and globally

  • £4.20 is kept by the local church.
  • £4.88 pays for our ministers.
  • 92p gives important help for congregations and support the mission of the Church

Let’s look at this in more detail.

About £4.20 is kept by the local church for all sorts of costs including maintaining the building, mission, worship and supporting church groups.

About £4.88 goes to the Parish Ministries Fund. This ensures we have ministries in every part of the country. About 92p supports congregations with services such as Safeguarding, Law Department, General Trustees, and Stewardship and Finance. Some of this money also ensures the mission of the Church is strengthened through the work of Councils

8p Mission Discipleship
5p Church and Society
9p Social Care (Crossreach)
12p World Mission
45p Support Services (legal advice, accounting, safeguarding)
6p General assembly and Moderator
7p Special Contributions

Some interesting facts:

  • In 2016, the cost of a Minister at the top of the stipend scale is £41,507. 
  • If your Ministries and Mission contribution is £49,413 or more you are meeting your costs in full. 
  • If it is less than £49,413, you are receiving financial support from other congregations.
  • In 2016 the Church of Scotland will spend £110 million. 
  • Congregations will contribute £46 million of this. 

Some discussion topics for the Kirk Session:

  • Does the Session know what your church pays in Ministries and Mission?
  • Where does this money go?
  • Does the congregation understand “Ministries and Mission”?
  • What is the cost of a Minister?
  • What is Stewardship?
  • Does the Session set a good example and model of generosity?
  • How is the offering uplifted and what is the significance of this?

Remember – help is at hand from the Stewardship Consultants.

Kirk Session Conference.
Delivering a reflective conference to help your Session re-prioritise and establish a firm direction for the Church.

Gift Aid/GASDS.
How to maximise Gift Aid claims and how to ensure the church is gaining the most of GASDS (Gift Aid Small Donations
Scheme)

Stewardship Seasons
A programme on time, gifts or money that focuses on teaching and encouragement.

Fundraising
A Financial programme that increases income.

Resources

A wealth of material for Kirk Session meetings, worship and personal reflection.
 

CHRISTIANS AGAINST POVERTY

In association with the charity, Christians Against Poverty (CAP), the Community Church has decided  to launch a CAP Jobs Club in Gatehouse of Fleet.  Chris Barratt recently attended training at CAP's headquarters in Bradford and plans to start the Jobs Club in the new year with our first session on Friday 5th February at 10:30am in Gatehouse of Fleet Community Centre.  

Membership is free and open to anyone who is looking for work.  CAP has a partnership agreement with Job Centre Plus and the club is intended to complement existing arrangements offered by them by offering additional options to people seeking employment.  Job Club Members will undertake an eight-week "Steps to Employment" course which includes sessions on motivation, overcoming obstacles, discovering personal strengths, getting to know employers, writing CVs, interview skills and preparing for work.  Individual jobs coaching will form an important part of our approach and our aim will be to offer a sense of hopefulness by providing a welcoming, friendly, relaxed and supportive environment.  Readers may not have  heard of CAP although some may have heard Martin Lewis (Money-Saving Expert) recommend their money courses.  For more information, please visit their website at https://capuk.org/about-us.

If anyone wishes to apply to join our Jobs Club they can call CAP's national number, free of charge on 0800 328 0006.  If calling from a mobile, 01274- 760839 may be cheaper.  

For an informal chat please feel free to contact me.

Pastor Chris Barrett 
 

SUNDAY COFFEES

Sunday Coffees on Sunday mornings between services afford valuable opportunity for fellowship. All our readers are encouraged to come along.  Coffees, teas and juices are served from 10.30 am affording opportunity to those attending the 11.00am to gather before the second service and meet fellow members and adherents of the congregation coming over to the Church Hall for after service fellowship following 9.30am worship.  The Fair Trade Stall is always open!   So come along, one and all, and enjoy a very special time of togetherness on Sundays.
 

2016 STAMP APPEAL: OTHARA ECO-SPIRITUALITY CENTRE, SOUTH INDIA

Please collect postage stamps off envelopes sent your way. Cut the stamps off leaving a good margin and drop them into the Post Box in the Church. This year’s World Mission Stamp Project will support the Church of South India's (CSI) eco-spirituality centre at Othara, near Kerala. This is a unique place where groups can come to learn about the environment, caring for creation and stewardship of the earth. Funds raised by the Stamp Appeal will support some of their ecological innovations including the harvesting and re-use of rain water, the establishment of a biogas plant to power the kitchens and the development of a small dairy and chicken farm for native breeds. A huge thank you to everyone who collected stamps last year! £3,511 was raised for the Church of Scotland HIV Programme.
 

SOUND TEAM

Come join the SOUND TEAM.  As part of our service to the church the "sound team" operates the sound system during services and provides support to our Praise Band.  We are in need of volunteers to join this team.  We operate on a rota system.  You can help us in either of two ways:- (a) We need people to control the sound system during our 11.00am service.  This is a simple task.  Slider controls on the mixer deck adjust the sound level.  Radio and lectern microphones need to be selected as required and (b) If you feel you can take on a greater challenge then come along and help us set up and monitor the multiple microphones used by the Praise Band at our 9.30am service.  Please contact Ron McHugh for further details.