This year Abernethy and Dron and Arngask Parish Church will undertake a stewardship campaign. Some church folk may inwardly groan, and some folk outside the Church may wonder what the fuss is about.
Stewardship is something Christians do as part of their faith, like going to church or giving to charity. We do these things because of what we believe. Christians believe we are responsible for what we do with our money. On the one hand we should not waste money or use it for wrong purposes; on the other hand we have a duty to continue Jesus’ work in the world today and that costs money. To say that the church is always asking for money is to say that there is still a lot of work to be done.
One of the mistakes to make with stewardship is to make it an occasional thing, usually when funds are low or when financial panic sets in. Desperation is not the best motivation. Nobody gets unfit or overweight suddenly - the best remedy is good diet and regular exercise. So stewardship should be a regular part of the life of the church. Crash diets do not work and neither does short term fund raising or occasional panic stewardship. So we undertake this campaign from a healthy, strong position. We are also acting with other local churches. There are a number of benefits from this, such as publicity, and emphasising that stewardship is something we all do. Features of this campaign will be familiar leaflets, meetings, visits to our church members, theme sermons etc. The central focus is to bring folk together at gatherings to hear about the church’s work and how we still make a difference and then to ask them to review their Christian giving. In the difficult times of the ‘credit crunch’ some people may genuinely have less to give or you may give more effectively by gift aid. You can consider your options. This is about giving money, without apology, but Is also about bringing people together and rekindling interest and enthusiasm. I think every doctor would recommend sensible diet and healthy exercise for obvious health benefits. Collecting for Christian Aid Week requires planning, organisation and effort and it helps the world’s poorest people. Stewardship requires planning, effort and determination but it too brings benefits. Rev. Alec Wark.
Although we live in a secular age with less interest In Church or religion, most people drift away from Church usually by moving from one place to another or through Other commitments. They get out of the habit or routine of getting ready to go to Church on a Sunday morning.
Going back to Church can seem daunting - will I know anyone? Will I feel like a stranger? Will it all be different? These are natural concerns people have, going back to Church can be tough.
A few years ago someone in England had a great and simple idea - what if we had a Sunday for the people who want to come back to Church? The idea has caught on and spread all over the country. It has spread to Abernethy and Dron and Arngask. Our Churches will celebrate ‘Back to Church Sunday’ with other local Churches. There is no formula to this except a friendly welcome and worship and worship which has something the same and maybe something different.
Here are a couple of snippets from the website:-
on September 27th, 2009 half a million people will be inviting someone special back to church with them.
Comment from one lady on entering the church - “It only needed something like this to get me through the door”
This year’s theme is ‘COME AS YOU ARE’