Each Sunday at 10am on Zoom there will be a sermon on the theme of the week. At 6pm also on Zoom we will gather to consider this topic a bit further. Bishop Sarah Clark will be starting us off on 21st Feb. We encourage you to join us in whatever way you can. A Lent journey sheet is here to print and, we hope, help you spend a few moments each day focusing on God even if it is simply colouring in or writing in a square each day. The items below say something about each theme.
Our PCC agreed we would look at giving (and generally at ways to raise funds) during this year. We have committed to increasing our Parish Share (our contribution to the cost of ministry) to £22,500 for 2021. This is a large step up for us and an act of faith. So it seemed right to spend some time considering giving in all its forms. The Lent reflections will be led by a variety of contributors including both our bishops and will follow the headings on each of the following panels.
Bishop Sarah Clark, Bishop of Jarrow starts off our Lent series of sermons with GIVING UP.
Traditionally we know Lent is linked to the idea of sacrifice and fasting etc. to improve our focus on God. To remove barriers and obstacles in that relationship. Over the last year we have all given up a lot, but what can we direct to God and use as a way to improve our way of life and living?
Emma Waters help us consider the notion of giving out - what does that mean?
Focusing on others can help us deal with our own problems. It can distract us, helpfully and unhelpfully from things we should be dealing with. Is there such a thing as selfless giving? We also benefit by helping others...
Marianne Clough helps us see what child-like generosity might look like and why it's a good attitude. - click above to see the talk.
It doesn't have to be negative to give in, rather it can be liberating to stop fighting and resisting something. Especially if it involves handing over control to God. We put money in and invest in things that matter to us. We show what we value in this way. The more we put in the more we get out. What do we put into our Church?? Is it representative of what we value?
Paula Barber helps us think about how unconstrained goodwill towards another, expecting nothing back is a way to give back to God. How do we express our thankfulness forthe grace and blessing we have received? Giving back might not be back to where it came from ...... is there something in the concept of paying it forward?
Bishop Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham considers how we struggle with letting ourselves forgive and be forgiven. Both are needed and necessary. Instead we're often more comfortable with shame, guilt and grudges. The cross is the ultimate Giving of God, forgiveness the ultimate gift. But one we often think we need to keep paying for. But it is done. Some wisdom from St. Cuthbert helps us respond.