Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity – October 10th 2021

This service will be livestreamed at 10:00BST on the 10th of October on the YouTube link below.

Welcome

Opening Prayer

We thank God for today, I invite you to join me as you wish…
Almighty and everlasting God,
we thank you that you have brought us safely
to the beginning of this day.
May your blessing be upon all of us
as we meet with you now;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Worship

Affirmation of Faith

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,
source of all being and life,
the one for whom we exist?
We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son,
who took our human nature,
died for us and rose again?
We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,
who gives life to the people of God,
and makes Christ know in the world?
We believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.
This is our faith.
We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Word

10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”[a]

2 Corinthians
8:10-15

Last week, our visitor Chris Stebbing spoke about generosity being part of our discipleship, of giving in terms of time, talents and financially in response to all that God has given us, for the growth of God’s kingdom and God’s concern for generous Christlike people in generous Christlike communities.

 

Our reading this morning builds on from this. But to start I want to share a story with you.

 

I would like to introduce to Dan Price, a Seattle based, CEO of Gravity Payments, which is a credit card processing and financial services company. 

 

In 2015, Price hit the headlines when he announced that he was raising the minimum salary to $50,000 dollars and this would rise to $70,000 dollars in 2017. Approximate £51, 000 It is reported that to fund this he took a million dollar pay cut, mortgaged his two houses and gave up his stocks and shares.

 

But what I find really interesting is the impact of this, as taken from BBC article dated Feb 2020, which reports that the staff headcount has doubled and the value of payments process has increased from $3.8 billon dollars a year to 10.2 billion dollars a year. 

 

0-2 babies born per year to more than 40 babies since the announcement

10% of the company have been able to buy their own home, previously 1%

Voluntary Contributions to Pensions have increased and

Debts have been paid off

Reduced Workload for Senior Staff and and increase in well-being through the staff.[1]

 

I think this story, is a great illustration of our bible reading this morning. Paul urges the Corinthians to complete what they started and to be willing to give from what they have, not what they don’t have, as it says in v12. If the eagerness is there, you see, the deed is acceptable, according to what you have, not according to what you don’t have.

 

Paul goes on to stress the importance of equality, that we give from our abundance so those that don’t have, but there is a reciprocity in that they give from their abundance to those who do not. It is this reciprocity that sits at the heart of the common fund and why I consider it to be so important.

 

At the end of the passage Paul, quotes from the book of Exodus, it’s taken from the story of the manna from heaven. If you remember, the Israelites have left Egypt and are in the desert moving to the promised land. During the time God provides manna ‘Bread’ from heaven and they are instructed to collect all that they need on a daily basis but if they take more it is destroyed the following day. Tom Wright states that Paul is saying more that simply God provides what we need, he say “Paul is grounding his urgent appeal for generous giving both on the ‘grace’ of the Lord Jesus and on the underlying purpose of God, which is to ensure that his people do not go hungry on their journey home.”[2]

 

Which of course leads us to the So what question?

 

This morning, we have a reminder of God’s grace to each one of us as we join in and celebrate baptism. Let us be mindful of all that we have, of all that God has given and may we be open to being generous to those around us. Amen.

[1]https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-51332811 accessed 08/10/2021

 

[2]    Wright, T. Paul for Everyone: 2 Corinthians, SPCK, 2004 p.91

Witness

As our Saviour taught us so we pray

The Lords Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

 

Blessing and dismissal

May God, the Giver of all good gifts,
pour out upon you his richest blessing that you may always have all that you need and
that from his gracious abundance you might know the joy of generosity.
and the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be upon us and remain with us and those we love always.

Amen.

Go in the light and peace of Christ.

Thanks be to God.

Community

The community of S17 has drawn together during these unusual times in a very special way. This is reflected in the great work of the S17 COVID-19 Community Support group.

The group aims to support those in the community who may be in need and to provide a support network to the S17 community at this time.

“If there are needy people in our community let’s ensure we help them out with things like bringing shopping to their door.”

The Wardens of All Saints Totley have been producing regular newsletters with helpful links, thoughts and resources. The latest of these is here.

We have also started to add resources for the younger members of our church, to add to this virtual service. They can be found here, and here.

Reminder

If you have any feedback on this service or any other ideas, suggestions or contributions, for future services please do send these to comments@allsaintstotley.church