When we had the TRIO Sunday three weeks ago, I promised to let you know how things turned out. Well, it has been a very encouraging start with the opportunity for further progress. I said that we were hoping for an increase of £302 per week in our income, and so far, we have promises that total an extra £172 a week. So, we are 57% of the way to our target having received just 42% of the replies we are ultimately expecting.
That looks promising and I am praying that when the other 58% come back to the Finance Team (!) we will find we have met the target in full. Yes? Yes, because “The Responsibility Is Ours.” In addition, we have received a single donation of £1,000 to pay off a bit more of the outstanding Diocesan loan which currently stands at £111,301, and I understand more people may be contemplating making one-off donations soon.
Particularly encouraging is that a quarter of those who have responded to TRIO so far are starting to give regularly to ECB for the first time and a further quarter who were already giving regularly have taken this opportunity to increase their gifts. Add to that those who are continuing to give as they have faithfully done in the past (in some cases in large amounts over many years) and there is much for which to be thankful. God is good! On behalf of ECB, may I thank you all for your careful consideration and your warm-hearted response.
Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) and declared of one generous giver “She out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on”. (Luke 21:4). In that sense, she was like our Lord Himself who, though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor so that we through his poverty might become rich (2 Cor 8:9).
The exciting vision that Ian has laid out for ECB to grow in each of our three parish areas will of course involve our financial giving – but more important is how we give ourselves to the Lord and so to the tasks ahead. In the morning, we will be enjoying café church fellowship together.
In the evening, we will be preparing ourselves (whether we are natural evangelists or not – and I am not) to be ready to share our faith simply and confidently with those who are not yet Christians, so do join us for both these services.