We have received the following letter of appeal from Revd Wendy Hough, the Chaplain of St Andrews Church, Kyrenia, in which she is asking for financial support for the church and the important work that it does and If you pay tax in the U.K. and are happy to Gift Aid your donation they can make your donations go even further.
Sunday November 26th was the celebration of Christ the King, also known as “Stir Up Sunday”. This last Sunday before Advent for St. Andrews’ was also our Pledge Sunday, committing ourselves once again to respond to God’s love for us. Please find below the sermon, and know that you are all held in prayer and fellowship even when you are not physically with us.
With every blessing for the Advent season
“Where is your treasure?”
Where is your treasure? We are told in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6: 19-21, that wherever our treasure is, that is where our hearts will be also. For many people, their “treasure” comprises our loved ones. Most of us would do anything to ensure the material wellbeing of those whom we care most about, whether they be our parents, spouses, offspring, or others. We will make sacrifices to ensure they are clothed, fed and nourished, that they have the best opportunities for education and access to health care. When we know we will no longer be here, we wish to those whom we leave behind, some financial security. For those of us who are people of faith, we know that there is an even more encompassing and everlasting love. There is the offer of eternal life and love through the sacrifice and offering that God gave us through Jesus Christ.
When we recognise something of the greatness of the love of God, we want to respond to God’s offering of Himself with ourselves. This is why we worship God, as a response to His love for us. This is our whole identity as a church. If we grasp even a glimpse of this love, we want our loved ones to be safe in His love too; the knowledge that this love exists compels us to share that Good News of His love with the people and wider world around us. This is our charge and responsibility as a church, to worship God and ministry that develops from it; as part of the wider body of Christ.
Here at St. Andrew’s, we work hard at all aspects of worship, ministry and mission, with a particular emphasis on how we welcome people into the church. We are very encouraged by many letters of appreciation from visitors to us. In our first “scene@standrews” we shared news of the variety of our work here, not only what is happening, but some of our vision as to what we would like to achieve. In order to make this possible, to sustain what we are doing but also continue to develop God’s work here, we are reliant upon your prayerful financial support.
Many people do not realise we are entirely self-sufficient. We are deeply thankful for, and encouraged by, gifts already received, but what will help us to budget our work is regular payments by Standing Order. This is what we would like to ask you to consider. If you pay tax in the U.K. and are happy to Gift Aid your donation we can make your money go even further.
We are working very hard to be responsible stewards of all that God has given us. We need to maintain the structure of the church, we do have bills to pay, but most importantly, we do have to have resources to share God’s love, the most valuable treasure. We invite you to join with us in sharing that ministry and ensure it will still be here for generations to come.
A family I once knew, very committed to their local church, had very little money. The single mother was raising three children and when the time came for their own Pledge Sunday, they went home feeling as if they could not give, that they had nothing to give. Then the oldest son, 15 years old, said “Hang on, we do pay for cable TV, we don’t really need it.” Together as a family they decided to sacrifice the TV network accessibility by choosing to invest in something they felt was of more importance. They transferred the payment for the cable to their church. For each of us, it is about a small contribution. If every person on our electoral roll gave 50 TL or £10 per week, we would not be experiencing any financial worries. Most of us spend that on a coffee and a sandwich in a cafe each week.
As Chaplain, my personal prayer for you, that is joined by all the people of St. Andrew’s Church, is that we will all place our treasure where neither moth nor rust can destroy, in the love of God in which we want to grow, live and share. Please join us in this huge and most humbling of tasks.
This comes at a time when the Advent season is almost upon us and we look forward with expectant hearts, preparing ourselves for the coming of God into his world, the most sacrificial offering of all. My prayer for you all is that you will know the treasure of the love of God which passes all understanding, to enter into our hearts and minds afresh, for us to respond to that love with our offerings to Him.