Dear Fellow-Members of St James’,
Grace and peace from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all!
2020 has been a year which none of us will forget quickly. We shall be living with the COVID-19 virus and its impact – on government, individuals, families, and our community way of living – for some years to come. There is financial hardship for many; loss and grief, for loved ones and for the simple joys of social contact, a smiling face, a hug, a pat on the back; the mental anguish of isolation. The sheer relentlessness of social distancing is wearing.
St. Paul in his Letters encourages us to give thanks, even in the midst of trials and tribulations. And even now there is much for which to be thankful: the gift of life itself; friends and family; our civic leaders and health authorities; the dedication of doctors and nurses, teachers, relief agencies, community networks; the new ways in which online technology has helped us stay together in this difficult time. As the old hymn puts it, and as I’ve written before: “Count your blessings, name them one by one.”
Here at St. James’ there is much to be thankful for too: the strength of our community, and the mutual support we offer one to another; the ongoing life of prayer and praise which we have been able to sustain online; works and maintenance undertaken on our beautiful church building; Watari’s provision of meals from our crypt kitchen; the Street Outreach’s ministry of compassion and post-trauma support; our inheritance of faith and the endowment of our benefactors. We are profoundly grateful just now for the generosity of members during this pandemic: so many of you have been sending in cheques to the office regularly.
This is the usual season for our Stewardship Renewal, where we invite everyone to examine and renew their commitment of time, money and service. However, Trustees feel that now is not the moment to have a major campaign: we recognise the challenges confronting everyone. We shall use last year’s pledges in this next round of budget planning. Nonetheless we encourage those who are able to review their giving for next year: St. James’ running costs continue! Please consider too giving by Pre Authorised Donation (PAD): forms are available from the office, or, PAD Brochure 2018
Our plan is to have a more expansive campaign next year, as part of a visioning exercise looking forward to the mission and ministry of St. James’ in the COVID New World. Watch this space!
God bless you and keep you as we journey onward together in the Way of Christ.