Written by Gwyn Beer
Canada West Mission Centre Co-President
We are entering a period of time that we are being asked to focus on generosity.
Generosity comes in many forms.
Financial generosity is always welcomed and giving can be done in many ways. You can set up a PAT (pre authorized transaction) deposit and every month your donation will be done automatically. You can put your offering in an envelope and put in the offering plate or you can go on line whenever you want and do an e-transfer. Financial generosity allows for continued programs and services like the Worship Resources and missionary outreach. Your financial generosity allows your church to be maintained and the doors opened for both church and community events.
Generosity of time is something that can actually fill your soul as well as help others. Volunteering can come unexpectedly or be planned. My neighbour peaked my interest one morning when I met her coming home at 7 a.m. as I was leaving for work. She volunteered at our local hospice and had spent the night sitting by someone’s bedside as their earthly life ended. I have retired and my friend Mary invited me to a luncheon to learn about the local hospice society. I am signing up to volunteer for the hospice. So many of you volunteer for different groups and in different ways and you all are impacting the world you live in!
Generosity of talents while allowing you to grow as you hone your talents, give you the opportunity to share your talents. A few years back, World Accord asked for help with a Women’s group in India. Teena, a friend of Shonnet Allen’s read her newsletter from World Accord and said “We could help them”. The “Soup in a Bowl” fundraiser came into being. The 2 of them started making pottery bowls. They picked a date, advertised, and the event happened. People made soup and biscuits and the doors to the church opened with 3 tables of bowls to purchase. Buy a bowl and get soup to enjoy. These 2 talented ladies supported a very worthy cause on the other side of the world.
Generosity of spirit is when we share our Joys and Concerns. Prayer is a part of that generosity. While you may never know if your prayers and thoughts have made a difference, I know that God shares all this with you.
Generosity of resources happen when a decision is made to help refugees. Many congregations have come together to help refugees find a new home. Over the years, congregations have chosen to step up and help find accommodation, clothing, furniture and food to establish a new home for refugee families. Commitment is made to be the generous benefactor for a period of time to allow these families to become part of this new country.
We are a generous people. Doctrine & Covenants Sec 163: 2B & 3A reads;
2B. Generously share the invitation, ministries, and sacraments through which people can encounter the Living Christ who heals and reconciles through redemptive relationships in sacred community. The restoring of persons to healthy or righteous relationships with God, others, themselves, and the earth is at the heart of the purpose of your journey as a people of faith. 3A. You are called to create pathways in the world for peace in Christ to be relationally and culturally incarnate. The hope of Zion is realized when the vision of Christ is embodied in communities of generosity, justice, and peacefulness.
Where are you being called to open your generous heart?
Written by Rick James
Co-Pastor Chilliwack Congregation
I was asked if I would be the guest minister at the men’s retreat at Hills of Peace, on Sept. 16th. to 18th. At first, I was reluctant as I did not know what I could talk on. I remembered a book that I had read sometime back by Philip Yancy, called “What’s So Amazing about Grace.” There was a paragraph in it that changed my way at looking at God. I had the CD for it and after much consultation with Pat, I said yes.
I have to tell you, as I was driving east from Red Deer where I left Pat, I thought I was going to end up in Ontario, one long hill after another. But make it I did. It has been many years since I was last there, and I don’t think it has changed much. It is a beautiful place to see.
I had 11 men in the class, and we learned about the Grace that is always with us from God. As I was going over the material, I relearned how close Forgiveness is to Grace. And sometimes I think, we as a people seemed to have forgotten this. The people that Yancy had in his CD, where varied from a story about a woman of the street and a church conflict, to a friend of his that came out of the “closet”, to what happened in Alabama in the early 60’s. And a lot of things in between.
The sentence that got my attention was, “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and nothing you can do to make God love you less.” God loves us as much as an Infinite God can love. Yancy goes on to make an explanation of this in his book, but this sentence helped bring me back to the church.
I was privileged to be asked to be here as a guest and to worship with these men, my prayer for us, is that we will learn to allow themselves to feel the Grace of all loving God, that is always available to us.
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537