‘Great grace was upon them all…’
Early in the story of Acts, Luke uses this wonderful phrase to describe the generous way in which the first Christians shared their wealth to meet the needs of the community and so fulfil the purpose of God (Acts 4. 33). It’s a phrase that has come back to me since Easter with the news of the response of our two churches to our appeal for increased regular giving to sustain the long term future of our dedicated families’ ministry.
In both churches the sums pledged amount to all we hoped for. Amazingly enough (perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised?) we have been promised exactly what we need to fund a full-time families worker for the foreseeable future. In the face of this significant challenge, our prayers have been answered and the necessary resources released among us. This is wonderful news! And a real encouragement that we are on the right path.
We are deeply grateful to all who have given money and to those whose support is expressed in other ways too. We can now proceed with confidence to plan and prepare for the next three years. The work is growing organically and we look forward to seeing it impact in deeper and broader ways among the children, young people and families of our church communities and spheres of contact.
This is a calling spear-headed by one person but which crucially involves us all. Just as we have been surprised and delighted by the financial giving that has been called forth among us, so let us allow God to challenge and surprise us about how we can play our part in support of it. We will surely be blessed by fresh discoveries of joy and grace along the way!