For the first Monday Spot of the new year we have to report a weekend where things were, more or less, back to normal. Schools return from the Christmas break this week and most of our section activities also recommence. Majors Drew and Beverley McCombe wish everyone a very happy new year.
‘First things first’ was the topical theme for the day yesterday and in the morning we thought about the fact that ‘everything belongs to God’. Major Beverley was our leader and the chosen songs were 42, and 736 from the Salvation Army Song Book together with 1054 and 1015 from Songs of Fellowship. The Singing Company and Songsters each brought musical ministry with ‘Amazing Race’ and ‘Mary, did you know?’ respectively whilst time was set aside to ponder ‘Give to Grow‘, an initiative being developed by the corps this year.
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In her message Beverley said:
How much ‘stuff’ have you got? Does it mean you have to get rid of the old ‘stuff’? Attitudes to what we own will vary considerably from person to person. But actually everything we own belongs to God. He created the entire earth and everything in it. It all belongs to Him. Modern culture, however, asks ‘what’s mine?’ Society judges on this level and we are all tempted by the desire to have more. It is necessary that we glorify God and have a good sense of values because we have a responsibility to look after those who have little or nothing. What we have is not ours but God’s and He entrusts us with its use. He allows us to live as we see fit but we must respond to His way. We are responsible for how we handle what god has entrusted to us. So, let us think about what God has given us as individuals. What are we most thankful for? Have we thanked God for those gifts? Recently?
Musical ministry was provided by the Band and Songsters with ‘Gems for His Crown’ and ‘Sweet Jesus’ respectively whilst the principles of ‘Give to Grow’ were again explained. In his message, based on Matthew 6:19-24, Drew said:
Let us examine the relationship between financial giving and Christian discipleship.Jesus often focused on people’s attitudes to their possessions and expected his disciples to consider their own position on this subject. The question is ‘are we going to serve God?’ or ‘are we going to serve money?’. As a corps, are we going to realise the objectives we have for the future because they will need finance. We must start with ourselves and assess our own levels of giving. This will allow us to be free of anxiety and, consequently, be spiritually liberated. This liberation is not just for individuals but for the church as a whole. We cannot stand still. We must put our hands in our pockets so that God can reward us with His abundance. He will supply all that we need for reaching out into our community. We want this corps to reflect Jesus more and more to that community and our approach to financial matters is crucial in facing the challenge.
As we enter the new year we remember our university students who return to their studies this week. They are constantly in our minds and prayers.
Finally we have to announce a change in our Sunday programme times for children. KAOS and Junior Soldiers will alternate fortnightly and will commence at 10.30am, finishing at approximately 12 noon. This arrangement will start next Sunday, 10 January.
If you’re making a New Year’s Resolution this week you could do worse than to commit yourself to regular worship at a church near where you live. If you live near to us and would like to join with us you would be most welcome. Our hall is in Church Street and is easily found (see the maps below). We are always on the lookout for new faces and yours could be one of them.
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