The Ecumenical Church Service takes place tonight at 7.00pm. Please come along.
Day 8 Generosity: Receiving and giving
- Acts 28:8-10
“The father of Publius lay sick in bed with fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and cured him by praying and putting his hands on him. After this happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. They bestowed many honours on us, and when we were about to sail, they put on board all the provisions we needed”
- Psalm 103: 1-5
- Matthew 10: 7-8
for privileging me to receive You.
for making me accept Your care
and the love I thought wasn’t in You to give.
for drawing me to Your precious death
to receive Your poverty
as riches that outweigh the world.
the others all
who gave to me so much to give.
God, giver of life,
we thank You for the gift of Your compassionate love
which soothes and strengthens us.
We pray that our churches
may be always open to receive Your gifts from one another.
Grant us a spirit of generosity to all
as we journey together in the path of Christian unity.
We ask this in the name of Your Son
who reigns with You and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
- Have you ever received a gift from someone from whom you found it difficult to receive? What did you do with the gift?
- How does your church receive from other Christian traditions?
- How does your church receive from people of other faiths and none?
Go and Do
Global: Find out how the generosity of churches has made such a difference to communities across the world through the work of Christian Aid.
Local: Identify your needs as a church or churches and consider who you could approach to help you fulfil those needs.
Personal: Ask someone to help you with an outstanding task or need you have.
Day 7 Transformation: Changing our hearts and minds
- Acts 28:3-6
“Paul had gathered a bundle of brushwood and was putting it on the fire, when a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, ‘This man must be a murderer; though he has escaped from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.’ He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. They were expecting him to swell up or drop dead, but after they had waited a long time and saw that nothing unusual had happened to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god.”
- Psalm 119:137-144
- Matthew 18:1-6
The headlines tear
like shards of glass through
and tainted talents,
to be heard no more.
Names, stories, lives, compacted
into an anonymised mass.
Contempt for care,
rejection made righteous.
When will we turn
and dare to see the sister in the surge
of displaced existence,
and the brother
in the monster’s shame?
we turn to You with repentant hearts.
In our sincere quest for Your truth,
purify us from our unjust opinions of others
and lead the churches to grow in communion.
Help us let go of our fears,
and so better understand each other and the stranger in our midst,
and dare to love the rejected.
We ask this in the name of the Just One,
Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
- Have you ever changed your mind about someone, for the better? Why?
- How has your church related to churches and congregations with very different theological ideas and/or cultures?
- Who are the outcasts in your community? How can your church better reach out to them?
Go and Do
Global: Find inspiration from stories of inclusion and overcoming prejudice in India.
Local: How are you as churches working with those on the fringes of society? Find out how you could be supported to do more.
Personal: Take steps to tackle prejudice or exclusion in your life and community.