Simon Taylor – January 2024
Happy New Year to you!
After all the anticipation, joy and festivity of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, January can seem like a real grind can’t it? How soon we forget and take for granted those great moments of celebration we shared less than a week ago as a church and with our friends and families.
This is why, on a cold, wet and very windy January 2nd, when I came into the office I was delighted find envelopes containing messages from Midhurst Foodbank and Munch Pantry thanking us for the Christmas Gift boxes we shared with them, I was also reminded of the facebook posts from Bognor Foodbank and Chichester District Council, that appeared in the lead up to Christmas (see pictures below for these messages).
It doesn’t stop there though. In addition to the gift boxes we took up charitable collections at each of our Christmas Carol Services and the Christmas day meetings to support the works of Bognor Foodbank, Munch Pantry (Havant and Leigh Park), Heart for Homelessness Chichester, and Stone Pillow. Across the meetings we raised over £1,250 for these causes. The proceeds will be gifted to them over the next few days along with additional financial gifts that we budget each year as part of the Grace Church Tithe. Remember, a gift to Grace Church goes much further than you think!
It is an awesome privilege for me to act on behalf of the church, as your representative, in giving of these gifts to those in need in our towns and city. I might not get to meet those who ultimately benefit from what we give, but I do get to talk with those who are on the respective front lines. It’s great to demonstrate that Grace Church are a people of both Faith and Works.
James 2:14-22 reads like this:
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
Put simply, our works shall be an outworking of our faith, the two are interwoven so tightly that the threads become indistinguishable from each other, creating something more meaningful than each one can on their own.
We offer our sacrifices to God with sincere thanks.
Thank you for standing with us.