Staying positive is really important at the moment. We are all feeling the effects of the continued lockdown: loneliness, anxiety, paranoia every time we cough more than once (thank you Sarah Wragg for your definition of this: ‘Coronoia’!), the inconvenience and stressfulness of the shopping experience – although we are very lucky to have everything we need on the doorstep in the village.
Of course, for most of us this situation is only inconvenient and worrying. There are many who are having a much more difficult time: NHS staff, key workers, the vulnerable, the bereaved. Nevertheless, all this worry, isolation and distancing isn’t great for our mental health. So how do we stay positive? I’m going to suggest two things: joy and generosity.
You may remember that our diocese has 4 values: Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage. And those first two floated into my head as I was thinking about how we can stay positive.
Joy is the antidote to the feelings of depression many of us may be experiencing. Joy isn’t a forced happiness (look at many a famous comedian and their struggles with depression), but the peace and wholeness we feel when we experience ‘rightness’: that feeling of being in tune with the world, with others and with God. Generosity is the antidote to being closed in on yourself, focussing on the negative and all the things none of us can change right now. Generosity is as much about being open to receive the help and kindness of others as it is to give that help yourself. It’s as much about bearing with the people around you as it is about helping others – though where we can do that, that is a great offering of generosity.
If we can find opportunities for joy and generosity in this strange time, we will experience something of the glory of Easter. In God’s generous love for us he raises us to new life in Jesus. The tomb is open, and God offers us the life of his kingdom both now and in eternity.
As God’s people we are called to offer joy and generosity to our community. In order to do that, even though our building is closed, we still need to pay our bills, support our ministry and contribute to the wider church. We rely on your generosity – we don’t receive any support from the Government or the central church. Easter is a great time to review our giving as we respond to the generous love of God. Perhaps you have not reviewed your giving for a number of years? Perhaps you do not yet give regularly to All Saints? Now more than ever we want the church to be there for people, bringing positivity and hope. Your generosity enables that. In more normal circumstances we supplement our income with hall hire and fundraising, both of which we cannot do just now. I recognise that some of us have taken a worrying hit to our own finances and will not be able to review our giving. If you are in any need please get in touch and we will liaise with Kings Langley Good Neighbours to support you – or get in touch with them directly: www.klgna.org or 07790 668672.
If you are able to review or start giving you will know what is realistic as well as generous for you. You can give either by cash or cheque (payable to the PCC of All Saints Kings Langley) in an envelope each week or month – you will have to save these up at home until we can meet together – or by standing order from your bank account. To join our planned giving scheme, to sign up to gift aid, or to change from the envelope scheme to standing order please contact Eric Martin: 01923 267604. To make a one-off donation please contact our treasurer Patricia Humberstone: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use the QR code on the website. Please gift aid where possible.
Many clergy do not like writing or talking about money. It isn’t my favourite subject! However, it is necessary to be realistic and responsible about resourcing the ministry we want to offer our community. In this difficult time, we are called more than ever to offer our community a glimpse of the joyful life God offers us in the risen Jesus. I hope you will be able to consider your own generosity in response to God’s generous love for you.
Jesus said, ‘I came that they may have life, life in all its fullness’. (John 10.10)
With my love and prayers for you,
All Saints Vicarage
Thursday of Easter week, 16th April 2020