Day of Generosity 2020
In times of crisis a sacrifice of worship can take the form of financial generosity. We made Sunday 17 May 2020 our Day of Generosity and our central act of worship was in the making of financial gifts, small and big. This was not raising money for the church but to give to those needing support during COVID-19.
There was no obligation to give, just an invitation to participate in an act of worship alongside the rest of the Church family. We celebrate God's goodness to us and our response can be an overflow of generosity. God loves to give to us and loves it when we give back to Him in response. And then He responds with yet more extravagant and unexpected forms of generosity to us. Usually we give to the church (which is the biblical model) but there are times when we make an extra "offering" to various causes as we discern Holy Spirit leading us (which is also a biblical model).
For our Day of Generosity in 2020 we gave the entire offering to two fabulous charities. In a time of Coronavirus we chose causes most directly affected by the pandemic. One very close to home (Wheatfields) and the other faraway (Love the One). There's more information below.
We don't take up offerings very often and had never done it in Digital Church before! Vineyard Kids had been saving up to be generous by putting money in their Gratitude Pot. Others reviewed their bank accounts and savings or charity accounts. On Sunday 17 May we made arrangements to give online all together (regular givers to Leeds Vineyard can do so through ChurchSuite).
We gave to these two charities:
Wheatfields is a Sue Ryder Hospice in Headingley, 5 minutes walk from Vineyard House. It is a wonderful place and many of us have had cause to be thankful for the services it provides to those in pain and at the end of life. During COVID-19 Wheatfields is not only providing additional critical services, it has also seen its income fall dramatically as many of the usual fund-raising events have had to be cancelled.
Love the One, India
Love the One, itself as a concept, exists to stand alongside poor, abused, orphaned, exploited and marginalised children in India. One child at a time. Love the One was started up by two paediatricians, Mary and Cat, who were based at Trent Vineyard in 2008.
They say "COVID 19 lockdown has caused overnight loss of income for the poor and Love the One are partnering alongside the government as a grassroots NGO to get food to those who need it as fast and as safely as they can. We will never know how many lives have been saved through the simple gift of food and your generosity - but it will be in the region of thousands. COVID19 cases are now on the rise in our state and we have the highest figures in our district. We are as prepared as we can be, but we are so grateful that we so far have been feeding people for 6 weeks before the virus started to get a hold."