Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Cambridge God Adventure* 81) Really... again?!

(*please skip if you have not been following this story).  The September Church Members Meeting squarely faced dire financial facts.  The gap was daunting.  Yet astonishly the spirit of the meeting was uplifting and enthusiastic in face of the problem.  Looking back I realize that the growing church membership and the reality of being present on the main street 24/7 with so many good things happening had sharpened faith and expectation. The meeting turned out to be gloriously positive.

People spoke about one last day to complete this financial challenge. Can you imagine it?  Asking for gifts yet again!  I was bowled over....after all we had been through with a real possibility of giving fatigue the church wanted to press on once more.  One Scripture resonated with us: 'Now finish the work so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means'. (2 Cor. 8:11).  That text spurred us to declare that we would hold a Day of Willingness on November 18th. 1990.

As before, in Easter 1984, the day was to be preceded by nights of giving (and prayer) on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday beforehand.  Everyone received letters asking them to be prayerful and to be open to willingness.  Willingness of generous hearts was all important!  Rather than me sitting in the vestry to receive gifts on those three evenings Vernon Gosden, our Building Fund Treasure, took responsibility.  And each evening people came to pray and give.  Those of us who had been around for Easter 1984 were reminded of a developing spiritual momentum we felt back then.

We agreed that the morning offering on Sunday November 18th would also be added to the total. As on the previous Easter occasion as soon as the offering was collected Vernon took to the side vestry to add it to the gifts and promises of the previous three night.  The signal that he had completed the task would be an opening vestry door. I could finish preaching.  I wondered how long I would need to preach this time.

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