All Saints News Sheet
Easter is fast approaching, and we are setting out on the great journey through Holy Week, from the joy of Palm Sunday, through the darkness of Good Friday to the glory of Easter Morning.
Good morning – my name is Emily, and I’m member of the church council here at All Saints.
I’ve been asked to share a message with you about financial giving at church, and to tell you a little bit about why I give to All Saints.
I’d like to start by telling you a story.
For many years, I have desired to become a runner. I work in a very sedentary job, and I think running would help me to deal with the aches and pains of sitting at a desk for too many hours each day, as well as help me to manage stress and anxiety of life in the modern world.
So, I’d like to become a runner: the next logical question is how? How do I become a runner?
One of the ways is with the help of a running headband. When I put this headband on, I become a little bit more a runner. Practically speaking, I become a person who can run when it’s cold like this. Symbolically speaking, I become a person who looks serious about what I’m doing. When people see me out running in Blonay, I am confident that they say to themselves: Look at her go, she is a real runner!
I practice the posture of a runner, and I am transformed a little bit more – even a tiny little bit more – into a runner.
For me, financial giving is one of the running headbands of the Christian life.
Let me explain what I mean.
From the very beginning, the Bible tells us that the people of God have been invited to practice financial generosity. The Israelite laws have economic justice as a cornerstone. The disciples were asked to give up their economic security and follow Jesus. And the early church practiced radical generosity in which all things were shared in common.
It seems to me that the practice of financial giving is important in two directions:
ONE: The work of God depends on financial generosity. Jesus and Paul were both supported by the radical generosity of their followers, and we are invited to do the same. The work of God here at All Saints depends on the financial generosity of our member so that we can pay our staff, or run our heat, or give to our mission partners.
SECOND: and I think more important, financial giving seems to be deeply connected to my own transformation because it’s a way that I practice the posture of who I was created to be.
I am created in the image of a wildly generous God, and so when I practice generosity, I practice the posture of the divine in whose image I am made. Like putting on a running headband, we get a little bit closer to God is inviting us to be.
I am created for life in a kingdom that is not defined by fear and scarcity, and when I practice giving up some of my financial security, I am practicing trusting in a different kingdom. Like putting on a running headband, we signal to the world that we live by different rules.
Through the act of financial giving, we have a chance to say yes, not only to support the work of our church, but to support the work of transformation that God has begun in us.
It’s not an accident that I’m sharing this message with you today. It’s not an accident that you will find QR codes in the pews and announcements in the weekly email about financial giving.
As a member of council, I have quite a difficult message to bring.
Our church is running significant financial deficit of nearly 80,000chf, and we need to ask for the support of the entire congregation or we will be faced with some very difficult decisions in the coming months. You will hear from more of us in the coming weeks, and we will get a full rundown of the budget at our AGM in April, BUT TODAY, I am inviting you to join with me and take a step toward putting on our running headbands, and practicing living the lives we are ultimately called to live, both because it is necessary for the work of our church, and because it is an opportunity for you to say yes to an invitation from God.
I’d like to share a small quote from CS Lewis in his book Mere Christianity. In this section of his book, he is taking about charitable giving, and what it means for our transformation.
He says this: “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. …[we must] give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”
If you are already someone who gives to the church as a part of the Planned Giving Scheme, thank you, AND I am asking you to join me (and my family) in re-evaluating how much you are giving. Can you give more?
If you are not yet on the planned giving scheme, I want you invite you to join. You need to know that there is no single tool that is more helpful for our church than the planned giving scheme. It is helpful for two reasons. One, it allows us as a church to have the most accurate, stable picture of our yearly budget so we can make wise decisions about the work of the Kingdom of God. Two: it doesn’t rely on church attendance! This is the first church that I have ever been a part of with a planned giving scheme, and both Ezra and I really like it because it ensures that our monthly giving is consistent.
So right now: take out your cell phones and scan that QR code. Leave the tab open as a reminder to yourself, or go ahead and open your banking app on your phone right now and sign up for the PGS.
Finally, I would like to ask all members of council to stand – if you have any questions about the planned giving scheme, please find one of us after church. In the coming weeks, you will be hearing from others.
This is a serious moment for us as a church to respond in faith and generosity to the call of Jesus, and we ask for your prayers and we ask for you to generously partner with us.
In common with the rest of the Diocese in Europe, we have robust procedures to ensure the safety of young children and vulnerable adults. Our new Safeguarding Officer is Claire Daglish who can be contacted by filling in an online form here. Please contact her with any safeguarding queries or concerns. Our two Safeguarding Assistant Officers are Louise Bowley and Mary Sidebottom. Please contact them with any queries about your safeguarding clearance or safeguarding training by email at email@example.com.
If you are considering being a volunteer with children and vulnerable adults at All Saints, you can find more about the safeguarding process at All Saints here.
In general, on a Sunday morning, we try to keep the Church Carpark free for the older members of All Saints as well as families with babies or disabled members. The Church Council is aiming to provide two parking spaces in the Church Carpark for people with disabilities. Currently one space (by the Church Hall) is marked on Sunday mornings with a traffic cone. Thanks for respecting this! More formal signage will appear soon.
Alternative parking can be found along the Route de Blonay (above the railway bridge).
Little Arrows, the Toddler group at All Saints, meets every Wednesday and Thursday morning from 09h45 to 11h30 starting on the 17th and 18th January. Please contact the Church Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like more information about joining this group in the Winter term.
If you have a heart to help welcome mums and toddlers on a Wednesday or Thursday morning, please contact Jo Longson via the Church Administrator, email@example.com. Jo would love to hear from you.
Blonay and Villars Small Groups are all meeting in person and anyone can join. For more information please contact our Church Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wednesday Small group meets In Person at All Saints every Wednesday evening at 20h00. For more information please contact our Church Administrator email@example.com.
The Leysin Small Group is meeting in person every Wednesday evening from 17h00 to 18h30. If you would like to join , please contact Carol via firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Saints’ has two new Instagram accounts as well as a Facebook Page. To follow the Instagram accounts, click here and here, and to follow the Facebook page, click here. Please share posts to increase publicity for our events. If you have any photographs of current or previous events, please contact the Chaplain or Kelly Ehiorobo on email email@example.com
Prayer underpins the life and ministry of All Saints. We believe that the Lord means what He says when he encourages us to pray and believe Him for results, in accordance with His word.
In addition to the public intercessions led each week by different members of the congregation, we have a dedicated Prayer Ministry Team that will be eager and willing to pray with you personally at the end of each Sunday service (and also during Holy Communion). Please feel free to come forward and ask for prayer for yourselves and your loved ones, whether it be for spiritual growth, health concerns, relationships, work and family issues and indeed for all the variety of challenges we face in our daily lives.
In addition, you can always send us a prayer request by e-mail and the All Saints Prayer Ministry Team will gladly support you in prayer. You are not alone and we would be honoured to stand by your side in intercession. The e-mail address for this has changed in April 2023 and so please, in the future, use firstname.lastname@example.org in order to send us your requests.
DURING THE WEEK
Another vital part of our church prayer life takes place every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 7.30 a.m. when some members of the church congregation meet together on Zoom to pray for the needs and activities of the church as well as for events going on in the wider world. This is a wonderful and uplifting way to start the day and so please feel free to join us whenever you are free. For the Zoom links please contact the Church Administrator (email@example.com).
At All Saints we encourage one another to grow in our faith through regular personal Bible reading. There are many Bible reading tools available and one way that may be helpful to do this is with LECTIO 365 – an excellent devotional resource that helps you pray the Bible every day. Written by leaders from the 24-7 Prayer movement, and produced in partnership with CWR, this resource helps you engage with Scripture to inspire prayer and shape your life. Journey through the year with Pete Greig, Carla Harding, Phil Togwell, Jill Weber and international guest writers.
Lectio365 is based upon the simple model of P.R.A.Y. Pausing to be still; Rejoicing with a Psalm and Reflect on scripture; Asking God to help us; and Yielding to his will in our lives that day, come what may. You can read or listen to short morning and evening prayer sessions day by day to be refreshed, directed by the Lord and to grow in your Christian life.
To download Lectio 365, click here
Lectio for Families is a free app for families to do together. It features daily Bible readings, a weekly memory verse, engaging questions to pause and talk about, and prompts for reflection and prayer.
The app can be downloaded here by parents and carers onto a mobile device. Families can then choose to either listen to the audio content together, wherever and whenever they are together, or they can read it as they pass the device to each other.
Like Lectio 365, Lectio for Families follows a simple P.R.A.Y. pattern each day:
P:ausing to be still
R:ejoicing with, and Reflecting on, verses from the Bible
A:sking for God’s help
Y: saying YES to God’s ways.
On Sundays there is a special Sabbath prayer, and occasional pauses of the regular pattern to celebrate heroes of the Christian faith.
Who is it for?
The Lectio for Families app has been designed for families with children aged between 7-11 years old, but is likely to be suitable for those who are younger and slightly older too!
The Lectio for Families team includes adults and children who are part of the 24-7 Prayer movement around the world.
The EasyEnglish New Testament app is available free of charge and has already been downloaded in 150 countries around the world. The EasyEnglish Bible is a new version of scripture using a limited vocabulary of just 1200 words and simple syntax which was devised by a small team of MissionAssist volunteers. It is ideal for people who are learning English, or speak English as a foreign language. Find it here (www.easyenglish.bible).
All Saints wants to grow the number of volunteers responsible for the Sound Desk at either the 10h30 service. This service opportunity is open to anyone and will involve some training in addition to working alongside the current team. If this would interest you, please contact the Chaplain (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Children and Youth
Working with Children and Young People is a daunting task, the noise, the energy, the chaos, the incessant questions. But it is also one of the most rewarding and fulfilling roles there is within the life of our church. We are at a point within the life of All Saints that we need more volunteers to help with our youth and children’s work especially Holiday Bible Club 2023 this Easter. If you can make juice, or can play games, or can lead a discussion group, or can make crafts I would love to meet you. And if you can’t do all that, well, maybe we can meet anyway. Write email@example.com or reach out via phone: 076 652 8999.
Please contact the Wardens if you would like to help with this creative ministry.
Are there people in your community with professional skills and a solid faith who desire to put these and their compassion to work by applying for a position with Medair in the field or in our Swiss headquarters? Are there prayer warriors in your community who are willing to pray for our work, our teams and the nearly two million people in crisis we serve each year? If so, we would love to connect with them, because without them we cannot do this work. Please contact Medair for more information.
Your support is urgently needed to help Medair respond to humanitarian catastrophes in a number of countries.
How can All Saints Church help?
• Prayer: As a Christian organization, Medair depends on prayer, knowing that we can not do this work without God’s help. We also ask you to join us in praying for the people of Ukraine, Madagascar and Afghanistan.
• Donate: If you are planning on giving to help in these countries, please consider Medair. 93% of all donations received go to the field.
PARTAGE-RIVIERA is the result of the merger of two associations of the Riviera:
• L’Etape based in Vevey since 1997 is a non-profit organization. It provides a welcome and meeting place open to all, organizes various activities of mutual help and sharing with the respect of the convictions of each. In particular, it distirbutes unsold food on Tuesdays and Fridays from 2 p.m.
• Le Coup de Pouce is based in Clarens since 2012 and is a non-profit association. Distribution of unsold food takes place on Thursdays from 2 p.m.
You can help them by volunteering in person (Calen firstname.lastname@example.org organises a group of our youth to help each month) or donate food or money. For more infomation click here (English) or (here (French).