Pondering my Pattern
The questions in the sections below are intended only as suggestions and starters for your thinking. You should feel no obligation to work your way through all of them, and for you, the most important question may be one we haven’t included here. Scan the lists below, and give some time and thought to each of the topic areas, and use the provided questions only where you find them helpful.
Sharing my gifts.
Have I discovered something new about myself that I would like to explore using? How do I give my time, talents, and money to help build up the life of the church? (Or do I feel my primary use of these are outside the gathered life of the church?) What are my gifts – the things I can do that other people aren’t so good at?
Sharing in love.
How do I give and receive pastoral care, and practical support, to and from other members of the church, so that we build each other up? Does my church provide structures to help us support one another? Does the quality of our care and relationships demonstrate the love we receive from God?
How do I pray for other members of my church? Do I know what they do Monday to Saturday? Do they know what I do? Could I be part of a fellowship, study or cell group? How often do we have opportunities to really get to know each other, and how we can support each other?
Some links and resources that might help
An annotated list of resources you can find online which may help you identify a step you wish to take is below. Many of the links on the “Love your neighbour” page will also help. As well as more general links, we have provided some which are specific to financial giving, because it is so often the most difficult thing to think about.
For people exploring a vocation to ministry in the church, these pages offer a starting place:
Being an ALM in the Diocese of Worcester.
Being a Reader / LLM in the Diocese of Worcester.
Exploring ordination in the Diocese of Worcester.
Exploring my vocation in the Church of England.
The independent Christian charity Stewardship has a whole range of resources to help you think about giving and generosity.
Many churches have what are variously called Mission Action Plans or Church Development Plans. If you want to explore one for your church, then we encourage you to talk to the Ministry and Discipleship Team about what might work well in your context. But if you’re looking for a starting place for your parish, then:
The Diocese of London has a sample guide to Mission Action Planning.
The Diocese of Guildford has a sample guide to creating a Church Development Plan.
Whole Church discipleship
Growth in loving one another is a whole church story, not just an individual commitment. One course developed to encourage a whole church discipleship programme is:
The Church of England’s Parish Resources website has a whole section on giving. As well as the resources for churches, it has links to a number of resources to inspire individuals.
The Parish Giving Scheme
The PGS is one of the easiest ways to help you make a regular, planned, financial donation to the life of the church. It also helps smooth a parish’s income through the way it reclaims the income tax you have paid on the amount you donate. Your treasurer, and the diocesan stewardship officer, can also give you more information. The pages for donors are here:
Considering your will is one part of responsible stewardship. A huge amount of what we do as a church is supported by the generosity of those who, having died, join us still in spirit within the communion of saints. Have you written your will, and is there place in that will for a legacy to the church?