18 June 2023
Thanks to All Volunteers
16th July 2023
How Do You Spend Your Time?
The phrase ‘how do you spend your time’ is a common one that brings to mind that time is a commodity: something we ‘spend’. Like money, it is limited, we have to ‘budget’, and we have to make a choice about what our priorities are. Mr Micawber, a character in Charles Dickens’ novel David Copperfield said, ’Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result: happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result: misery.’ So with our time: we can all feel stretched if we have the pressure of managing competing important tasks, duties, and responsibilities.
A Vision of Giving: A Donation of Time
To give of our time is, then, a real and tangible donation, far more impactful that even giving a monetary or financial gift to the work of the parish. When we give of our time we are giving something very precious and
invariably choosing to place the giving of our time to a parish initiative over that of some other important activity - or even just having a rest over a day off or a weekend, if work for us is Monday-Friday. In the Scriptures, Moses encouraged the people to tithe, that is, to give ten percent of their income or possessions to the Lord as an act of thanksgiving and as a sign acknowledging all we need comes from him. In the sense that time is also a way of giving, we might consider tithing our time!
This past week we had reason to ask for the support of our safeguarding co-ordinator in managing conflict and ensuring that proper boundaries are respected. This is an important moment to remind everyone that both Bernie LeTissier and Michelle Mulville, our safeguarding co-ordinators for Our Lady Star of the Sea and St Bernard and St Saviour and St Mary of the Angels respectively, are able to be approached directly, without any need to contact me or the Parish Office. This ensures
transparency and so that the processes are independent of the clergy, too. You can find their contact details on the back page.
SAFEGUARDING EACH OTHER
Tithing Our Time
In addition to giving to the work of the parish through the offertory and other opportunities to donate or financially support the church, you might consider giving a tithe of your week. Given there are 168 hours in a week, tithing 16 hours would be ten percent! I am not sure even the most generous - and organised -
parishioners could commit to that! But perhaps reflecting on time as a commodity and how much we ‘give over’ to the Lord might help us to see anew how precious our time is and how we might each make a contribution to the work of the parish.
This week I wanted to thank, most sincerely, all those who are already tithing their time - giving a percentage of their week to God through their work in and for the parish, especially our flagship three social projects of the hot meal provision, the foodbank, and the branch of the social supermarket, The Bread and Butter Thing. It is time that is perhaps our most valuable commodity, and when we give of it, we show our support , commitment , care, generosity, and what our priorities are. Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers: and please consider giving of your time as a gift to the Lord.
You know we are hosting a wonderful group called Refugee Assist, based now at St Saviour. Advance notice for your help, support, prayers, and for your own reflection, too. We are, as a town and community, host to around 300-400 refugees and those awaiting decisions about their immigration status. It is likely that by the Autumn this number will have tripled, perhaps quadrupled. As such, I am in touch with Refugee Assist to see what practical help we can put in place to anticipate this sharp increase, knowing that the needs of refugees might be complex.