This coming Sunday evening (24th September), we have a special service planned at 6.30pm.
From time to time, we run an informal evening service that we call a "speaker service". We invite a visiting speaker, often from a charity or mission agency, to inform us about their work, and then we pray together in the light of what we've heard.
This Sunday, we have not one speaker but two. Both will address the theme of gambling in particular, more widely the theme of debt, but also talking wider still about money issues from a Christian perspective. One speaker works full time with the Citizens Advice Bureau; the other is a university lecturer in finance with a specialist interest in credit unions. There will be time for questions and discussion.
Many people find themselves in financial difficulties for one reason or another. Sometimes the reasons do not stem from any mistakes made by the individual concerned; at other times, there are clear mistakes leading to a sense of shame and embarrassment. Even those who have no financial difficulties of their own have friends who struggle, and would like help as to how to be a better friend to those affected.
There is frequently a shroud of silence; financial issues are often not shared. As a result, it can feel that I am the only one with these particular difficulties, and valuable help is lost as a result.
We are holding this evening as a resource to our community. The Christian gospel is good news for all kinds of people, giving light and hope to those who suffer with guilt and despair. We want to start a conversation that brings these difficult issues into the open, to equip each other to be better friends, to make us all more aware of the difficulties, and to share resources that can help.
Please come, and please bring friends. Tea and cake will be served afterwards.
(Photo credit: idban secandri)