Whatever way we look at it, WORSHIP has something to do with GIVING - we are giving God something when we worship... we give our praise, our adoration, our full attention; we give glory and honour; we give time, gifts, resources; we even give money! Indeed, at the root of worship is the giving of our whole self to God - all of our lives, all we are and all we have.
In Romans chapters 1-11, the Apostle Paul lays out the breadth and depth of the mercy of God - it's an outstanding celebration of God's mercy - and then in the very next verse of the next chapter, he writes this...
"Therefore I urge you, IN VIEW OF GOD'S MERCY, offer (or give) your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship." (Romans 12:1)
Worship is giving ourselves to God in response to who He is, and all that He has given us - every part of our lives - who we are and what we have. This is worship.
There are multiple ways in which the people of God give in worship, but across the generations, the giving and bringing of "tithes and offerings" has been part of our collective worship. Over the last 2 years, this act of worship has continued through the faithful giving of God's people at Trinity, but for much of this time, it has been through bank accounts, websites, even mobile phones, as we worshipped together, yet apart, in our own homes. Even when we came back together in the old building and now in the new, there has been little or no opportunity for us to give collectively in an act of worship... UNTIL NOW!
This Sunday we will reintroduce this collective act of worship, which we know best as - "The Offering". In truth, it is a simple but beautiful act of worship. We express our thankfulness to God personally (we each give), yet we do so together, alongside one another in a moment of corporate giving - it's our gathered worship. In many churches in the UK, we have typically passed offering bags along the rows, but in some traditions, or on special occasions, the congregation are invited to bring forward their offerings as they sing and celebrate. I've always found that a wonderfully moving expression of worship. It is this model of "Offering" that we will introduce as of this Sunday. Here's how it will work (guidance willbe given from the front before we sing)...
I'm sure that's more explanation than is necessary, but again we want to ensure that you are aware of any changes or new introductions ahead of time.
Perhaps you're also wondering whether it will make much of a difference to the financial well-being of the Church. Well, you might be interested to know that in previous years before the pandemic, around £65,000 per annum was given through this collective act of worship that we call "The Offering". So, we believe it makes a significant difference!
However, whatever way you give, we want to say thank you, remembering that this is worship, not fundraising. May we give with gladness, thankfulness, and joy.
To God be the Glory. Amen.
Grace and Peace