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Raushen Perera. Photo: Megan Gibbes

The heart of giving

Generously giving to those in need lies at the heart of the Christian ethos. In this new column Queensland Synod office Chief Fundraising Officer Raushen Perera explores the (he)art of giving, new campaigns for congregations to support, and updates on past initiatives.

Leading your congregation to respond to the word of God with generosity, is best not left to chance or accident. As a wider church we need to understand that a culture of generosity takes time, planning and effort. We have to reach out to our members purposefully and develop the capacity of people to give, serve and care.

As the Chief Fundraising Officer of the Queensland Synod office I dream of a future when our local communities identify with our local congregation as a place and people that consistently model the art of generosity: a generosity that is inspired by the generosity of Christ.

Perhaps the most important aspect of being or becoming a giving church is that when we preach generosity, we provide the information and knowledge that is vital for change. I know that talking about giving in our churches is not an intuitive or natural practice for many of us, but how will we receive if we do not learn to ask?

In December 2017, several congregations across Queensland generously supported the UnitingCare Queensland Target Christmas Appeal. Since church, community and corporate members worked together in the spirit of generosity, we were able to make Christmas a little brighter for 12 000 struggling families across our state.

Support was provided to the homeless, the elderly, those receiving foster and kinship support, women and children fleeing domestic violence and families affected by drought and cyclones in over sixty regions across the state.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who donated to and supported the appeal, especially our local coordinators from both UnitingCare Queensland and other parts of the Uniting Church. You have been ambassadors of the spirit of generosity to those in need.

Whilst we may remember 2017 as the year when Cyclone Debbie adversely impacted several communities, the people on the land in Longreach Regional Council area and neighbouring Muttaburra were praying for heavy rain to fall on their drought-ravaged properties.

Thanks to our Uniting Church members across Queensland and interstate Synods, who gave generously to the Queensland Synod Disaster Relief Appeal, Longreach Uniting Church was able to help 160 families on properties that are still experiencing drought, by providing grocery vouchers just in time for Christmas.

Do you have a local church story of generosity? Help us celebrate the good news of giving in our church. Please send your story and photos by email to missionpossible@ucaqld.com.au

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