Following Stewardship’s support of the fleshandblood campaign, our very own Linda gave her 50th blood donation this week in celebration of a very special milestone birthday, and was presented with a gold badge and pen by the blood donation staff. Congrats Linda!
As of today, you can walk into your local Starbucks and order a 'suspended coffee' - a new way to be generous that has seen some traction in the US, and appears to be making its way across the ocean. Starbucks issued a short statement on their Facebook page today, explaining:
"When you pay for a suspended coffee we’ll give coffee of that value to our longstanding charity partner, Oasis, who will then distribute it through its community hubs across the UK. We’ll also match the value of each suspended coffee with a cash donation to Oasis which will help provide warmth and comfort to those in need."
Daniel Jones, head of Business Development at Stewardship, said, 'New ways to be generous on a day-to-day basis are cropping up all the time. You can now give when you visit an ATM, when you pay for your weekly supermarket shop...and now when you order a Starbucks coffee.
We've heard about other church-run coffee shops adopting the suspended coffee idea, and we're hoping it'll become a nation-wide movement.'
What are your thoughts? Would you buy a suspended coffee?
A brand new initiative for 2013, sponsored by Stewardship’s give.net and backed by the NHS, asks a vital question: what if the UK church saw blood and organ donation as part of its giving?
A new survey suggests that while individual church members may have a significant interest in
donating blood and organs, the bigger picture shows that it is not encouraged by UK churches as
part of their committed Christian giving.
The survey was conducted by Christian Research on behalf of Kore as part of the fleshandblood
campaign launched earlier this year in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).
The survey shows that close to 10% of Christians have given blood in the last year compared to 4%
of the general population who have given blood in the last two years, and almost half of all Christians are registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register compared with 31% of the general population.
However despite these strong levels of engagement the overall findings reveal that many churches in Britain do not yet see blood and organ donation as a part of its giving, with an extremely low 0.3% of respondents stating that either blood or organ donation was a frequent part of their churchʼs teaching and over 75% saying that neither blood nor organ donation was ever mentioned or encouraged by their church.
The Rt Rev James Newcome, Lead Bishop on Healthcare for the Church of England says,
“Extending our understanding of the central Christian themes of generosity and stewardship to
include blood and organ donation has the potential to tangibly transform the giver and the receiver.
The benefit to others is not only life enhancing but can mean the difference between life and death.”
fleshandblood Campaign Director, Juls Hollidge commented, “The church has always been known
for its spirit of generosity. We want to encourage churches and church leaders to explore what it
would mean if, alongside all its other great work, the Church were to see blood and organ donation
as a part of that desire to be generous.”
This unique campaign seeks to equip individuals and churches as advocates for blood and organ
donation enabling them to raise awareness of this key issue with their family, friends and community and potentially help to save thousands of lives each year.
Eight generations ago our ancestors ended the slave trade, yet today the numbers associated with human trafficking are staggering.
Click here to access our special issue Share magazine on human trafficking, featuring interviews with Beth Redman, Gary Haugen and Christine Caine.
Our award-winning Lent challenge - 40acts - is now in its 3rd year.
40 days, 40 reflections, 40 simple acts of generosity.
Join the movement at www.40acts.org.uk and let's start a generosity revolution across the world.
Sign up and you'll receive an email every day during Lent, with a generosity challenge and a thought for the day.
Follow 40acts on Twitter: www.twitter.com/40acts
Like 40acts on Facebook: www.facebook.com/40acts
Guest bloggers this year include: Shaun King (Founder of HopeMob), Krish Kandiah (Evangelical Alliance), Chine Mbubaegbu (threads), Nicky & Sila Lee (Holy Trinity Brompton), Miriam Swaffield (Fusion), Chris Duffett (Baptist Union), Paul Kerensa (Comedian and writer for BBC series 'Miranda'), Ruth Awogbade (Magnify), Lord Michael Hastings (House of Lords), Anne Atkins (BBC Radio 4), James Catford (Bible Society), Rob Parsons (Care for the Family) and many more.
2012 has been a great year of advancement and change for Stewardship. As December draws to an end, I wanted to take a moment to look at the highlights of 2012 and to thank you for journeying with us this year.
In 2013, we’ll be shouting about give.net from the rooftops and looking forward to the third year of 40acts, which looks set to be absolutely brilliant (even if I do say so myself). We’ll also be welcoming Charlie Osewalt to the Stewardship team. Charlie’s job will involve developing and producing resources on generosity, money and stewardship – so watch this space!
As ever, thank you for partnering with us to give and receive. From all of us here at Stewardship, we hope you have a blessed and joyful Christmas, and we look forward to serving you in 2013.
Many churches are in the vital role of supporting and encouraging a mission worker, but what does this actually mean?
In our new paper, Senders’ Guide, Mike Frith demonstrates that mission is a team game and covers the key areas necessary to maintain a strong and enduring partnership between sender and the one who is sent.
Mike is the Director of OSCAR, the UK Information Service for World Mission, and regularly runs workshops for churches to engage with their role as senders. The next ‘open’ workshop will be at our offices in Loughton on Saturday 2 February. For more information or to book, visit www.oscar.org.uk/training
At 11 a.m. on St Andrew’s Day thousands of people across Scotland will stop what they’re doing and read. Hopefully, the country won’t grind to a halt but what a fantastic thought – all those noses in books for an hour. As a self-confessed bibliophile, it’s my idea of bliss.
The Reading Hour is part of a week-long series of events run by the Scottish Book Trust to celebrate the place books have in our lives. For some, reading is a solitary activity, best enjoyed with a cup of tea and a comfy chair; for others, it is more of a communal activity to be shared in book groups, libraries and schools. Some of my most enduring childhood memories are book-centred: buying my first Enid Blyton book (which I still have, by the way), the smell of the mobile library, listening intently to Bernard Cribbins reading the Paddington Bear stories on Jackanory.
So, I pondered, how can we be generous and celebrate our love of books at the same time? Well, it turns out that there are more options than you might think. Here are some of the ones I came up with but you may have more ideas:
It could be the start of a new chapter for you . . . .
http://www.volunteerscotland.org.uk for other reading-related opportunities
Comrie Book Group and the 2011 Booker Prize authors: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00l9g4z
The Seeing Ear http://www.seeingear.org/TSE/
RNIB National Library service http://www.rnib.org.uk/livingwithsightloss/reading/services/rnibnationallibrary/Pages/national_library_service.aspx
People do Christmas differently. I, for one, love all of the trimmings, lights and buying thoughtful presents for people I love. But each year I’m becoming more aware of other people’s Christmasses, and how else I can be a blessing to others.
This year, inspired by Operation Christmas Child’s 100 millionth shoebox being sent out, I decided to get involved. It’s been years since I made up a shoebox - and even then, only because my mum thought it would be good for my sister and me to get involved! - but I suddenly had the urge to go out and buy lovely gifts for a little girl who I’d never met. My friend made a shoebox as well, and we both sat on the floor in her lounge, with her young daughter, making up our boxes together and explaining ‘why’ to her excited 3-year-old. The best present in those boxes was definitely the new toy her daughter gave from her own toybox for a child she didn’t know.
It’s too late to make a shoebox now for this year, but another inspiring campaign this Christmas is the one led by Refuge – the charity for women and children, against domestic violence. The charity provides temporary accommodation for women and children who need a refuge from domestic violence. Each year, they make sure every woman and child in their care receives at least one Christmas present. This year, they have a gift list with John Lewis: you can order gifts online, and Refuge will deliver them. Gifts cost between £2.99 and £40, and the gift list closes on December 6. Go to Johnlewisgiftlist.com and enter list number 522953.
It might be that money’s tight and that’s the one thing you can’t give this time of year. The good news is there are lots of alternative ways to bless others at Christmas. You can bake cookies, spend time writing encouraging messages in Christmas cards, invite someone to join you over Christmas, take a friend to a service at church, go carol singing without collecting money, let someone use your home on Christmas day when you’re visiting family... I bet if you spent 10 minutes thinking over a cup of tea, you’d come up with something that would really bless someone you care about.
Lastly, why not check out thechristmastree.org.uk for inspiring stories and heart warming clips to get you in the mood?
Bullying is something that can affect us at any age: whether you’re bullied as a child or teen, or abused as an adult or elder.
This week is national Anti-bullying Week, and the theme is ‘We’re better without bullying’. Even if you’ve never been bullied, it’d be hard to disagree with that statement. It seems almost obvious, doesn’t it? So why is it important to raise awareness and funds?
Because, actually, it’s not obvious. There’s a tendency to downplay bullying as just a bit of a scuffle in the school yard, but in reality bullying can ruin lives. Victims can experience depression and low self-esteem, and studies show that the bullies themselves sometimes go on to become perpetrators of domestic abuse later in life*. The financial burden on society to rectify these issues – the costs of counselling, medication, legal expenses – is huge, to say nothing of the emotional price that victims pay. It turns out that we really are better without bullying.
Kidscape, a UK registered charity, estimates that a whopping 50% of school children have reported being bullied at some stage in their school life. As a parent, that figure seriously concerns me. It means that either my child or yours may endure name-calling, alienation, physical abuse or worse whilst in the education system. Even more worrying is the fact that some schools don’t have the knowledge or the resources to put a stop to it. Anti-bullying week is designed to put the problem on everyone’s breakfast table; to make it an issue not simply for the 50% and their families, but for anyone who has a voice to stand against bullying.
Charities like Kidscape, Childline and BeatBullying are vital. They provide schools with the resources and schemes to effectively equip teachers and students, so that they can challenge and prevent bullying.
This week I urge you to support one of these charities in the following ways:
Financially – head to your giving account and make a gift, or set up a regular Direct Debit. Do a fundraiser. Your chosen charity’s website will tell you how your gift is being used, and if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.
Pray - Pray that the charities will use funds wisely to help eradicate bullying. Also pray about ways in which you might get involved on a long-term basis, perhaps on a volunteering or fundraising basis.
Kidscape Campaign for Children’s Safety – a/c 20042518
Childline – a/c 20021854
*Source: ScienceDaily, 2011, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606171405.htm
image by Childline
blogs by the Stewardship team and selected guest writers.