Only the Brits could import the consumerist Black Friday from the US but forget the Day of Thanksgiving that went before it! So now that we have the Black Friday sales and CyberMonday that follows, a group of charities have decide to say "Enough! It's now time to focus outwards and give time or volunteer or donate to others." They're calling it Giving Tuesday.
Ministries by Design has become a partner with Giving Tuesday, though they've been so inundated that we don't yet appear on their website. There are all sorts of good causes that you might choose to support - or you could help a church leader in need by donating to our Clergy Bursary Fund, which gives a 25% discount to any church leaders in full-time ministry who come to the Vine at Mays Farm.
Unlike most of the UK, we did do Thanksgiving last Thursday with the house full of guests who were staying at the Vine. We enjoyed turkey and ham and all the trimmings and even a frozen pumpkin ice-cream pie! Delicious food but the highlight of the evening was listening to the guests talk about the power of learning to be thankful. Penelope had us write down our thanksgivings in between courses and then share and pray together around the table at the end.
I was particularly moved by the testimony and prayers of one of the young women clergy who was with with us. It was her second visit to the Vine and she has clearly found it to be a place where she can meet with God and find rest and refreshment in the midst of her busy life.
They were praying that the Vine would be filled this next year with others who need the rest and refreshment that a retreat can bring. You could help that to happen. You could like us on Facebook so your friends discover us. You could retweet Penelope's tweets. Or you could make a donation on Giving Tuesday that would enable an over-stretched church leader to find the space to unwind and reconnect with Jesus.