Thoughts from Greg
Money and Faith
What is the connection between belief in God and morality? And how important are God and prayer in people’s lives? Pew Research Center posed these questions to 38,426 people in 34 countries in 2019. Despite variances in religious observance, a median of 62% across the countries surveyed say that religion plays an important role in their lives, while 61% agree that God plays an important role in their lives and 53% say the same about prayer. People in emerging countries were more likely to consider religion to be important in their lives than those in advanced (= wealthy) countries like Australia.
Here are some examples of the percentage of people who say God plays an important role in their lives:
South Africa 96%
Within most countries people with higher incomes are less likely to see belief in God as necessary. This is also true of people with higher levels of education as there is often a significant correlation between education level and earnings.
These examples show the percentage of high and low income earners in each country who see belief in God as necessary:
Country – % low income, % high income saying “belief in God is necessary”
Ukraine – 57%, 47%
USA – 56%, 32%
Canada – 33%, 20%
UK – 25%, 14%
Australia – 25%, 13%
France – 19%, 10%
Sweden 14% 4%
These statistics help us to see how the words of the Teacher in Ecclesiastes are in touch with the reality of life: “I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners” Eccl 5:13.
They also show why Jesus warns us: “You cannot serve both God and money” Matthew 6:24.
Thank you from our PreSchool KBF Class. You helped us to raise $200 for TEAR Fund by purchasing our Christmas decorations.
Women’s Walking Group
The monthly women’s walking group is recommencing on Saturday 14 November. All women are invited – bring your friends. Meet 8.30am at Meadowbank ferry wharf, and walk for an hour. Masks are optional. Parking available nearby, or catch bus 524. Enquiries to Janine.
Family Violence Research Project
The Anglican Church of Australia is undertaking a research project designed to improve church practices and help build a safer and more supportive Church for people who have experienced domestic violence. Domestic violence is “behaviour within an intimate relationship that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours.” (World Health Organisation). If you have experience of domestic violence and a current or previous link with the Anglican Church you are invited to share your perspective by completing an anonymous online survey at https://surveys.ncls.org.au/nafvp/experience/
Christmas at St. Anne’s
As you can appreciate, our options for Christmas activities are extremely limited at this stage. We are exploring what is possible and we expect some fluidity in the situation. We are planning to run our TEAR Gift shop by distributing catalogues and then accepting orders for cards on the printed forms – payment by credit card or cash will be accepted with your order and the cards will be delivered to you on the following Sunday. They can also be picked up from the office. If you are watching church online we can send you an order form as a pdf document and give you a link to the TEAR website where you can view the catalogue items. We hope you will take this opportunity to support projects that make a real difference to alleviating poverty around the world – and that you will use the St. Anne’s “shop” as an act of fellowship together.
- Give thanks for bumper crops harvested in much of NSW following good rain.
- Give thanks for being able to teach children about Jesus in our local schools, with parents’ permission. Pray for SRE classes at Ryde Secondary, Meadowbank Public and Ryde Public.
- Give thanks for being able to have Sunday services online as well as in person, on DVD and phone-in.
- Pray for HSC students doing exams this week, especially Grace on Monday and Wednesday; and Marie on Monday, Tuesday and Friday; and Matt.
- Pray for our NSW Health Minister and officials to make wise decisions for all people, including churches.
- Pray for refugees, asylum seekers, overseas students, casual employees and others who are not eligible for Jobseeker and Jobkeeper. Pray for Anglicare and other organisations caring for the vulnerable.
- Pray for the good news of Jesus to keep ringing out in our local area and to the ends of the earth. Ask for opportunities to speak about the hope that you have in Jesus.
Prayer for those in need:
Ask God to comfort, strengthen and deepen the trust of those who are sick, grieving, or in special need at this time.
SOAP Bible Readings
Read Scripture daily, write a few thoughts, an application and then pray.
Week beginning 19th October
2 Peter 1
2 Peter 2
2 Peter 3
* Ecclesiastes 7-8
Week beginning 26th October
Deuteronomy 20:1 – 21:21
Deuteronomy 21:22 – 23:14
Deuteronomy 23:15 -25:19
* Ecclesiastes 9:1-12
Zephaniah 1:1 – 2:3
* Sermon Reading
Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 119:27)
This month’s diocesan magazine, Southern Cross, can be downloaded here.