Mark 12: 28-31
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’
‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.’
Jeremiah 29: 4-7
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: ‘Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.’
This week we celebrated the completion of our 10,000 Hours project. As a church we have always believed that a city isn’t transformed through gathering in church on a Sunday but through scattered servants making a difference everyday, everywhere. That conviction is at the heart of 10,000 Hours. As we began to look at some of the areas of our community that were a bit run down or needed some care and attention, we began to ask: what would it look like if hundreds of people contributed thousands of hours for the sole purpose of making a difference to the physical appearance of our community?
Over the past few years 16,000 Hours have been given to over 130 projects, with 1200 volunteers saving the local authorities an estimated £130,000 in labour costs.
Jesus said that the most important commandment was that we love God and we love our neighbour. We realised it’s difficult to love our neighbours if we don’t even know them. Sometimes we can have faith for the nations to be saved but fear of sharing our lives and hope with our neighbours. We want to break down walls of suspicion in our community and therefore it’s not so much about giving hours of our time, but bringing life. The ultimate goal is that within a few years 10,000 Hours will no longer be a CCV project but will be adopted by our community as something we do to serve one another every July.
We are so thankful that a local business ATG Group sponsored this year’s project. We would love to see local businesses partnering with and adopting schools for longer term support.
Finally we got to see the work carried out at one of our special secret projects this year. A young man called Gavin was born with complicated, severe needs. While he loves the outdoors and playing football, the back garden at his family home was uneven and not safe for him to play. A team from CCV transformed it into a flat, safe piece of ground where Gavin can now enjoy freedom and play without hindrance or concern for his safety.
A huge thanks to every person who took part in 10,000 Hours this year. Your time, hard work and love for our community have brought life, colour and joy to many people and institutions. Plus our community has experienced something of the compassion of the Kingdom extended through God’s people serving and giving.