What is Stewardship?
The concept of Stewardship is clearly shown in the Bible. God entrusts to people certain gifts, goods, and talents; and God allows us to use and watch over those items as though they were our own. Stewardship is about making choices as individuals and as a community of believers. It is more than giving money to the church even though many of us routinely equate Stewardship with the pledging of dollars. The ability and talent to manage our finances is vitally important to the health of our church by providing the facilities and staff and impetus necessary to generate and coordinate our many areas of outreach, mission, and community.
Stewardship should be the grateful response to God’s grace and goodness to us, and it requires consideration of how our choices affect us and others, of how we can be good caretakers of the world created for us, and how we may best serve Christ as his disciples. Mission is the way we choose to use the gifts of God to show God’s grace to each other and to the world. It helps people understand the opportunities created and the results obtained from sharing their time, talent, and treasures.
This interpretation of Stewardship, however, may be too narrow for many as it only provides a glimpse of the present. The dictionary tells us that Stewardship is the responsible overseeing and protection of something worth caring for and preserving.
“Preserving.” When we think about the 325 year history of our church, we should realize that so much of what we enjoy today is a true “gift” left by earlier generations. Perhaps we find peace and joy when we look around our sanctuary, glimpse at the steeple as we enter the building, listen to the tower bell, wonder about the stained glass windows, or take pleasure from our fine music program and our precious organ. Have you enjoyed going on an ASP trip, sharing time with our FISH visitors, providing food or service for the Soup Kitchen, or any other of our outreach programs? These are all gifts preserved for us by those who came before us. What we do now is less about the present experience and more about what will be offered to future members. We want very much for our children, grandchildren, and friends to have continued access to those wonderful gifts that this church shares with us.
Yes, Stewardship is also about not only sharing our time and talents, but also our treasure as well. Members and friends are encouraged to make a financial pledge as part of the Annual Stewardship Campaign conducted each Fall.