We don’t use the word steward very often in modern conversation. We might occasionally talk about a wine steward, or being a good steward of creation. But, I think that by and large, the idea of stewardship isn’t one that we think about often in our contemporary society. My Merriam-Webster Dictionary tells me that a steward is someone who looks after something - be it a wine cellar or someone else’s property.
In the church, we’ve fallen into the habit of making the word stewardship synonymous with the annual pledge campaign to raise money for the church each year. But, what this language really points to is our role as stewards. We are stewards of all that God has given to us (time, talent, money, and planet Earth). We are also stewards of this congregation of St. John’s. It is ours to care for at this period in time.
In the coming year, we will delve more deeply into these four aspects of stewardship:
In Fall 2014, we will look at financial stewardship. How do we care for the resources that have been entrusted to us? We'll examine the pull of consumer consumption and discuss some common questions people have about money. David Smith will lead a Bible study on 2nd Corinthians, and how those in the early church were invited to support its mission and ministry. In that broader context, we'll conduct our fall pledge campaign for the support of the mission and ministry of our churches. Stewardship Sunday at St. John’s
During the Season of Epiphany, we will look at the Stewardship of Time. How do we care for the time that has been allotted to us? We'll examine Sabbath-Keeping and explore ways of discernment (the church's way of prayerfully considering questions). We'll have opportunities to talk about end-of life planning.
During the Spring and the Season of Easter, we will look at the Stewardship of Creation. How is it that we care for our planet, the place that Eucharistic Prayer C calls "this fragile earth, our island home?"
Finally, next Summer, during the season our Catholic brothers and sisters call Ordinary Time, we will look at the Stewardship of our Talents. What are the gifts we have been given? How do we use them? What gives us joy?
This year of Stewardship Conversation and classes is being brought to you through the joint work of the Holy Spirit Church Stewardship Team (Carol Richardson, Sherrie Hidalgo, Ann Swift, Diane Loehr, and Jim Wiant), with additional support from members of the Holy Spirit Church Education Team (Jim McDougald and Paulette Cooper). David Smith has joined this joint effort. It's a wonderful group full of energy for this important topic. I am so grateful to work with them.
There are two key events coming up in October for St. John’s:
2nd Corinthians Bible Study will be offered for St. John’s and St. Michael’s at Centerpoint starting on October 2. Dinner is served at 6pm, and Bible Study runs from 6:30 to 7:30.
Stewardship Sunday with brunch following church is on October 19. Please plan now to attend.