It is stewardship time again, which means we are telling the story of how this little church serves God in big and small ways. It also means we are making plans for how we will serve our community and world in 2019. This year the endeavor takes on a rather personal note for me with respect to my oldest child. Faith has played a huge part in Joseph’s life; now,
having graduated confirmation class, he has been welcomed as a full member of the church. For this the whole family is grateful. As a member of the church, he is now encouraged to participate in all the church’s life, and that includes stewardship.
A fascinating this about life with God is that no one is born a Christian. Faith is learned! We learn to walk with God by watching people like you grow in faith and put faith into practice. We learn to practice our faith by seeing it in action. We learn to hold on to God’s promises in times of grief, with gratefulness in the good times, and trusting God in the hard times.
Just as the faith is learned, so is this thing we call stewardship. It is challenging to learn the faith by observation because our humility causes us to keep things low key. How much more is it difficult to learn stewardship, when we strive to “keep the left hand from knowing what the right hand is doing”! But stewardship is important for our faith; it is our chance to fully be a part of God’s message of love. Because this is a challenging part of faith to share with young and old alike, perhaps I could share with you some relevant parts of my conversations- a dad with a son…
Lead the conversation with anything but money. Kindness, time, and skills are often worth more to God’s purposes than money. In this community, we have all kinds of opportunity to be of service to others. Besides our church’s projects, Faith in Action does an amazing job connecting young people who have strong backs and shovels with community members that need some assistance. The BRICK has grown to become much more than a food pantry: they now help with rent, utilities, and transportation when funds are available.
Volunteering at these or any of the other opportunities presented to us will give you relationship-building time and, with any luck. inspiration for the rest of the week. Giving of our time and initiative builds and strengthens our connections with God and God’s children.
When the conversation does turn to financial matters, I feel it’s important to remember that giving is our opportunity to provide for the future church. My
intention is to first ask Joseph to share with me what church means to him. I am eager to hear in his own words what he has to say. I will share with him what the church means to me–a sanctuary in the tough times, a place to grow in character and understanding, a place to challenge my assumptions about humanity and, especially, God. These are the things we can have a part in in providing for those who come after us.
I will be in prayer for you this stewardship season whether you have conversations like this with a loved one or not. It is God’s pleasure to bless you. I hope that all of your giving and receiving is centered in gratitude for a God who loves you very much.
Grace and peace,