Stewardship Announcements from Your Senior Wardens:
Good morning- Mike Gwozdecki would usually follow–up his Stewardship presentation with a few additional remarks to each of the Sunday Services. However, with a family funeral and his commitment to the Apple Butter Festival, he’s not able to be here- and asked if I could say a few words.
I can, but they will be nowhere near as good as he could. So while I was thinking about what to say, beginning with a profound Thank You for all the gifts and blessings received at St John’s – low and behold –Divine Intervention--
Yesterday’s Scriptures from the morning Eucharist that was part of the Diocesan Convention were perfect-
The first reading set the record straight regarding money- The error was been in the interpretation that - it is the root of all evil- First Timothy tells us - Money is Not the root – but the LOVE of money is. And goes on to say—“They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.”
Luke’s Gospel was equally divine, for Jesus tells us “Take care, Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” and then there is the parable of the rich man filling not just one barn- but building even larger barns and then we are told- “So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
Our annual call of stewardship may certainly be perceived as filing our barn- or at least our revenue column in the Parish budget, but I would offer to you that there is so much more to stewardship- It is the framework for our mission as Christians.
Our resources aren’t just to sustain what we have or what we are stewards of, but rather to use these resources and talents to grow and advance the presence of Christ, within this Parish, on this Square and in the World. Through your generous and faithful giving, we have, and will continue serving God and those in need.
Stewardship – to me has always been a rather serious topic- so to change this up a bit
I will end with this anonymous quote-
“A lot of people are willing to give God the credit, but not too many are willing to give Him the cash." —
Good morning. As many of you know Mike Gwozdecki usually provides a few words of wisdom as we kick off the annual stewardship campaign. But the Apple Butter Festival and family concerns keep him from being with us today and he asked me to say a few words.
Naturally I turned to the Oxford English Dictionary to help me understand what I was going to be talking about today. The word derives from the old English stig meaning house or hall and weard meaning guard, guardian or keeper. So the original term refers to the responsibilities of the steward who was in charge of the domestic, service and management needs of an entire household. In 1899, the word stewardship claimed a specific ecclesiastical sense as “responsible use of resources in the service of God.” It doesn’t take too much imagination to say that our stewardship responsibilities are for the household of God here on earth.
As I look out on a congregation that I have grown to love and respect over many years, and who has nurtured me in this household of God, I know of all the many ways that each of you act as stewards each day. Through the simplest act of sending a get well card, to the more complex act of growing our children in Christ’s love each of you contribute in so many ways to active stewardship of St. John’s. Each fall we stand before you asking for the gift of stewardship that comes from your own ability to contribute financially to the daily work that we do. There is no right or wrong way to do this as long as the giving is done with a joyful heart and in the knowledge that your gift makes a difference.
I thank all of you for the gifts of time, talent and treasure that you have given in the past and all that you may prayerfully give in the future. The great writer, historian and civil rights activist W.E. B. Dubois wrote this of being thankful: “Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by possibilities, and let us ever remember gratitude and appreciation show itself neither in independence nor satisfaction but passes the gift joyfully on in large and better form.”
As you consider your call to stewardship for the coming year, let me close with one of the daily devotional prayers from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer
“Lord God, when you give to us your servants any great matter to do, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning but the continuing of it, until it is thoroughly finished which yields the true glory. . . . Grant that what we do may be for us an offering rather than a burden; and for those we serve, may it be the help they need.” Amen.