Stewardship is Not a Four Letter Word

For five years I served as an associate pastor of First Plymouth Congregational Church in Englewood, Colorado. The senior minister of the church was the Rev. Stuart Haskins. During the time I was there Stu was beginning to plan for his retirement. At one point I asked him how long until he retired. He answered, “It’s only three stewardship campaigns away.â€

Stewardship is the church word for fundraising. It is a good word for the activity. To be a steward is to care for others and the land. As stewards, church people give money so that we may all care for God’s creation. To be a steward is to nurture God’s world through the gifts of our “time, talent, and treasure†(as preachers like to say it).

What we are really talking about is money. The green stuff—“dead presidents†as the old blues song puts it. This is not a topic with which many of us are comfortable. My mentor Stu was counting down the number of stewardship campaigns because the end of doing them was one of the best parts of retiring.

I may be the worst for discussing this thing to which I am referring. I once tried to find out why in therapy. Between my denials and what appeared to be my therapist’s own discomfort we didn’t get very far.

I bring up the negative feelings associated with money to point out that this is a common response for many of us. These feelings are not to be discounted. In fact, they are one of the reasons that good stewardship is so important.

Spirituality is about living the good life—a life based on positive values, in which we “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.†An essential part of the spiritual journey is gaining control over our finances and not letting them dictate our lives.

One of the best ways to do this is to begin to budget by your values. Spend money on what you value, not just what happens to come along. A good spiritual practice to make this happen is to commit early to what you will give away—to “pledge†in our church language. Make it a percentage of your total income. Make the donation checks the first ones you write each month. To give of our “first fruits†(another Biblical term) we first do what we are called to do. This makes paying the rest of the bills that much more pleasant (not necessarily easier).

Church members should be receiving a faith promise card in the mail this week. Please give it some prayerful thought and I hope you will join me in considering an increase in your pledge for this coming year.

See you in church,

mark

Church Updates:
Work Party: The fall work party at the church has been postponed to next Saturday, October 20, beginning at 9:00 AM. There is work for all ages and abilities that may be done rain or shine. Please join us to help clean up and fix up our building.

Sandwich Making: Every Tuesday night the Outreach Ministry is making sandwiches for homeless people in Huntington. Meet at the church at 7:00 PM.

Joys and Concerns

Our prayers are with Neila Werner on the death of her mother this past weekend.

Annie McClintock is home from having surgery on her Achilles tendon. The surgery went well, but it will be a long recovery for her.

Our prayers are with Pastor Emeritus Malcolm Mooers and his family as Malcolm have been diagnosed with throat cancer. He is beginning radiation therapy.

CALENDAR ANNOUNCEMENTS
Sunday, October 23 Fellowship Hour at 11:30 AM – Cordes & Salerno
Bell Choir Food Sale
Monday, October 24 Prayer & Meditation Circle at 7:30 PM
Tuesday, October 25 Outreach Ministry, 7:00 – 8:30 PM in Fellowship Hall to make sandwiches for HIHI
Wednesday, October 26 Bell Choir at 7:00 PM
Thursday, October 27 Choir Rehearsal at 7:30 PM
Sunday, October 30 Intergenerational Service at 10:00 AM
Monday, October 31 Prayer & Meditation Circle at 7:30 PM
Tuesday, November 1 Church Council Meeting at 8:00 PM
Outreach Ministry, 7:00 – 8:30 PM in Fellowship Hall to make sandwiches for HIHI

Tuesday, November 8 The Women’s Discussion Group will meet at the home of Annie McClintock, 16 Wells Road, Greenlawn, 7:00 – 10:00 PM for refreshments and the program. (Please bring refreshments to share.) The discussion will be about the book Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer. The book takes readers inside Mormon their religious fundamentalism. If you can join us, please call Annie at 239-6150.
Saturday, November 12 Pilgrim Festival, 11:00 – 3:00 PM
Coat Drive: We are collecting gently-used coats for distribution to families in Huntington. You may drop them off at the church.
Pledge Report
Received Pledged Difference
Last Week $5,678 $2,596 -$3,072
Year-to-date $100,009 $109,038 $9,029

share

Recommended Posts