In all things we are stewards – stewards of our time and treasure, stewards of one another, stewards of who we are and how we treat our neighbors, and stewards of our relationship with God. In this sense stewardship is multidimensional. It is as much about sharing as it is about giving.
At All Saints’ we have undertaken an ongoing effort to change the perception of stewardship from that of a burdensome tax to the fulfillment that comes from giving and sharing in the joy and grace of our common spirituality. In this sense our pledge is not a tax, but rather a gift. In this sense we are less a parish of many individuals and more a family of fellow congregants who worship together and give thanks, together, for everything the Lord has provided us.
By sharing God’s gifts we can make a difference in our own lives, as well as in the life of our parish. Stewardship does indeed deal with money, but it must be far bigger, far more holistic than that. As we begin to think of our parish life in terms of the joy of sharing, then we can dare to let go of the things that hold us back and work together as faithful stewards.
One of the core meanings of stewardship is a responsibility to help one another. There are countless stories told at All Saints’ about the little and big things we all do for one another and for our church – whether it is volunteering on a committee, serving a ministry, helping with a worship service, or being there for someone in need. Sometimes the support takes the form of a financial contribution, but more often than not it is the time and talent shared in an area where help is required.
As we consider stewardship it is the message of sustenance that resonates most deeply. Through stewardship we sustain All Saints’. In sustaining our church, we sustain ourselves, our relationship with God, and our relationships with one another. It is a virtuous circle of love and fellowship and sharing and support.