As Christians, we know that all things are gifts from God -- all that we have and all that we are. Stewardship is our response and our responsibility – we have a responsibility to care for that which we have been given.
We are given many things – our bodies, our intellects, other people as family, friends, neighbors and co-inhabitants of the world, the earth itself, material possessions or rather the abilities that allow us to gather material possessions. As we think of these gifts, we understand that they are connected and they connect us to the larger world and its needs. Our gifts made in response to all these gifts - our stewardship – allows the church to follow Christ’s commandments: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, provide shelter and comfort for those in need – love thy neighbor as thyself.
Giving is itself a gift. That is true for the sharing of time and talent and it is certainly true for the giving of our wealth. The freedom that comes from being able to give reinforces our connections to those around us and we can see good being done. When we focus, not on what we are giving, but on the giver and the gifts God brings into our lives, we can respond in joy.
The little boy in the story about Jesus feeding the 5,000 willingly gave his lunch for others. And as he gave joyfully, Jesus used what he gave to do miracles.
God does the same today. That which is given in joy gives joy. And that which is given in joy can be multiplied to reach many.
The Stewardship Committee works with the congregation on our collective journey to focus on the giver and find ways to respond in joy.