2011 Campaign Letter

Dear Fellow Parishioners, 

A few words about stewardship

 from the Vestry.

 

 

 

 

 

No! No! No!

Please don’t throw this away but instead read it closely as it may be a slightly different view on the subject of stewardship than you have previously heard. Before we talk about stewardship, we must understand the word, at least in Biblical terms.  The word, steward, refers to a manager who is responsible for the goods and property of another. The steward is not therefore an owner, but one who has a responsibility to an owner to treat property with care and respect.  Stewardship is a term that refers to the responsibility of a steward to manage wisely. 

Stewardship of Creation.

 In the story of creation, God gives humans dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the animals of the land. Over the years, humans have distorted this mandate to mean that we were given the right to dominate for our own wants and needs. This is not the meaning of dominion. The word dominion means to take responsibility for all of creation. Keep in mind that humans were created last, after all other creation, and indeed were put here to take care of all that came before us.  At Holy Faith we are blessed with church property and the land to the north. One would suggest that we should make prayerful plans for and be good stewards for the true owner.

Stewardship of ourselves and our bodies.

Have you ever thought of your body as not belonging to you. We all accept that God is creator of this earth and all things in it including our bodies.  God created us from the dust of the earth and breathed life into us.  Over the years we have adopted the attitude of eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die. Medical science tells us that the condition of our bodies affects our personality, mental outlook and our spiritual life. One might suggest that if we are to be good stewards of our bodies, that we take better care for the true owner. 

Stewardship of Talents and Spiritual Gifts.

The Bible refers to the Church as the Body of Christ with God as its head.  Just as our body has many parts doing specialized tasks, the Church Body has many people with specialized talents.  Every person possesses both natural talents and spiritual gifts. Our natural talents come to us at birth and develop as we grow.  Some of these talents might include carpenters, painters, plumbers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, mechanics and the like. The spiritual gifts are imparted by the Holy Spirit enabling us to minister  to others like preachers, church teachers, lay ministers, deacons and the like. One might suggest that if we look to the Body of Christ at Holy Faith we might identify these parts of the Body with special talents and gifts which can be put to use for the true owner.

Stewardship of Time and Priorities.

Time is the perhaps the most equitable of all commodities in the world today.  God has given each of us an equal 24 hours in each day.  It has been said that time is something that must hurriedly be spent before we lose it.  There is very little reference to time in the Bible only as to the passage of time and our numbered days on Earth. In our western culture we seem to put more importance on time. Just think how many time we mention the lack of time in our daily conversation.  Again our days, hours, and minutes on Earth are afforded to us by God so we should be good stewards of the time given us.  One might suggest that if we have established a target goal of 10% in our financial giving, that the same 10%, if properly prioritized, might be a good target goal for our giving of time. Actually the giving of time might be an easier target for some than the giving of treasures. 

Stewardship of Relationship.

 We imagine the most common words we hear about stewardship of relationships are “To love thy neighbor as thy self”, and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. We have a weekly opportunity at Holy Faith when each Sunday we pass the Peace with one another.  We acknowledge that we are all children of God and thus are all brothers and sisters. As with any family we are at odds from time to time, but as with any family Our Father has instructed us as His children to ask forgiveness and to pass His Peace. One might suggest that as we pass the Peace we make eye to eye contact referring to each other by name, coming together as one family of God’s children.

Stewardship of Treasures and Material Possessions.

There is much written about the way we should think when making our pledge.  The Diocese of Central Florida assesses us 10% of pledge and plate for it’s needs, and perhaps that is the correct standard for us to use. We will not pretend to know what is the right figure for anyone else.    We say each Sunday morning that “All things come from you, oh God and of thine own have we given thee”.  All things were created by God, including our bodies.  One might suggest that as we fill out our pledge card that we do it only after a moment of prayer and giving thanks for living in the richest country in the world. We often wonder why We are so fortunate.  But, for the Grace of God We could have been born in a county that knows only hunger and oppression.

As when God created the Heavens and our Earth, man was created last to be caretakers, so have we purposely left the matter of pledges to the last on a list of stewardship needs.

On behalf of the Vestry.                                                                                  

 Wayne Griffin                                                                                  
Senior Warden