Social Icons

Thursday, November 9, 2017

STEWARDSHIP FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION

We have been blessed to have been members of this parish community and family for over 40 years. We have raised our children, seen chil-dren and grandchildren baptized, children mar-ried, and said goodbye to loved ones in this, our church home. During our years at St. Luke’s we have seen not less than seven rec-tors come and go and been a part of over 40 stewardship campaigns. As we participate in this year’s Consecration Sunday campaign and reflect back on previous campaign, we are reminded of how Christian stewardship, and particularly stewardship at St. Luke’s, has evolved and changed our lives over the years.

Beginning at St. Luke’s in the early 70’s as what would be now known as millenials, we were just starting our family and our careers. Though both raised in church-going families, we had very little personal experience with stewardship or giving in general. It was simply not a topic discussed around our dinner tables growing up. As with most young parents with new jobs and family responsibilities, our lives were hyper-busy and our focus was inward. Though we attended church semi-regularly and tried to get the kids to Sunday school, there was precious little time for being “active” members of the parish. Though we would reach into our purse or wallet and drop a few dollars into the plate as it was passed on the Sundays we did attend, we had no real sense of commitment and certainly no concept of the relationship between our financial resources and what it means to be a Christian. We are writing this today so that the younger members of our parish community do not make the same mistake we did.

It took many years and stewardship campaigns for us to understand that our financial support is not about our money at all but about how we view our relationship with God. For years our focus was only on the budget, both ours and that of the parish; how we were going to pay the light bill or repair the roof, or pay the rector’s salary. Though it took far too long, at some unidentifiable moment the light went on for us.

We realized that the budget was not the reason we give; our focus should no longer be on where the pledge was going to come from or how the money might be spent. Finally, we realized that we give for the simple reason that we love God and are thankful every day for his grace and the countless blessings he has bestowed on us. With that realization, we no longer dreaded the annual stewardship drive but welcomed it as an oppor-tunity to look back over the year and count the many blessings God had once again provided.

This is the message we feel compelled to pass on; especially to the young families in our parish community. Don’t wait like we did until you have gray hair and join the “old fogey” club to transform your thinking about your relationship with money and God. A healthy understanding of stewardship should begin as soon as you have expendable income at any level. Whatever your chronological age, your family situation, or your financial re-sources, you are a recipient of God’s blessings including the joy associated with being a member of this loving parish community. We ask that you prayerfully consider what your relationship to God and your parish community is calling you to do on Consecration Sunday, November 19.