The Key is Participation

A Weekly Stewardship Reflection, Sunday, November 11, 2018

By: Cathy and Lee Keiger

Merriam Webster defines stewardship as “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” What does this mean to us in relation to St. Mary’s?

Making a monetary pledge or other form of financial support is certainly a building block of stewardship, and an important one, but it is not the only piece and not necessarily the most important piece of our individual stewardship efforts. The key to stewardship is participation. It is ongoing and necessary in building healthy relationships. In short, stewardship is a spiritual discipline that reminds us of who we are and whose we are.

Individually, stewardship presents us an opportunity, actually multiple opportunities, to contribute and participate in the well-being of St. Mary’s. It is a kinder and gentler form of stewardship and it is completely voluntary.

Over the years, our family has enjoyed many activities and services as members of St. Mary’s.  We have served on vestries, participated in fellowship, sung in the choir, welcomed newcomers, and taught Sunday school. We have welcomed our children into the Church through baptism and have sought guidance and strength as we have mourned the loss of loved ones. In both good times and bad, Lee and I have strengthened our relationship with God. This would not have been possible if it had not been for St. Mary’s strong leadership and good stewardship.

We do not take the importance of stewardship lightly. Every year, we make an annual pledge to the church and it is the first bill we pay. For St. Mary’s to be nurtured, it needs both financial and spiritual support. By so doing, we ensure the parish’s continued existence, growth, and ability to carry out its many ministries. Stewardship is not elective but is continuous in nature.

Our tendency is to put an annual emphasis on stewardship. We need to remind ourselves, however, that this is not a one-shot opportunity to commit ourselves and our financial resources.  It is a time to remind ourselves of the ongoing opportunities that are available to us because of St. Mary’s stewardship efforts.

We encourage you to recognize our communal stewardship responsibility and to concentrate and meditate on your personal opportunities to contribute your proverbial time, talent, and money to St. Mary’s stewardship efforts.  We also encourage you to contemplate your opportunities on an ongoing and periodic basis and not just once a year.