Stewardship teaches that all that we have and all that we are is a gift from God. We are, therefore, stewards of God's gifts during our lifetime. When we accept our lives as sheer gifts, and all that we have as gifts, the Holy Spirit leads us into a faithful response of how we use our gifts (our money, time, passions, and abilities) to grow God’s reign.
Two hallmarks of the work of the Holy Spirit are joy and gratitude. As a community of faith, we gather to explore, discern, pray, and nurture one another in becoming joyful and grateful stewards. Practicing and teaching stewardship involves seeking greater insight into spiritual growth, the connection of money and faith, discernment of purpose, leadership, and giving.
Stewardship is lived out in wisely employing God-given human resources, abilities, and relationships; sharing the material resources we hold and giving them in service, justice, and compassion; providing for future generations; and sharing in the life, worship, and responsible stewardship of the Church and of its mission. Both for the individual and for the community, stewardship is a joyful act for the sake of God's world.
A NOTE FROM THE 2013-14
STEWARDSHIP CHAIRMAN ROBERT BARBER
Dear Parish Family,
We are blessed to be part of the St. Stephen’s community, a community rich in history, diversity, love, companionship, and spirit. We are blessed to hear the Good News preached and to partake of the sacraments weekly. We are blessed by Scripture, which directs us to minister to those in our larger community as well as our own St. Stephen’s community.
During the month of October, as you see reiterated below, we will hear from several of our parish family about how the experience of being a part of the St. Stephen’s community has affected them, and to what degree it has touched their lives. Perhaps in both those personal accounts, both oral and written, there will be a moment that will plant the seed in your own mind about the level of support you feel you are able to contribute to our lives and ministries, through your Pledge.
During the month of October, there will be a section in our Order of Service for written reflections about Stewardship by members of our community.
Also during October, we will hear personal stories during our 11:00 services to learn first-hand how your fellow parishioners have matured in their faith through intentional giving of their financial resources.
On November 3 (All Saints’ Day), we will be collecting your Stewardship envelopes for 2014, the time when Pledge cards will be completed and offered as an act of worship.
In its own way, Stewardship Season is always a “journey” in that each and every one of us assesses where we have been in the past year, and where we hope our journey will take us in the New Year. The richness of that journey is dependent on our openness to God’s speaking to our hearts and minds. What a blessing it is for us to be able to join together to do God’s work through St. Stephen’s!