On August 17, 2010, we held our first parish stewardship meeting. Stewardship may not be a word you have heard much but the concept of "stewardship" is not new. To be a steward is to recognize that everything one has is a gift from God. Genesis 1:26-31 tells us that God has given us dominion over all the earth. We are free to do with it as we want. Some might be tempted to be greedy and wasteful. If we recognize that what we have been given is a gift, then we should use these gifts wisely, using only what we need, and then using what is available for the good of all God's people.
Some people who have used the term stewardship incorrectly focus on just one of the three parts - money. Stewardship is not just about money. It is not just a new "buzzword" to increase your weekly contributions. Stewardship has three components: time, talent, and treasure (yes, money is part of treasure).
To be good stewards is to use our time, talents, and treasure to build the Kingdom of God. We use what we need for ourselves wisely and then work together to help those in need around us. It is listening to Jesus tell us the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is to love our neighbor.
For each of us, the call to be a good steward is different. It can also be different for each of us at different points in our lives. For instance, a young family may not have much time to give but have the treasure to give. A retired person on fixed income may not have treasure to share but have more time. We must each decide for ourselves, with the help of a community of believers, to discern how God is calling us to be good stewards.
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