Stewardship is about being grateful, responsible stewards of the gifts we receive from God. The Episcopal Church sees stewardship as more than simply contributing money to the church; it’s also about contributing time and talents, and volunteering for ministry and mission. It’s about reaching out to build relationships from a perspective of abundance instead of scarcity. As the harvest season draws to a close, we are invited to review once again our individual patterns of giving: of our time, talents and money.
How do I use my time? Could I give more of it in support of the St. Columba’s community? Is it time to extend my heart’s reach more deeply into the life of this community or beyond? Or am I giving too much time to the Church? Do I need to create more balance in my life? As I reflect on my own particular gifts, what could I offer that might fill a need or a gap? Do my real gifts align with the real time that I give? Am I using or sharing my gifts wisely and well? Should I take a hard look at that? When did I last seriously review my financial commitment to the Church and other places to which the passions of my heart are drawn? In practical terms, perhaps now is the time finally to sign that gift aid delaration? Perhaps now is the time finally to set up a monthly bank standing order? Or to review and update the one I set up several years ago?
Theologians talk about a prevenient grace that precedes grace itself and allows us to accept it. I think there must also be a prevenient courage that allows us to be brave – that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm. And therefore, this courage allows us . . . to make ourselves useful. It allows us to be generous, which is another way of saying exactly the same thing. ― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead