Stewardship: Preparing the Way by Living Generously

2011Giving Cover final:5400C Giving Covr/Cont flier


Christian Stewardship is:

·         the proper and generous use of our time, talent and money;

·         all that we do with our lives

·         about joyfully returning to God a portion of all the gifts which God has so generously showered upon us


 Congregational Stewardship Letter #1

The Talmud includes a wonderful tale titled Honi and the Carob Tree.

Honi was a small boy when he saw an old man planting a carob tree.

“How long will it take for this tree to bear fruit?” asked Honi.

“Seventy years,” said the old man.

“Will you live long enough to eat the fruit from the tree?” inquired Honi.

“Probably not,” said the old man.

“Why bother then?” asked Honi.

“When I was young,” said the old man, “I enjoyed many trees that were

planted by my father and my grandfather. Just as they planted trees for me, I

am planting trees for my children and others who will follow me.”

The story Honi and the Carob Tree meets us at a heart level. Similar stories are waiting to be told by members of our congregation. While it can be difficult to talk about stewardship and money in church, we all love a good story—especially when it’s told by someone we know. In addition, images such as the Tree of Life have a way of capturing our attention as well as our imaginations. They connect scripture written thousands of years ago with our experiences today. Trees (like good stewards) freely receive God’s gifts of life-giving sun and rain and freely give back fruit and seed and shade.

Purpose of Stewardship Season Emphasis

Teach Stewardship Principles

Honor Congregational History

Glorify God

Teach Stewardship Principles

Most of us are not born with an innate sense of living generously.  We need to be taught these principles. Many things we do require training:  taking a hunter’s safety course before going out to hunt pheasant, taking a driver’s education before getting a driver’s license. As youth we experience confirmation classes and baptism classes to get us better grounded in our faith and our relationship with God through Christ.

Honor Congregational History

All churches have stories of risk taking and risk takers. The risk takers may have been the charter members who had the vision to start the congregation, or those who took steps along the way to establish various ministries to move the church forward. These acts of faith required people  to step out of their comfort zone. Their stories need to be retold and when possible connected with the new opportunities God is calling the congregation to take on. Honoring the past as we look to the future becomes a crucial part of keeping us from getting in the ruts of only looking back and becoming content with what is. Our stories keep us from getting stuck if we use them well.


We cannot fully appreciate the abundance of life offered by Christ (John  10:10)  unless and until we embrace generous  living. There is a bounty of fruit to be enjoyed, but with fruit come seeds and an invitation to give back. Honi learned a wonderful lesson the day he saw an old man planting a tree. We will be exploring this during the month of October through presentations, bible studies and sermons.

Opportunities to Share

There will be opportunities for everyone to tell a story or lesson learned about stewardship.  We will be able to write them down so others can see and experience God’s blessings.  These examples can be from the past, present or even future plans.  Some ideas to recount are:

  • A person who has received pastoral care or visits at a time of grieving can thank the congregation for making pastoral care available.
  • A young couple with a recently baptized child can thank the congregation for welcoming their child into the family of God.
  • Describe a person you have experienced as being generous.
  • Talk about your family’s ritual of giving, either when you were a child or now as an adult.
  • Present an early recollection of offering in Sunday school or at church.
  • Tell about an act of generosity you have witnessed in the community, at work, at school.
  • Note the challenges associated with giving or making difficult choices.
  • Recount how your understanding of giving has changed since childhood.
  • Write about what others have taught you about giving.
  • Relate what you have taught your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews about Stewardship
  • Explain where you have seen God’s abundance in the world.

Giving Tree

A ‘Giving Tree” will be grown where we all can add our thought, ideas and recollections about Stewardship.  Leaves for the tree will be passed out during services so you can write down your thoughts and place them on the tree for others to see.  This will allow us to see the wonderful gifts and blessings God has given Resurrection and the individuals in the congregation.

Season of Stewardship

Watch for letters coming to your house and via email further explaining how we are learning about being good Stewards.   This is a season of Stewardship emphasis but being good stewards is a year round activity.  It is based on our response to God’s gift of grace and forgiveness that we do not deserve.  As we hear and experience God’s wonderful actions in our lives throughout the year we can respond back with worship, praise and by being good stewards of His gifts.