It’s that time of year to talk about the enthralling topic of Stewardship! I know you’re excited, don’t hide it!
This year we will have group discussions in Adult Study throughout the month of October. Our themes for each week in consecutive order are: Stewardship of Time and Talent, Stewardship of Technology, Personal Stewardship, and Communal Stewardship. Adult Study will correspond with Sunday morning worship. The last Sunday of October we will have a good ol’ church consecration luncheon with brief programming about how the budget is put together and what priorities Bruce and session have for the 2020 calendar year.
In talking to our residential stewardship guru Paul Jones, I was reminded our faith culture is one of surrender giving. Our faithful culture of stewardship in this sense, mimics Acts 4:32. “The community of believers was one in heart and mind. None of them would say, “This is mine!” about any of their possessions, but held everything in common.”
At First Pres we give totally. There is no concrete appearance of our tithes and gifts to the congregation. All is given trusting the faithful stewardship of our congregation’s leadership. Throughout the entire history of this Church, from generation to generation, we have valued the gift of giving over the family name of the ones who gave. Given that our church home resides in one of the wealthiest places in the country, and therefore the world, the fact that we are still here, humbly unnamed, and busy as bees is proof of our faith-filled, hive-mentality stewardship culture. The only names on our buildings are the names of the saints before us in our beautiful Memorial Garden.
The Stewardship team and I are looking forward to guiding the congregation on this journey. Bruce and I are looking forward to guiding the congregation in worship. I believe the stories we will tell, and the conversations we will have, will create space to make concrete connections of our faith through the necessary lens of stewardship. It is not simply about keeping the lights on; it is always already about nurturing the ministries and calls of the beloved spiritual family that is First Presbyterian Palo Alto.
Our team is using the new book, Beyond the Offering Plate: A Holistic Approach to Stewardship by Adam J. Copeland, published by John Knox Westminster Press. I encourage all who wish and are able to go in depth with us on this journey to purchase the book and follow along.
Looking forward to what will come,
Annanda and the Stewardship Dream Team of 2019