For the last few weeks we have been focusing on Stewardship. We began with Bill advising us on our financial state and what needed to happen for us to continue our journey. For the first time in many years, we actually talked money even though we knew this might bother some people. We needed to be sure that all of us understood that our reserves had dwindled and that we could not continue to operate at a deficit or we could not survive.
Then, a number of our members took time to speak to us about what Stewardship means to them in light of being a member of UCH and the theme this year, LOOKING, BLESSING, BREAKING, GIVING. It was an enriching experience for all of us and challenged all of us to go deeper in our commitment to our faith, each other, and our Church.
What does it all mean? We know we have needs here, the carpet begs to be replaced, the walls needs sprucing up, the Narthex needs cleaning up, our environment is in dire need of improvement. This is not about God loving a cheerful giver, this is about the life that we have as a congregation, the life we bring to each other and the life we bring to our community. This is about loving each other enough to open our hearts and minds and being creative with the gifts that each of us has. This is about being able to own our own talents and stepping up and using them for the greater good.
In some ways it too easy to open our wallets and give money. What if we could do things like make regular calls to our member who can’t get out much, what if we offered to take members who don’t drive out to shop, what if we wrote letters to those members who have moved away but are still in our hearts, what if we visited those members who are in hospitals, convalescent care or assisted living? What if we did more to protect our mother earth by writing letters of support to organizations that support this or really watching what we send out to the garbage? What if we wrote letters to Muslim Mosques to support them as valued members of the community, what if we wrote to our community leaders supporting things that improved the quality of life for all people here? What if we brought food for the food barrel every week, even if it is just a can of beans or a jar of peanut butter, what if we went through our closets and got rid of some shoes, coats and scarves by taking them to local shelters? What if we smiled at everyone we passed and said hello as well? What if we prayed for each other and the world daily? I could go on, but you get the idea.
This is Stewardship, and we all have the time and energy to do something. Think about the needs of our Congregation, and think about the needs of others and our earth. Be honest with your gifts and talents. Remember, Scripture says “God so loved the world that He sent His only Son.” It does not say God so love the Christians, the rich, the things that humans make, it says the World.
Help us to revitalize UCH and do what you can with your “treasures.”
You are a “treasure” to be shared. Let us all do all that we can to continue our journey together as the Beloved Community. I love walking with each of you! -Chris L.