G8 Summiteers tackle stewardship. Really!
Who would have
thought it possible? Stewardship, of all things, is dominating
the press and agenda at the G8 Summit in Scotland.
As the world's
most powerful leaders gather, poverty eradication in Africa and global
warming emerged as the two hot topics, both of which are essentially
stewardship issues with tremendous religious implications. Especially for
Christians. (Read all about the Summit in this week's
assistance is about rich nations sharing their overabundance so that poor
people will have enough. Any Christian who has read Matthew 25 should know
what Jesus would do when it comes to poverty eradication. In
that particularly blunt chapter, Jesus warns that our very salvation is at
risk if we ignore the plight of least among us. If that does not
cause American Christians to think, then I suspect we are generally a
nation of goats. We just think we're sheep.
has to do with developed nations leading the world in reducing fossil-fuel
consumption that is linked to climate change. There are dire implications
for life on this planet. As the opening chapters of Genesis reveal, God
created the world, called it good and appointed human beings to take care
of it. Now scientists note that the polar ice caps are melting, the oceans
are warming up, extreme weather storms are on the increase and species and
habitat that have been stable for centuries are suddenly under enormous
stress. And most of the world's best respected scientists say this is due
in large part to human energy consumption. I don't think God would call
that good. Do you?
Astonishingly, these two stewardship issues have gained the support of
millions of highly vocal people around the world. Live 8 concerts,
awareness-raising events, newspaper columns, web blogs and street
demonstrations in Scotland all show that there is growing
consciousness that the status quo is simply unacceptable. And with British
Prime Minister Tony Blair, the current G8 chairman, championing the two
causes, it seems certain big things will be done this time around.
who are called to love our neighbor as ourselves and to care for creation,
what can we do? Here are some ideas:
Stay on top of the news from multiple sources.
-Find out what
your church says about poverty and the environment.
issues with friends and colleagues.
issues priorities in your life, family and congregations.
letters expressing your views to your Congressional delegation as well as
to a Christian world relief charity. Ask that your congregation do the
again. And again. And again. ...
Blezard, editor and webmaster
New this week:
study explores stewardship through several passages of scripture. Each
segment of the study asks participants to examine the role of money in
our lives, our faith, our congregations and our society.
Click here for the Bible study. One
of many resources available from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
Click here for previous years' offerings.
do we see for our stewardship?
"Look any Sunday and see
what I see. See the faces of the children in Sunday School and the
upturned face of an old man who can no longer kneel when I say,
"The body of Christ given for you."
for the Rev. Dana Reardon's weekly stewardship column.
corporations assume responsibility for the environment?
In this essay, eminent process
theologian John B. Cobb Jr. discusses the environmental implications of
the growing power of transnational businesses. "Personally, I am not
happy that the future of the Earth is now in the hands of corporations
rather than governments. I believe that power should be in the hands of
those who have other goals than economic gain in view as part of their
primary job description."
Click here for Cobb's essay. Posted on
is more than money -- it's your life
stewardship encompasses all that we are, all that we hope to become. We
use four “c” words to summarize scores of biblical passages upon which
we base our theology of holistic stewardship: conversion, commitment,
communion, and concern."
Click here for the article.
Congregations magazine, published by
the Alban Institute. This week's
Treasure Chest offering.
overlooked key to success
In working with
congregations over the years, there is one key factor that keeps coming
back, loud and clear. If the Pastor and the lay leaders aren’t "out in
front " of the stewardship efforts, there’s very little chance of
Click here for this piece by Tuck
Aaker, columnist for
ELCA stewardship resources.