July 11 - 17, 2005



Bombings teach us to value our time and lives
At this time last week, this editorial -- and most of the world -- was focused on the G8 Summit, where stewardship issues were hot on the agenda, namely global warming and poverty eradication.
But the bombings in London caused everyone to look at an even more important issue: Our life and our time. Death comes to us all. Nobody gets out alive. But the unexpectedness and wanton destruction of the bombs reminded us that no one knows the time or hour when our lives will end.  I purposefully borrow language from Jesus's response to questions of when he will come again.
"When we will die?" is never the right question for us to ask, just as it is never the right question to ask, "When will Jesus come again?" Neither one is for us to know. Instead, the questions are, "How are you living in the event you were to die today?" or "...if Jesus came back today?" 
If you knew your time was up, would you treat your family differently, being more caring and making sure they knew you loved them? Wouldn't you make sure you kissed your spouse and children before leaving for the subway commute? How much would you value that big promotion you are working like crazy to get, or that new house/car/boat/computer you are scrimping for? If you knew the number of your days, would you be more diligent in prayer and charity? Would you take more risks to share the Gospel and work for peace and justice?
Well, I know I would. So now, after the London bombings, we're still focused on a stewardship issue, but this one is close to our hearts and home. It's how well we are stewards of our own lives.  
Martin Luther once said that even if he knew the world were going to end tomorrow, he would still plant a tree today. He wouldn't stop doing the things he was supposed to do even if he knew the clock was running out. But many of us grapple with the opposite problem: Because we think our clock has lots of time left, we fail to plant any trees at all.
-Rob Blezard, editor and webmaster
New this week:

Renewing our relationship with the earth:
What you and your church can do

This is a free 52-page guide listing not only a Biblical and theological basis for environmental care, but also practical steps you and your congregation can do. Click here for Renewing our relationship. Great resource from the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa in Canada.


 Extending a real welcome to all

"It goes to welcoming the strangers to our land.  It goes to paying people enough to live on so that they can feel a welcome part of our society.  It goes to the way we drive and the way we are with every encounter of our day."  Click here for the Rev. Dana Reardon's weekly stewardship column.


 Stewardship with a smile

Here's a delightful Powerpoint presentation guaranteed to make the folks in your church chuckle while they consider how well they are doing in stewardship, not only of their money but of all the gifts God gives them. Click here for Stewardship with a smile. Another fine creation of Jerry Hoffman, webmaster of Stewardship for the 21st Century, where you will find lots of great resources.



Stewardship is more than money -- it's your life
"Jesus comes offering the Kingdom of God, but with the Kingdom there is a cost... everything you have and everything you are.  But don't misunderstand.  Jesus does not come selling the Kingdom of God for your lifetime of enjoyment.  Jesus comes giving the Kingdom freely.  He paid for it on the cross and now gives it as a gift.  The Kingdom itself is the cost." By the Rev. Daniel Mangler, pastor of pastor at Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church, Estes Park, CO. This week's Treasure Chest offering.



 Stewardship draws us to the Lord

"A steward never stops saying 'thank you' to God for blessings received. A steward has an attitude of gratitude and essentially is a person of great peace and great joy," Father Daniel Mahon told a Catholic conference in Canada. Click here to read more of his inspiring talk. From Western Catholic Reporter, Canada's largest religious weekly.