June 5 - 11, 2006




Stewards have to pay close attention

The church meeting began at 7 p.m. and seemed to go a little bit long. But it couldn't have been that long, I figured, because there was still plenty of daylight when I walked to my car. So I was really surprised when the dashboard clock revealed it was nearly 9 p.m.

So light out, so late? It seemed as if it was only weeks ago that the sky was dark at 7 p.m. when the meetings began

It's amazing how quickly we adapt to a changing reality that we fail to notice even profound changes, so long as they happen slowly enough.

Such has been one problem in convincing people that global warming is real. Or that environmental problems pose as much of a threat as they really do. We seem to be adapting to the new reality because it's happening too slowly to catch us. Scientists have been gathering old photographs of the Rocky Mountains to show just how much less the snow-pack is nowadays. Long-time residents, who have been aware of the change but not the extent, are flabbergasted.

When you look at how the human organism is reacting to incremental environmental changes, we see how slow adaptation blunts the effect of changes that over the long term are quite profound.  When I was a boy in the 60s and 70s, nobody talked about peanut allergies, and now fatal reactions to nuts are widespread enough to require scary warning labels on food and for some kitchens to ban nut products entirely.

But the peanut allergy thing happened slowly enough so people have the impression that large numbers of children always had allergies to peanuts. Or asthma. Or ADD. Or autism. Or for that matter, that large numbers of older adults had Alzheimer's disease.

As stewards of God's creation, we are called to use the earth's resources wisely and to protect it from pollution that can harm life. But first that means opening our eyes, cleaning out our ears and sharpening our minds. The days are getting longer, but only for a few more weeks.  

--Rob Blezard, webmaster and editor
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New This Week:

Henri Nouwen: The spirituality of fundraising

"You donít say, 'Please we have a nice little project going here, and wouldnít you like to help us out a bit?' No! You say, 'Arenít you glad that we, who give our time and our lives to a holistic, ecologic fertility and health care, invite you in and arenít you delighted that you are allowed to make your resources available for this great work?' Click here for "The spirituality of fundraising," a transcript of a conversation with Henri Nouwen made available by Generous Giving.

Mom was right: We must clean up after ourselves
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 Great stewardship website! New Jersey Synod
A great website for congregational stewardship got a lot better recently with a redesign. Resources are all extremely useful for  leaders in Mainline congregations. Moreover, they are organized into neat categories and accessible via handy pull-down menus.  Click here for the Stewardship Page of the New Jersey Synod.

Where your treasure is, your heart will be also
"In our lives we want to desperately hold on to what we have -- people, relationships, material possessions, power, prestige, and even money. And we don't want anyone else to tell us what to do with any of them. We tend to think they are ours to have and to hold from this time forth and forever more. But these are only temporary." Click here for "Where your treasure is." Inspirational reading from the Rev. Kristi Beebe in The Lutheran Laity Movement Archives. This week's Treasure Chest offering.