April 14 - 20, 2008
Lazy Stewardship's Best Teacher
Poverty teaches good stewardship of money because when there’s only so much of it, you have to make the most of every penny. Today is tax day, and I’m amazed how much money I’m making, or rather, how much money I'm making and still not left with a lot to spare!
Only a few years ago, when I was in seminary -– paying school bills, plus paying my own medical insurance and living costs – I survived on much less. Almost half! And I got by. Now I’m working full time and make more money, plus have health insurance as a perk. So where is all the extra money? Darned if I know.
A tight income forces a person to live simply. Everyday luxuries, such as dining in a restaurant, taking the kids to a movie or indulging in a new Music CD, are simply out of the question. Now I don’t even think twice.
It’s depressing! Instead of saving more for my children’s college, giving more to the church or investing my money in a stock fund, the better part of my surplus income goes for dinners at Denny’s and $7.50 movie tickets (plus $5-a-bucket movie popcorn). Depressing, but true.
If poverty teaches good stewardship, I have to conclude wealth encourages lazy stewardship. Which is to say that when we are wealthy it’s easy to forget what Jesus said: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48).
-Rob Blezard, editor and webmaster
Reprint rights gladly given to congregations for nonprofit, local use. Just include this note: “Copyright © 2008, the Rev. Robert Blezard, archive.stewardshipoflife.org. Used by permission.”
New This Week:
Planet Earth Sunday
Do something special to celebrate creation this spring. Here are some wonderful liturgies you can adapt for use in your congregation that will help connect members to the seasons and cycles of creation. Click here for resources for “Planet Earth Sunday,” from Season of Creation, an Australian website.
Awakening to God’s Call to Earthkeeping
This 50-page resource includes both a Leader Guide and participant materials for use in faith-based small group context: adult or older youth Sunday school, Christian education classes, women’s circles, men’s groups, congregational “green team,” or in a retreat setting. A great resource from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Click here for information on purchase. Click here for a free PDF download.
Stewardship as Discipleship
When revitalization caused four of its five top givers to worship elsewhere, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in North Aurora, IL, faced a challenge. Yet its pastor focused on discipleship, and the church’s giving not only did not go down, it actually increased – and has been growing steadily. Pastor Kathryn North tells how in this essay. Click here for “Stewardship as Discipleship,” and then scroll down to page 11. From “The Epistle,” the magazine of Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
Our columnist is now a quarter way through her year of buying nothing new, and she keeps receiving new awarenesses. “Every choice we make has impact on others. We are not isolated beings floating around aimlessly on the sea of life.” Click here for “Living Stones,” the latest essay from SOLI columnist Sharron Reissinger Lucas. Click here for archived columns.
Prayer Resources for Stewardship
Planning a stewardship emphasis? Here are some wonderful prayer resources to help – morning prayer, evening prayer and compline (night prayer) with an emphasis on stewardship. Click here for “Prayer Resources for Stewardship, from the Methodist Church of Great Britain.