Oct. 27 - Nov. 2, 2008



'Newman's Own' Brand of Stewardship

Paul Newman died a month ago, but the special edition of People magazine dedicated to his memory is still on the newsstands. In a time when the public attention span for any issue seems shorter than Britney Spears' first marriage (55 hours), the magazine's endurance shows the towering reputation of one of Hollywood's greatest.

In accolade after accolade, people remember Newman as a plainspoken guy who never let fame, fortune or public fawning get the better of him. Though he was one of the biggest stars of the 20th century, it was his work off-camera that he cited as his greatest achievement. From his Newman's Own brand of salad dressing and other foods, he poured $200 million into summer camps that provided fun for children with cancer and other illnesses.

One friend remembered how he loved to visit the kids at the camp, introducing himself with, "Hi! I'm Paul."

Newman was a good steward not only of his money, not only of his fame, but of his whole life. The lengthy obituary in the New York Times ends with an insight that shows how much we can learn a lot from his inspiring example.

“We are such spendthrifts with our lives,” Mr. Newman once told a reporter. “The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”   (Click here to read the whole obituary.)
-Rob Blezard, editor and webmaster
Reprint rights gladly given to congregations for local, nonprofit use. Just include the following note: "Copyright (c) 2008, the Rev. Robert Blezard, archive.stewardshipoflife.org. Used by permission." Other uses, please inquire, rcblezard@embarqmail.net..

New This Week:

Holy Habits in a Fickle Economy
Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern VirginiaAs the economic picture becomes increasingly cloudy, many churches are facing – or are bracing for – hard times. Here are some great tips for how church leaders can cope, keep their heads, avoid panic and stay faithful. Click here for “Holy Habits in a Fickle Economy,” from The Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia.

Stewardship by Small Steps
Live ItHere is a GREAT resource that lists simple things an individual, family or church can do to live stewardship. Example: “Put a piece of straw in your wallet before Christmas shopping, to remind yourself of the greatest gift, Jesus in the manger.  Or, “Create a button: ‘I'm a Steward for Christ.’ Ask ministry leaders to wear them regularly, in order to build interest. Then distribute them to the parish.” Click here for “Stewardship by Small Steps,” from Live It, a Catholic group worth checking out.

Tuck AakerA Strange Phenomenon
“Funny, isn’t it, that so many of us go through a major part of our lives thinking we are on ‘God’s Team’ and then discovering that after all this time we are really only a fan – a spectator! They become comfortable as spectators and because of their busy lives, decide they can’t be players.” Good reading! Click here for “A Strange Phenomenon, from Tuck Aaker, stewardship columnist for ELCA Stewardship Resources.

15 Ways to Increase Your Church’s Offerings
Want some new ideas for adding dollars to your congregation’s coffers? (And what church is not?) Here is a handy resource that not only lists 15 ways, but also has links to help you explore the concepts more fully. Click here for “15 Ways to Increase Your Church’s Offerings,” from LifeWay.