StewardshipFrom everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded. (Luke 12:48b)
Stewardship begins with the recognition that our lives are not our own. Our lives and talents are gifts from God, intended for us to use for the glory of God and the benefit of others. Although the cultivation of our lives and the development of our gifts require our own hard work and dedication, none of us can claim to be self-made: we stand on the shoulders of parents, teachers, friends, and spouses who have affirmed us, challenged us, and nurtured our characters; and on the shoulders of countless unnamed persons from earlier generations who built and nurtured the institutions that have shaped us. But for the often unrecognized gifts of others, likely we could not call ourselves Christians; in fact, we hardly could call ourselves fully human.
Similarly, Christ Church stands on the shoulders of those who have preceded us. The sacrifices and commitment—that is, the stewardship—of members from prior generations have given us a beautiful site for worship and tool for ministry, an endowment that supplements the life of the parish, a strong Christian education program for children and adults, and an unfaltering engagement with the City and people of Detroit.
As stewards of our inheritance we are preserving and building a sturdy foundation for future generations in the body of Christ. Faithful stewardship of our gifts and treasure now will allow us to maintain the institution our predecessors sacrificed to build (with its commitment to our children, to our city, and to all those in need throughout the world) and to be the shoulders upon which our children and all those who will follow us can stand. In order to fulfill its mission, Christ Church needs for each of us to give as generously as possible. Equally important, though, in order to grow spiritually as Christians, we need to give: giving is a spiritual discipline and a form of worship.
This year’s stewardship initiative provides every member of Christ Church an opportunity for reflection and for the reaffirmation and reordering of priorities. We hope each member will reflect prayerfully about the resources entrusted to us; about our obligation to be faithful stewards of those resources and of our common life in the body of Christ; and about how each of us can best fulfill our commitment to contribute to the building of the kingdom of God. Following are some resources to assist you in your reflections.
The Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Network for Stewardship
Episcopal Church Foundation
Ecumenical Stewardship Center
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Presbyterian Church USA
From the Book of Common Prayer
For the Right Use of God’s Gifts
Almighty God, whose loving hand has given us all we possess: Grant us grace that we may honor you with our substance, and, remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of thy bounty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (BCP)
Some Scripture passages on Stewardship
1 Chronicles 29:14-16 O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.
Sirach 35:7-10 Be generous when you worship the Lord, and do not stint the first fruits of your hands.
Matthew 6:19-21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 25:14-30 …to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.
Luke 12:42-48 From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.
Romans 12:6-8 We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering…the giver, in generosity
2 Corinthians 9:6-12 …for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
1 Timothy 6:7-9 …for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.