We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:6-8 NIV)
Dear Friends in Christ,
The Bible tells us that “the earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it (Psalm 24:1).” Recognizing this truth is the first step in leading to a life of faithful stewardship. Stewardship is the theological understanding that everything we have is a gift from God, therefore, we are to be thoughtful in how we use our gifts for the care of creation and one another.
Stewardship is really a yearlong practice, essentially a way of life, still, many churches place a special emphasis on stewardship in the fall of the year. Each year, Stewardship Sunday is a day set aside for our members to make a financial pledge and a pledge of time and talent to the ministry of St. Mark’s church. This year, that day will be Sunday, October 17th.
St. Mark’s Church is blessed to have many faithful, servant-minded members, and over these past several years we have received a couple substantial financial gifts, which together with your consistent faithful giving, has given us the opportunity to envision a bright future.
This year St. Mark’s Stewardship committee is looking to place a particular emphasis on the many talents of our members and the opportunities St. Mark’s provides for service in ministry. Apart from your financial gifts, each of you have gifts to share; gifts which God has first given you for the purpose of serving God, through service to the church, the world, and those in need.
I appreciate the verse above, from Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, because Paul recognizes the diverse talents and abilities that members of the church have to share. Not everyone has the gift of prophesy, the ability to teach or lead, or even the means to give generously, however, most of us have the capacity to give encouragement and show mercy, and these are by no means less significant.
When you fill out your time and talent sheet this year for Stewardship Sunday, even if you cannot commit to being an usher, a reader, or serving on church council, consider noting how you plan to share your gifts in other ways. You might serve others by running errands for a homebound neighbor or by bringing them a hot meal.
You may not have the means to increase your financial pledge this year, but you could plan to increase your patience with people you encounter each day, or plan to be more forgiving, or you might commit to devoting a few minutes each week to praying for people on St. Mark’s prayer list.
You may not believe you have the talent or wealth to make a difference in the world, but each of us has something that God has given us to share, and when we commit our gifts to God’s purpose, they will do great things.