Stewardship within the Way of Love
How many times have you heard it? Stewardship is about more than money. Stewardship is about time, talent and treasure—not just treasure. It has become a cliché. As Stewardship chair, I have written it many times, and frankly, I always picture the reader rolling his or her eyes. I bet if I could read your mind when you read that phrase, you are saying, sure, sure…but what you really want is my money. Excuse the honesty, but many times, you are right!
Therefore, this time at least I hope to deliver a diﬀerent message—one that really focuses on time and talent. You are reading this shortly after Christmas, a Christmas that was very diﬀerent from any Christmas in our lifetimes. Right before Christmas I read an article that I thought was very insightful about our lives at this time of year and in this time of pandemic. The author made the point that she was feeling sorry for herself as a mother with a young child and husband cooped up in a small Manhattan apartment. Then she caught herself, and realized that there were so many more people facing far greater challenges than she was because of the pandemic or otherwise. She suggested that instead of a hierarchy of grievances (her phrase), we need a hierarchy of compassion with those who suﬀer the most deserving the greatest compassion.
That made me think of Stewardship and St. David’s. Compassion requires a little time and a talent for empathy. (Some of us have empathy in abundance but all of us have some capacity for empathy). There have been countless examples of compassion in our St. David’s community in the last year. There are the public examples like the calling chain, the UnFair! and the direct outreach to St. James School and our own St. David’s Episcopal Day School. The private ones are, I am sure, too numerous to count. We should be proud of our church community.
Moreover, the great thing about compassion is it is a renewable resource. The more you spend the more you have. Giving of ourselves creates psychic income that has a way of replenishing our capacity to give more. Caring for each other and our St. David’s community is stewardship too. There certainly is hope that 2021 will be better, but we still have some road to travel. Until we get to the other side of this pandemic, let us put the Stewardship focus on compassion for each other, our church community and the world.