Christian stewardship is very important to sustaining our parish so that we may continue offering and growing our ministires.
We live in a physical world that places great value on material possessions. Material possessions and wealth may bring power and status. But wealth and possessions can be fleeting. Circumstances change. It is the voice of Jesus Christ and the truth of His Gospel that remain constant. In our spiritual relationship with our Creator, we realize that we are called to be good stewards of His creation. And as stewards of His Gospel, we are called to use our material, worldly possessions to meet the needs of others.
If we compare ourselves to the stewards in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), do we multiply the treasure for which we are responsible and for which we will be held accountable when the master returns? Or do we bury our treasure in the ground, offering back only that which was given to us? Jesus said “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21). At the end of our life, will He say to us, “Well done good and faithful servant”?
We are called to guard the Gospel message, but not to hoard it. We are instructed not to hide our light under a bushel (Matthew 5:15). As Jesus Christ sends us to be His voice in a changing world, we must also remove impediments or perceived impediments to non-Orthodox inquirers that seek His Truth. What messages do we send out intentionally or unintentionally? What might cause the Gospel message to be ignored or misunderstood?
To be stewards of the Gospel, we need to be stewards of our parish. This requires the vision and inspiration to see the parish, not as it is, but as it could be. We are called to offer ourselves and our time, talent and treasure to make our church all that is can be.
As we share the voice of Christ, the message we share is one of hope, truth, grace, divine power, life and invitation. In this busy, ever-changing world, His voice of wisdom is needed to guide us in discerning what is good, what is true and what will bring us closer to Him and to one another.