Beth Washburn's Stewardship Talk, 11 Nov 2012
Let the word of my mouth and the meditation of our
hearts be always acceptable in your sight, O Lord
our strength and redeemer.
For the past four weeks we have been blessed to have John Ellis
(sharing the video on the many thoughts of what giving and being
a steward means not only to your parish but to all); Cheryl Taylor
(sharing the frequently asked questions that we might be afraid to
ask); Beth Moeller (sharing her learning and growth through
participating and experiencing helping and walking with others who
were homeless and marginalized); Mary Ellen Yaroshefski
(sharing not only the work of the Mission Committee but how
deeply it helps those who need it whether in our sight and out of
Their experiences of being members of Trinity as well as what
stewardship means to each of them demonstrates just a few of the
various ways that we are stewards. Thank you to each of you for
the gift of your time and your willingness to share your personal
experiences with us.
I have had a hard time knowing where to begin as we
wrap up this small section of stewardship. All of us
continue to be stewards of each other and this
place in this time, and, i dare say, we will continue
to be so.
These weeks of deep, personal sharing have led to
today being our Sunday of Commitment for our
pledges of time, talent and treasure for the coming
year. Each week we have prayed for those pledges
received to this point. We give thanks for all that
we have received. You will be invited to bring your
offering to the altar in just a little while. As you
may remember, our hope is to hear from all who
consider Trinity their spiritual home no matter
what your gift may be.
Did you happen to notice that there is an abundance
of stewardship topics in today's lessons?
- God provides us with all that we need
- The importance of caring for one another
- The issue of giving from sense of gratitude (or
from the heart).
- A deeper understanding that we can live out of a
sense of scarcity or abundance (is my cup half
empty or half full?)
I am sure that there could be more but time is
limited and you don't really want me to go on and on
now do you?
It seems we have been conditioned to live out of a
sense of scarcity — that we will never have enough.
What is it that we feel we have to have now? How can
I possibly give more when things seem so tight? How
do we see and experience God's abundance?
The two widows in today's lessons provide real
insight about living in the present and being
satisfied with what they have; where they are; to
give freely with a deep and abiding respect in their
relationship with god and others.
The strength, grace, and willingness of the widow
1 Kings 17:8-16 to not only prepare the last known meal
for hersef and son is profound! Then to have a
stranger come to her and dare to ask her to share
from the less than meager amount she has left
could be overwhelming.... To my surprise she shares!
Her witness and faith in God providing is so powerful
as an outsider to others. (she knows of and believes
in God!). As a result of her willingness to share she
has more than enough returned to her. Can you
imagine going through this experience?
In the Gospel (Mark 12:38-44)
we hear, once again, of the widow
giving all that she has even though by any standard
it is seemingly inconsequential. I believe that her
giving comes from her core. I am sure that she has
benefited from others who have helped her. Now she
is willing to return to her place of worship and give
back in return... I notice that those who give
extravagantly in the Gospel do so for appearances.
This is sad, for me.
In both instances, across a span of time, there is a
commonality that we do not need to give out of
appearance or what is extra but from deep within.
The same is true today.
Our hope, as your very small yet dedicated
stewardship team, is that we all give of our time,
talent and treasure out of a great sense of
thanksgiving to the work that we are all called to
do: Being the missioners and ministers of Trinity as
we enter our 150th year of being a strong presence
at this location and to those who come to our doors.
And to those to whom we reach out to.
I give thanks for all who have come before us and
considered Trinity their spiritual home or passed
through our doors.
I give thanks for those who are here now and
continue to pass through our doors.
I give thanks for those who are to come!
God is not done with us yet. There is still much more
Please remember that John Ellis and I are ready
and willing to talk with you about any aspect of
stewardship at Trinity or in general; as is our
parish leadership. We look forward hearing from