Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. –II Corinthians 9:7
In the broadest sense of the word, Stewardship involves making the most of what each of us has been given in this life. Whether our gifts from God include innate talents, financial success, a loving family or good health, we should use these gifts in ways that bring glory to God and make our world a better place.
A more narrow sense of Stewardship involves our support of the Mission of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. People have many reasons for such giving; feelings of obligation, thanksgiving for the blessings in their own lives, or the sacrificial level of giving to God known as tithing. We hope that our giving in support of St. Paul’s will also bring us together as a Parish family.
Before all else, Stewardship is a reflection of our faith. We recognize and acknowledge that everything we have is a gift from God, and giving of ourselves to fulfill our mission in his church shows that we have faith that he will continue to provide for us in the future. When we accept our lives and everything we have as a gift from Him, we realize that the only appropriate response is to use those gifts to the glory of God.
The reasons people cite for not giving to the church are numerous; we might tell ourselves it’s not necessary to give because of our personal circumstances – our debts, our lack of income, and our various other financial obligations. Indeed, in a country plagued by an economic downturn, and thousands upon thousands of people living paycheck-to-paycheck, giving to God’s mission often becomes of secondary importance. But when we convince ourselves that we cannot give for one of these reasons, we are acknowledging our lack of trust in God as our provider. When we give of ourselves to the Lord, we affirm our faith and love for Him in a very real and very earnest manner.