West Chelmsford United Methodist Church
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
 
 

What do you take care of? Whom do you take care of? All of us have some responsibilities in our lives. Near the top of my “take care of” list is my family, this congregation (as your pastor) and my community. My list could go on, as could yours, and our lists would be different. But we all are responsible for other people and institutions outside ourselves.
I have been reflecting on our responsibilities as we have been talking about stewardship in the Church Growth and Stewardship Focus Group (This group was formed at the end of last year to strengthen our work in these two areas.). Elsewhere in this newsletter Sarah Laflamme will talk about the good work in the area of church growth that we will be starting this fall.
Stewardship is a word that historically has been used primarily in church circles; many of us associate it with our annual pledge to the church – and the fall process of securing those pledges. But stewardship has a much broader meaning: it is related to the sense of responsibility that I mentioned above. In the most literal sense a steward is someone who has been placed in charge of something by someone else. So yes, we are stewards of our own finances; but more broadly, we are stewards of all that God has given us.
I mentioned to Sarah Laflamme that stewardship is hard to explain because it is mostly talked about within the church. She correctly pointed out that stewardship language is increasingly being used around the environment and climate change issues. After all, the first “stewards” were Adam and Eve, who were told by God that they were to “have dominion” over the earth (Gen. 1:28) and also to “till and keep” the earth (Gen. 2:15). As unprecedented fires spread through the Amazon rain forest in Brazil I am reminded again that our stewardship of the earth itself is vitally important.
What do
you take care of? Whom do you take care of? Let us reflect on our responsibility to care for all that God has given us.

Reverend Mack