The Rev. Lisa Mason, interim rector of St. David’s, San Antonio, presented the concept of year-round stewardship during a luncheon held Friday afternoon. While the word stewardship leads many to think of only money, stewardship is so much more. Mason introduced the concept by saying if you believe “all that I am and all that I do is with all that I have” and if you believe “that all I have is a gift from God,” than your entire life is stewardship. Stewardship lives in our relationships with families, friends, our circles of faith, our marriage, parenting, vocations, decisions, and outreach. God has blessed us abundantly and has entrusted us with his creation in the vast areas of our lives.
Working with Mason, a design team from the Diocese of West Texas, led by Nancy Stinson, has created an abundant resource for a year-round stewardship program on the diocesan website, www.dwtx.org. Mason led the audience through a virtual tour of the stewardship pages on the website. The program that the diocese has adopted follows the church year that begins with the First Sunday of Advent. Each month’s theme is formed from scripture, and the season follows along with the liturgical calendar. Five categories for stewardship are given: spiritual growth, ministry spotlight, financial health, reaching out through volunteering, and caring for God’s creation, each offering ideas and activities for your congregation to practice stewardship.
Mason hopes the year-round stewardship program will yield a different way of thinking and begin a conversation in each congregation. She emphasized the development of a program cannot be put together by only clergy, only vestry, or only church staff. It is vital to springboard off the creativity of many parishioners to put it in a format that can be passed through each ministry. Stewardship encompasses all we do to take care of all God has given us.