I read a lot of books from the library this week about stewardship, which is our theme for the month and especially today. It is kind of a difficult word to describe – like the way we care for the things we have. In the church, it means how we care for each other as well as for the building.
Most of the books I read focused on what we can give. People give a lot of things to show they care: money, time, talent, a helping hand, a cup of coffee, or a tray of squares.
In The Present, the boy gives away his birthday gift to someone collecting toys for poor children just like the toy drive that takes place in Lethbridge right before Christmas.
In Extra Yarn, Annabelle knits sweaters and scarves and mitts and hats for everyone in her school. She would be a great help for our annual Mitten Tree.
In Just Enough and Not Too Much, Simon has a dinner party for all his friends. He shares food and music because that is what he has to give. Our Fall Supper in a few weeks will likely be a feast like this one.
Miss Fannie’s Hat is about a woman who sells her favourite hat at a church auction to raise money to improve the church. The amount that the hat sold for was enough to fix the organ, mend the bell, and to plant a beautiful rose garden.
All these are great books about how to share, to give, and to care. That is what we do as members and attendees of the church. Those of us on committees, making decisions and taking care of the workings of the church have another important role in stewardship. It is important that we make the best use of the gifts offered. We want to ensure that nothing is wasted. The treats leftover from yesterday’s fashion show will be served again today. The money offered in the plates – including these that you have given – will be used to make our church, our city, and our world a little brighter. If someone wants to share their gift of music or speaking or greeting or reading, we try to help everyone find their place. No gift should be wasted!
In Joseph had a Little Overcoat, the main character is a very good steward about the things he has – trying to make use of limited resources. When his overcoat gets worn, he makes it into a jacket. When the jacket gets worn, he makes it into a vest. Over time, the vest becomes a scarf, a tie, a handkerchief, and eventually just a button cover. Joseph does not waste anything, makes use of the things he does have and is thankful all along the way.
Let us all be forthcoming with the gifts we have to offer – whether big enough to fix Fannie’s church organ or just enough to make a button cover.