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Vibrant Stewards Accept Interdependence (Characteristic 4)

By Michele Hermansen, 01/14/13, 4:30PM CST

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Vibrant Stewards
Accept Interdependence

(Characteristic 4)

 

Stewardship is about love and love is about connections. The good thing is, we are not in this alone. And what a perfect time, during the Christmas season and into a new year, to contemplate just how connected we are—with God and with this marvelous creation. We are told in both the Old Testament and New Testament that this very special child born to Mary and known as Immanuel is the sign directly from God that “God is with us.” 

As God is with us, we are also reminded that we are connected to each other. 

So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. (Romans 12: 5-6)

Instead speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:15-16)

I was touched today in attending the funeral of a 94-year vibrant steward. Family members across three generations told how this father, grandfather, uncle and great-grandfather had loved, led, and encouraged each one of them, demonstrating the fruits of the Spirit and respect for nature. They are clearly connected and interdependent within the family and outside with the many circles that intersect it. They are acting on the lessons, accepting their role in the care of God’s whole creation.

 

Jim Mauney, an ELCA Bishop in Virginia and contributing author of How Much is Enough? writes, “Our connectedness is both time specific and across time. We are the recipients of the legacy of the faith of our forbearers. We have also received a world they developed and tended. We are also leaving a legacy, whether we do so intentionally or not. Our stewardship to generations to come is all about the way we are stewards of life now.: 

Good and gracious God, we give you thanks for the gift of your very real presence with us through the gift of your son, Immanuel. We thank you for the community, the “common unity” we experience in our families, at Trinity and with your children worldwide. Like the St. Croix River that transcends both history and the spaces that touch and surround us, help us to contribute our resources in a growing and unending flow that nurtures your marvelous creation, now and into the future. Help us to experience the joy of Vibrant Stewardship. Amen.

Characteristics of Vibrant Stewards

1.     Trust God’s abundance

  • a. We embody an attitude of gratitude and generosity.
  • b. We believe we are called and freed to be caretakers of all that we are and have.
     

2.    Ground ourselves in biblical and theological principles

  • a. We believe in God as creator, and Jesus as role model and redeemer.
  • b. We listen to and interpret all of scripture with an ear for stewardship themes.
     

3.    Hold a holistic perspective

  • a. We steward our whole lives including our time, energy, wisdom, bodies, money and other resources.
  • b. We integrate our faith into our whole life.
     

4.    Accept interdependence

  • a. We ground ourselves in God’s presence.
  • b. We nurture an attitude of loving kindness toward all of God’s creation.
     

5.    Promote justice

  • a. We seek to understand the impact of social systems and structures.
  • b. We align our decisions and actions to work toward universal peace and justice.
     

6.    Embrace financial health as an expression of faith

  • a. We allow money to flow to and through our lives in ways that nourish us and our world.
  • b. We recognize that our capacity to give is defined by our heart, not our pocketbook.