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Christian Stewardship

[Written] 19th August, 1971...
At its meeting in July, the Church Council agreed to hold a Christian Stewardship Review in the coming autumn. Ths will take place in October and early November. The details of the review will be in next month's magazine. Here I should like to say a word about why there is to be a review.
First of all, every parish which tries to order itself according to the principles of Christian Stewardship must face the fact that it is not a once for all effort which can then be forgotten. The ideal towards which we should work is that the Stewardship Campaign should he continuous and forming an intregal part of the pastoral work of the parish. At the moment we do not have the 'set-up' for achieving this aim. I hope that it will be one of the real results of the campaign.
Nobody is going to deny that the money side of stewardship is very important. Its real importance lies in its nature as a symbol of what we believe our life and the world in which we live to be about. We often think of our contributions to the Church as being an act of thanksgiving, it is deeper than this. We should be making an open acknowledgement of our relationship with God as the Creator, Saviour and Spirit of our life. Money is only an expression of this. It represents our life, our time and our abilities. The way we use money shows how we regard ourselves, our fellow men and women. the world we live in.
At the same time, the Church's use of the fruits of Christian Stewardship is also symbolic, because it should make plain how the Church regards itself as it stands before God and before the men, women and children whom it is called to serve and to con-front with the truth of the Christian Gospel. In other words, we are back to where I started, the Church's attitude to Stewardship must be reflected in its pastoral care of those for whom it is responsible before God.
When we have this Christian Stewardship Review, it must not just be a call by the Church for its members to rethink their giving, but also a time when the Church must rethink what Christian Stewardship means to it in its care for its people.

 

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