Because of the way the Episcopal Church has approached this subject, church members have come to believe that Stewardship is raising money for the annual fund. It is that, and it is so much more!
St. Francis is about to enter its Annual Fund drive to budget and plan for the ministries of the church in 2022. Some of those ministries are Pastoral (Confirmation, the blessing of Marriages, hospital visitations, etc.), some are fundamental (Worship, Eucharist, and Baptism), some are missional (work for and donations to Samaritan Ministries of Greater Washington, Second Story, Cornerstones, and our relationship with the Diocese of Ezo), some are formational (Sunday School, Adult Forums, Bible Studies, and the St. Francis Creche School), and some are the caretaking of our buildings and grounds.
These areas of our common life require both funding and action. The people of St. Francis have traditionally been very devoted to both. We finance our worship, music, pastoral care, education, and facilities care through our Annual Fund, Fall Fest, and Winter Gala. We also manage a large group of church members who devote many hours to packing bagged meals, delivering these meals to the hungry, managing the Samaritan Christmas Party, putting on the Fall Fest and Gala, serving in worship, and caring for our buildings and grounds.
In the time of royal rulers, stewards were their closest and most trusted assistants. They were given the keys to the treasury, the wine cellar, the food stores, the personal living space, and direct physical access to the monarch. When the monarch was not present, as when the monarch was visiting other nations or fighting a war, the steward was entrusted with managing the household of the king. The steward was, therefore, the most trusted person of the overlord. As you may remember from the Gospels, Jesus used this person to highlight both good and bad actions.
Stewardship in churches means that we are entrusted with the care of the Gospel and God’s creation within our area. For us that means Great Falls, McLean, Reston, and more of the surrounding towns and counties. Be on the lookout over the next four weeks about our care for the finances of the church. Then be on the lookout for ways to serve and pastor our facilities, our people, and our neighbors.