Shepherd’s stewardship emphasis comes immediately after Easter, serving as a purposeful reminder of Christ’s resurrection, which was celebrated just weeks earlier as the guidepost defining our faith. Stewardship is a welcome season because it offers the opportunity to give back in gratitude for the blessings God continually confers on us. Stewardship is a time of contemplation, prayer and reflection, so we set aside a full month to weigh our decisions. And as a facet of those decisions we consider the possibility of financial growth, partly in response to budgetary needs, but also as a measure of our deepening spiritual commitment.
Stewardship and money are sometimes viewed as synonyms, but stewardship has a far broader reach, encompassing the full range of actions we take to nurture and perfect our faith. Stewardship could properly be defined as “life style” or “personal management,” because a good steward approaches daily living as a God-given joy, illustrated by word and action. That outlook steers our words and actions in a loving manner that seeks to serve and inspire. The consequences can be seen in such programs as Shepherd’s hosting of The Gathering Inn, as well as the assistance we extend to St. Vincent de Paul, the Lazarus Project, Home Start, and What Would Jesus Do.
Evidence of our caring is particularly convincing on our own campus. Work groups provide constant maintenance and repair. The solar team adroitly administered installation of the panels which are now providing our electricity and, as a welcome consequence, reducing our electric bill significantly. Another team has spearheaded acquisition of a replacement for Shepherd's worn-out youth building, and installation now awaits only the finalizing of contracts and attendance details. Individuals volunteer helping hands for projects both on site and throughout the community. Many in the congregation serve as willing support for staff members—for example, in providing a wide range of Christian Education opportunities. We make available meeting space for a number of service groups such as AA and Al-Anon. All of these are stewardship in action; provision of time and talent, and in some cases facilities.
Shepherd stands as a community resource because it serves so well, but perhaps even more so because it is a faith beacon that lights up Loomis and beyond. Shepherd’s presence is felt even in far away places like Nicaragua and Africa, where we support missionaries who provide God’s voice to people who listen and learn, with gratitude.
Thus stewardship is more than just a noun or a verb; it is intrinsic to our makeup as Christians. We see our bond with God as the opportunity to respond with love, service and humility. Through faithful stewardship we say “thank you” to a creator who has demonstrated his unremitting love. We are stewards, and we take that responsibility seriously.
Stewardship at Shepherd can be explored more fully by clicking on topics along the right-hand side of this page.