Pastor’s Page – Stewardship

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:10-11

I was invited to speak about stewardship at the annual appreciation lunch at St. Thomas More Church in Cherry Hill a few Sundays ago. Stewardship is the rare topic that’s equally important in Church and corporate circles. In the Church context, it’s the responsibility of parishioners to share their time and money through volunteerism and donations. In the corporate context, it’s the company’s responsibilities beyond returning value to shareholders – to its neighbors and the environment, for instance.

Using a couple of relevant biblical passages (Matthew 25:14-30 and 1 Peter 4:10-11), I wrote this theological definition of stewardship: “I worship God by serving others with my gifts, out gratitude for past blessings and in hope of future blessings.” I highlighted two parts of
the definition. First, stewardship is a form of worshipping God. In the corporate context, it is a form of ethics. But for Christians all ethical behavior is worship (see Romans 12:1-2, 1 Peter 1:14-16). In fact, it is the kind of worship most desired by God (see Matthew 9:13). Second, I highlighted that we practice stewardship not only in thanksgiving for what we have already received, but also with a view of obtaining more blessings with which to serve more. “You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much” (Matthew 25:21).

Our parish has an annual “Stewards’ Brunch” in late September and we even offer an annual Steward of the Year award. The inaugural recipient (2022) was Arlene Boerum, who has chaired the church decorating committee for many years. Last fall, the 2023 award was shared by George Lynn and Mariann Gilbride for their leadership of the Catholic Strong campaign.

I’ll be sharing more about stewardship in the next couple of bulletins.