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All too often we hear the word and think immediately of fall pledges for the church. Indeed, for many Episcopalians, October or November can feel like another April 15th! Stewardship, however, is far more than “paying church taxes” or “meeting a budget.” It is all about perceiving what we are and what we have as gifts from God to be shared with the people and the world around us, rather than as possessions to be hoarded and guarded at all costs. A wise saint once warned that when we own many possessions, the temptation is for the possessions eventually to own us.
This is why stewardship is best viewed as a foundational aspect of the Christian life. We are stewards of the mysteries of God, stewards of one another, stewards of the world in which we are planted, stewards of our time and treasure and talents. The challenge before us is to move from an April 15 mentality to a Dec. 25 perspective of gift and giving. The opportunity before us is to move from a once-a-year pledge drive to a year-round, holistic experience stewardship.