generosity and stewardship

Money flows through all our lives, sometimes like a rushing river, sometimes like a trickle. When it is flowing, it can purify, cleanse, create growth and nourish. Like water, money is a carrier. It can carry possibility, and intention or it can carry control, domination and guilt. It can be a current or currency of love—a conduit for commitment—or a carrier of hurt or harm.
— Lynn Twist, the Soul of Money

We live in a world where extremes of wealth and poverty shape the economic landscape, and a sense of scarcity dominates. We hear constant messages that there are not enough resources to go around—not enough money, not enough new jobs, even not enough time. As people of faith, we are anything but immune to these messages. 

We are aware that religious institutions like our congregations have an uncertain financial future, yet we also know that our congregations are vital to sustaining our faith. To continue to be stewards of our faith, our practice of stewardship must be grounded in our deepest values and commitments. To truly be generous with our time, talent and treasure, we need to cultivate a sense of abundance. Abundance begins with a sense of “enough”; in the words of Lynn Twist, “there is enough to make the world work for everyone in the world, with no one left out, our money carries that energy and generates relationships and partnerships in which everyone feels able and valued, regardless of their economic circumstances.” For our congregations, this might mean moving beyond the "keeping the lights on" mentality we often hear and truly asking ourselves what we understand our purpose to be, and letting that guide our financial priorities. 

To be good stewards our resources, for this generation and beyond, we need to get serious about thinking creatively, taking risks, and being willing to partner with groups and organizations who share our vision. Even when our financial resources feel more like a trickle than a river, stewardship is an investment in the fulfillment of our vision for a more just, peaceful and loving world.