A Letter from the Co-Chair of the Stewardship Committee —
It is the wonderful time of year when we embark on our annual stewardship campaign. The theme for this year’s retreat was finding rest and renewal and building resiliency. This also seems perfect for the stewardship campaign. My family has been attending the church since 2004 and I think our leadership, congregation and overall state of the church are as strong as they have ever been. This was not always the case and our current circumstances certainly help me find rest.
As far as renewal, I experience this in so many ways but a few examples are listening to Stacy’s sermons, attending special services (e.g. Christmas, Easter and Mother’s Day) hearing about mission and the wonderful work they are doing and simply finding time to sit for an hour and listen. In our house, it is often a rush to get to church and we often arrive a little bit late, but when we make it, I always appreciate the time I spend in the pew and talking to fellow congregants.
Finally, I’d like to talk about building resiliency. As mentioned earlier, our church is on solid footing. Nevertheless there will be challenges ahead. Issues like continuing to service our debt, a new roof or other unforeseen capital expenses make it important for us all to give what we can to the stewardship campaign. Our investment account is in good shape, but we rely on the generosity of our congregation to fund annual operations and save the investment account for these unforeseen challenges.
I hope you will join me in giving to this year’s stewardship campaign.
Grant Gund, Co-chair, Stewardship Committee
Stewardship at the Union Church in Waban:
At the UCW, stewardship is not about fundraising. Fundraising is an event: a ‘drive’ or a yearly call for money. Stewardship is a way of life. Stewardship is the recognition of the spirit of God in all we have. It is the knowledge that anything we possess has been received through the grace of God or by virtue of the talents we have been blessed with. When we live as stewards, we recognize that nothing is ours forever. We are called upon to reflect and discern – to take care of our gifts so that they may ultimately bless others. Stewardship links us inextricably with those around us. As stewards, we are empowered to transform something as concrete as money into the spirit of Christ’s mission.
As surely as prayer is a spiritual practice, stewardship is as well. Each has the potential for transformation. In stewardship, we move beyond ourselves, walking closer to the invitation of Christ to live out his greatest commandment: to love our neighbors.
Stewardship flows year round. We are stewards of our church – when we come for the yard cleanups, help with repairs to the building, tend the garden or shovel the walk. We are stewards of our mission – when we donate to the Newton Food Pantry, plan yet another bold trip to Nicaragua, host a Thanksgiving dinner for those who might go without or serve lunch to the un-housed in the Boston Common. We are stewards of our faith – when we plan services, meet for book groups, attend worship, hold prayer meetings or offer communion at Waban Health. We are stewards of our children – when we invite them to join us in faith exploration, teach Sunday school, provide a safe and welcoming church home, or join together on retreat or service trips. And we are stewards of our resources, when we give with the prayer to ‘multiply these offerings of gratitude so that all whose lives we touch may know the grace and power of God’s love.’
Stewardship does have a season of pledging, when congregants are invited to reflect upon their relationship with the Union Church in Waban – all it is, all it does. Unlike many churches that hold their campaigns in the fall, we begin this season in the spring – in the time of new life and re-birth. Easter informs our vision of the transformative power of love and our enduring commitment to be inclusive, child cherishing, and mission-outreach minded. In this spirit, we receive pledges and craft our vision for the years to come.
If you would like to know more about Stewardship at the Union Church, you can contact Aidan Cunningham at [email protected]