The Merriam Webster dictionary offers a profound definition of the word “Stewardship:” the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. For us in the church community, stewardship is more than a responsibility, it is a heartfelt calling, a readiness to serve, an irresistible desire to support and grow each other and our shared mission.
In light of Consecration Sunday, on November 10, Church President Ryan Jensen acknowledges the dynamic roles we play as stewards of Good Shepherd in the following letter.
A LETTER FROM OUR CHURCH PRESIDENT
Dear Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Congregation,
It is the start of Stewardship and it brings me to a time of reflection. A time to reflect on my religious and spiritual community at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and the significant role that it plays in not only my life, but my wife and my sons’ lives.
Good Shepherd has given so much to each of us from religious connections, to a community space for the Food Shelf, community forums on Race and Equality, two community playgroups, practice space for a New England piper group, and community meals. This Church provides in so many ways to the immediate Church community and the broader community.
Take a moment to reflect upon what Good Shepherd Lutheran Church has given you? Now think about what gifts you have blessed this Church with, whether it is teaching Sunday school, painting walls, making prayer shawls, filling the water softener, creating a Facebook page, making coffee every Sunday, the list goes on and on. Every one of us has given so much to this Community, and both me and the Council thank you. Embrace the Stewardship season with an open mind and reflection about what this Church has given you and what you have been able to give this Church.
President, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
On Sunday, October 13, Pastor Arnold invited a church member to share his experience and vision of stewardship with the congregation. We share Harvey Whitfield’s testimony here, with permission.
Harvey Amani Whitfield ~ October 13, 2019
1 Peter 4:10 tells us that, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” At GSLC, I have been given the opportunity to use my speaking skills to serve as an Assisting Minister and also to give a few talks about American history. I know that this is a blessing bestowed by God— the opportunity to use what He has given me for His glory and for our church.
For me, it is important to give back to God and to participate in the church. I feel much closer to God when I am living the life He has set out before me. The path is very worthwhile for me though it can be challenging. An example of one of the challenges is what happened to me the last time I served as Assisting Minister.
Last weekend, Natalie and I decided to go to Montreal later in the day on Saturday. We enjoyed a beautiful drive in the countryside and ate dinner in Old Town Montreal. We decided to stay in a hotel with Hope, but had to get up at 5:30 AM to make it back in time for me to serve as Assisting Minster. I can’t tell you how tired I felt after the two hour drive from Montreal. I really felt exhausted, but God carried me through the service and the energy of the congregation was wonderful.
The easy road would have been to call in and say I was too tired to do it, but I am so glad that God gave me the strength to carry through. I think that’s what God and our church are all about. Being together, mentoring one another, supporting each other, even if we would like a few more hours of sleep.
Personal stewardship offers rewards that go beyond myself to being a humble servant of Christ and our church. For that I am thankful. As Paul said in Acts 20:35, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church – 273 Vt Route 15 – PO Box 495 – Jericho, VT 05465
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