My Dear Parishioners,
This past week the 49th Session of Synod of the Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba was held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort. The theme for this year was "We are Stewards of God’s Creation." Bishop Errol had this to say:
"For many persons, stewardship is about money. That is partially true. Stewardship, rightly understood, is a response to God’s love as revealed in Jesus. Stewardship is a way of life. Today, the concept of stewardship does not only find places in the realm of things spiritual and religious, but more and more, it is being used in secular spheres. Environmentalists, agribusiness leaders, public servants, industrialists, and many others refer to stewardship when dealing with various aspects of their disciplines. This gives weight to the understanding that all of life is about stewardship.
I wish to re-emphasize that stewardship is a way of life based on four interlocking concepts: (a) God the Source (b) Gratitude (c ) Accountability and (d) Return.
God owns everything. God is the source, a generous God who allows us to use and hold in trust whatever we have during our journey through life. We are stewards of God’s creation. This is the theme for our Synod and it behoves each of us to ponder and act upon it. I invite each of us to take a serious examination of the way we live and the manner in which we are using God’s gifts. At the end of Synod, I trust that we will return to our Parishes with renewed energy and a clearer understanding of what stewardship is about. Additionally, I trust that we will challenge our congregations to be faithful stewards of God’s creation and that we will implement strategies to enable our congregations to manage and sustain their stewardship."
Our daily bible study included the topic ‘Stewardship and the Bible’ with reference to Genesis 1 & 2 and 1 Peter 4:1-10. God has made each of us a steward and has given us abilities and talents that are unique. Everything we have is given to us by God. These include: time, health, environment, relationships, the Gospel, property and talents. We should use them all– abilities and talents, time and material resources, as well as our very lives to serve God and our fellow human beings. A Christian steward serves God out of love and gratitude for these gifts knowing that its not how much we have but what we do with what we have that is important.
On the second day we looked at ‘Stewardship of Life and Health.’ Human life is the first and greatest gift of all and carries great responsibilities with it. Life itself is a stewardship. As Christians, we know that our lives are sacred trusts. We are the stewards of those lives, and God depends on us to use them to accomplish God’s purposes. To each of us God has entrusted the responsibility to work daily for personal enrichment and well being. This is about the stewardship of health of body, mind and spirit. We are to present our bodies and renew our minds as offerings of God. God has blessed us with bodies with which we are to accomplish His work– bodies to be treated with respect (taken care of), and not abused (harmed). See 1 Corinthians 6: 12-20 and Romans 12:1.
God gave human beings superior minds to be used to the fullest capacity in discovering God’s plan, in understanding self and others. Please read: 1 John 4:18-21; St. Matthew 6: 25-28; St. Luke 6:45; Romans 12:2; Philippians 4: 4-6, for a fuller understanding.
With all good wishes and prayers.
Rev. Chris Archibald