If you scroll through the pictures and posts on the All Saints’ Facebook page, you will find numerous pictures of parishioners using their time and talents to make Disciples for Jesus and to be a church that loves like God loves. The majority of the pictures are from organized All Saints’ events such as Tour de Saints, special dinners, and other outreach activities. Others photos are from Sunday school and various youth and children’s programs. Parishioners of all ages are involved and engaged in activities ranging from collecting pet food to landscaping and gardening to preparing buckets of cleaning supplies for disaster relief efforts.
Tucked away, deep in this mix of photos from larger church events, you will also find a few individual pictures of parishioners who used their time and talents to tackle very specific one-time needs. One such photo is picture of a group of men working to build a wheel chair ramp at Father Roger’s home in 2017. Some of these same folks have used their carpentry skills to tackle many other projects on church grounds and for parishioner’s need. In another photo from this past spring, the self-dubbed “Old Men Moving & Storage Group” is seen posing at the back of a moving truck after assisting two parishioners move into new living arrangements. Neither photo was posted by a member of the group, and if you talk to those who participated in these events you will find that they tend to shun the spotlight.
Moments like these are not always publicized to the wider church community. So many parishioners work behind the scenes to take care of needs that pop up throughout the year. Often times the needs are brought to a specific person’s attention by clergy and that person pulls together a group of people to take care of the situation. These are just two examples out of many. All are examples of stewardship – specifically the sharing of time and talent.
You see, stewardship should be wrapped into the fabric of our everyday lives. It isn’t always a one-time event or a check that we write on Sunday, and it doesn’t have to be publicized. It is, however, a daily commitment to use the life we are given for the benefit of God’s kingdom. It’s big things like organizing events, building wheel chair ramps, and helping people move, but it’s also little things like taking the time to send a note or card or listening to someone who needs a sympathetic ear. It’s a willingness to be open to the Lord’s plans, even when they may contradict our own.
As we focus on Stewardship this month, consider how you personally can be Set Free to Shine. What can you do to be a good steward of the time, talent, and treasure the Lord has gifted you? How can you be more open and receptive to meeting the needs of others? What can you do differently to allow yourself to serve more and shine a light on Jesus Christ in the process?
Oh, and about that carpentry group…rumor has it that Brad Fisher knows the guys in charge. Feel free to let him know what your skills are, and I’m sure he can point you in the right direction.