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Pastor's Piece:

Pastor's Piece - From John C. Holliday

Several years ago while working with the Stewardship Task Force of the New Jersey Synod, we were brainstorming about ways to educate about Christian stewardship. One idea was to have several different people talking about experiences of their life or activities in the church or world. In response to these stories another person from the Stewardship Task Force would then stand and shout "that's stewardship!" We never had the opportunity to put our presentation into action, but the idea has stayed with me over the years. This vision reinforces the understanding that stewardship is a very big topic.

Stewardship covers our whole lives. It is "everything that we do after we say I believe in the Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit." It can be referred to as discipleship, resource management or simply "following Jesus." Stewardship themes also appear more often in the Bible than we may necessarily expect. For example some of the stewardship themes that have emerged in worship over the past few weeks include the following:
  • Generosity is beneficial for both the giver and the receiver.
  • Action is required in following Jesus.
  • Making money work for Jesus' causes is a challenge of corporate and personal stewardship.
  • Hard work is not inconsistent with following Jesus.
  • God works hard, and we are all invited to imitate God's example.
  • God wants us to succeed in doing what is right and good.
  • We are blessed by an abundantly generous God who wants us to enjoy life, but also help others to do the same.
  • Jesus gets into the mix regarding all topics of money - even taxes.
  • Money decisions are best handled with prayer.
It is my hope that the Prince of Peace congregation can truly be a place where healthy attitudes and behaviors can be developed for living the Christian life. A part of that hope is that we will continue to encourage and support one another in developing faithful patterns for spending, sharing and saving our financial resources. Much good work has already been done in this area, but there is always opportunity for improvement and growth.

The annual feast of All Saints on the first Sunday in November reminds us that the word "saint" can be seen as another way for talking about stewards of God. Saints are truly managers of the gifts of God. As we remember and celebrate the work of God in the life of the saints on the first Sunday of November, we also toll a bell this day for all the saints who have now departed this world in the past year and who now experience eternally the fruits of resurrected life. These saintly stewards of God's gifts have fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. They have also set the bar of faithfulness to the Gospel very high in the way they have supported Jesus' ministry here at Prince of Peace over the decades. God has truly blessed us with talented saints in the past, but God continues to bless us with gifted saints in our current assembly. I thank you for being part of this current cloud of witnesses here at Prince of Peace, and I look forward to the ways that the Holy Spirit will continue to inspire and lead us in ministry in the time ahead!

- Pastor John Holliday

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