Stewardship Talk by Katie LaRochelle

October 25, 2015

Good morning. When I sat down to write this, I decided to begin by looking up the definition of the word “stewardship.” According to Merriam-Webster, it means “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” And then I thought about what that “something entrusted to my careis when it comes to my stewardship here at All Saints’.

Most of us are aware of the many physical needs of our parish – the aging building, the routine maintenance and upkeep costs, etc. But those aren’t typically the things with which I’m actively involved, so they aren’t the first things that come to mind when I think of my own stewardship at All Saints’.

The hats I wear here are more people-focused. Greeting, singing in the choir, teaching Godly Play, and everyone’s favorite – harassing people to wear name tags – those are my ministries of choice. So I guess the “something entrusted to my care” on which I focus my stewardship energy isn’t a thing at all. It’s not the physical church building at All Saints’ – it’s the living church that we create when we come together.

Some of what I give to those ministries is my time. But while time is a valuable and precious commodity without which our parish couldn’t exist, time doesn’t pay for Godly Play trainings, or ink for name tags, or sheet music. So Derek and I also write a check every week. Bill said something in his sermon two weeks ago about how a person’s priorities can be determined by looking at the way he or she spends money, and it made me stop and think. How DO we spend our money? We’ve had a lot of conversations about that very topic since I left my teaching job seven years ago to stay home with Abby.

It would be easy to justify not writing a check to All Saints’ every week since we’re trying to support a family of four on one full time salary, right? But the key word in that sentence is support.

If motherhood has taught me nothing else, it’s taught me that I can’t do it without our village for support. And All Saints’ is the biggest part of our village. Abby and Paige feel at home here and there are vibrant, meaningful programs offered just for them – church school, youth choirs, parish wide events. The members of All Saints’ have been wonderful stewards of our children, showing the same “careful and responsible management of something entrusted to their care” that we try to show to All Saints’.

So while we could probably justify not writing that check every week, I don’t think it’s something we could actually afford because the cost of not writing it would be too great.

We will continue to try and be good stewards of All Saints’ Church, and we know that the people of All Saints’ will return the favor with plenty of interest.  Thank you.