"And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting" (Acts 2:2)

This scripture passage creates great image, a physical image, an image of a strong wind, rushing about. We know what it means to anticipate a coming storm. The leaves of the trees flip over, branches are blown around the yard and we must take in the outdoor furniture. But to take this passage literally is only half the story. To us, it is God's spirit that washed over the people who were gathered. A spirit that surely blew about branches and leaves, but also touched people with the ability to understand each other and to be heard by one another. No language barriers. No culture barriers.

What exactly does that mean and how do we at St. John's tie this to stewardship? It's easy. Through our own baptism we also received the same "wind", the same Holy Spirit. We take time to listen to the "wind" the spirit of another person. We try to understand their joys, their thanksgivings, their needs, their wants and their fears. And we try to do something about it, perhaps with money, perhaps with time, but always with an open heart.

Once we receive The Spirit, like the early Christians did, we are to praise God and worship together; we are to love and understand each other, and to share, with those in need, willingly and thankfully all that God has given us. And this means Stewardship.

by Fr. Ron Pollock

The Heart of a Pledge

Stewardship is:

Good News ~ God has given us creative power and we are entrusted to manage this power to re-create the world in the image and likeness of God.

Thanksgiving ~ We give thanks to God for all that we have been given and respond by sharing what we have with others.

Commitment ~ Are our beliefs reflected in our commitments? How we actually spend our time, talent and treasure is a telling sign of our spiritual life and our stewardship.

Joy ~ Through stewardship and sharing we discover our time worth. It brings us closer to God. We feel more grounded and experience deep joy.

Your stewardship, how you give of your time, talent and treasure, is a personal decision. As you consider your stewardship of God's creation:

Pray ~ Ask God to give you a clear vision of the prudent management of the resources you control.
Listen ~ Communication with God in prayer goes both ways, if we let it.
Observe ~ Evaluate what you have compared to the majority of people in the world.
Decide ~ Determine what portion of your resources should be returned to God for the benefit of others, in Christ's name.
Remember ~ Your commitment is based on your situation now. If your situation changes, it is appropriate that your pledge changes also.
Offer ~ Present your pledge of money to God at the Altar and offer your pledge of time and talent through participating all year long.

by Fr. Ron Pollock

A Stewardship Prayer

Loving God, we thank you for the rich abundance in our lives. Open our eyes to see that, in being so blessed, we can in turn abundantly bless others. Open our hearts to feel the powerful generosity of your Spirit and let go of our fear and judgment. Open our ears to hear the needs of this church and community. Open our minds that, whenever called, we offer the world our measureless Love, our generous time, our unique talents and treasure. Quicken our hands to your service, breathe your Spirit into us and touch us with the life of Christ.