a stewardship report & reflection by education director Corrie Cabes
Our children at St. Martin are placing leaves on our stewardship tree in the west parish hall to symbolize the growth in our financial stewardship campaign. The children learn the value of giving with their participation in Sunday school, the friendships they cultivate and the joy they provide as members at St. Martin.
With the flurry of stewardship (packets flying, speeches wafting in the air and pledges trickling in), I took a moment and looked over what I was thinking about last year when I wrote about stewardship for the church’s blog. Last September, I wrote about Jesus as a boy in the temple, and how he was not discounted for his youth and inexperience. The spiritual leaders were amazed at this young person who had so much to say.
Now, it’s a year later and I’m at a different place with everything; with my faith, with my daily routine and even with stewardship. Last year, I centered my writing on how I could welcome young people and help them find a place where they could “learn to care for others as good stewards to further the kingdom of God.” What I didn’t know was that God had already equipped them to do just that. This past year, I saw a first grader welcome a child who was visiting for the very first time. She even gave one of her toys to the visitor and said “keep it.” I learned that our teens were seeking each other out at school and making sure they were finding friends and getting connected. I learned about projects our youth were doing on their own, without my prodding.
But, I was not prepared for what I saw this past Sunday. When an adult came to the rail for unction, a bustling group of people flocked to surround the person. An unsure, but determined young boy left his pew and joined the group. He placed his small hand on a back to add his prayer of healing and support. His action was an outcome of stewardship, a response to the love that had been bestowed upon him. What is our response? Do we show up, do we teach our children to pray, do we teach them to serve and most importantly, do we teach them to give with hearts that have been touched by God? We don’t wait until “they are old enough to understand.” They understand now. What are we doing about that?
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not turn them away, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to them.” –Matthew 19:14.
See more children’s stewardship photos on flickr.