The Widow's Might!
A synodwide stewardship emphasis
The theme of the Metropolitan New York Synod’s Stewardship Emphasis for 2012 is "The Widow’s Might!" from Mark’s gospel. Jesus is people-watching outside the treasury where the large horn-shaped containers were placed for freewill offerings. Jesus observes many great offerings put in the treasury, including two small brass coins given by a widow--all she had. Those who study giving trends consistently have found that those in the lower income brackets tend to be the most generous in charitable giving by percentage of income, a modern statistic that seems to been lived out for 2,000 years. The poor widow Jesus recognizes encourages us by her trust in God to provide and her life of mighty generosity.
The MNYS Stewardship and Mission Support Table has developed a stewardship commitment emphasis to train stewardship committees, mobilize spiritual formation groups for lay people, and involve pastors in a synod-wide pulpit exchange.
Our focus will be on the proportional giving and discipline of stewardship. Spiritual formation small groups will center themselves in the Word, in conversation, and in prayer for three sessions. The purpose is not a Bible study per se, but an opportunity to interact with God and others in spiritual conversation. Leading up to Stewardship Commitment Sunday on the 24th Sunday after Pentecost, November 11, lay people will deliver mission moments celebrating the congregation’s ministries. A week or two before the event, congregational leaders of the partnered congregations meet. The pastors will thank leaders and offer biblical grounding about our interconnectedness within the Body of Christ in mission. The stewardship emphasis culminates in a celebration service where pastors minister to each other’s congregations with a stewardship message and a time of commitment.