When the pandemic first began and social distancing was widely practiced, Jessica and I would go on many walks. As creatures of habit, we usually stuck to the same route that went through an old cemetery. On those walks we were surprised to observe that there was nearly always someone in the cemetery. Some sat silently next to graves while others arranged flowers, cleaned off headstones, or carefully placed luminaries out of respect. From an observers standpoint it was done with the same care and reverence as a sacrament in Church. I imagine that caring for their loved one in this way connected them on a deeper spiritual level. I believe God makes a way for us to love those that are no longer with us in body. In that way we can show our care and appreciation for them, and also continue to be impacted by them.
I’m reminded of that whenever I walk through our memorial garden at church. Looking down at the bricks I am reminded of the Saints that have gone before us. Without their faithfulness to God’s call in their time, there would be no opportunity for us to be faithful to God in our time. Often I will go out to the garden, say their name and also say “thank you.” There are countless others that do not have a brick yet have contributed to the ministry of the church whose witness is rooted in Christ Jesus of Nazareth.
On November 12th we will be having Stewardship Sunday. While you will be invited to fill out a pledge card of what you can give next year, stewardship is actually not about giving money but about how we care for our common ministry together. How will we support our ministry that shapes not only us as individuals but also shapes our community to be more loving and just? How will we continue to nurture a ministry that first began in 1816 with 20 people that met in one of Lancaster’s first school houses? How will we be stewards of the good news that draws us closer with God’s own heart? This is the center in which we care for God and for the Church.
How is God calling you to care for God’s ministry? If you don’t know, ask God. When it’s done in faith and prayer, God will lead you where God needs you.
As the Church continues to co-create God’s kin-dom on earth, I invite you to reflect on stewardship through an excerpt of a prayer written for Oscar Romero…
We plant seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not out own.Oscar romero
Blessings for the journey,
Rev. Keith McDevitt