What is Stewardship? As defined by the 1992 U.S. Bishop’s Pastoral Letter, Stewardship… A Disciple’s Response, a steward is a disciple of Jesus who “receives God’s gifts gratefully, cultivates them responsibly, shares them lovingly in justice with others and returns them with increase to the Lord.” Stewardship is a way of life that comes from seeing everything as a gift from God, changing the way we see things. The disciple is motivated by faith and a deep sense of gratitude, flowing from their faith, to a greater sharing of his/her time, talent and treasure with the Church and other worthy causes. Time, talent and treasure are all shared as a gift, in a planned, proportionate, thankful and sacrificial manner. Stewardship is… ~ a complete lifestyle, a life of total accountability and responsibility, acknowledging God as Creator and Owner of all. Stewards, as disciples of Jesus Christ, see themselves as caretakers of all God’s gifts. Gratitude for these gifts is expressed in prayer, worship, offering, and action by eagerly sharing these gifts out of love of God and one another. (NCSC 1993) It is based on the spiritual principles of the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus; and where it has been implemented, both givers’ and receivers’ lives have been changed. ~ a way of life, a way of thanking God for all His blessings by returning a portion of time, talent, and treasure allotted to us – it is responsible management of our God-given resources of time, talent, and treasure. It enhances our relationship with God and one another. Stewardship builds happy, healthy families. Stewardship renews Christ’s Church. ~ a commitment of returning time, talent, and treasure. This is an important part of living a Christian life, and real Christian living asks a lot of us and is not easy. Making a commitment to stewardship is a particular challenge with the current emphasis on materialism, consumerism, and leisure time. Conversion to stewardship is gradual and involves a conversion of the heart, mind, values, budget, pocketbook, calendar, and time. ~a conversion process, where we are called upon to say “yes” to God and to a way of life God has spelled out for us in the Bible. We are asked to say “no” to the influences in our society that emphasize values and aims that are selfish, thoughtless, and opposed to stewardship as a way of life.