My dad enjoyed home projects and wood working. I have inherited many of his tools. Some of them I have employed in wood working and home projects (chisels, router…). Other tools just hang on the wall unused, like a beautiful old handsaw. I have added to the tool collection over the years (the right tool for the right job). (For those not into tools and workshops, you can substitute “apps,” sewing supplies…). However I have learned that an artisan is not known by the tools they collect, but the work they produce.
I think the same thing can be said of disciples. The craft of being a disciple is not about the tools we have collected in our spiritual workshop, but the fruit of the spirit we have borne in our lives. Discipleship is being a steward of the resources, gifts and abilities entrusted to us in response to the opportunities for healing we encounter.
This year our annual Stewardship Celebration will find grounding in the Gospel of Mark. For Mark, “bearing fruit” is the measure of faithful discipleship. Mark asks not, “Have you accumulated great tools?” but “Are you using the gifts entrusted to you, to love God and neighbor:
“…with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”?
Stewardship is more than a contribution to a cause; it is investing all that we are and all that we have in the kindom work of God. In the words of our fall theme:
“Stewardship Is Heart Work”
Through this season in worship, prayer and reflection, I invite you to engage in the heart work of considering how you will seek to bear fruit for God’s love in our work as a community.
Our celebration of stewardship will include our annual financial commitments to support the Ministry and Mission of Los Altos United Methodist Church in 2016. This fall we will consecrate our 2016 “estimate of giving” forms on Sunday, November 8. However, this year we will invite the congregation to turn in your forms beginning October 25th. This will allow supporters to participate as they are moved to offer their commitments at different moments along the journey. All of our estimate of giving forms will be consecrated on Sunday, November 8.
May God bless us along this journey as we employ “all our heart.”