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Caring for God's Creation: Called to be Stewards
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Eco-Justice Resolutions
from the Episcopal Church

Set Expectations for Steward Leaders

Resolution 2012-A088 for the 77th General Convention of
the Episcopal Church, USA, July 2012
For Proposed Version, click here

Resolution 2012-A088: Set Expectations for Steward Leaders

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 77th General Convention adopt the following expectations for steward leaders in The Episcopal Church:
Proposed Expectations for Steward Leaders in the Episcopal Church
Trusting in God's Abundance, we will...

Proclaim a Theology of Abundance and Spirituality of Money

  • Articulate and share clearly a personal stewardship story as it relates to money, resources, and relationships, and model this practice in community as an example to others;
  • Foster a climate that invites others to explore the freedom to be faithful with their money, resources, and relationships;
  • Articulate an eternal understanding of financial stewardship to include annual giving, major giving and planned giving;
  • Live publicly the holy habits of tithing, daily personal prayer and study, Sabbath time, and weekly corporate worship; and
  • Practice the basic principles of personal and corporate financial management leading to a healthy relationship with money as integral to our faith in God.

Teach Biblical and Theological Principles of Stewardship

  • Listen to and interpret scripture and tradition with an ear for stewardship themes;
  • Speak and preach prophetically, boldly, and regularly about stewardship;
  • Engage in individual and corporate study of scripture related the theology of stewardship;
  • Raise awareness of the history of stewardship in the life of local congregations and the wider church, including the faithful gifts of those who have gone before; and
  • Build up and empower others in these expectations of steward leaders.

Engage and Critique Culture

  • Have an informed theological position about social, ecological and economic justice;
  • Speak to the vision of a divine economy (oikonomia) and the ways it is in tension with our global economy;
  • Articulate the tension between the current consumer culture and following Christ; and
  • Gather and empower groups of people to inspire action around common missions and goals.

Embrace the Interconnected Relationships between all Persons and Creation

  • Understand our central call to steward the well-being of the entire created order;
  • Speak to the impact of our lifestyles on all of God's Creation;
  • Discern and enable the unique gifts of people to build up the Kingdom of God; and
  • Utilize diverse approaches to stewardship based on generational and cultural differences.

Proposer: Standing Commission on Stewardship and Development

Explanation:

The Standing Commission on Stewardship and Development proposes this resolution designed to begin a conversation on what might be the expectations for lay and ordained persons in the area of stewardship. They can serve as a model for steward leaders as they look for ways to improve their skills and as a set of goals to work towards. It starts with biblical principles which reveal, in the New Covenant, a changed perspective of what stewardship is. Jesus, while supporting the act and practice of the tithe as a rule of life on earth, took the faithful life of a steward much further. Jesus did not ask for 10 percent, but instead 100 percent-everything. In His vision stewardship is seen as all that we are, all that we have, all of the time. In our tradition, in the sacrament of baptism, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ's own forever. This is a total and unequivocal laying down of ourselves, our souls, and bodies, as living sacrifices. Through baptism, we enter into the household of God. The word steward comes from the Greek word "oikonomia," which means manager, caretaker or steward of that household. These expectations were developed with a deep understanding that our call to be stewards goes significantly beyond the reality of money. However, we also recognize that this power can become easily obscured by our many machinations undertaken to "soften" the difficulty of this topic in, and on, our lives. The power of money is pervasive in our living, and the Church is in no way immune. We believe, however, the Church should be the "household" that forthrightly meets the challenge with which this power presents us. So much depends on our getting right with this power, not the least of which is the justice envisioned by our Savior for this world and the world beyond. So we propose these expectations with a balance that incorporates a more holistic approach to stewardship, including our time, our relationships, our human gifts, and God's creation we have been given to cherish and protect, while not obscuring our very real need to confront the power of money. We propose these expectations with a deep thankfulness for all the stewards who have gone before us in this work, and knowing completely the reality that the life of a steward is the very way of life for any follower of Christ.

For Proposed Version, click here
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The EpEN is a national network of active lay and clergy persons within the Episcopal Church, USA, who share a common concern for the environment and a common belief in the presence of God in all Creation and who work to make these concerns and beliefs known throughout all Provinces and Dioceses within the church. Members come from around the Episcopal Church USA. The activities of the EpEN are focused on the areas of Reflection, Education, and Action. 

If you would like to contact any of these groups or to find out more about the EpEN, please click on the links on the left.

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last update: 2013-02-27

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