One of the topics engaging every single Christian congregation in the world is stewardship.
Stewardship is the word we use to describe how we handle and manage the gifts and resources God give us. Stewardship is not just about money. Stewardship is about every facet of our lives – finances, housing, talents, gifts, the environment, etc. Basically, anything we might consider a gift from God can be understood through the lens of stewardship. For example, if I get a new vehicle, good stewardship of that vehicle means keeping it clean, changing the oil regularly, and taking good care of it. If a friend of mine needs a ride, good stewardship also means giving the ride or even letting that person borrow the car.
This past winter, Charles Town Presbyterian Church received a surprise gift of over a half-million dollars. The person who left this gift to the church was not involved in the congregation for more than fifty years. To say it was a surprise is an understatement!
In stewardship discussions with the congregation, church leaders have highlighted the idea of tithing, the biblical concept of giving ten percent of one’s income and resources to God’s work. It is in that spirit, that I share some exciting news. When we first received news that we were receiving the large gift from Ms. Bush’s estate, the session agreed that we would tithe – give ten percent – back to our community. This past week, at the May stated session meeting, the elders approved a recommendation from the small group that prayerfully considered where to give the money. I am thrilled to share that we are going to give gifts to the following organizations:
- Mountaineer Recovery Center – $25,000. This local in-patient treatment facility serves individuals struggling with substance use disorder, and they are currently building a women’s center. Our gift is earmarked for the new women’s center.
- Jefferson County Community Ministries – $20,000. JCCM recently learned that their electrical service is woefully out of date and needs a complete upgrade, which will cost between $15,000-20,000.
- Boys & Girls Club of the EP Jefferson County Chapter -$6,000. This will greatly aid their work with at-risk children.
For years, we have invited the community to help us raise money for various causes and missions. This is a wonderful opportunity to bless our community out of the amazing and unexpected blessings we have received. I encourage all of us to keep the good work of these organizations in prayer.