1st Sunday of Advent — Luke 1:5-38

Stewardship Moment from Pastor William

Stewardship in the Gospel

The angel Gabriel has a message from God; there are going to be two miracle births (John and Jesus.) These two births are examples of God’s abundant provision to us.


Stewardship in our community

We are surrounded by other examples of God’s abundant provision: air we breathe, plants that cover the earth, engineering and medical talents, food so plentiful we discard anything slightly imperfect, and people in every shape, size and color.


Stewardship in practice

Take note of the abundance that surrounds you. God’s hand is in everything and everyone. This week, discover examples of God’s abundance in places apart from the usual: your family and friends, home life, or work environment. Then, give God thanks and ask for guidance in how you can honor that which God entrusts to your care.

21st Sunday after Pentecost

Just before this week’s gospel, Jesus tells his disciples, for the third time, that they are headed to Jerusalem where he will be arrested, mocked, beaten and killed; and after three days, rise from the dead. And in this week’s gospel what do the disciples argue about? Well, who among them is more important. Yikes! Jesus will ransom them from separation from God, and they are concerned only about who gets the seats of honor. Actually, it won’t be any of them, it will be two thieves – the people Jesus came to ransom.

Is this what you think of when you hear the word Steward?

No, we do not mean that they are now called Flight Attendant or Cabin Crew.

We are talking about something entirely different. You see the etymology of steward is from the Old English word stigweard. Stig meaning hall/pen. Weard meaning guard. So, steward means one who guards the hall/pen.


Want something a little more graphic? What is kept in pens? Pigs.

So, quite literally, a steward is one who guards the pigs.

Let us consider that the person who owned the pigs hired someone to guard them. Now, we have the true meaning of steward: One who guards that which belongs to someone else.

Looking at it biblically:

  1. The steward had a position of high authority – Pharaoh said to Joseph; from now on, you’re in charge of my affairs…only as king will I be over you. Genesis 41:40 The Message
  2. The steward was not the owner – Joseph was appointed by Pharaoh to be governor over the land of Egypt. Genesis 42:6 NRSV
  3. The steward is responsible for benefiting the owner and those who depend on the owner – see the parable of the three slaves who were given talents to invest. Matthew 25:14-30.

Christ Candle


Paschal Candle

This article will use some words that need definition (we might find more detail in future articles):

The following are not ECLA practices, but we are exposed to them in discussions and in this article:


What is that red candle called?

When was it first used?

What is its purpose?

Some additional thoughts and comments:

A response to both reasons for using the Sanctuary Candle in our congregation:

October presents us with opportunities to be good stewards – oh, please keep reading, you know by now that stewardship is not about asking for money.  And thinking about stewardship got me to pondering:

God expects us to be good stewards of God’s created tree; to fertilize it, prune it, compost the leaves, and give thanks to God for the life giving tree that converts carbon dioxide into oxygen we can breathe.


Christians are called to not be conformed to this world’s ways, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, for the sole purpose of discerning God’s will (Romans 12:2.) How will you renew your faith this October?


I look forward to hearing what you’ve been pondering.

Graciously, Pr. William

20th Sunday after Pentecost

Psalm 90:12-17, paraphrase by Pastor William


We need you to teach us God;

            teach us to be wise and caring.

We left you God, for non-godly things;

            return to us;

bring us back in.

Wrap us in your love;

            fill us with your joy.

We’ve had enough of trying it on our own;

            we’re counting on you now.

Clean out the junk in our hearts;

            give us a servant’s heart.

We pray that our daily work;

            will be directed by your hand;

            dedicated to serving your creation.

20th Sunday after Pentecost - Mark 10:17-31

Stewardship in the Gospel
Jesus teaches about money; how it is an indicator or where our heart is focused. The rich man was so focused on his money that he couldn't give it up - not even to come into a life connected to Jesus. He forgot that the money belonged to God, not him.

Stewardship in our community
The middle class in the USA is wealthier than about 90% of the rest of the world. Even our poor are wealthier than 56% of the rest of the world. How is that wealth dealt with in our community? Generally, it is held onto tightly - from all three soci0-economic classes!

Stewardship in practice
We have a responsibility to recognize our wealth comes from God - period. God doesn't want us giving everything away, but God calls us to give at least 10% to God's work. How can you feed the poor, clothe the naked, heal the sick, free the oppressed? Start by being involved in how your church spends its money. Just keep church doors open is not God's work - feeding, clothing, and healing is God's work. Get to it!

20th Sunday after Pentecost (Mark 10:17-31)

Again, Jesus teaches about money! Why? Well, a good indicator of what is important to us is how we spend money.  Don't believe me? How much do you spend on your vehicle (payments, insurance, fueld, etc.) Economists teach us this should not be more than 10% of our income - hmm, that's the same amount God asks us to spend on God's work. Are those two categories equal for you? Maybe this teaching is not just for the "wealthy."

18th Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 19:7-14 Paraphrase by Pastor William

God tells us how to live:
so our souls are invigorated.
God gives us principles to follow:
so we can act wisely.
God's directions bring life;
the benefit creation and help us live in community.
It is the best thing going;
better than glimmering gold; better than sweet honey.

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