PASTOR POST 09-01-21

Greetings Hazelwood Friends!

Today, I want to take a few moments to talk about stewardship. Now, please don’t stop reading or let your eyes glaze over yet! While we too often equate Stewardship with money, it is really about so much more. The word, steward, is very similar to manage/manager or caretaker, so stewardship is about management of resources or taking care of something (or many somethings). And even young children can be taught about being good stewards. I’ve had some very insightful discussions with children and teens around this topic. And they quickly “get it”:

The more resources or “things” we have, the more we have that needs to be managed with care. This really includes everything – how we spend our time, where we put our thoughts and energy, and how we use the gifts, talents, and ability to think, which we have been given by our Creator. And of course, it can often mean how we manage our physical possessions and financial resources.

As a congregation, we have a big responsibility to be wise managers, or stewards, of the talents and financial gifts which people have entrusted to us to put to good use on their behalf, for furthering our ministry and taking care of our building. There are some who think this means never spending money or trying to get by as cheaply as possible. But that is not always the case, because there’s another aspect to wise and good stewardship and that is to be ethical.

We have a moral obligation to think beyond just the price tag to the ethics entwined in each decision, including, but not limited to, being fair and ethical employers to our staff. Another part of being ethical is to avoid the temptation to favor particular areas of special interest to some, while the needs of others go unattended.

So, there are a lot of factors which congregational leaders have to consider before making decisions on behalf of the congregation. And sometimes, participants in a congregation can feel left out or they don’t understand the process of how decisions are made. As your pastor during this time, I am here to support and help this congregation, and to listen to you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to arrange an appointment to chat, either in person or by phone, where you may share with me any of your concerns, wishes, or dreams for this congregation.

Being open and honest helps a congregation to be its healthiest self. Hazelwood is blessed with a lot of talented and caring human beings, and I truly believe everyone wants what is best for the congregation – so that we may continue to shine a light for Christ in Muncie and beyond.

My cell phone and email are on the front of recent bulletins, or you may click HERE to send an email to the church office to receive them if you do not have a bulletin handy! Also, if you are on Facebook, you may find me as Pamela J Pettyjohn. I accept all friend requests from active participants, but do not usually make request because some people may not want to be “friends” with their pastor on Facebook, and that is okay too. But if you don’t mind, it’s a great way for me to get to know you personally a little better.

Shalom, Rev. Pamela