Posted: May 27

I Plan to Take It With Me

By Angela Emerson

“I don’t want anyone telling me how much I should give to the Church!” 

takeitwithme-b.jpgIt is a common although mostly unspoken sentiment among congregational stewardship leaders and certainly members in the pews.   I have never been particularly appalled or offended at this remark because it is so typically American! 

We Americans resent paying taxes at all levels and value our individuality, independence, freedom to do what we want with what we own.  All of us experience this at some level in a variety of ways and intensity.  That is until we decide to have serious conversations with God about our relationship to God and what we have and who we are.  Our time in conversation with God about such things is not about getting answers or specific directions coming to understand the ways of God  - to learn to abide in God and let God abide in us. 

The more we become at one with God the less importance our attachments to issues like taxes and who tells us to do what. 

The challenge for us as stewardship leaders is to create an environment in which people of faith can have an experience of abiding in the Risen Christ.  Perhaps this could become the “measuring stick” of a successful stewardship campaign. 

The Rev. E. Angela Emerson, Canon for Stewardship and Development, Episcopal Diocese of Vermont.