September. A new season in our gardens, in our congregations, in our wardrobes–a new season all around us.
We have seasons in our lives as stewards of all that God entrusted to us, too. Think of it this way:
In this early season of our lives, we concentrate on figuring out how to handle our time and money without someone supervising every step. We give or serve when we feel we have a little to spare, which isn’t often.
We all have seasons when we must devote all that we have to keeping the wolf from our door, no matter what form the wolf takes. Our stewardship in this season of our lives means taking care of ourselves and our families. Anything else has to wait for a kinder season.
We are stable.
In this calmer season of our lives as stewards, we form habits of regular giving and we start to plan for the future. We learn about insurance, living wills and other ways of protecting ourselves, our incomes and our assets. We make a generous Regular Offering every time we gather, and we sign up for Faithful Friends to give automatically.
We are secure.
In this season of our lives, we are able not only to share our blessings more abundantly, but also to begin considering our legacy. Perhaps we have retired from full-time work and are enjoying having time to serve in leadership in our congregational unit or synodical board. What mark do we want to leave for future generations of women? Now is the time when we research estate planning and ways to include Women of the ELCA in those plans.
We have enough and to spare.
In this season of our lives as stewards, we rejoice in the abundant blessings God has entrusted to us–packed down and spilling over–and we rejoice in passing those blessings on. This is the season of our lives when we begin to act on those plans we have made, working with our financial advisors and families to ensure that our beloved community of women will continue to flourish for years to come.
What season of your life as a wise steward are you in? How are you acting on God’s call to give and to serve in this season of your life? Let us pray. God of seedtime and harvest, equinox and solstice, you guide us through the seasons of our lives with tender care. Grant us grace to serve as grateful and generous stewards as all these seasons come and go in our lives. This we ask through your son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Audrey Riley is director for stewardship for Women of the ELCA.