About the time you receive this, we will have begun our annual time of reflection on and preparation for this year’s Stewardship Drive. Leading up to Consecration Sunday on October 27, we will spend time in Worship, Board meetings and social gatherings like October Surprise reminding ourselves how vital it is for all of us to contribute to the financial support of our spiritual community.
The theme the Board of Stewardship has chosen for this year’s effort is “Simply Grateful”. The use of the word “Simply” here, as was explained by the board in a recent congregational mailing, is meant to point us toward a “back to basics” approach to the concept of Stewardship - getting our entire FCC community on the same page in terms of what Stewardship is, what a “pledge” is, how we decide what to pledge financially to FCC, and why Stewardship isn’t just a financial but a spiritual responsibility for all of us. Given that, maybe we should also consider a “back to basics” approach this Fall to our lives in general.
As entrepreneur and author Robert Glazer argues in a recent column, far too many of us regularly answer the question, “How are you?” with some variation of, “Busy”, as in having too much to do and too little time. That response, he says, has become an almost autonomic “go to” answer because we have bought in to the cultural idea that “busyness” is a status symbol. However, he continues, being busy in that way doesn’t make us happier or more productive. In fact, research indicates the exact opposite. It just means, Glazer says, “we are filling all our available time but doing things that don’t really matter to us.”
Glazer then goes on to list several steps we can take to become more focused on what really matters in our lives and getting closer to those priorities matching our use of time. One is to create what he calls a “Stop Doing List”, based on the common practice of adding to our “to do” lists without ever taking anything off. Associated with this idea, others who study leadership and time management have suggested that for every thing we add to our “to do” lists, we should take one thing off.
Along with our financial Stewardship efforts then, I invite you this Fall to also take part in a back to basics “Life Drive”. Our spiritual leader in the Christian tradition is someone who lived a full, productive, joy filled life because he kept his focus on what mattered most then, and still matters most now - answering God’s call to love and serve God’s people.
Holiness rather than busyness.