Christian Stewardship is more than just a campaign to raise funds for the maintenance and mission of the church. Stewardship is really a grateful response to all that God has given us, and involves our care for the planet, the church, our bodies and our lives. Saint Mark’s calls this approach “Seasons of Stewardship”, and encourages everyone to be particularly intentional about its rich complexity at specific times during the year.
"For God's Good Earth"
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. … And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:1-10
“We don’t have a Plan B because we don’t have a planet B.” Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General
Summer is a time for celebration of God’s creation, and what it means to be a good “care taker”. As summer gardens are planted, we think about issues of sustainability and healthy ecology.
Saint Mark’s has a recycling program for paper, glass and aluminum– note the blue recycling containers- and we are committed to supporting other recycle, reuse, reduce and sustainability programs undertaken by parishioners.
Procter Camp and Conference Center, run by the Diocese of Southern Ohio, contains a working farm, sustainability garden and offers programs on topics from organic and raised gardening to local food distribution.
"An Offering and a Sacrifice to God"
Each Fall we begin our annual pledge program. While titles changes, they always reflect what it means to make “An Offering and a Sacrifice to God.” These words are taken from the offertory sentence: “Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2). They remind us that the ministry of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church depends on the financial generosity of the people of Saint Mark’s in order to be good stewards of our facilities, and of our programs; and to be able to effectively reach out our arms of love to God’s people.
"Our Selves: Our Souls and Bodies"
Good stewards of Creation. Good stewards of our financial resources. Good stewards of our “time, talent and treasure”. This also includes stewardship of our physical, emotional and spiritual well being. Lent is a good time for this kind of self-care. Each Lent our stewardship theme is “Our Selves: Our Souls and Bodies.”
Lent is also a time to deepen our relationship with God and be intentional about our spiritual lives. During this season timely meditations from Episcopal Relief and Development are found in the chapel which help us connect our own Lenten journey with the needs of the world.
"Remember, Rejoice, Renew"
“Remember, Renew, Rejoice” is a program which draws attention to the stewardship of our life’s journey. It is a time when focus is placed on what some would call “end of life issues” – but for Christian’s who hope in the Resurrection – it is time to look at estate planning, living wills, and the planning of our memorial service. It is most appropriate that this program follows the season of Easter and Pentecost, a time when we celebrate resurrection and new birth.