From Pastor Jo


“Count your blessings, name them one by one.”



It seems to me that the essence of the month of November can be best summed-up in one word: gratitude. Beginning with All Saints Day when we give thanks for the lives of loved ones whom we have lost, and culminating with the celebration of our family feasts on Thanksgiving Day, we have many opportunities to reflect a spirit of gratitude for some experience or person in our lives. In November, many churches offer assorted church dinners – roast beef, turkey, chicken pot pie, to name a few – again, an opportunity to partake, with gratitude, of God’s bounty. And in some churches, November is also the time of year when Stewardship Sundays are observed and celebrated. I’ve notice that here, at St. John’s, we don’t talk much about stewardship, and I can’t help but wonder whether this is because we have made our definition of stewardship too narrow and uncomfortable. Too often, the word, stewardship, translates, for many, as strictly financial – and it is that, but it is also much, much more.


In view of this thought, I would like to suggest that we try to think about stewardship in terms of the ministries that are dearest to our hearts, not in terms of paying the bills, for true stewardship encompasses all the ways through which we wisely use the resources that have been provided by God, so that others can experience the gospel of Jesus Christ in real and tangible ways. Those ministries are many and varied. They might include a gift for “working with numbers” by which a financial framework for our ministries is formulated, or the beautiful music that enriches our worship on Sunday mornings, or a passion to feed the hungry in our community. Or perhaps your heart lies in the Christian education of our children, or in crafting hands that provide items of physical comfort, or in renewed efforts to reach out to our community in acts of mission and service. These are the things that should be the basis for how we think about stewardship; how we use our time, talents, and treasure to do our parts to make these ministries happen.


It all begins with gratitude, my friends. And on that note, I would encourage you all, in this season of blessing, to give thanks to God for all that God has provided for you. Then, respond accordingly, with gratitude, considering how your individual stewardship of the resources entrusted to you can make a difference in the ministries and missions that are closest to your hearts.


“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Matthew 6:21

Blessings and Peace,

Pastor Jo










~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

© 2019 St. Johns UCC - Richlandtown
Connected Sound - Websites for the Barbershop Community