2021 Stewardship Campaign: Planting Seeds

2021 Stewardship Campaign: Planting Seeds

As we are not all able to attend Sunday services, we will be reprinting the weekly
stewardship testimonies so they can inspire us all. Last week, our Treasurer, Paul Rogers spoke to the congregation. This is what he had to say:

The Pandemic: The most recent daily Email I got from the CDC (Center for Disease
Control and Prevention) reported the latest serious complications of the COVID-19
infection: poor nutrition, especially low Vitamin D levels is associated with grave
complications with the virus infection. Daily, I get this somber information about
patients with the infection, but I also see the devastating effects of the virus on others:
family, friends, and community. I have reached the point, like many of you of emotional
exhaustion: periods of sadness, decreased sleep, worries about money. etc. I have turned for help to Romans by Apostle Paul which we are reading in my bible study group.

The Apostle Paul. Why Apostle Paul? First, he was a healer, with nearly as many
recorded healings as Jesus. Second, Paul also experienced a pandemic: he lived through a terrible pandemic, then called plague, of smallpox that killed nearly 1/3 of the
population. He described his times as “whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth.” (Romans 6.22). Writers at that period in history described the bodies
piling up in the streets and sick people being thrown out in the streets before dying.
Paul’s prescription was Stewardship.

Stewardship: In biblical times, a steward was a person watching over the
property of his master and making decisions for his master. Paul not only defined
stewardship but he lived it. In Romans, again he defined stewardship as using special
gifts each of us has received from God in the service of the Lord (Romans 12.6-11). He
lived stewardship by traveling around the Roman empire spreading the gospel to the
Gentiles. Paul described Christians as all being members of the body of Christ and with
mutual caring between the members (Romans 12.,5) To deal with the plague he exhorted (biblical for urged) the Christians to use their time and talents to provide nursing care to their sick brothers and sisters. How did the early Christians respond? All around the Roman empire the Christians provided simple nursing care to their brothers and sisters stricken with the smallpox and it resulted in a mortality rate ½ that mortality rate of the pagans. Some historians have suggested that the early Christian church grew at such a fast pace because the Pagans were dying off at a greater rate and the pagans also were impressed by the outpouring of agape or love expressed by the Christians. Paul also exhorted the richer Christian churches to send money to the poorer churches which helped develop solidarity in the new thriving churches.

How can we be good stewards today at SPBTS? We can all use our time and
talents to support our ministries at SPBTS. For example, we supply much needed meals to the homeless (you will be hearing more details about the Shepherd’s Crook from another speaker). According to reports, five of the homeless have died so far this year in Ocean City. Using our time and talents we can provide nutritional meals to the homeless, support their nutritional health and hopefully prevent some deaths.

Sum: The Apostle Paul created several of his great works, his Epistles, during
plague. We can work together to also accomplish great works during this plague by using our time and money for our ministries. By providing nutritious meals for the homeless we may be able to save some lives, especially during the winter when Flu and COVID-19 infections peak.

If you have any questions regarding Stewardship please contact Cheryl Nottingham,
Finance Committee Chair at 410-713-2222. Thank you for your support of our 2021
Stewardship Campaign.