A Theology of Generosity
The human story begins with stewardship. At the conclusion of God's initial creative acts, humans were gifted with life for the purpose of stewarding creation (Genesis 1:26). Scriptures established stewardship as overseeing and managing the resources of the earth so that the world might be the "very good" creation God envisions. Stewardship arises out of God's concern for the ecological well-being of the world and obliges humans to care for the fecundity of the earth.
The spiritual practice of tithing is stewarding in our personal life. An individual or family presents to God a tenth of the fecundity of their labors as part of their faithfulness to God (Deuteronomy 14:22-26; Proverbs 3:9-10). When we provide our tithes we participate in the original blessing of stewardship, enhancing God's vision for a bountiful world.
Jesus taught that when we participate in behavior which God envisions for us, such as tithing, we are simply doing as God expects and nothing more (Lk. 17:7-10). However, there are times in our lives when joy wells up and we want to do more than just the obligatory and required. Gifts given to God in these moments are beyond what is expected and reveal the measure of our authentic devotion: much like the one out of ten men healed of leprosy who returned to throw himself at the feet of Jesus as a gesture of generous thanksgiving (Lk. 17:18-19). Generosity aids the development of the partnership between God and humans and allows us to participate in God's vision of a "very good" world.
If you would like to learn more about generosity, Sharon Matsuyama, Chair of the Stewardship Missional Team invites you to attend one of the four upcoming workshops, "Trust, Transformation and Thanksgiving: Stewardship for the 21st Century." These workshops will be led by Jill White, Mission Interpreter of the Church Building and Loan Fund.
Workshops have been scheduled by county to allow for church leaders and stewardship chairs on the same islands to build relationships with one another for the sharing of insights and support. Should a person not be able to make their county workshop, they, of course, may attend a neighboring county workshop.
Save the date for your workshop and be sure to register when appropriate:
Saturday, July 24 (8:30 - 10:30 a.m.) – Kaua'i; register for this workshop HERE.
Saturday, July 31 (8:30 - 10:30 a.m.) – O'ahu; register for this workshop HERE.
Saturday, Aug 7 (8:30 - 10:30 a.m.) – Maui County; register for this workshop HERE.
Saturday, Aug 14 (8:30 - 10:30 a.m.) – Hawai'i Island; register for this workshop HERE.