Beloved in Christ
Greetings to you in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The theme for the month of July is Stewardship: Giving without counting the cost. In this letter I would like to share a few thoughts on concerning biblical stewardship. In general stewardship is taking care of a large household, arrangements for a group or the resources of a community. A biblical view of stewardship can be consciously defined as make use of and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation. The central essence of biblical world view stewardship is managing everything God brings into the believer's life in a manner that honors God and impacts eternity.It is the systematic and proportionate giving of time, abilities and material possessions based on the conviction that these are entrusted by God to be used in His service for the benefit of mankind. A steward is a person entrusted with the management of the affairs of another person. Stewardship begins and ends with the understanding of God's ownership of all: "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Psalm 24:1
God is the owner of all (Rom 11:36). Humans are the stewards who receive from God the owner. Paul writes "What do you have that God hasn't given you?" (1Cor 4:7). Let us reflect on the theme given for stewardship Sunday. Apostle Paul reminds the church in Corinth of their duty and urges them to give generously. Paul uses five arguments to demand them to give worthily, let me point out one of the arguments here.
He cites the example of others. 2 Corinthians 8:1
He tells Corinthians about Macedonian church. Even though they were poor and were in trouble, they gave all they had, far more than anyone expected.
There was a regulation on Jewish feast of Purim, which says that, however poor people are, they must find someone poorer than themselves and give that person a gift. It is not always those who are most wealthy who are most generous, most of the time those who have the least are the most ready to give. Our parish even after twenty five years haven't obtained a stable worship place here, but we were ready to help a church in Bujanoor, which is part of mission field in Telangana mission, which was our former vicar Rev. Pretheesh Babu achen was serving. When I was pastoring in the Ericadu CSI Church in Ker-ala, in the month of September 2018, I lead a group of church members into mission field in Telengana.
Rev. Anil Thomas, then missionary of the field took me and our team to Bujanoor for a Gospel work and insisted me to dedicate the land for the proposed church. Mission-ary achen told me this proposed church construction is sponsored by the CSI congre-gation of HudsonValley. It was a wonderful experience in dedicating the land and praying for the sponsoring church in the States. After one month I came to know from the Bishop that I am transferred to this church. The moment I heard about that, the very first thought came to my mind was the mission work you have done to the church in Bujanoor. Before coming to NewYork, I and Pratheesh achen were able to attend the church dedication service of Bujanoor. It was very nice and amazing expe-rience in my life. Here in the passage Paul says that the Macedonian church, even though poor, but they were willing to help the poorer. As we the congregation did the same thing for the church in Bujanoor, Giving without counting the cost.
I would like to thank our Former vicar,Rev Pretheesh Babu achen, for his great leadership and pastoral care, which is entrusted by the God and diocese. I would like to thank the BOT for arranging everything for the bon voyage.
There is no words enough for thanking Mr. Cherian Thomas, NJ family, who took great effort in taking caring of my family in the 'primitive' days in NY. And also thank every church member who visited and took care of the growth to "modern" days. As we plan to have busy schedules in upcoming months, let us help, pray and cooperate each other for the growth of our parish.
Yours in His ministry.
Friend and Priest
Rev. Joby Varghese Joy