150 Personal Acts of Stewardship

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150 Personal Acts of Stewardship

  1. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

  1. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

  1. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

  1. Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

  1. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these thing, food and clothing, will be added to you.

  1. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

  1. In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you.

  1. Know how to give good gifts to your children.

  1. Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

  1. "Sow a thought and you reap an act; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny"

  1. If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you.

  1. If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs.

  1. Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

  1. Pray to God regularly.

  1. Honor your father and your mother.

  1. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands.

  1. Exercise careful and responsible management of that entrusted to the care of the church.

  1. It’s never too early to teach your children about the tool of money. Teach them how to work for it and they learn pride and self-respect. Teach them how to save it and they learn security and self-worth. Teach them how to be generous with it and they learn love.

  1. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

  1. Give blood.

  1. Give baby clothes and toys that your children have outgrown to those with younger children.

  1. Help keep a community clean. Pick up litter.

  1. Offer to work on a holiday so fellow workers with family can spend it with their children.

  1. Help my neighbor clean their house and pick their outside weeds.

  1. Smile.

  1. Use recycled paper.

  1. Purchase locally grown organic products.

  1. Check your tire inflation.

  1. Carpool.

  1. Compost.

  1. Recycle at home.

  1. Recycle at work.

  1. Plant a tree.

  1. Drink tap water instead of bottled water.

  1. Use non-disposable cups and mugs.

  1. Start a greening project with a school.

  1. The earliest Christian community was faithful to the Lord and was devoted to living a communal life, praying and wor­shipping together, attending to the needs of each member, and living out the Beatitudes day-by-day.

  1. Attend adult religious education programs when possible. Good stewards continually learn more about God and their faith.

  1. Read through the Sunday lectionary at least once during the week. Good stewards recognize Sunday as the summit of their week.

  1. Remove your watch when entering church for services to symbolize this as God’s time.

  1. Baby sit for a couple that needs a night out.

  1. Visit a shut-in.

  1. Visit a nursing home.

  1. Make your pledge.

  1. Make a gift to God in your will.

  1. Volunteer at a local food kitchen.

  1. Volunteer at school.

  1. Give to Episcopal Relief and Development.

  1. Help a family in need at Christmas.

  1. Read to your children nightly.

  1. Visit with the best friend you have who does not attend a church and tell them, from your heart, why you would like them to join you for worship.

  1. Erect five signs in your community directing people to your church.

  1. Start a Vacation Bible School for the children in your community.

  1. Form a children’s choir and teach the children about music AND the Christian faith.

  1. Begin a new worship service on Sunday evening for young adults.

  1. Paint the front door of your church red. Call the local paper to tell them why.

  1. Visit a nice hotel or restaurant and look at the bathrooms. Using paint, wallpaper and new lighting, remodel the bathrooms in your parish to be just as nice.

  1. Serve good coffee with real cream and fresh donuts every Sunday morning after service to develop stewardship.

  1. Begin a Bible study in your home. Invite friends and neighbors as well as friends from church.

  1. Make it possible for your priest to participate in a program that will help him or her learn how to attract newcomers to the Christian faith.

  1. Read three books on growing your church. When you are done, give them to three members of your parish.

  1. Visit the editor of your local newspaper. Ask him or her how the ministries of your parish can be featured more prominently in the newspaper.

  1. Hold a “Hanging of the Greens” ceremony in early Advent. Invite the community as well as a photographer from the local newspaper.

  1. Create a “Candlelight Carols” service in early Advent. Invite the community and a writer from the local newspaper.

  1. Observe the Feast of the Epiphany. Invite the children of the parish to participate. End the ceremony with a burning of the greens and midwinter barbecue.

  1. Make up a brochure about your parish and make 100 copies. Take a folding chair and table into town and hand out free bottles of water (on a hot day) or cups of cider (on a cold day) with the brochures.

  1. Obtain a list of newcomers to your community. Call them, introduce yourself and invite them to church.

  1. Pray to the Lord that people will discover Christ in your parish.

  1. Celebrate the “birthday” of your parish. Invite the mayor, the police and fire chiefs, the superintendent of schools and other local dignitaries.

  1. Honor the teachers in your community with a special worship service at the beginning of the school year.

  1. Buy 100 books on the Episcopal Church or the Christian faith and distribute them to a four block area (or, in a rural parish, a four mile area) around your parish. Place a card in each book giving the phone number of the parish and the times of worship services.

  1. Start a soup kitchen or a food pantry to help the hungry in your community. Invite both volunteers and the guests to attend church.

  1. Become trained to lead a bereavement group to help people work through their grief. Put a large sign on your church announcing when the group will meet and invite anyone who would like to come.

  1. Replace the wooden doors to your church (which are usually closed six and a half days a week) with glass doors that will allow passersby to look into the church when it is closed. Keep some lights on to illumine the altar.

  1. Light the outside of your parish 24 hours a day. Light the stained glass windows from the inside at night. Half the time when people are looking at your church, it is after dark.

  1. Hold a “Blessing of the Pets” ceremony around the Feast of St. Francis in early October. Emphasize the responsibility everyone holds to be good stewards of creation. Invite local veterinarians and members of the SPCA to attend and participate. Place flyers to publicize the event at local pet shelters, kennels and veterinarian offices. Have doggie and kitty treats for the guests of honor afterwards.

  1. Have a Stations of the Cross service on Good Friday and pray outside your local jail, hospital, courthouse, police station and cemetery for those in great need. Tell a local television station about it ahead of time

  1. If you live in a house, visit everyone on your street and tell them what you have found through being an active member of the Episcopal Church. If you live in an apartment building, visit everyone in your building and introduce yourself to your neighbors. Tell them you are a member of a local Episcopal parish and ask how you might be of service to them.

  1. Have the calls that come to your church’s answering machine when no one is there redirected to a residence so a real person can answer the phone with warmth, grace and useful information.

  1. Spend some quiet time alone reflecting on why you became a Christian.

  1. Initiate a Parent’s Night Out program where parents can drop off their kids for fun, Christian education and a simple supper before picking them up. Hold an awards ceremony every three to six months and invite the parents to come and see their children honored for their participation.

  1. Hold an event for children, their parents and grandparents on the second Saturday of Advent. Have a variety of crafts children can make with their parents and then use as gifts and/or Christmas decorations. End the event by reading the story of the birth of Jesus.

  1. Give a leather-bound Book of Common Prayer to a colleague, friend or co-worker. Tell them you know a place where they can learn how to use it.

  1. Make your church the local meeting place for a variety of groups helping people recover from addictions. (Don’t worry too much about the wear and tear on the building.)

  1. Make sure the sign in front of your parish is every bit as tasteful, readable and well-lit as any sign in front of any establishment in your town. If your sign is not in the top 10 signs in your community, replace your sign.

  1. Place a Forward Movement publication display in the narthex of your parish and keep it filled with pamphlets on the Episcopal Church and the Christian faith.

  1. On the 7th day of the month, invite 7 people to your home at 7 o’clock to feast on 7 different dishes and to talk about the 7 most important moments in your life. Remember to tell them about a moment when you knew God as a present reality.

  1. Create a visually exciting web site for your parish and keep it up-to-date.

  1. Place an attractive ad in your local phone book featuring your parish.

  1. If you are a grandparent, invite all your grandchildren to your home for pie and ice cream. Tell them how much you love them and how much your experience in the Christian faith has meant to you. It may be the greatest inheritance you will ever leave them.

  1. Pick out three people who are not a part of the Christian faith and pray for them every Sunday for three months.

  1. Ask your priest what jobs he or she is currently doing that could be done by someone else so that he or she could concentrate on sharing the faith with those who are not yet part of the Christian faith.

  1. Sit next to a newcomer and help them through their first couple of Prayer Book liturgies.

  1. Redesign your church bulletin to make it more user-friendly. Try to imagine what a first time visitor would need to know to feel engaged in the liturgy.

  1. Visit an excellent day care center and look at the nursery rooms. Using paint, wallpaper and new lighting, remodel the nursery in your parish to be just as nice.

  1. Ask members of a neighboring parish to make a quiet visit to your church some Sunday. Have them keep a list of their honest first impressions. See what you can learn by seeing your parish through their eyes.

  1. Give a special gift of time, tithe or talent to your parish. Tell your priest the gift is for the expressed purpose of growing the parish.

  1. Don’t wait until people make their way through the front doors of the church to greet them. Have greeters in the parking lot to welcome people as soon as they get out of their car. (You would be surprised how many churches don’t have signs directing people from their parking lot to the nearest open door.)

  1. Reserve the parking spaces closest to the doors of the church for handicapped people and for first-time visitors. Make your church accessible to people of all ages and physical conditions.

  1. Think of five creative things you could do to grow your parish. Try your favorite one. If it doesn’t work, try one more.

  1. Become part of an EFM, Alpha, Via Media or Kansas School of Ministry class or be part of a Cursillo experience. Tell others about what you discover.

  1. Develop a list of prospective members from information gleaned from current members of your parish. Build a team of people to pray for these prospective members and to visit them.

  1. Invite a neighbor to dinner and introduce them to your church.

  1. Give to the United Thank Offering

  1. Have patience with your local teen-agers.

  1. Serve on a parish committee.

  1. Build a Habitat House.

  1. Do Mission work.

  1. Buy Haitian artwork.

  1. Buy Free Trade coffee.

  1. Support the arts.

  1. Be a kind driver.

  1. Be a mentor.

  1. Donate to worthy organizations such as the Salvation Army.

  1. Hug your children.

  1. Teach a class.

  1. Plug someone’s parking meter.

  1. Attend a chili or pancake feed.

  1. Teach Sunday School.

  1. Adopt a pet from the pound or cat shelter.

  1. Shovel someone’s driveway when it snows.

  1. Plant flowers at churches and public housing.

  1. Walk a dog for a neighbor.

  1. Cut someone’s lawn.

  1. Teach a child to pray.

  1. Always put some change in a jar or bucket that is for a good cause.

  1. Donate bathroom and beauty supplies to a woman’s shelter.

  1. Help someone without a car get to the grocery store.

  1. Purchase a bus pass for someone.

  1. Tutor a child in a subject you know well.

  1. Teach children healthy eating habits.

  1. Get to know your neighbors.

  1. Host a few barbecues or gatherings each year and invite your neighbors so that you can stay connected.

  1. Help a non-profit organization by donating your time to their efforts or offer to sit on one of their boards.

  1. Clip cartoons and share funny stories with others.

  1. Always send thank you notes.

  1. When someone is going through a tough time, send a note of comfort and support.

  1. When someone is celebrating a time of joy, send a note of recognition and support.

  1. Always say thank you and please.

  1. Treat service workers with respect.

  1. Do not pretend to listen, but try to actually listen when people share their problems.

  1. Help someone when they are moving.

  1. Hold doors open for people.

  1. Visit other churches and understand other religions.

  1. Teach someone how to use a computer and e-mail.

  1. Give to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund at his next visit to your parish.

  1. Throw a birthday party for someone in your parish with no local family.

  1. Coach a local athletics team.

  1. Start a parish bowling or softball team.

  1. Add your own….

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