This email was sent by President Matthews to the Eastern Community in November 2021.
Dear Eastern Community,
As previously shared, in order to help familiarize ourselves with our new Core Values, we’re going to focus on one of our values each month. You’ll remember that each of our core values corresponds to a letter in our name. You can read descriptions on this webpage. So far, we’ve explored E - Excellence and A - Authenticity. This month we’re looking at S - Stewardship.
Here’s how we’ve defined Stewardship:
S - Stewardship:
We treat our resources as gifts God has entrusted to us, including our earth, environment, facilities, and finances.
In 1 Peter 4:10, the Apostle Peter writes to encourage the persecuted church: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
We are all recipients and stewards of God’s grace, in so many unique forms. What a trust we’ve been given to use these gifts that set us apart to love and serve our communities well. This call to stewardship can and should inform all that we do here at Eastern as we work together toward the coming of God’s kingdom here to earth. “May God’s kingdom come!”
A beautiful example of Stewardship and the responsibility that comes with it is Dan Main ’22. Dan’s story was highlighted in the Fall 2019 edition of EASTERN magazine, where he shared his passion for plants, gardening, and the many ways God has inspired him to use his gifts for good, both physically and spiritually.
“I think that people experience God in a lot of different ways, and one of those ways is by watching things grow and having a part in that,” Dan reflected. As an aspiring theologian, Dan described the parallels between earthly stewardship and spiritual stewardship, and challenged us to take to heart the call God placed on Adam in the Garden of Eden, to “tend the garden.”
Stewardship involves a rich linkage between gifting and responsibility. Our Eastern Community has been blessed with an amazing “garden” that requires tending – our friendships, classrooms, families, communities, and world. Each one of us has been gifted with a unique set of skills, passions, and gifts that we are called to steward well and utilize to make the world more reflective of the glory, beauty, and goodness of our Creator-Redeemer. We do this, not simply by our capability, but also by our availability and dependability through faith and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
This November, I invite you to reflect on these questions below. Perhaps take your lunch break to reflect, or maybe even journal during your quiet time. (Please consider using these for discussion at team or group meetings.)
November Reflection Questions: S - Stewardship
- What gifts and resources have I been given to steward?
- Have I observed examples of good stewardship in my circle?
- How can I be a better steward of my gifts and resources to contribute to the benefit of others?
- Are there habits I can cultivate to “tend the garden?”
I’m praying for us as we explore Stewardship and its implications this November. Thank you for bringing such unique and beautiful gifts to our Eastern Community. Have a great month!
Dr. Ronald A. Matthews
P.S. Core Values Cards: We still have some extra core values cards in the President’s Office if you don’t have one yet and would like one. Feel free to place the card on your wall or near your desk to help familiarize yourself with these values. (You can also download and print it here.)