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Vol.1 Issue #3         
A newsletter from North American Division Stewardship Ministries
 


EDITORIAL

I don't remember ever having read the words from Scripture that the rabbi shared that morning in the stewardship conference I was attending. I'm sure I have, but, as you know with God's word, it's new every morning.

"You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute" (Exodus 23:3, NKJV).

Of course, the above Scripture is not speaking against helping the poor, but in our showing partiality to the poor when it may not be the just action in the situation. But what about the big, bad rich guy? Actually, it may be that the poor person was in the wrong, and the just action would be to rule in favor of the rich person. In many ways, our culture (church and society) has conditioned us to view wealth and wealthy people as evil. However, that's not God's view.

As stewardship leaders, the concept that God is the owner of everything is not a new concept. Thus, our God is the God of the rich as well as the poor. And it is not our socioeconomic status that makes us right or wrong with God. But what matters is how we live within our life circumstances.

Are you poor? If so, do you live with godly principles: honesty, integrity, and generosity? Are you seeking ways to invest in God's kingdom? Or are you greedy and careless in your use of the small amounts of life's blessings? Are you "rich"? (If you make more than US $32,400 a year, you are within the top one percent of the world's income.)[1] If so, do you live with godly principles: honesty, integrity, and generosity? Are you seeking ways to invest in God's kingdom? Or are you greedy and careless in your use of the large amounts of life's blessings?

Living by godly principles is not dependent on your bank account. It's more dependent on your view of God, and a right understanding of stewardship, will help us see God's character more clearly.


RECOMMENDED  READING   

"Generosity is the new evangelism. 
Generous behavior is the best validation that Christians 
believe what they profess about God, faith, the Bible, 
and eternity. This practice 
of generosity is authentic 
and becomes magnetic to people who do not accept 
the Christian faith."


(Contagious Generosity, p. 3).




STEWARDSHIP CERTIFICATION


Meet Tracy John. A native of Dominica. Baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church at age 14.
 
Tracy is a member of the Sharon Seventh-day Adventist church in Bronx, New York. She served as Treasurer until she decided to step down from that responsibility to allow her to present Faith & Finance seminars in area churches. Tracy is also enrolled in the North American Division Stewardship Certification program.
 
"To participate in the NAD Stewardship Certification program, one has to have the passion for it. If you don't, then it will be difficult," says Tracy. And she has the passion!
 
Tracy has completed all of the video work (40 hours of viewing), and is currently conducting the required field work. She completed her first Stewardship Weekend in May at the North Bronx Seventh-day Adventist church. Her presentations were as follows:

Sabbath Worship      He Came to My House
Sabbath Afternoon  Putting Your Financial House in Order 

One participant contacted Tracy by phone afterward and related her struggles with tithing. Tracy encouraged her, recommending the Faith & Finance book to her. The woman pledged to begin returning a faithful tithe and to encourage others to do so.
 
Tracy believes that we must focus on the spiritual lives of the members, not on the church budget. When she was the treasurer for her church, Tracy usually approached members who were weak in their giving and would talk to them one-on-one. She sought to find out if there were any financial difficulties at home, or find reasons for their lack of financial participation. People thanked her for her guidance.
 
One group of people that Tracy wants to focus on is young adults who are not active in financial giving to their churches. 
 
"Pastors need to take more interest in stewardship. People are willing to listen when the focus is on individuals and on mission."
 
Thank you, Tracy, for your commitment to transformational stewardship!

NEWS FROM  THE FIELD

Manitoba-Saskatchewan Conference. Stewardship Training.

Pictured is the Spirit of Truth SDA Community Church where the pastors of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Conference met April 3-4, 2016, for stewardship training. Sergie Ferrer, Conference Treasurer and Stewardship Director, and John Mathews, NAD Stewardship Director, led out in this stewardship summit.



Pastors standing by the church's new baptistry. What does a baptistry have to do with stewardship? "Money means souls " ( Counsels on Health , p. 276). While tithe and offerings fund the work of the church, and are used to support gospel workers, people who accept Christ and are baptized are the real purpose for returning tithe and offerings. We must never forget that; in all its forms, evangelism is our business. 

The Georgia Cumberland Conference hosted a Women's Retreat.
The theme was, "Courage for the Call."

More than 300 women attended the Courage for the Call retreat, located at Cohutta Springs Conference Center. The group was diverse: young, "older," and even "old!" One woman was in her nineties! Another woman present praised the Lord because she had been addicted to hard drugs for more than a decade, but was now free. Another woman shared her story of being homeless with her two children, but who now is so grateful to have a job and a home for her family. The stories were varied, but the one thread was woven through them all: The Lord gave them courage to move forward in spite of their hardships.
 
Cohutta Springs Conference Center, GA .

I presented four keynote messages on courage, character, confidence, and commitment. On Sabbath afternoon, I presented a Debt-Free Living seminar. Often, on a beautiful Sabbath afternoon, seminars don't bring many participants. However, more than 200 were in attendance, and the Lord blessed the time together. 
 
Pastor Bonita Shields



The  Alaska Conference hosted a Stewardship weekend at Delta Junction, Alaska. The theme was, "Keeper of My Heart." 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Prov. 3:5, NKJV). Christ keeps us and guides us in all we do.

Every steward must be grounded in the life and love of Jesus. This enables us to manage every aspect of life to God's glory.

Alaska is a land of vast beauty and home to grizzly bears, moose, caribou, bison, and Dall sheep. There are also a few people! Everything seems bigger. Unique. It is the only place I know of where a train and car share the same tunnel, going through by taking turns; and where a town is named "The North Pole." People from all over the world come to see the northern lights. In winter, parking lots contain electrical outlets for your car's engine block heater.

 Alaska.
In Alaska, cars and trains share the same tunnels.

Along the Tanana River is the small town, Delta Junction, with a population of 948. In winter, the wind blows in from the Gulf of Alaska piling up snow drifts. Driving into town I noticed one stop light.  As I stood outside the car at the gas station, everything was quiet. No interstate noise. No ambulance sirens. Houses looked like they were in different stages of construction. Delta Junction has few building codes.
 
On Sabbath morning, members gathered for Sabbath school and church. Each person had a different story of why they were in Alaska. I sensed the drawing power. Although the church was small, the people were friendly, happy, and responsive. They loved music, and if you had an instrument all you had to do was bring it and join in!
 
Pastor John Mathews


If you would like to invite Pastors John Mathews or Bonita Shields to your 
church for presentations on stewardship, please email us at  StewardshipMinistries@nadadventist.org

INFORMATION






2016 STEWARDSHIP CALENDAR

April   Stewardship Month

April 9  Stewardship Sabbath

September 6   Stewardship Planning Committee

November 5   Stewardship Sabbath


Stewardship Jack ' s Corner

   Look, Jack even has his own
   badge!

From time to time, Stewardship Jack comes over the office to pay us a visit, and to check on us. 

We all love having Jack around! 







For resources and more information on Stewardship Jack, visit