April 26, 2011

The Steward Ship

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Lisa Meeder Turnbull @ 10:51 pm

In the summer of 2006 a dozen or so clergy and laypersons gathered at a retreat center outside St. Louis to spend a few days identifying emerging issues in the church and the society, and to work together on ideas for addressing these issues from the vantage point of stewardship, spiritual health, and baptismal ministry.

One of the less realistic, and more enthusiastic, ideas to come out of our discussion was the notion of The Steward Ship. This would be our response to the geographic challenges associated with holding stewardship days or stewardship conferences at the Province level. The Steward Ship would start in, say, San Diego. As it made its way up the Pacific Coast, we would offer on-board discussion sessions, workshops, and seminars. We would stop in ports along the way and people would be invited to come aboard for day sessions or to sail with us for as long or short a time as they were able. While this was of course a blatant attempt to justify a Hawaiian cruise, the rules of brainstorming do specify that all suggestions have merit and must be considered for at least preliminary discussion!

The Steward Ship was sure to be a smashing success. When it finished it’s Pacific Coast debut, it would most certainly be in high demand around the Gulf Coast, up the Eastern Seaboard, and through the Chesapeake region. It would most certainly be welcomed from New York to the Gulf of Maine, and we wouldn’t think of neglecting the Mississippi River corridor! We could pretty much eat, drink, sleep, and sail through our commitment to all aspects of stewardship through our Baptismal Covenant 24/7.  Bliss. Pure bliss.

Alas, as I have noted, this was one of our less realistic ideas. In these last weeks, however, as I pondered the launch of the mainestewards blog, I revisited the idea of The Steward Ship in a more metaphoric way. My hope is that the subscribers to this blog will find it to be a place where they can join in, spend as much time as they like, leave when they need to, and be nourished from our time aboard together. My goal is to address stewardship in all of its many aspects, sometimes in the context of the week’s lectionary reaadings; sometimes in the context of our Diocesan Cycle of Prayer; and sometimes in response to our lives together.

Thank you for being part of this journey.


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