REPORT OF MODERATOR'S
COMMITTEE ON STEWARDSHIP
Your committee met on Tuesday morning. The report of the Board of Stewardship was the only paper to come into our hands.
The report was read and discussed. We recommend the report as written be accepted with the following change:
That the $200.00 listed for miscellaneous be changed to $100.00 and that the $100.00 listed below it be deleted. This will give the correct total of $850.00 which the Board asked.
MODERATOR'S COMMITTEE ON STEWARDSHIP
M. Y. BLAKELY, Chairman
G. H. SMITH, JR., Secretary
REPORT OF BOARD OF STEWARDSHIP
To the Meeting of the General Synod
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
in Session at Bonclarken,
Flat Rock, N. C., June 7-11, 1965
THE BOARD OF STEWARDSHIP of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian General Synod was created by an action of the General Synod at its meeting in 1962. In taking this action, the General Synod did not outline the duties and responsibilities of the Board of Stewardship. The Board of Stewardship began to function according to its concept of Presbyterian Law in which a board or committee of Synod works with the several presbyteries, and not directly with the local congregations. However, it soon became evident that, with few exceptions, the presbyteries were not willing to take seriously their responsibilities in the area of Christian stewardship. Very few efforts have been made to provide stewardship workshops throughout the presbyteries. Local congregations have not been challenged to have well-planned, well-publicized, spiritually-prepared stewardship campaigns. Far too few of our congregations have every-member canvasses.
An earnest effort has been made to define our duties and responsibilities and to carry these out to the best of our ability.
This report provides no statistics of any kind. The Statistical tables of the Minutes of Synod provide the necessary information. This report consists of three parts.
1. A statement of policy under which (when adopted by Synod) this board shall operate.
2. Recommendations for the Church Year, 1966.
3. Financial askings of the board of 1966.
Statement of Policy
1. The Board of Stewardship shall ever keep before itself and all whom it serves that Christian stewardship involves the whole person in every aspect of his life. Spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically in every relationship and activity of life, the Christian is a steward of all that God has entrusted to his care. The Christian is not his own. He is God's-created by God and redeemed by God through the precious blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.
2. The Board of Stewardship shall ordinarily limit its attention to stewardship of treasures, i.e. material possessions. This is not to relegate to a place of secondary importance the other aspects of total Christian stewardship. Such a limitation permits the board to render a more practical service to the Synod. Our Lord Jesus Christ knew and taught that ". . where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:21.)
3. The Board of Stewardship shall not only work with the General Synod and with the presbyteries, but shall, whenever possible, work directly with the local congregations. It shall attempt to keep in touch with the local congregations throughout the year, keeping before them the cause of Christian Stewardship.
4. The Board of Stewardship shall not be responsible for the promotion of the various causes of Synod (Foreign Missions, Church Extension, Erskine College, etc.) However, there Is a definite responsibility on the part of local congregations to support the causes of Synod. Furthermore, Christian congregations, as well as Christian individuals, are stewards of that which belongs to God. The General Synod has set the standard of congregational stewardship in relation to Synod's budget-20% of the average total income of the congregation over the past five years. The Board of Stewardship shall promote congregational stewardship according to the standard set by the General Synod.
5. The Board of Stewardship, like any other board, shall be governed by the provisions of the Constitution of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Members of the board shall be elected by the Synod on a rotary basis. Between the meetings of the Synod, the board shall take whatever action it feels wise and necessary to take, recognizing that such actions are subject to the approval, rejection, or amendment of the General Synod.
6. The relationship of the Board of Stewardship with the several presbyteries shall be upon the following basis:
a. An annual Stewardship Workshop shall be conducted by the Board of Stewardship for the instruction of presbytery representatives who shall then conduct stewardship workshops in their presbyteries on an area level. (The annual workshop shall replace the regular stewardship emphasis during Laymen's Week-end at Bonclarken. Our laymen should hear other worthy causes from time to time. Stewardship could be emphasized periodically but not every year)
b. The Board of Stewardship shall include in its askings from the General Synod an adequate financial appropriation for this workshop, including the travel expenses of the presbytery delegates to the workshop.
c. The presbyteries shall select two delegates from each presbytery to this workshop, with alternate delegates, keeping in mind that these delegates shall be expected to serve as workshop leaders within the presbyteries on an area basis.
d. The Board of Stewardship shall provide the necessary materials (pamphlets, brochures, films, filmstrips, every member canvas materials, etc.) for use in the area workshops.
e. The Board of Stewardship shall assist the presbytery delegates in planning helpful and inspiring presentations of the cause of Christian stewardship at the meetings of presbyteries. The board shall always be at the service of the presbyteries in every way to promote the cause of Christian stewardship.
7. The relationship of the Board of Stewardship with the local congregations shall be on the following basis:
a. The Board of Stewardship shall continue to provide every-member canvass materials.
b. The Board of Stewardship shall, wherever possible, work with the Men's Fellowship Clubs in the local churches in promoting the cause of Christian stewardship.
c. Whenever requested to do so, the Board of Stewardship shall provide helpful suggestions in making out a church budget, outlining the steps toward a successful every-member canvass, setting up records, etc.
8. The Board of Stewardship shall keep before the Synod, the presbyteries, and the local congregations the motive for stewardship presented in the Bible-the love of God expressed in Jesus Christ. The size of Synod's budget or the local budget of the congregations should never determine the amount to be contributed by the individual Christian. Beginning with the minimum of the tithe, the Christian should give out of gratitude to God for His love expressed in Jesus Christ.
9. The Board of Stewardship shall continue to express its opposition to fund-raising schemes such as bazaars, bake sales, etc., recognizing that in most (if not all) such cases, such efforts represent an effort to escape our responsibility to adhere to the principle of stewardship presented in the Bible.
The Board of Stewardship respectfully requests that the following recommendations and financial askings be approved:
1. That the above Statement of Policy be approved.
2. That the Board of Stewardship be responsible for the stewardship emphasis at the Adult Bible Conference during Laymen's Week-end on a periodical basis rather than an annual basis.
3. That each presbytery, at its summer or fall meeting, elect two representatives (elders, deacons, men or women of its own choosing), and two alternate representatives, to attend a Stewardship Workshop next spring, and that these representatives plan area workshops within their presbyteries for the latter part of August or the month of September of next year.
4. That local men's organizations be encouraged to take a leading role in promoting the practice of Christian stewardship in the local church.
5. That each local congregation review carefully the information and materials available as contained in the stewardship folder which will be sent to each local congregation, and that congregations use these materials which they deem helpful.
6. That the local pastor emphasize Christian stewardship in all its aspects throughout the year, and that the congregation as a whole cooperate with the women of the church in their stewardship study.
7. That local congregations give serious consideration to having an every-member canvass.
8. That Synod place in its budget the amount of $850.00 for use by the Board of Stewardship as follows:
|Stewardship Workshop||$ 400|
|Stewardship Material Folders||100|
|Materials and Filmstrips||50|