In 1992, the United Conference of Catholic Bishops released their enlightened pastoral, Stewardship – a Disciples Response. (http://www.usccb.org/stewardship/disciplesresponse.pdf Largely penned by Auxiliary Bishop, Robert Morneau of the Diocese of Green Bay). In this document, the bishops expound upon the task of stewardship and its role in revealing God’s compassion and love in the world. The bishops define stewardship as : “the call to follow Jesus and imitate his way of life.” I would go on to add that stewardship is not limited to those who claim Jesus as their guru, but is a universal drive within us to seek to know our own unique giftedness and the call to share those gifts in the world in the service of compassion, peace, justice and joy. In other words, it is our unique way of revealing Divine love in the world for the betterment of all.
The Catholic bishops go on in this pastoral to recognize that stewardship is something that flows naturally out of those that are “mature disciples.” They then go on to define how one comes to be a “mature disciple.” I would again add that this process is not limited to those of Christian belief….but is a universal process through which we :
- Come to know ourselves
- Come to know God (our unique understanding of the Source out of which we were made and to which we are compelled to return)
- Come to know our gifts and how we are called to use them in the world
A steward is therefore, someone who has come to know their own unique giftedness, has done the work of naming, claiming and healing their spiritual, emotional and mental wounds, and one who freely and generously shares their gifts in the world as an expression of Divine love and compassion. Through the sharing of their gifts, others are inspired to embark upon this same journey of self-discovery, healing, transformation and empowerment. It is out of sound stewardship that true leaders are born.
I am happy to announce that out of the Authentic Freedom Ministries community, six men and women have accepted the call to stewardship and will be commissioned as leaders within the community. These men and women have embarked upon 3+ years of study and process through the Authentic Freedom programs and have embraced the call to living these principles in their everyday lives. All of these individuals have undertaken the process of self-discovery, healing and tranformation. They have come to recognize their own unique giftedness and are freely and openly sharing these gifts in service to the world. Through their stewardship, others have been freed to know more fully the love that resides within them. Congratulations too these five women and one man who will be commissioned in a future gathering of the Contemplative Community to share their gifts with the community and in the world at large!