2020 Stewardship Testimonial

Published: Sun 20 September 2020
Updated: Tue 22 September 2020
By George Macon


This is the text of the Stewardship Testimonial I gave during the service on September 20, 2020.

Good morning. My name is George Macon, and I am one of the Stewardship Co-chairs for this year.

I’d like to unpack my title a little bit here. I’m a “co-chair” with Barbara Begner. Together, we run the Stewardship Committee, that is, in parliamentary language, we “chair” it. That’s pretty straightforward, so that brings us to “stewardship”.

This is where it gets deep.

A “steward” is a person who manages or maintains something on behalf of, and in the interest of, another, usually absent, person. This has two parts: what thing are we, as a committee, managing, and on whose behalf are we managing it?

The obvious thing that the committee does is raise money to fund the congregation’s operational budget. That doesn’t really fit in with the “maintain” part of the definition, though. So you look around for something that’s being maintained.

There’s no obvious “property” in the traditional sense. While UUCA does have an endowment, it’s stewarded by the UUCA Endowment Fund, a separate legal entity, so that can’t be the answer. The Stewardship Committee is stewarding something intangible: the congregation itself, or “church” in its original meaning of a group of people. Our goal is to ensure that this community, this congregation, continues to exist into the future. That takes money, certainly, but the money is not the point.

So, the stewardship committee is maintaining the congregation on behalf of … itself. But, importantly, on behalf of the future congregation’s selves. We all maintain this community, this loving community, so that it will exist for those people who will find it in the future, not only those of us who stay.

It’s important for this community not to stagnate, but to continue to grow, not just in size, but also in our positive impact on Atlanta, on Georgia, on the United States, and on the world at large.

This community is built by every member giving generously of their time, talent, and treasure. If you have the time to volunteer to help with something, I encourage you to do so. If you have the talent to enrich this community, I encourage you to use it. If you have the treasure to enable the amazing things happening here, I encourage you to give generously.

We cannot do our work in the world without your financial support, whether it takes the form of a pledge to the Capital Campaign, a stewardship pledge to our operating budget, or a virtual dollar bill placed in our virtual offering basket at uuca.org/give. We thank you very much for your gifts to all of these efforts.

The offering will now be given, and very gratefully received.