Recently the Board of Trustees has been exploring a fundamental reimagining of stewardship and the role stewardship plays in congregational life. At the core of this redefined view of stewardship is a congregational culture of shared responsibility for the FUUSN community’s present and future well-being. This sense of collective responsibility is the embodiment of spiritual stewardship. Stewardship in this sense extends beyond its traditional association with the financial sphere to include a collective felt investment by members of the Congregation in the mission and shared ministry of the Congregation. That sense of collective felt investment is fostered when we experience a sense of psychological ownership of the FUUSN community and when we identify with the larger community that FUUSN serves. Psychological ownership in turn generates a willingness on our part to invest our personal and financial resources to ensure the present and future well-being of the Congregation. This willingness arises precisely because such investments represent an investment by us in our personal well-being as well as the well-being of the larger community. And because these investments are made in a collective context, they can produce future returns in the form of greater empowerment and well-being that far exceeds the present value or “cost” of these investments.
How can we, as individual members of the Congregation, contribute to the strengthening of such a congregational culture? How we contribute and what we contribute will be a very individualized matter dependent on our stage of life, our personal circumstances, the breadth and depth of our existing involvement in FUUSN, and the trajectory of our anticipated board of trustees (continued) future involvement in FUUSN. But some of the simplest ways to strengthen our sense of psychological ownership in FUUSN on a daily and weekly basis include making the conscious decision to invest in ourselves by investing in one another; staying fully informed and knowledgeable about the community; generously offering our time, capabilities, and talents; taking the initiative to reach out and connect with one another; engaging in the daily practice of staying in right relationship with one another; and strengthening our sense of self-direction and personal mission by participating in the community’s shared ministry. – Chris Krebs, Board of Trustees