When Jesus tells the parable of the unproductive fig tree, it is told as a conversation between a man, perhaps the landowner, and the gardener, the one who tends the land. The man observes that the fig tree has not born fruit for the last three years, and, worrying about the nutrients, land, and time the tree is consuming, he orders it to be cut down and destroyed.
The gardener, however, has a different relationship with the tree, even though it is slow to fruit, he sees potential, or at least hopes that next year it will bear fruit. He makes his best case, asking for one more year to nurture it, he buys some time for the tree to make sweet figs.
Sometimes we are like this tree, we need a little time, a little intention, a little intervention to produce at our highest level. Other times, we are like the tree planted by a stream in Jeremiah’s prophecy, that will not wither even in years of drought. We show our tenacity, resilience by staying where we are rooted year after year, no matter the conditions.
Being rooted in abundance is about being certain, steadfast in our knowledge that we have enough to share with a world in need. It is about doing the hard work of knowing ourselves so that we can know how to help others. It is about putting all of our resources together to support the mission of the church – our wealth, works, and our wisdom. However, you encounter the needs of the world this year, know that you are supported by your community, resilient in your creative problem-solving, and rooted in abundance.
All Good Gifts,
Cn. J. Davey Gerhard III
The theme for our 2023 Stewardship Campaign Resources is Rooted in Abundance. Your new password to access the resources for 2023 is Jeremiah17:8
Click here to access the Episcopal Stewardship Campaign Resources
Please note, the password is case sensitive and there are no spaces.
TENS relies on you, our diocesan contacts, to distribute the password and links to our resources to all of your congregations so that they may take the best advantage of all we have.
You may download all the seasonal reflections and the campaign timeline in English and in Spanish on our website.