parkdale united church

429 Parkdale Avenue, OTTAWA, Ontario K1Y 1H3

Seeing the World through Stewardship Glasses

As I reflect on the old year and ring in the new one, I am reminded to mark important dates on my glossy new calendar and to make my annual medical appointments for the upcoming year. One of those appointments will be my annual eye exam in January, which I always dread because I always receive bad news about my deteriorating vision.

Thankfully, my ophthalmologist is a compassionate man. He has reassured me more than once that God sometimes gives older people renewed vision – a ray of hope perhaps.

I am also reminded of last January’s appointment when my ophthalmologist suggested that I switch to progressive (bifocal) glasses. Not quite ready to accept such a huge change, I opted for a stronger single-vision prescription. You see, my older sister had forewarned me about the adjustment to progressive glasses. “You will have to get used to a whole new way of seeing,” she said.

In some ways, last January seems so long ago. I recall that it was also in January 2007 that I was asked to take on the role of co-chair of the Stewardship Group. Thinking back, I now realize that was probably another way that God was nudging me to “see” the world differently.

Having worked at the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, I well understood the concept of environmental stewardship and taking care of God’s green Earth. However, I realized that I had a lot more to learn about stewarding my time, my Spirit-given gifts and the financial resources with which God has blessed me.

Suddenly, in my spare time, I found myself surfing the Internet in search of everything that I could find on stewardship. I marvelled at the “stewardship quotes” on a Missouri church’s website and said to myself, “Wow, I never thought of it that way!” I began to see interactions and listen to conversations differently, noting how others were expressing and living out their faith. As I prepared for the Spirit-given Gifts Workshop in September, I reflected on the gifts of others and my own, and was reminded of how wonderfully special and different each person is.

Prior to last January, my daydreams about retiring someday centred primarily on travel and on long walks with my husband. Now, my daydreams also include thoughts about my future involvement in various committees and ministries at Parkdale, and whether Bible study classes will still be offered then.

I am now ready to make the move to a pair of ‘progressives’. Sometimes we need new glasses; sometimes we need a new way of seeing the world.


Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Hennessy

Co-Chair
Stewardship Group