In a number of our Lord’s parables we find an emphasis on the importance of the “faithful and wise steward”. For several reasons, the CBMJ decided to hold a Stewardship Workshop and the Round Hill Ecclesia hosted it on Saturday, February 15th. This was follow-up on an evening session at the Yearend Bible School, and an extra activity on the CBMJ 2014 Calendar of Events, which already had 15 items scheduled for this year. It was therefore uncertain how many would be able to attend. Communication went out to all the ecclesias, transportation was arranged and an appeal was made to brothers, sisters and unbaptized youth to attend – since service in the ecclesia should be encouraged at an early age. The Workshop was attended by approximately 70! – and over half were children, teens and those in their twenties – who participated well, as they listened keenly, took notes and were very eager to assist with the readings.
There were handout summary notes and worksheets available for the three interactive presentations. The three topics dealt with were – Examples of Stewards in the Bible, Stewardship begins at Home and An Appeal to the Younger Members and Unbaptized. A list of characteristics was put together as to how we would describe a steward, in the Biblical sense. In summary, we found that a steward was absolutely trustworthy, full of integrity, a servant overseeing and looking to the needs of others, and blameless. Although stewards in the Bible were mainly men, it is evident that women also fulfilled steward-like roles, such as Deborah – providing leadership in Israel when men of courage and conviction were scarce! Tabitha also faithfully served the needs of others, as a type of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. And then there is Phebe in Romans 16, ministering to others as a nurse-like helper – she is described as a sister (first), a servant, saint-like and a succorer of many. However, our Heavenly Father is seen as the model of stewardship. He oversees and cares for all, providing meat in due season – as found by reading Psalm 145:8 to 20 – and His Son followed his Father’s example. The appeal to the youth was to follow the example of our Lord at 12 years old – “about my Father’s business”. They were challenged to bear 3 yokes – but in the proper order: 1) The yoke of service when they are young (Lam. 3:27); 2) To be yoked with Christ in baptism (Matt. 11:28-30); and 3) To be (equally) yoked in marriage (1 Cor. 6:14).
We were thankful to the Round Hill Ecclesia for welcoming with refreshments, those who travelled several hours from different location across the Island to arrive at 10:30am. We were also served a delicious hot meal at noon. It was encouraging for all of us to be together and support each other in these difficult times, and promote dedicated service among the members of the Body of Christ.
During the rest of our time in Jamaica, we attended Bible Class at the Broughton Ecclesia on February 12th, and had a special Remembrance Service with the Harvey River Ecclesia on Thursday, February 13th. Sunday, February 16th we enjoyed a Breaking of Bread Service at the Kingston Ecclesial Hall, when 32 members from 3 ecclesias held a mini-fraternal – White Horses, Spanish Town and Kingston. A DVD on the metamorphosis of the butterfly (especially the monarch) was also viewed, as it related to Romans 12:2 and the word “transformed” (metamorphoo). On Tuesday evening, February 18, a Bible Class was held at the May Pen Ecclesial Hall on the topic Lessons from the Wilderness Wanderings, with about 30 in attendance. We were also pleased to be able to spend time in members’ homes and enjoy their friendship and fellowship – and good Jamaican food!
If there is an interest in supporting the Annual Calendar of Events sponsored by the CBMJ, please contact the CBMC chairman, Brother Phil Snobelen – email@example.com