Claire L. Eva, Assistant Director, General Conference Stewardship Ministries
Grammie Claire and Megan
Summary: A friend of Dynamic Steward shares from his class reunion experience, reminding us that just as Jesus Christ continues to be our Lord in retirement, we too may continue to be His disciples and partners in stewardship.
A friend’s experience
A few months back, I received my regular Good $ense e-letter from my good friend, Dick Towner. Dick is the executive director of Good $ense Ministries. And though he confesses to being 68—at least by my last count!—he is still very much at work and involved in this wonderful ministry. I was impressed with Dick’s reflections on his high school reunion and what retirement is to him. And so, with his permission, I share some of what he had to say with you:
“I attended my fiftieth high school reunion several weeks ago. It was an experience filled with many emotions. There was the sobriety associated with seeing the rather significant list of those classmates who had died and hearing of others who were engaged in life threatening illnesses. There was the joy of reconnecting with some folks for the first time in many years. There was the frustration of just beginning to enter into a conversation of some substance with one person and then being interrupted by yet another, ‘Dick Towner! How are you?’
“It was a time of reflection. As I’ve often said, the fun of getting older is you have more and more to look back upon and see how God’s hand was at work in ways that were not clear then but are now.
“One discouraging thing was how many of my peers are now retired and when asked, ‘How do you spend your days?’ gave answers that were largely void of any meaningful contribution to others. While not wishing to be judgmental, it seemed to be a waste of the experience and expertise that could be applied in so many ways that could be helpful to others.”
“It reminded me that all of life, including retirement, is about stewardship. Lynn Miller,* a stewardship hero of mine, says it something like this: ‘Stewardship is living my life in such a way that God can give me away.’ And most certainly that includes the time of life we call retirement—a time that should be characterized by service, not by ease.”
This issue of Dynamic Steward reflects what Dick describes. Just as Jesus Christ continues to be our Lord in retirement, we too continue as His disciples and partners in stewardship. Several of the articles in this issue have taken a slightly different flavor than our usual sermon articles. Three senior stewards share their stories of retirement, and I am confident you will be blessed in the way these individuals have dedicated their lives to His service. Not only will their stories be examples to us who follow, but to those we serve.