DEAN JULIA Trinity Cathedral has a long history of welcoming Latino worshippers, but I feel like we still have so much to learn about being stewards of our community’s diversity.
CANON FILEMÓN Yes, being rooted in abundance means caring for the whole tree. Not just the visible parts, but also the roots. It’s not enough to just see Latino people in church. We need to understand what’s going on with them at a deeper level. In Latino ministry, caring for the roots comes through deep listening, and the abundance of our hospitality.
CANON FILEMÓN Abundance is a blessing. I can never give enough to God. Whatever I give, God gives more. The tree of life is a very powerful image for us. When God is present in our lives, our roots are deep, and we have more to give.
DEAN JULIA I hope that we can learn to recognize abundance and practice generosity even when we don’t see or feel it. Trees have an extraordinary resiliency for bearing fruit in good times and in hard times.
CANON FILEMÓN Agreed, and—as a gardener—I also know that an abundance of fruit is subject to rot or pests if it’s not shared.
DEAN JULIA We’re in what we call stewardship season in most of our English-speaking churches. I like that term when we talk about our care for relationships or for the earth and its trees, but I’m not always convinced that stewardship is the best word for church fundraising.
CANON FILEMÓN It’s actually a problematic term in Spanish because it means something like “power over others” rather than “care for others.” I prefer to talk about making promises (promesas), which implies a mutuality of relationship.
DEAN JULIA Like the roots of trees, our promises to our each other, within diverse communities, allow us to share abundance
with each other.
Dean Julia McCray-Goldsmith and Canon Filemón Díaz are partners in ministry at Trinity Cathedral, San Jose, California.
Questions for Reflection
Imagine you have a fruit tree in your garden or yard. Assuming you don’t keep all the fruit for yourself, how would you handle
an abundance of fruit? Within the metaphor of stewardship, would you give away the best fruit, picked fresh? The fruit that
falls to the ground but is still good? Or the leftovers after you have picked what you wanted?
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