Holiness in our Midst: Session 89

Holiness in our Midst


Story Circle Prompt: Who or what influenced your understanding of stewardship? How?

I can pinpoint the exact moment in my stewardship formation that I understood my Creator to be one of abundance rather than scarcity. The catalyst was a profound prayer about “enough-ness.” 

The scene was the dining area at the headquarters of the Church of the Brethren in Elgin, IL. (I was coordinator for mission connections for the denomination from 2001 to 2009.) The room looked out on a lovely courtyard filled with trees. A peace pole, with the words Peace on Earth printed on it in many languages, was visible just outside the wall of windows. A colleague, Ken Neher, director of stewardship and donor development, was asked to say the table grace.

Ken said: “Lord, it would have been enough if you had just given us bread…but you provided us with a banquet.” (A world-class caterer often prepared our meals.)

He continued: “It would have been enough if you had given us a cloudy day…but you provided us with blue skies and bountiful sunshine.”

In his prayer, he was also thankful for the special group gathered there to do the Lord’s work and expressed gratitude for the many other unique aspects of that moment. 

I had been familiar with the Passover song, the Dayenu (“It would have been enough.”) It is about being grateful to God for all the gifts given to the Jewish people: like taking them out of slavery, giving them the Torah and building the Temple, etc. If God gave only one of the gifts, it would have been enough.

But during Ken’s prayer, I realized that I had seldom paused to be grateful for my small daily bonus blessings, so abundantly given. Since then, I have appropriated his prayer pattern many times. As examples, I have prayed:

  • Lord, it would have been enough if I had gone into remission…but you cured me of cancer.
  • Lord, it would have been enough if you had just given me a job…but you gave me one that utilizes my strongest gifts.
  • It would have been enough if you had given me one good friend, but you have given me numbers of them, each encouraging growth in a different aspect of life.

Ordinary days are now infused with wonder, shot with grace when I prayerfully acknowledge that I am often given more than I ask.


  1. Read the above reflection. In your journal, explore the following: Trace the history of your understanding of stewardship.


  1.   Read aloud Session LXXXIX.
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

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