Stewardship Stories

On April 27, 2014, a group of people gathered at Camp Hanover to break ground for a new cabin. We had worked long and hard to raise the funds to make this happen. The lead gift for this project was a gift from Martha Newell in memory of her husband, Sam Newell. Sam was a beloved retired Presbyterian minister in Richmond. The cabin was being named the Newell Cabin.

When Martha arrived at Camp Hanover that day, she specifically sought me out to talk to me. We had not met before that day. However, Martha had been the recipient of a handwritten thank you note from me for her generosity to Camp Hanover. When Martha came to me, she thanked me for my note and talked about how much the note meant to her especially since people seldom write thank you notes in that fashion any more.

Martha passed away in March, and I was deeply touched by something I discovered in her obituary. Her family talked about her love for music, books, sailing and travel. They also noted that she was a prolific letter writer, penned with her beautiful and distinctive handwriting. She stayed in touch with friends through her newsy and entertaining letters. When I read this, I realized why Martha was so touched by thank you note. You see, she realized I was someone who cared about the ministry of saying, “Thank You!” as much as she did.

You never know when your note of thanks will be a blessing to someone, just as you have been blessed their gifts!

Deborah Rexrode
Associate for Stewardship


What joy would you like to share about your stewardship?

If you have a special story or witness you would like to share with others about what stewardship has meant to you, please email it to the POJ Associate for Stewardship at