“As each one has received a gift, Use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10)
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, And Nobody
This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.
Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
The enemies of the 3rd Generation of Stewardship
a. The enemy: lack of historical knowledge – lacking knowledge of what a parish is like without stewardship – (compare Catholic life here to other areas of the country)
i. Stewardship started here with Msgr. McGread in 1968.
ii. United Catholic Stewardship was adopted by our Diocese in 1985.
iii. Only 100% Stewardship diocese in the world. This is an incredible honor!
b. The enemy: complacency –not getting involved
c. The enemy: assumption – thinking everyone understands Stewardship
d. The enemy: fatigue –tiring of commitment or renewal
e. The enemy: entitlement –receiving without giving and without appreciation
f. The enemy: ‘quid pro quo’ –giving only so long as they are actively receiving a resource
Definition of Stewardship: The grateful response of a Christian Disciple who recognizes and receives God’s gifts and share these gifts in Love of God and Neighbor.
a. An attitude of gratitude.
i. “A grateful heart silences a complaining voice.”
ii. Gratitude is like harvesting a field: picking the grains of God’s blessings.
b. Stewardship is an imitation of the interior life of the Trinity - An exchange of mutual self-giving
c. Stewardship goes hand in hand with Discipleship:
a. “Once one becomes a disciple…stewardship is not an option.
b. Discipleship is like spousal love; Stewardship is like familial love
c. Stewardship is to discipleship what exercise is to a YMCA membership.
Make a lifelong commitment to practice stewardship as a way of life.
a. God will not be outdone in generosity.
i. It takes faith! This is not easy for anybody! It is truly sacrificial.
b. You have something to offer – you have something to give: recognize!
i. There is a joy and a burden to what you have to offer and what you have to give.
a. Sr. Theresa – “Jarrod, I need your help.”
b. Plumbing – “I had to work for my dad.”
ii. The dual complement of a Steward: You are important enough for me to give generously…I realize that I have something valuable and unique to offer
g. It is a journey. There are highs and lows, but are we moving forward, moving closer to God each year?
Participate at Mass on Sundays of Holy Days, ideally in your parish.
a. The heart of all stewardship
b. Time is first for a reason. It begins with your prayer life and Mass on Sunday.
c. The God who Himself is a Community of Persons desires to be worshipped in a Community of Persons – the Church.
d. Our parish family needs YOU to be here on Sunday. We each make up the Body of Christ.
e. October Mass Counts: average 3600 souls a Sunday – 42% Mass participation
a. Survey of 182 school parents: 75% attend Mass every weekend with children
f. Adoration – We can’t know someone or love them unless we spend time with them.
a. 25% of our Parishes have Perpetual Adoration; 62% some form of weekly adoration.
b. 50% pray daily with children; 25% more than once a week.
Practice the faith in the workplace, the home, the classroom, and in civic life:
a. We are not fair-weather Catholics – our home, our parish, our neighborhood, our workplace, our society (stadiums, restaurants etc.)
b. New Evangelization: Casting nets from a functioning boat
c. They will know we are Christians by our love and our smile.
d. Be bold. Be honest. Trust the Holy Spirit to give you the right words you need at the right time to speak His message.
Support and cooperate with the religious education programs of the parish:
a. Adult faith formation, Catholic Schools, Parish School of Religion (PSR), sacramental prep, RCIA, Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM and JCYM)
b. Which of these, according to the Bishops, is most important area of education?
c. You are never too old to learn more about your faith.
d. Catholic education must be a mission for our entire parish to embrace.
e. Catholics school system has the unique privilege to impart the Love of Christ in EVERY class EVERY day.
a. 80% of parents send kids to Catholic School because of better discipline
b. 70% of parents send kids to Catholic School because of faith formation
Participate in parish ministries, activities, and organizations through your contribution of time and talent
a. The need to give rather than the giving for a need.
b. Stewardship forms – put it in writing. It helps us to stay accountable to one another.
c. Stewardship fair
d. There are 145 volunteer opportunities on this year’s stewardship form. We can start others if these don’t fit you.
e. It is a great way to make our parish smaller and more intimate when we work with a smaller groups .
f. We have a place for you here at St Francis. We need your unique gifts, your talents.
Support the ministries of the Catholic Church by pledging and tithing sacrificially to the parish (8%-2%)
a. Physical resources are provided by the willing, generous, sacrificial, and proportionate sharing of treasure. We are the only ones responsible for providing the resources necessary to proclaim the Gospel. Iif it doesn’t come from us then we simply do not have certain services.
b. We must take ownership of the responsibility for this house: 2700 households – 8500 souls- $5.2 million dollar budget
c. It comes through the basket:
a. We minimize fundraising – avoid nickel and diming families
b. There are no external sources of funding (other than a few small grants):
h. 60% of the Catholic school budget is provided by families without children in school: 40% provided by school families
d. Trust God in all areas of your life. All our money is a gift.
e. Give to God your first fruits, your first earnings. Order your life as to what is most important.
f. Be a percentage giver. Keep increasing until you reach the 8-10%. It should to a sacrifice. It is lifelong thank you to God for all He has done for us.
g. Give anything, not matter how great or small. Give it in an envelope.
This is our house.
a. “I have come to set fire to the earth, an how I wish it were already blazing!”
b. It is the sense of ownership in the parish that helps develop spirituality and the on-going activities of the parish.
c. It is this ongoing conversion of parishioners and priests that makes St. Francis a vibrant, growing, spirit-filled community of believers.