St. Mary’s Stewardship Mission Statement
We the parish family of St. Mary’s believe in Jesus Christ, His teachings and His Catholic Church. Through prayer we become aware of the many gifts bestowed upon us by God our Redeemer. We enthusiastically seek to foster Christian stewardship of our gifts, furthering Christ’s work and service in our community. As discerning Christian stewards, we receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.
The Spirituality of Stewardship
Stewardship flows out of an understanding that everything we are and have is a gift from God. Good Stewards are those who:
Receive God’s Gifts Gratefully
- Cherish and tend them in a responsible and accountable manner
- Share them in love and justice with others, thus returning them with increase to the Lord
If we truly believe that God gives us all that we have, gratitude is one response. Trust is another. Sharing our gifts in love with each other becomes a matter of justice. When we realize that God has provided for us and will continue to do so, we recognize that our real security lies in God. Our God, who has given us all, will take care of our future.
Stewardship is an intrinsic aspect of our Baptismal call. In being baptized, we realize that our first and primary vocation is to be disciples of Jesus. The life of a Christian steward models the life of Jesus. It is challenging and even difficult, in many respects, yet intense joy comes to those who take the risk to live as Christian Stewards. By our actions we become more aware of our relationship with God. As this awareness deepens we change in our understanding of self and ultimately, our attitudes and priorities change. As the process continues, our actions and motivations become more spiritual and God-centered.
Sharing Our Gifts
The starting point for Stewardship is the basic principle of Christian discipleship—that everything we have is a gift from God. In gratitude for God’s generosity, we dedicate a portion of the gifts—to furthering God’s Kingdom. We recognize that all our gifts from God constitute our Treasure. However, in common usage, Stewardship has been described as “Time, Talent and Treasure,” with the Treasure aspect referring particularly to our financial resources. But we must take care to remember that, even if we choose to refer to the Stewardship of Financial Resources as the ‘treasure’ part of stewardship, our Treasure is truly much broader than our finances or money. Our life is a treasure, our family is a treasure. The biblical quotation “where your treasure lies, there your heart will also be.” (Matt. 6:21) does not only refer to money; whatever we value is our treasure and shows where our heart is. Giving of our time and talent is giving of our treasure. All three elements—time, talent and treasure—are important to understand and live Stewardship.
In our diocese we renew, in a public forum, our stewardship commitments at two separate times during the year. We do this in each parish as a family gathered around, and nourished by, the Eucharist. In the Fall, we make or renew our commitments to share our financial resources with the parish and other charities. During this time we ask you to reflect and pray about God’s generosity in our lives. We invite people to respond to God’s generosity in our lives. That response should be planned, proportionate, from our substance, in thanksgiving and a gift; these are the five elements of financial stewardship. An annual parish report takes place. This report demonstrates accountability — the responsible use of the shared gifts of each member of the parish. Finally we invite people to make a commitment in writing to the sharing of their gifts, particularly their financial gifts at this time. We will not be asking for a dollar amount, just a commitment to continue to support the parish.
When we speak of Stewardship of Time and Talent, we are not just talking about volunteering time in a parish organization. We all have gifts and talents. God gives us these gifts and talents out of His great love and He asks us to use them to build up the kingdom of God in our homes, in our workplaces, our communities, and right here in our parish. There are many blessings for those who generously share their gifts, including inner peace and happiness, God’s care, and eternal live.For more information about getting involved please contact the Parish Office at 627-0385.