Our parish is a Stewardship parish and, as such, we work together to help those in our extended communities who are less fortunate than we are.
Stewardship is the management of our Time, Talent and Treasure with full and open faith that God will not fail us if we work on His behalf to share the many gifts He has given us.
The sharing of Time is the concept that we are each allotted a certain amount of time on this earth and it is our responsibility to share some of that Time in helping our Church and others. It is under this concept that we take part in the ministries of our Church and do other volunteer service to the poor and underserved.
The sharing of Talent refers to how we use the gifts that God has given us. We all have them, some in greater measure than others, but no one is without gifts. How we use the Talents that God gave us in service to his Church and to the poor is one way in which we will be measured.
The sharing of Treasure is the element of Stewardship about which most people don't want to hear. It is the measure of how we share our financial support with our parish family and the world at large. We give not of our excess but of our base income in true sacrificial giving. Tithing is the giving of 10% of your income to those outside the family home. It is the concept on which our Protestant and Jewish friends support their churches and synagogues. Catholics take this ideal and go one step further to the model of Stewardship.
You might ask, "How does Stewardship, as applied to the sharing of Treasure, work?" Each member of the parish family is asked to pledge 5% of its gross income to the weekly collection. The other 5% that makes up the personal Tithe is given to other charitable causes, including the extra collections in the church. This is sacrificial giving. Find some places where you are indulging yourself rather than thinking of others and you will understand the difference between giving from disposable income and true sacrificial giving.
It is our responsibility to maintain our parish home and to share with our parish family. Imagine not knowing what your income is in any given month. How would you pay your mortgage, utilities, maintain your home or save for emergencies? What Stewardship does is that it allows our Pastoral Leader to both know that the everyday needs of the parish are met and budget appropriately. This is particularly important in our parish community because we support two wonderful, but aging, churches.
Finally, giving in this way is a real measure of our trust that God will reward our sacrifices. We ask you to pray for God's guidance in making your decision and can attest that by participating in all phases of Stewardship (sharing Time, Talent and Treasure) your life will be enriched! I can tell you that it has brought us many blessings, which we would not have had without freely Letting Go and Letting God.