As we look at 2019 we see stewardship lived out fully at the Church of St. Edward. Our beautiful Lenten journey, vibrant social and community life, devoted Pastoral Care and Faith Formation, the roll-out of our spectacular audio/visual system, the GATHER celebration and so much more bring our Parish stewardship to life.
Though we may live a life of stewardship, how often do we ask ourselves, “What does this mean?” In 1992, the US Bishops, in their pastoral letter Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, wrote, “All temporal and spiritual goods are created by and come from God…All valuable things of life we’ve received are not possessions, but rather given into our care to be used to advance the Kingdom of God.”
As we become more mindful of how we use our gifts, we move toward a life in which our thoughts, words, and actions are those of a good steward. And through the practices of stewardship we become disciples of Christ. A life of stewardship and discipleship is both a privilege and a challenge. But through it we express the mission of Christ.
Looking ahead, we acknowledge what the Bishops said in their letter. Stewardship and discipleship are a “way of life that requires continuing conversion.” Many of you quickly recognize “time, talent and treasure” as a shorthand expression of how we use the gifts we’ve received for others. As we look ahead to 2020, we highlight our actions to guide our stewardship plan: We are St. Edward: We Pray. We Serve. We Give. Let’s look a little more closely to see the essence of the phrase:
Time: How do we use our time in its fullest expression of God, in development of our personal relationship with the Lord? We Pray. Early in the new year, as we approach Lent, we want to refocus on our prayer life. At Easter and the coming of spring, we think about birth and renewal. We also celebrate Earth Day as we are called to be good stewards of the environment and the natural world. We reflect on how our actions affect the world we will pass to future generations.
Talent: It is easy to see how our reflection can stimulate us to act. And through our actions, We Serve. In May we highlight how our parishioners use their gifts to serve others. Our Ministry Fair is a celebration of our service communities. And it is an invitation to all, whether to recommit or volunteer for the first time.
Treasure: As we move into Autumn, we turn inward and assess our spiritual harvest, our treasure. In doing so we focus on giving. We Give in our financial commitment to the parish for the year ahead. And we give as we provide money for the world’s poor. This month we ask all parishioners to prayerfully consider their support for our parish. We will continue a conversation with you all for the next several weeks. This will culminate in our Commitment Weekend Ceremony at all masses. Every household will be asked to bring forward their commitment cards. More information will follow.
As you can certainly see, Stewardship is not an event, it is a way of life. We hope that through striving to be a good steward we are continually growing as disciples of Jesus.