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Stewardship

Responding to God’s Grace

“Stewardship is the grateful response of a Christian disciple who recognizes and receives God’s gifts and shares these gifts in love of God and neighbor.”

Through our Baptism each of us is called to follow the stewardship model of Jesus, the good and faithful servant. A first step in deepening our personal commitment to stewardship is growing in our understanding of what Christian stewardship really means.

Unfortunately, too many religious organizations —including some Catholic parishes — use the term “stewardship” merely as a synonym for increasing financial support or recruiting volunteers. But true stewardship is much more than fundraising or filling volunteer positions. Stewardship is a way of life. It is the grateful response of a Christian disciple who recognizes and receives God’s gifts and shares these gifts in love of God and neighbor.

This stewardship message can be summed up in three easy-to-remember words: Grace, Gratitude and Generosity.

Grace: Christian stewards recognize that everything we have and everything we are is sheer gift — it is all a result of God’s grace. Our spiritual gifts like faith, hope and love, our natural talents and abilities, our relationships, our material resources, the beauty of creation — all of these come from God.

Gratitude: As we become more aware of the gifts that God has given us, we grow in loving gratitude to the Giver of those gifts. Though we have done nothing to earn God’s abundant grace, He has nonetheless lavished it upon us — His love and generosity toward us are extravagant!

Generosity: Our gratitude in turn leads us to share our gifts out of love. God has given us these gifts not so that we can hoard them or use them only for our own personal gain, but so that we can share them with others to help spread His Kingdom here on earth. “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

St. Norbert Parish aspires to become a community of fervent disciples. Let us resolve to respond as fervent disciples to God’s grace — to grow in stewardship individually and as a parish community, so that when we are called to give an account of our stewardship God will look upon us and say: “well done good and faithful steward, come and share your Master’s joy!”

2014 Stewardship Weekend Materials

 Prior Stewardship Annual Reports

Stewardship of Our Time

Christian stewards recognize that everything we have and everything we are is sheer gift — it is all a result of God’s grace. In our busy society filled with hectic schedules and competing demands for our attention, perhaps our most precious gift is our time. As we seek to grow in stewardship individually and as a parish community a good place to start is to prayerfully reflect on how we use God’s gift of the 24 hours in each day. Am I thankful for this gift and do I share it generously in love of God and others?

Do I give God the “first fruits” of my time? Do I put God first, or have other priorities crowded out my time with God? Do I spend meaningful time in prayer? Do I set aside time to grow in my faith, such as by reading Scripture or participating in a faith formation program? God longs to be in an intimate relationship with us, but for this relationship to flourish we need to spend time with Him.

Do I share my time generously with the people that God puts in my life? Do I see these encounters as a series of opportunities rather than a series of interruptions? Do I balance the hours that I spend at work, with my family and friends, in recreation and in service to others? Each of these commitments is important and calls for good stewardship of our time.

As we seek to grow in stewardship individually and as a parish community perhaps we could each resolve to take one small step in becoming a better steward of our time. What step is God asking you to take right now?

Stewardship of Our Talents and Abilities

Christian stewards recognize that everything we have and everything we are is sheer gift—it is all a result of God’s grace. God has blessed each of us with a unique mix of natural talents and abilities and has called us to cherish, develop and share them in service to God and others. As we seek to grow in stewardship individually and as a parish community, let us prayerfully reflect on how we use our God-given talents in our lives, in our jobs, in our community, and in our relationships.

Do I see myself as individually gifted with unique abilities? Do I take the time to fully recognize and appreciate all the talents that God has given me? Have I made an effort to discern how God may be calling me to apply my particular skills and strengths?

Is there a talent that I have not used or developed properly? How might I incorporate this talent into my daily life? Do I “bury” my talents, because I’m too busy or because I don’t think they are significant?

Do I share my talents generously with others? How might others benefit from the skills and abilities I have to offer? Is there some parish ministry or non-profit organization that could use my abilities?

Stewardship is making a choice, one small step at a time, to grow in gratitude and generosity for the gifts we have received. As we seek to grow in stewardship individually and as a parish community perhaps we could each resolve to take one small step in becoming a better steward of our talents and abilities. What step is God asking you to take right now? 

Stewardship of Our Resources

Christian stewards recognize that everything we have and everything we are is sheer gift—it is all a result of God’s grace. This is true not only of our time and our talents, but also of our treasure. God has blessed us with all of these gifts so that we might carry out the work of building His Kingdom. As disciples of Jesus each of us has a responsibility to be a good steward of our financial resources and material possessions —to be thankful for whatever we have and to share generously in service of God and others. As we seek to grow in stewardship individually and as a parish community, let us prayerfully reflect on how we use our God-given resources and possessions.

Do I recognize that my financial and material possessions are all blessings from God? Do I give God the “first fruits” of these resources, or do I give only what is left over after my other wants and needs are met? Do I make God’s work a priority in my spending habits and my financial planning? Do I contribute generously to the support of St. Norbert’s, so that our parish vision might become a reality? Do I share my wealth with Catholic Charities, Bethesda Project or other organizations that serve those whose needs are greater than my own? 

Do I make good use of my material possessions? Is my closet, basement or garage filled with unused items that could be donated to a charity or directly to someone in need? Do I remember to purchase staples for St. Gabriel’s Food Cupboard while shopping for food to stock my own pantry?     

Do I prayerfully reflect on everything that God has given me when I decide how I will allocate my resources? Do I give to God and others in proportion to what I have? Some people look to the biblical “tithe”—meaning the first ten cents of every dollar—in examining their financial stewardship. Others consider a commitment to incremental giving—gradually increasing how much I share—as a way to grow in stewardship. Whatever approach we take, we must remember that good stewardship isn’t about giving out of guilt or obligation—it’s about giving out of gratitude.

Stewardship is making a choice, one small step at a time, to grow in gratitude and generosity for the gifts we have received. As we seek to grow in stewardship individually and as a parish community perhaps we could each resolve to take one small step in becoming a better steward of our resources and possessions. What step is God asking you to take right now?

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