WHAT IS STEWARDSHIP?
The concept of being a good steward with all God has given us is as old as the New Testament. Jesus taught using several parables about how God has entrusted us with much and we are in turn responsible for receiving those gifts with grateful hearts, cultivating them, growing them into an increase, and then returning them back to God and God’s Kingdom. God calls us individually and as a Christian community to live in this manner.
Stewardship became more prominent in the Catholic consciousness when in 1992 the United States Catholic Bishops published the pastoral letter, Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response. Three convictions form the foundation for the entire letter: 1) baptized Christians are called to a mature discipleship that does not measure the cost; 2) stewardship is a way of life as opposed to a schedule of events or projects; and 3) living in this manner is transformational.
When people begin to see all they have as a gift from their Creator, they begin to treat those gifts differently. Their time, talents, and treasures are seen as more valuable. We then act to return those gifts to God, first giving of the finest gifts given to us. We seek to serve God and God’s Kingdom before serving any of our more personal wants.
In turn, these gifts are received by the Body of Christ with honor. Each person has a gift that no one else can give to the Christian community. The community then must be a good steward with what its members have shared. HERE is a link for more information.
This way of life has served as a foundation for Saint Pius X Catholic Church. From Dolan Manor, an independent living facility for older adults with low incomes built on parish property, to the We Care Committee, a group which works to determine how a portion of our offertory will be tithed back to the Triad community at large, the parish has sought ways to be a good steward. The parish as institution has served as a positive example to its individual members and the members have responded in kind.
In terms of time and talent, over 50% of registered parishioners are involved in over 85 ministries. In terms of treasure, four successful capital campaigns in 20 years have built a Parish Center, a Primary Education Center, new school wing, and athletic center, a columbarium with bell tower, and our new church dedicated in April, 2010. Great things are always possible when a parish community embraces a stewardship way of life.
Our parish was recognized twice in 3 years for its great response to this stewardship way of life. The capital campaign to build the church was recognized as best overcall campaign by the International Catholic Stewardship Council at their 2007 conference in Miami, Florida. In 2009, the same body recognized Saint Pius X at their Dallas, Texas conference with the Thomas J. Murphy Award for best stewardship parish internationally. At Saint Pius X we continually strive to live out this stewardship way of life more fully.
READ MORE ABOUT EVERYDAY STEWARDSHIP
Tracy Earl Welliver is currently the Director of Parish Community and Engagement for LPi, having previously served for 22 years as Pastoral Associate at Saint Pius X. Click the image at right to visit his website.