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What is Stewardship?
“Living life with gratitude and sharing our God given talents generously and passionately as we go about our lives.
By coming together we explore ways of harnessing, developing and using our gifts -through prayer, conversation, learning and doing” - Caroline Jones: SJB Stewardship Ministry
Church Courtyard Chat - Staying connected during Coronavirus
We invite all parishioners to share your latest news, views, thoughts, etc, BUT please NO rumours, gossip, fake or depressing news!! You may want to share an exciting event in your life, or what you are doing during isolation, or simply say g'day to everyone, or do a short reflection on Sundays readings, or anything else that you think fellow parishioners might like to know. This document shows stories shared by other Parishioners.
*Shows a table full of data from a google sheet, collected from a google form which is posted below*
St John Bosco Stewardship group
With Christ as our Model we seek to be to be a community who
· Reflect prayerfully on their journey of faith.
· Embrace an attitude of gratitude.
· Share their individual gifts generously.
· Encourage others to nurture their own gifts
· Experience hospitality, welcoming and belonging.
· Engage in wider community issues.
(An acronym that might help us remember our vision statement... the vision statement is about “re-seee’ing!”
r-reflect e-embrace s-share e-encourage e-experience e-engage)
Article on Stewardship in the Bosconian
Here is a copy of the Article Fr. Marc wrote for the September 2011 Bosconian.
Just what is stewardship? You might or might not know that there is a group in the parish who meet once a month to discuss how we might make this concept of stewardship part of the way we live our lives as Christians, and therefore as human beings.
Stewardship is all about sharing your gifts, time and talents. Usually, we don’t discover these things about ourselves until we have been placed in a situation where we feel we have gone beyond our ‘comfort zone’
Being an extreme introvert, I don’t think for example that I would ever have discovered that for some reason or other I seem to be able to communicate ideas well; I just never would have allowed myself to be in a situation like that. But, I didn’t realise I was an introvert until well after becoming a Salesian and a priest. I think that was God’s perverse sense of humour!
Anyway, have you ever noticed things about yourself that you didn’t think were ‘you’ but that are affirmed of you by other people through their feedback to you.
I would imagine that the only way you would have discovered untapped parenting skills or relationship skills until you actually found yourself in the situation of having to raise children or be a spouse.
Stewardship is about these sorts of gifts that are given to us by the grace of God. It may well be a wonderful way of handling people who are in conflict. It could be a delight in providing hospitality. It may be a whole host of things that just come to you naturally and often you are left wondering why it is that not everybody ‘just’ has these abilities.
The Stewardship Group was established to help members of the parish community to first of all discover these gifts and then find ways of putting them to use in the parish and wider community.
One little effort at this has been providing the opportunity for people to come forward as welcomers at the different parish masses; people who have the time to come a bit earlier and stand outside the church, hand out the bulletins and say hello to people.
Since I have been doing it, I am sure I have been able to come into contact with people I would not otherwise have met.
After all it is through striking up conversations with people the community grows.
Another effort of the group, which is an ongoing one, is to draw up a list of all the what I am sure is hundreds of people who already go out of their way to volunteer their time and talents to the parish community. Later on in the year, this list of names will be placed on the altar at the various Masses over a weekend in thanks to God for the gifts he gives to people.
This is in no way to disparage those who for some reason or other do not have the time or the opportunity to do so. I am sure that there are those who do their very best by just turning up for Mass and contributing to the collection.
However, there might also be people who need just a little encouragement to realise that there are all sorts of ways; and very practical ways, that they can make the Bosco Community what it is and will continue to be.
There is the very kind parishioner, for example, who comes to offer her talents at entering names in a beautiful handwriting for the Golden Book. There are the ladies who clean the church at Engadine each week. There are those who make rosary beads – and often just one stage in the process.
There are those who have the gift of sitting in silence with the Lord. I am sure many of our golden oldies at JPV and throughout the parish who, like Mary [Martha’s sister] bring the beauty of a contemplative spirit to the parish in their later years.
And so on and so on...
It is the Stewardship Groups task to encourage people to do all these things as well as to praise and support them in their generosity.
As Kahlil Gibran, the middle eastern Christian writer, has to say: You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
You can contact me, Fr. Marc if you have any questions. I would like to direct you to the parish website. On the homepage, down the bottom there is a grid with the parish groups in it. In the “Leadership and Structure” section of the grid you will find the Stewardship link. Just click on that and see some information about the group.
A personal story on Gratefulness
My deepest experiences leading to profound gratefulness arose in moments of mystery.
I was allowed to experience wonder, to become aware more deeply of the Unknown behind all. There was
substantial support to have this door to mystery opened; several people going ahead on this road helped
me and fostered learning to differentiate between experience and imagination. I experienced clearly that
behind this door, there is and always has been peace and pure bliss, infinity beyond time and space.
I just knew: to be Home in Oneness, which always was and always will be, which never was lost, is the
way and the goal. There was repeated allowance to drop in and stay there for more than one moment.
How blessed I felt, and how deeply grateful.And then suddenly, the door closed again; access to the peace
and bliss lost, completely. The deepest sadness, the existential despair this caused cannot be conveyed,
a bottomless abyss, a most profound pain to the soul.
Gratefulness is a choice which one can remember in every moment, and especially in the most
desperate ones, so that gratefulness may become a state of being.
I want to share how this could happen: I took my access for granted. And even worse… a single thought
expressed my pure disgrace of the most precious: In a desperate moment of loneliness I thought: what a
poor consolation is this virtual inner world, a cheap substitute for the loving presence of a person my heart
had grasped for. And instantly I could feel a change, I could feel the door closing and while before I could
pass a swinging door, now there grew a concrete wall, I painfully ran against.
I had lost gratefulness and given away inner freedom. I had allowed my will to overrun the song of my
soul about awareness. It was my ego-related will that had led a separate, unaware life in me and had
Through opening my heart to the “Daily Question”, seeing the flower, beauty, the other, me, all-one love –
everywhere at any time, I understood that gratefulness is a choice which one can remember in every
moment, and especially in the most desperate ones, so that gratefulness may become a state of being.
Gratefulness is both the incorruptible gatekeeper and the indispensable condition to access the
mystery of creation during our lifetime.
Gratefulness is both the incorruptible gatekeeper and the indispensable condition to access the mystery of
creation during our lifetime. I fully realized that gratefulness is not the result but the mandatory
prerequisite to enter the space of the Unknown. It is not in our hands when – and if – this may happen,
but it is our choice to accept universal love when it touches us…
Swinging into gratefulness and meditation widened my awareness and partially, the wall of concrete is
softening now. I will keep going for gratefulness for its own sake, come what may. It was such a relief,
that recently on one occasion, I could connect again with the space behind our so-called reality – that
peace behind the door – the entrance, not completely locked forever! Thanks be to gratefulness!
If this personal story supports others to find happiness, peace and even bliss through remembering gratefulness,
especially in desperate moments, it would be my deep pleasure. May all beings be happy!
History of Stewardship in our Parish
My church is composed of people like me. I help make it what it is.
It will be friendly, if I am.
Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them. It will do great work, if I work.
It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver.
It will bring other people into its worship and fellowship, if I invite and bring them.
It will be a church of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith, and a church with
a noble spirit, if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these same things.
Therefore, with the help of God, I shall dedicate myself to the task of being all the
things that I want my church to be. Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester. NY
Overview of ST JOHN BOSCO STEWARDSHIP GROUP MINISTRY
2009-2010 (Thanks to Maria Burns for compiling and recording this)
STEWARDSHIP :MONTHLY MEETING THEMES/ Explore/Reflect/ Discuss
SEPT 2009-NOV 2009
PPC began to explore and a small group gathered - based on these ideas.
Discipleship - Following Christ because he has first loved us.
Belonging - A welcome that draws us to connection and belonging.
Giftedness - Focusing, Nurturing, Sharing and Giving
DEC.2009 –OCT 2010 Explore/Reflect/ Discuss
Lead by Maria and Caroline the group explored the following:
Hospitality – “Remembering Jesus- Scriptures/Early Church/meaning and impact of hospitality
Stewardship in Action –Shared examples of how we had demonstrated or how we had become aware of Stewardship personally
Presence and Mindfullness and Equanimity : Presence - . Be right here, in this moment Mindfullness - Remaining in the present
Gifts of Gratitude and Blessing :Gratitude has to do with feeling and expressing appreciation. Blessing is the act of giving something positive to another in thought, word, or deed.
How does Stewardship support the life of the community a) Working with Parish Council,Finance Committee and others (b) Developing a way forward for supporting Ministry groups (eg gift discernment days, ministry fair, formation for coordinators, caring for groups)
STEWARDSHIP: IN ACTION 2010
Creating and adoption of Focus Statement- STEWARDSHIP: God’s way of life Our way of Life + LOGO
Creation of Parish Needs List (Both on web site and Promotional flyers on Church doors at Heathcote and Engadine (Feb-May)
Welcoming Parish Family at Mass-Handing out Mass Bulletins
Hospitality Cake & Coffee served by Stewardship Group (St John Bosco Vigil Mass (30th Jan)
Hospitality Cake & Coffee served by Stewardship Group (Recently Baptised & Families -9.30 Mass (2nd May)
Hospitality Cake & Coffee Morning Tea – JPV Anniversary Celebrations- to be hosted by Stewardship Group & others (24th Oct)
Suggestion to Update Parish Directory - work being done on this ?
STEWARDSHIP: FAITH FORMATION
Monthly Stewardship Team Meeting First Wednesday of each month
Monthly Stewardship Mass Began16/1/10
Aquinas Academy Day Course “Putting Belief into Practice” (4 Stewardship Members attended
Visit to Mary MacKillop Museum (6 Stewardship members + 4 others attended
STEWARDSHIP: AWAKENING UNDERSTANDING
*Parish Leaders Night (27th May):
Number of Participants -57
Shared inspiring and thought provoking ideas on:
What is Stewardship and how is it working in other parishes;Reflections on roles of Parish Leaders; Sharing vision for the parish and groups;Proposed visit of Tracy Welliver;Personal recognition and naming of gifts;Inviting friends to name our giftedness:Finding your talents and building your strengths
ACTION from this:
TRACY WELLIVER DAY- Support of Parish Groups
*Tracy Welliver Day (25th July)
Number of Participants (Registered) -189
Morning Session = 112 People
Afternoon Session = 39 People Plus Some morning attendees decided to stay
Evening Session = 38 People Plus
(Not all participants registered)
Morning Tea served
1. Stewardship-What is it .How is it a Gift to our Parish
2. How Stewardship can help us make a difference -for those who wish to apply the gift of Stewardship
3. Stewardship and Youth
Would you like to participate in a free workshop
Do you have a better understanding of Stewardship
Have your gift/talents been awakened
Would you like to use your gifts/talents for the benefit of the Parish
Would you like a member of the Parish to call you
ACTION resulting from this:
a) Strengths & Talents On-line Questionaire Question 1 (20 Participants)
b) 3 Workshops
c) In process-FOLLOW UP to Question 4
*Parish Expo of Group Ministeries (11th Sept)
To celebrate the gift of all our Ministeries to the Parish of St John Bosco.To bring an awareness to others of the work done in the various Groups
Number of Groups represented =
*Strengths and Talents Workshops
Number of Participants = 20?
Number of Workshops = 3 (13th Sept;20th Sept;27th Sept)
Workshop #1: Discover your natural talents -
Understand your natural talents and tap into their real potential;
Workshop #2: Identify and value talents in others -
Understand how talents differ in people and where they can either be complimentary or conflicting;
Workshop #3: Applying your talents to help others -
Learning how your unique talents can be of real value to others;
STEWARDSHIP-WHERE TO FROM HERE?
Question and Answers about Stewardship
The purpose of this page is to answer simply some of the many questions people have about Stewardship.
If you have a question about it please send it to Caroline Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org and hopefully the answer will appear here soon (or text to Caroline's mobile 0419 266946).
1. What is stewardship?
an opportunity to give back
a transformation of the heart
is a part of our vocation
a covenant between God and us.
giving lovingly to others what God has given us, through time, talent and treasure.
"We receive God's gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others and return them with increase to the Lord."
-from "Stewardship: A Disciple's Response" U.S. Bishop's 1992 Pastoral Letter
Finding ways we can offer our time, talent, and our treasure for building up the kingdom of God are sources of grace for ourself and for others!
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
…is a complete lifestyle, a life of total accountability and
responsibility acknowledging God as Creator of all.
…is responsible management of our God-given resources
of time, talent and treasure.
…enhances our relationships with God and one another.
…is living out a commitment to be Christ-centred, rather
…is a lifelong journey with each person at a different place
on the path.
2. If Stewardship is about sharing our God given time and talent ..... what portion of my time and talent should I give?
Giving of our time, talent and treasure mainly involves a change of attitude about giving. It's important to think in terms of giving in gratitude to God, of considering how blessed you are, of using your gifts and talents for the good of others. Once you have this change of attitude, you will be able to more readily determine, through prayer and thought the portion of your time and talent and treasure that you will give. [#8Sustaining & Strengthening Stewardship, James Kelley]
Reflections on Stewardship Conference at Ballarat
I have put a couple of reflections on the Ballarat Stewardship Institute held in September.
On Friday, September 16, Kevin Gurney and I set off from Engadine to drive to Ballarat for the Stewardship Institute. This ‘institute’ is a conference that sets out the principles behind ‘Stewardship’. Basically, it is a method of resource management for parishes. ‘Resource’ is a very wide term in this context as it ranges from overall management down to the micromanagement of altar servers, lawn-mowing rosters and whatever is part of the local parish community.
It is based on the biblical principle of ‘stewardship’ which refers to the acknowledgement that every single person in a Christian community has a valuable part to play in ensuring that the parish ‘machine’ operates well.
It consists in helping people to identify their gifts and talents and working out how and where they can fit in. Its overall aim is to create a real sense of community and family in a parish, where everyone feels valued, which, it is hoped engenders a feeling of gratitude in them so that they of their own accord feel moved to include themselves in the active running and growth of the parish community.
What was especially fascinating to hear was the personal faith journey of the couple who are behind the development of this project. Ed and April Laughlin, now an elderly couple, from The US, travel around the world telling the story of how they came to be what they call ‘intentional’ disciples.
They started out as an ordinary couple who through a life-changing experience, came to feel very much part of their local parish community. Because of the power of this experience they came to feel that they wanted to live ‘intentionally’ as disciples – that is to embrace Jesus’ call to discipleship. They initially lived it in their family and from there it spread like wildfire.
Through their experience they developed their ‘stewardship’ spirituality, not realizing until they looked into it further that they were in fact putting into practice time-honoured Christian principles. To their joy and delight, they discovered that living out their experience of gratitude was putting into practice what the Church has always been urging people to do.
It was almost like: if you depth your own experience of being a disciple within the confines of the Church that you ‘can’t help but’ start to live out a way of life that is in complete agreement with biblical and ecclesiastical guidelines.
Both Kev and I were convinced that so much of this is already happening here at Engadine and Kev especially felt that it was very much to do with the Salesian spirituality of Don Bosco: a home that welcomes, a parish that evangelises, a school that prepares for life and a playground where friends meet and enjoy each others’ presence.
I came away wondering whether the parish as a whole should in fact adopt the Stewardship model as a way of fine-tuning what we already have here. The image in my mind is of buying software that has been designed to pull together a whole lot of systems that have already been set in place, thereby ensuring that the overall system becomes much more effective and productive.
In other words, I wonder whether if we adopted this model that what we continue to achieve at Engadine might not move forward in leaps and bounds, achieving so much more of what we already do so well.
Overall, at the conference there were about 30 people. As expected, most of them were from Ballarat diocese, although there were Kev and myself and even a lady from Brisbane. There was a group of people from Sale diocese in the East of Victoria. Ed and April were of course there from the US.
A key figure was the bishop of Ballarat – Peter Connors. Apart from a prior engagement, he was there the whole weekend. He celebrated Mass for us on Saturday evening. He is a most engaging character, a very pastoral man who showed himself committed to introducing Stewardship into the Ballarat diocese.
The main contingent were lay people. Some are in parishes that are lay run. In fact, the Stewardship model seems to lend itself very well to these sorts of situations. This stems, in my opinion, from the fact that lay people are more open to developing a spirituality in a parish from the bottom up. Most of them are not experts in anything in particular except in their commitment and love for the Church.
There were several ‘process’ groups during the conference. These were basically discussion groups, but I like the name because it hints at the fact that each one of us needs to go away and process the information in combination with the situations each one of us is in. This applies at a personal level and also at a community level.
It became especially clear that unless one processes the Stewardship spirituality at a personal level that its being put into practice at a community level will be less for it. Unless each one of us becomes ‘intentional’ disciples, we will find it difficult to implement such an approach in our community.
The overall importance of a prayer life was brought through in several instances. Ed and April adverted to this several times and the story of their involvement in Stewardship could not be what it was without them having been immersed in a prayerful community. It was the impetus for their initial ‘conversion’ to Stewardship and remained/s the mainstay of their ongoing involvement in it.
They [Ed and April] suggested a certain administrative model, but they also made it clear that the administrative model needs to grow out of the actual situation of the parish. However, in the midst of this, what remained crucial was the fact of communication from top-down and bottom-up. In their parish for example, every group in the parish gets a copy of the minutes of the Pastoral Council [which in their case is the Stewardship Council].
I feel that we could easily adopt a Salesian version of this model and at the same time make a ‘larger’ move to see what we are doing here at Engadine as a Salesian Project which needs to be co-ordinated rather than moving ahead as separate entities all devoted to the same ideal. I would see an overall Salesian Pastoral Council with representatives from the parish, the schools, the Dunlea Centre, Youth Matters, the Youth Centre, the Finance Committee [?]. It could meet quarterly and develop an overall plan.
Anyway, such are my thoughts.
A Stewardship Prayer
Creator God, giver of life and source of freedom,
we recognise that yours “is the earth and its fullness; the
world and those who dwell in it”. It is from your hands that
we have received all we have…and are ....and will be.
Gracious and loving God, you call us to be the stewards of
your abundance, the caretakers of all you have entrusted
to us. Help us to use your gifts wisely and to share them
May our stewardship be a genuine reﬂection of our
discipleship, a tangible sign of our commitment to Christ.
We pray with grateful hearts, in Jesus’ name.
A Prayer of Gratitude
O Lord, you have given me so much. Please give me one more thing; a grateful heart. I seek to live life with gratitude and share my God given talents generously and passionately as I go about my life.
Here are a few articles and supports to help us understand Stewardship.
Theology of Stewardship
by Bishop Robert Morneau,
Auxiliary Bishop of Green Bay, WI
Overview of Stewardship
Stewardship is a way of life. For Christians who follow in the way of the Lord Jesus, stewardship is an expression of discipleship. When we recognize that God is the origin of all life, the giver of everything that we have and are, the source of our freedom and giftedness, the healthy person responds by thanking God through prayer, by serving God and God's people through ministry, by sharing our financial resources with those in need. Stewardship is a way of life based upon conversion of heart.
Why conversion? Because too often our hearts lack the vision and compassion that makes us true followers of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament the prophet Ezekiel, speaking for God, makes this statement: "A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26). Our God is a promise-maker; our God is a promise-keeper. When the Holy Spirit breaks into our lives, our hearts become prayerful, our ministry joyful, and our generosity extravagant.
Stewards, according to the pastoral letter Stewardship: A Disciple's Response,
do four things:
• receive God's gifts gratefully
• nurture God's gifts responsibly
• share God's gifts justly and charitably
• return those gifts to God abundantly
Gratitude is the cornerstone of stewardship.
(Read more ...) www.ajdiocese.org/documents//PDFs/Bishop_Morneau_Theology_of_Stew.pdf *Broken Link*
A pdf version of the 10th anniversary edition of the orginal Bishops Pastoral letter -
"Stewardship a Disciples Response" *Also Broken Link*
Pastoral Letter Summary:
Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response
As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace (1 Pt 4:10).
Three convictions in particular underlie what we say in this pastoral letter.
1. Mature disciples make a conscious, firm decision, carried out in action, to be followers of Jesus Christ no matter the cost to themselves.
2. Beginning in conversion, change of mind and heart, this commitment is expressed not in a single action, nor even in a number of actions over a period of time, but in an entire way of life. It means committing one’s very self to the Lord.
3. Stewardship is an expression of discipleship, with the power to change how we understand and live our lives. Disciples who practice stewardship recognize God as the origin of life, the giver of freedom, the source of all they have and are and will be. They are deeply aware of the truth that "The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it" (Ps 24:1). They know themselves to be recipients and caretakers of God’s many gifts. They are grateful for what they have received and eager to cultivate their gifts out of love for God and one another.
The Challenge..... The Choice ......The Vision
(Read more ...) *Broken Link Again*
Sites that might be helpful: *ALL OF THESE LINKS DONT WORK ANYMORE*
* The Australian National Stewardship site
2011 Stewardship Icon
* USA bishops site about stewardship
* What is Catholic Stewardship? (US bishops)
* Document from a Diocese in the USA on Stewardship (68 pages)
The Role of a Greeter