Stewardship: Sharing our gifts of time, talent and treasure
Too often we think of our stewardship of time and talent only in terms of what we do specifically for our parish - being a minister of hospitality, singing in the choir or serving as a sponsor for RCIA. But doing well the work God has called us to in our homes and/or workplaces is good stewardship too! Being well-prepared and on time for a meeting, finishing up the last memo even though the clock says 5:00 PM, or dropping off a teenager at the library to work on a term paper that is "due tomorrow" all demonstrate good stewardship of our vocations. Taking a casserole next door when our neighbor's spouse is in the hospital, writing a letter of recommendation for a job seeker or college applicant, or assisting a young mother coping with baby, stroller and luggage as we board a flight are also examples of using our time and talent to "love and serve the Lord."
Using our gifts in love and service is good stewardship and a powerful way to express our gratitude to God for those gifts. Let us all strive to be stewards of the gifts God has provided to us. Thanks be to God!
Stewardship Questions and Answers
Dearest lord, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost. - Ignatius of Loyola
Q. What is stewardship?
A. The concept of Stewardship is receiving God's gifts gratefully, cultivating them responsibly, and embracing a spiritual relationship with God. It is not a program, but a spiritual consciousness or way of life, based in Scripture, which holds that all we are and all we have flows from God's varied grace. In turn, we serve as spiritual caretakers of our and worldly blessings.
Q. What makes one a steward?
A. We are already stewards: Each of us manages our time, talent and income carefully, so as to fulfill our individual and family responsibilities. As Christian stewards, we receive Gods gifts gratefully and cultivate them responsibly. We do this in the same way that we provide for the material needs of our family, as we also have a responsibility to help provide for our parish, our faith community.
Q. How can I become a better steward?
A. Stewardship is living a life of gratitude by the sharing of ones time, talent, and treasure and making daily decisions that glorify God. Give daily thanks for the blessings you have received from God, and ask yourself what you can do to help in your parish community. Being a good steward also means leading a generous, accountable way of life rooted in Christian discipleship.
Q. How can I learn more about stewardship?
A. Learn more about stewardship and what you can do to serve your faith community by contacting your parish priest. If your parish already has a set stewardship program in place, you may be able to offer your time, talent, and treasure to it. If your parish does not already have a program, you have the wonderful opportunity to help establish stewardship as a way of life in your own parish. In that case, please contact the Stewardship Office at the Pastoral Center of the Diocese of Gaylord at 989.732.5147.