Stewardship and Ministries
Diocesan Stewardship 2017
Dear Parish Family,
The Lord is with us – always! At this time of year, I need to ask you for your help and support for Diocesan Stewardship. Traditionally here at St. John Neumann we have found it challenging to attain our goal. For this current year, we will have to pay nearly $60,000.00 out of our collection revenue.
For me as your pastor, this is personal because I know firsthand how important the Diocese is to the running of this and every parish I have been assigned to. I am also keenly aware of all the formation, practical assistance and charitable organizations the Diocese supports.
I implore you to prayerfully consider making a pledge to the larger Church of the Diocese of Rockford. Making a gift to the 2017 Diocesan Appeal is one of the ways we can continue to bring Jesus and our faith to the needy and to the world. That work takes many forms in many different Diocesan ministries whether it is through marriage preparation, promoting human dignity and respecting life, youth ministry or vocations– these are just some of the diocesan ministries and services we support through this Appeal.
Our goal this year for St. John Neumann is $196,461.00. Whatever we raise beyond this goal comes back to us. Please join me in supporting the 2017 Diocesan Appeal I need your help to make a gift to this appeal. As in all manner of giving we believe in the steward’s model; 5% to the parish, 4% to other causes and 1% to the Diocese. Where are you on the path of stewardship?
Through your gift, we can impact thousands of lives and you can help your parish at the same time with our financial obligations. Thank you for your support as we participate in living the Church’s mission to be a witness of compassion and mercy to those in need.
Please come prepared to make your gift next weekend. If you wish to make your gift electronically please visit www.rockforddiocese.org/donate for easy, secure giving. I thank you in advance for your generosity.
Sincerely in Our Lord,
STEWARDSHIP OF TIME
Time is God’s most amazing gift, given freely as we awaken each morning.
Are we doing God’s will? There is only one way to know for certain: by taking the time to connect with God through prayer.
As children, we learned to recite prayers. As adults, we need to make prayer a two-way conversation. To take the time to quietly listen, to allow God to enter our hearts. As Jesus said, “Come to me you who are weary. Take my yoke upon you, learn my ways and I will give you rest. I will carry your heaviest burdens. Trust in me and I will lead you every step of the way.”
We’re all busy. But are we too busy to find 10 minutes from the 1,440 minutes that God gives us each day to pray? The daily decision to give time to prayer, to listen to God’s plans for us, affirms the trust we place in God’s power over our own.
Try this: Commit to 10 minutes of prayer each day for 30 days and watch God work in your life.
STEWARDSHIP OF TALENT
When we think of talent, we usually equate it to a special skill, like painting or playing the piano. Or a personality trait like a knack for meeting people.
The truth of the matter is, all of us are all packed with God-given talent, but each with a different array of gifts. And God, in His wisdom, has given us free will to choose how to use our gifts.
Free will doesn’t mean free rein. Our first and greatest commandment is, “To love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind.” We do this when we nurture and develop the gifts God has given us. And when we use our talents for the benefit of others, we are living out the second great commandment, “To love our neighbor as we love ourselves.”
Nothing is too small or too insignificant when it is done in the name of God. As Jesus said, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few.” Are you working for God?
Try this: Think about what you do well and identify one volunteer activity within our church or community where you could share that gift. Then witness how what you receive in return exceeds what you have given.
STEWARDSHIP OF TREASURE
People often equate the word “Stewardship” as code for “the church wants my money.” In reality, Stewardship is our decision to become disciples for Christ, inviting the Holy Spirit to work through our lives to spread the Good News of Salvation.
For some, this means playing an active role in evangelization programs. For others, it’s a call to work for social justice. For all of us, it reflects our commitment to building the church through our participation and financial support.
Again, as stewards, we recognize that all we have is a gift from God. We express our gratitude by giving back prayerfully and cheerfully from the first fruits of our labors – not by reluctantly parting with a portion of what’s left after other obligations are met.
There is no minimum gift, nor maximum. Instead, a joyful recognition that God has and will continue to provide for our needs. Jesus expressed it best when he said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.”
Try this: Plan church contributions by putting it into your monthly budget and see how God stretches your resources to match your commitment