Stewardship (Time, Talent and Treasure)

STEWARDSHIP

In their Pastoral Letter on Stewardship, a Disciple’s Response, the U.S. bishops state:

 

     The Christian steward is one who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others, and returns them with increase to the Lord.

 

Stewardship involves all of life

While pastors and others usually only speak of stewardship in terms of Time, Talent and Treasure, the truth is that stewardship involves all of life – body, mind and spirit, our material possessions, friendships, etc.  All we are and have is a gift from our Creator for us to use wisely to build up God’s kingdom here on earth.

 

Time

Time is a very precious gift.  Most of us feel we don’t have enough time for all the things we want to do.  Everyone is given the same amount of time:  24 hours each day, 168 hours each week.  The question is:  How do we choose to use our time?  Henry David Thoreau once said:

 

“It is not enough to be busy, so are ants.

The question is what are we busy about?”

 

Talent

All of us have been blessed with various talents, whether we are aware of it or not, or whether we have developed our talents or not. Of course, it is usually not possible to develop all of our talents. But, ideally, we can and should develop some of them and use them wisely to bless the communities we belong to.

 

To find out ways you can share your Time and Talent with your church family, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Monica Sutton at:  [email protected]

 

Treasure

There are over 2,300 verses in the Bible about money, possessions and the right use of them. Why is this?  Perhaps because God knows our propensity to misuse money or allow it to distract us from keeping our eyes on him.

 

Tithing. When it comes to financial support of our church family, the biblical ideal is a tithe—or 10%—of one’s income.  Our Catholic Church leaders suggest giving 5% to church and 5% to charity.  Most Catholics who tithe reach this ideal gradually.  In this area of stewardship, one of the most important steps to consider is to become an ‘intentional giver’—as opposed to a ‘loose change giver.’  An intentional giver is one who has the willing diligence to ‘do the math,’ that is, to look at his/her annual income and then prayerfully and intentionally decide what percentage should be set aside for the support of the church and for charity.

 

 

Five reasons to be serious and generous with our financial resources

 

  • God expects us to be generous even if our financial resources are not much. Remember how Jesus praised the poor widow for her generosity to the Temple (Mark 12:41-44).
  • We could have been born in a slum, begging for food every day. Reflection on this accident of our birth should motivate us to be generous with our material blessings.
  • Consistent financial giving is the best medicine for our greedy tendencies.
  • Generous financial giving helps to make us a little more like our good and generous God.
  • It feels good to experience the joy of giving.

 

Automatic Giving

We thank all parishioners who choose to use the automatic method of giving to their Church family. We find more and more people choosing to give in this way, mostly due to the convenience and accessibility of options.  Giving electronically allows us to be faithful and consistent in our giving.

We call automatic giving “intentional giving.”  It provides the donor peace of mind that his/her donations are accounted for even when traveling away from the parish, while assuring the donee steady and consistent stream of support.  It is a win-win for both parties.  Generous sharing of our financial resources is the best and most concrete way to say:  “Thank you, Lord, for the material blessings in our lives.”

We currently have four methods available for automatic giving. They are: 
(1) Online giving through the parish website www.ascensioncatholic.net (click on the ‘DONATE’ button), or through “My Parish App” available on your smartphone;  
(2) Automatic debit from your bank account, set up with the Parish Office; 
(3) Automatic giving through your credit card, set up with the Parish Office; or
(4) Your own arrangement with your bank for  automatic payments by check.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mary Russo at the Parish Office or through email at [email protected].

 

Parish tithe. Our parish seeks to practice what we preach in this area of the Gospel. This past fiscal year, we gave $118,706 from our offertory collections to charities in our local area and abroad. Click here to link to our tithe report for the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year.

 

Stewardship Prayer 

Generous and loving God,

You call us to be disciples of your Son Jesus

 and good stewards of your many gifts.

Open our minds and hearts to a greater awareness

 and deeper appreciation of your countless blessings.

Transform us through the power of your Spirit

to nurture a stewardship way of life

marked by faith-filled prayer,

service to our neighbor, and generous sharing.

Teach us to be faithful servants of your gifts.

With Mary’s help, may we return ten-fold

the gifts entrusted to us.

We pray thorough Christ our Lord.  Amen.

                                                                                    -Bishop Robert Morneau

 

Parish Finance Committee

Our Finance Committee meets on a regular basis to oversee our annual budget and to help us to be good stewards of parishioners’ donations to the parish.

 

For more information, contact Mary Russo, Business Manager/Bookkeeper, at [email protected].

 

Ascension 2017 Fiscal Report and Reflections on the Spirituality of Stewardship