Stewardship - what is it?
Rather than being a specific group within the Parish, stewardship is actually a way of life and is something that each and every member of our community is invited and encouraged to reflect and act on
Each and every person, without exception, has gifts and talents. A 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.
Each member of the Church shares in the responsibility for its mission. The Church is not just the building that we worship in. As such, as the Catholic Community of North Harbour, we strive to be a community of faith and action, one where we see the face of Jesus in the face of a neighbour.
Stewardship begins with a profound recognition that God has lovingly given us our home, this world, and all that we possess and all that we are. As with any precious gift, stewardship then calls us to cultivate the gift of our own lives, talents, and world responsibly. Of course, we could do that and just keep the goodness to ourselves. However, stewardship recognises that if we have received these free gifts out of God's goodness then we are called to share them lovingly in justice with others. And when we do share, we don't offer the leftovers but return what we have been given with increase to our God.
Stewardship, therefore, asks that we nurture a vision of life that is Christ-centred and that we develop an attitude of respect and care for the environment, for each other, and for all that God has created and given to us for our use. It involves an intentional, planned and proportionate giving of our time, talent and treasure. It is not a single act of caring and sharing, but rather a total way of life and the way we live out our lives in our home, school, workplace, parish community and in our response to justice and environmental concerns.
In summary, stewardship IS:
- A way of life;
- A way of thanking God for all His blessings by returning a portion of the time, talent and treasure allotted to us;
- Based on Scripture, both Old and New Testament;
- A spiritual way of life that leads to conversion and a deeper relationship with Jesus;
- Based on the fact that God has given each of us a talent or talents to do certain things well; and
- Giving the first fruits of our time, talent and treasure, not what is left over.
Stewardship is NOT:
Based solely on the Church's need to receive but on the individual's need to give in thanksgiving;
Limited to treasure but has an equal focus on time and talent;
A gimmick to raise funds or recruit volunteers; and
Limited to the Church but also includes the wider community.
The Parish does have a Stewardship Committee that is responsible for developing ideas and action plans to raise the awareness of stewardship amongst the members of its faith community.
Stewardship - how can I be involved in our Parish community?
Whilst there are many ways we can live our lives as good stewards in our daily lives at home, work or in the local community, the following are some ways that we could be stewards within our Parish community:
- Reader of the Word at Mass;
- Eucharistic Minister, either at Mass or taking to the sick;
- Contribute to Planned Giving Program;
- Involvement in Music Ministry;
- Children's Liturgy;
- "In Touch" folding;
- Altar Server (Junior or Senior Server);
- Baptism preparation team;
- Catechist (in our local public schools);
- RCIA team member (assisting with preparation of people looking to join our faith community);
- Counting of Sunday collections;
- Hospitality team; and
- Welcomers (at Sunday liturgy)
These are just a few of the ways that members of our faith community are able to contribute their time, treasure and talents to make this Parish a vibrant, welcoming, faith filled community in the true spirit of the Augustinian ethos. You can find other possible activities on this Parish website and we always welcome suggestions for new activities or ministries that will continue to add to the vibrancy of our Parish community.