Stewardship, why bother?

Stewardship, why bother?

Do you ever take the time to think about the people you admire the most? I don’t mean the people you just read about or watch on t.v. I mean the real people you interact with in your daily life. Of these folks, who are the ones you admire most? And why?

As I ponder this, I would say my heroes:

  • Seem to have an uncanny ability to ride the ups and downs of life with grace. They have an amazing capacity to see the best in difficult situations, to remain faithful, peaceful and dependable even in the midst of challenges.
  • are joyful. My heroes make me laugh. They bring joy with them into the room. They don’t take themselves or others too seriously. They see the upside in a situation. They see the best in others.
  • seem to have things together. Circumstances in life don’t seem to overwhelm them. Their lives are ordered and this gives them the freedom to be generous towards others; available to help and be present in their lives.
  • challenge me to be better. My heroes are humble and open to learning. They are growing themselves and inspire me to do the same.
  • are generous with me and with others. My heroes share their time, their talents and their treasures. Most importantly, they share their hearts and lives with others. They enter into a situation with their hands open (figuratively), ready to give and receive from others.
  • are deeply rooted. My heroes know who they are. They have the freedom to be available to others because they are not concerned with themselves or their own needs. They know their Why (Knowing Your Why)
  • live their lives for something bigger than themselves. They are men and women of deep faith who root their identity, their lives and their choices in Christ.
Do your heroes look like mine? Would you like to grow to be more like them? Embracing the spirituality of stewardship can help!

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

9 + 12 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr
(605) 209-3418

What Is Stewardship? (Hint: It is much more than a $ sign)

What is Stewardship? (Hint: it’s much more than a $ sign.)

Sometimes it is easiest to describe what something is by stating what it is NOT. Stewardship is not merely about how we spend our money. It is certainly is not simply a fancy word used by churches to get people to donate to the parish. However, the word is often understood as such.

Fr. Mark McCormick began using the slide below when the Stewardship Initiative was first implemented in the Diocese in 2015. However, whenever I bring it up with a group of people, the most common thing I still hear is that, “stewardship is about money.”

 

 

So, if we were to distill Stewardship down to its essential elements, to answer quickly and succinctly the question, “What is a Christian Steward?”, what would that explanation include?

For me, the fundamental beliefs which guide the Christian steward are these:

  • God is the owner of all things.  Everything we possess and all that we are as human persons are gifts from God, who loves us more than we can often imagine and desires only our good.  We are beloved sons and daughters of the Creator of the universe. This is why we use the word “steward”. A steward is someone who has been entrusted with something not his own. Christian stewards understand that they are receiving and caring for the gifts of God. And these gifts include many things: our material wealth, our health, our talents, the time we have each day, our faith.
  • Gratitude. As Americans, we set aside one day a year to be thankful, but Christian stewards cultivate gratitude daily. This is a habit we have to work to develop because we find what we are looking for. If we are looking for the blessings of life, we will find them. As we begin enumerating and thanking God for the many gifts He has given, we begin seeing them everywhere. And the more we see and are thankful, the more our lives are transformed. this habit plants us firmly on the road to Living A Catholic Way of Life.
  • Generosity. Trusting in God’s love and care for us and seeing the many blessings and gifts, we respond with gratitude and generosity.  Knowing that God’s love is infinite, his care unending, we carry in our hearts a belief in abundance, not scarcity.  After all, our Lord fed 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, what do we have to fear? Knowing that the source that we are drawing from is infinite, we are free to be generous.
  • Trust. A Steward who recognizes the gifts given by God, is thankful and practices generosity experiences the abundance and goodness of God in concrete ways in life. Experiencing this goodness then leads to greater trust. The more we trust, the more we experience this goodness. And the cycle continues.
Recognition that God is the owner of all things, practicing gratitude and generosity and growing in our trust in God, lead us into this Catholic Way of Life.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 1 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:15-17)

 

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

4 + 9 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr
(605) 209-3418

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait–it’s how we behave while we are waiting.”  Joyce Meyer

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait–it’s how we behave while we are waiting.”  Joyce Meyer

This Sunday’s 2nd reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, cautions the Christian church in Corinth (and us!), not to grumble as some of the Israelites did in the desert and “suffered death by the destroyer.”  Yikes!  It seems a strong rebuke — death — for something which we experience seemingly every day– grumbling!  We grumble, our spouses grumble, our kids grumble, our co-workers grumble.  The media we consume is full of grumbling.  Sometimes we joke about it, realizing we perhaps shouldn’t be grumbling.  “First world problem!”, we cry, for instance.  Other times though, the problems and the challenges are serious and real and our grumbling seems justified.  Whatever the case may be, it seems wise, given St. Paul’s strong counsel, that we should be on guard against our temptations to grumble.

What weapons do we have against this temptation?  I think one weapon is the virtue of patience.  Patience is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and as Dr. Gray says in the video below is also an attribute of love.  “Love is patient,” St. Paul writes in the 1 Corinthians 13. 

The Christian Steward is, as the USCCB document reminds us, “always the joyful bearer of the Good News of salvation.”  Grumblers aren’t joyful.  And grumbling inevitably leaves us feeling discouraged and empty. I am inspired and challenged by this Sunday’s reading and Dr. Gray’s comments to strive to root out my own grumbling and to strengthen the virtue of patience so that I might more authentically be a witness of the Joy of the Gospel.  

https://formed.org/study/5c5dceaf0db5a21500a6f1c8/lesson/5c6c322740ff2e1600efbaa6

 

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

12 + 1 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr
(605) 209-3418

Christian Stewards Are Grateful

Christian Stewards Are Grateful

 

“Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thess. 5:16-18

A wise co-worker noted once that St. Paul, in the passage above, does not ask us to give thanks for all circumstances, merely to give thanks in all circumstances.  I don’t know that I can bring myself to be thankful for the blizzard brewing; but I certainly am thankful in the midst of it. 

 We have spent the better part of the last two days preparing for the onslaught, queued up in some of the longest lines at Wal Mart I have ever seen, so that we have adequate drinking water in case we lose power and moving hay, snow and cattle in an attempt to keep all of the livestock alive if things get nasty.  I am sure many of you have done more and worked much harder than we have in preparing for the storm. There’s not a lot of fun involved either before or during. 

 However, whenever we experience bad winter weather, I am always reminded of reading “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder many years ago to my children.  In it, Laura recounts her family’s harrowing experiences living through a very hard winter in DeSmet, South Dakota.  She remembers one day complaining to her Ma about having to wear her heavy long underwear to school under her dress and stockings.  “It’s too hot for my red flannels, Mama!” she complains.  By early afternoon, there was no sunshine and the “wind crashed against the schoolhouse.”  After some time had passed, one of the men from the town knocked on the schoolhouse door and led the teacher and children home in the blinding blizzard.  Even though the schoolhouse was just outside “town” (a two-block stretch of street), they nearly lost their way in the wind and snow.  Having experienced prairie blizzards before, Laura knows their lives are in danger. Later, sitting by the fire, feeling confused and unable to get warm, Laura wipes her eyes and realizes her eyelids are bleeding from the driving snow and ice.  I remember her also speaking about the fears they had when Pa would head out to do chores on their “claim” on a bright, sunny morning.  They didn’t know if a storm would come up and prevent his getting home before the day was out.  After reading of their experiences, I realized how my whole life I had taken weather forecasting for granted.  For the first time I had an idea of what life would be like without it.

So in the midst of the frantic preparations for the storm, despite the fact that I am weary of winter and ready for spring, I can thank God for the gift of the weather forecast which allows us to know ahead of time when a dangerous storm is coming and gives us the opportunity to prepare for it.  And what if it turns out they were mistaken and the worst of the storm misses us?  Then I can be thankful for two things and not just one!

Christian stewards are grateful.

 photo by Jason Abdilla on Unsplash

 

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

12 + 7 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr (605) 209-3418

Welcome the Little Children

Welcome the Little Children

This Saturday we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord when Mary and Joseph bring the infant Jesus to the Temple to present him to the Lord as was prescribed in the Jewish Law.  Both Anna and Simeon receive the Lord and see in him the fulfillment of their desire to see the Messiah. 

This story has encouraged me to ponder how we welcome all children.  I am mindful of St. Benedict’s instruction, quoted in the Characteristics of a Stewardship Parish, “Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ”.  I have experienced many ways children are welcomed with Generous Hospitality in our churches.  For instance, I remember one time after spending a hard hour with several rambunctious, unhappy and rather loud toddlers and preschoolers of my own, a woman sitting in front of us turned around and said, “It was such a blessing to have your family with us for Mass today.  Thank you for coming.”  That simple act was a great encouragement to me.  I am always grateful when priests make a special point to welcome families with small children and assure parents that their presence is welcome in the church.  Lastly, the visitor information card that has been placed in the pews at Our Lady of the Black Hills comes to mind.  On it they have this statement:

“To parents of young children:  RELAX!  God put the wiggle in children; don’t feel you have to suppress those wiggles in God’s house.  If you must leave with your child during the Mass, please be sure to come back!  We want both of you to be part of our church family celebration time.  Please encourage your child to sing, pray and join the spoken responses.  They can also worship by moving to the music or clapping.

To our Parishioners:  REMINDER, the way we welcome children in Church directly affects the way they respond to the Church, to God, to Christ and to one another.  The presence of children is a gift to the Church and they are a reminder that our parish is growing.  A smile of encouragement is always welcome to parents with small, active children!”

As adults, we often times think of our role as teachers and leaders of children; sometimes we forget that they are given to us as a gift and there are many ways in which they teach and lead us as well.  In fact, this is by God’s design.  Children are one way God reaches down to us to lead us to Himself. We can be grateful for the gift of children in our day; for the beautiful way they witness to us the Joy of the Gospel and the how their enthusiasm, sense of wonder and willingness to live fully in the moment is truly the way we are all called to live.  Often, children remind us of truths we have forgotten.  This Sunday, and every Sunday, let’s lift our hearts to God in gratitude for the gift of the children in our midst and let us welcome them as Jesus was welcomed by Simeon and Anna in the Temple.  Let us be generous in our gratitude and in our hospitality to them and to their parents who accompany them.

 

 

 

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

3 + 11 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr
(605) 209-3418