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!

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CHANCERY OFFICE

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Rapid City, SD 57701
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Rapid City, SD 57702
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Practical Ways to Live out Stewardship

Practical Ways to Live out Stewardship

A Christian Steward commits to developing certain attitudes and has a particular way of looking at the world. For instance, a steward recognizes that God is the owner of all things, they practice gratitude and generosity. The are growing in trust in God and committed to deepening their relationship with him. But what are some practical things stewards do as a consequence of their beliefs? Here are just a few:

  • Stewards own things. Things don’t own them. They take care of the wealth God has entrusted them with and put them at God’s disposal. They are detached enough to receive and give freely. They do not hoard. They do not put their security in the accumulation of wealth, but trust in God. They have clarity about what are needs and what are wants. They are thoughtful and intentional in managing their gifts. They give to God and others, not just what is “left over”, but measure their own needs and the needs of others together.
  • Stewards aren’t swept away in a current of “busyness”. They are the owners of their time and make intentional choices about how to spend their time.
  • Stewards make intentional choices to “keep the main thing the main thing.” And for stewards the main things are people and relationships; giving time and resources to God, family and other people God has put into their lives.
  • Stewards are people of prayer; regular, planned and consistent time given to God.
  • Stewards are people of generous hospitality, welcoming and inviting, giving generously of themselves to others.
  • Stewards know that their natural talents and gifts have been given to them, not just for themselves, but to be used for the benefit of others. They are generous in sharing these gifts. They also desire to know and use the supernatural charisms given to them by the Holy Spirit to help build His kingdom.

 

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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.

 

12 + 5 =

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

A Christian Steward Trusts

A Christian Steward Trusts

Last Sunday was Divine Mercy Sunday and I have my Divine Mercy image in a prominent place with it’s gentle reminder, “Jesus, I trust in You” both challenging and comforting me this week. The day before yesterday the talented team assisting my office with the update to our web page and the creation of a new set of education resources were discussing some of the core attitudes of a Steward. I mentioned trust. A Christian Steward receives God’s gifts gratefully and in order to be open to receiving gifts one has to trust the Giver. Therefore, trust is fundamental. This was my argument.. A team member said, “It seems to me that trust comes more on the back end than on the front end. I would say that trust is an attribute of a Dedicated Disciple.” So the interesting question raised is:

Do we become Dedicated Disciples and then grow in our trust of the Lord?

— OR —

Do we trust in God and then grow to become his Dedicated Disciples?

And to that I would say, “Yes.” The answer to both questions is “Yes.” It isn’t really an either/or question. Rather, like so many other things in Christianity, it is a both/and. One of the fundamental effects of Original Sin is an almost innate mistrust of God. Like Eve, we hear the whisper of the Evil One saying, “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the Garden?” (Gen 3:1) In other words, “God can’t be trusted. He isn’t telling you the truth. He’s holding out on you.” We are all subject to this whisper. And I believe the enemy is persistent, both at the beginning of our journey of faith and later. The whisper continues. And so does our battle against it.

The beautiful message of Divine Mercy is necessary, good, and true both at the beginning, , and as we grow in stewardship; both a necessary belief at the outset that gives us a reason to yes to Jesus’ invitation to be his disciple and a virtue we deepen and strengthen as our experience of the great love of God grows with the passage of time. “Jesus I trust in You!” is a good message for beginners and dedicated disciples alike.

We’re here to help

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

 

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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

Stewardship is Much More than a $ Sign!

Stewardship is Much More than a $ Sign!

It is said about St. John the Evangelist that at the end of his life, as a very old man (he was the only one of the 12 apostles that was not martyred and lived to a very advanced age), that he used to always say the same thing to the faithful: “My children, love one another!”  According to St. Jerome, he was once asked why he insisted on this and he replied, “Because it is the Lord’s commandment, and if you keep just this commandment, it will suffice.”

This is a good reminder to me of the importance of repeating often the most basic principles and beliefs which govern the Christian life.  I have recently found myself often repeating the importance of this slide which was used often when the Stewardship initiative was first introduced.  Even after many years, this is still a new insight to many.  I find that I still receive positive nods of the head when I say, “Oftentimes when we hear the word Stewardship the first thing that comes to our minds is a dollar sign.”

 

In the spirit of St. John’s example, 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 guides 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.  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?

Next week at this time we will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  Americans set aside one day a year to be thankful.  Christian stewards cultivate gratitude daily.  Can you commit to thanking God for at least five blessings each day and write them down or share them with a  loved one?  As the experience of best selling author Ann Voskamp* attests to, doing so can transform your life and it plants you firmly on the road to Living A Catholic Way of Life.

*One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp

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)

 

Living this Catholic Way of Life

Looking to deepen your practice of one of the four Stewardship Pillars? Click the image of the one below to find the best of our blogs and resources for each pillar.