Pope Francis provides us a new language that speaks to our modern world, yet the call to stewardship is an ancient as the Scriptures themselves. The encouragement that we live as stewards was first given to us in the book of Genesis, where describes how God created everything and God called it good. When God created us, God called it very good! Below are brief descriptions of stewardship as a way of life, a life of a disciple of Jesus the Christ. (Christ is a title)
Stewardship of Time and Talents: Jesus meets the need of each disciple. They are fearful in the upper room. He speaks words of peace, they are filled with joy. Central
characteristic of discipleship: Gratitude.
Cultivate a relationship with God:
Because God wants us to be happy by sharing in God’s divine life, God installs in us a desire for him/her. Our desire to grow in intimacy with God’s Spirit in us that urges us to accept this invitation. Put in another way, as stewards, we need to find God in everyday life through prayer that includes regular celebration of the Eucharist (Mass). Our love of God in prayer flows into our everyday life. God wants us to share our time, talents and treasure to manifest God’s love in our world today.
Reach out to people in need:
"Stewardship” . . . it means “protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need,” and the forgotten. “Loving our neighbor is inexorably linked to loving God.”
Respect and protect all of creation:
“It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as St. Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live.
Work of serving and protecting:
We accept Jesus’ challenge: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do.” With family, friends, strangers, and the forgotten, we follow Jesus’ example of feeding the hunger, caring for the sick, befriended the stranger and the outcast, and caring for children. We are called to do powerful work of the Lord.
To give hope:
In the Our Father, we pray, “Give us our daily bread.” “We are asking for the whole world. We can enter into a new age of hope for our world when we embrace the challenge to be good stewards. Pope Francis calls us to be a stewardship of hope. He calls us to care more deeply, to give more generously, and to love more tenderly. We have God’s presence and action within us to make a difference in our parish, our communities, indeed our world, when we heed the call of good stewardship” (Excepts from Pope Francis homily, March 19, 2013 and Our Sunday Visitor Brochure entitled: Pope Francis- A New Call to Stewardship)
Stewardship of Time
Time can be viewed broadly how we spend our time with family, staying healthily, leisure, volunteering and prayer. Or more narrowly, time that focuses on fostering our spiritual lives through worship and prayer practices.
Stewardship of Talents
At St. Francis of Assisi we started a ministry we call “living your strengths”. We offer this service so that you can do what you do best. Since this ministry started in 2009, 400 adults and youth have discovered their top five strengths. And, they are the better for it.
Living Your Strengths is a Gallup-based program that teaches you to identify and affirm your talents. More importantly, living your strengths enables you to use your God-given gifts to enrich your own life and inspire others.
What is Strength? “A strength is an innate trait that gives you the ability to provide consistent, near-perfect performance in a given activity. This ability is a powerful, productive combination of talent, skill and knowledge. Talents are naturally occurring patterns of thought, feeling and behavior that can be productively applied. Unlike skills and knowledge, talents naturally exist within you and cannot be acquired. They are your inborn predispositions. They are things that you do instinctively and that naturally give you satisfaction. You will be most successful in whatever you do by building your life around your greatest natural abilities.” Living Your Strengths, Winseman, Clifton and Liesveld, 2008
The Clifton Strengths Finder, an online talent assessment, will reveal your top 5 strengths from among 34 identified traits. Your top 5 strengths are the unique code to the person God created you to be.
Your calling is what God wants you to do with your life; your talents and strengths determine how you will get it done
Stewardship of Treasure:
Jesus deals with money and processions more than any other topic. Our attitudes about money are often shaped at a very early age. For many of us, money represents more than purchasing power. Especially in our culture, that basically says “you’re on your own” Money often has significant emotional impact on our lives for status, power (having choices) and security. These are powerful needs that can undo the best of good intentions to share with others our treasure.
St. Francis of Assisi faith community is very generous with their treasure as evidence in multi-ministries, outreach programs and services and a thieving school. Gratefully, the parish accepts these financial resources to meet the needs of our parish community and beyond our faith community such as our Sister Parish.
In addition to our parish, St. Francis supports the Annual Catholic Appeal, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Sister Parish, Catholic Community Services, and many other charitable efforts to serve the needs of others.
The parish offers and encourages families to sign up for “Online Giving”
Stewardship of Time
Stewardship of Talent
Stewardship of Treasure
In the Gospel (John 21:17) Jesus tells Peter again and again, “Do you love Me?", "Feed my sheep.” He says the same to each of us. “If you love Me, use the talents I have
given you to serve your brothers and sisters.