Starting Your Stewardship Council

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1 Starting Your Stewardship Council Mission of the Stewardship Council The Catholic Community of St. Luke the Evangelist We prayerfully believe we have a spiritual need to share our time, talent, and treasure with one another. It is our mission to ensure all parishioners have the opportunity to receive and respond to the calling of stewardship as a way of life. We share in the belief that Christ is in each of us, and that we must seek to recognize Him in our sisters and brothers by sharing our gifts with them. It is our calling to implement this mission based on God s Word.

2 Stewardship Prayer Most Gracious and giving Lord You have called us to follow Jesus, your Son, and have entrusted to us your kingdom on Earth and the bouty of your creation. Help us to use wisely all the blessings you pour out upon us. Make us good and faithful stewards of your many gifts. Grant us depth of faith and trust in you so that we may generously serve you in one another by fully sharing all that you allow us to have. May we always see the thins of this world as means proclaiming your glory by using them for the good of all. Bless us that we may return ten-fold the gifts entrusted to us, for our own good and the good of all your people. May we follow the example of Mary s faith in you by totally entrusting our hearts and lives into your loving hands, and come to share forever with one another the everlasting joys of your kingdom. We humbly ask these this things in the name of Jesus Christ, your son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you forever. Amen

3 GATHERING & INVITATION Invite a cross-section of parishioners : (request names from different groups in the parish) New, seasoned, young & senior parishioners Parish leadership, staff, Councils, etc Educational personnel If possible, find an parish leader/staff member who will commit to facilitate the organization, educational and discernment process of this committee (6 12 months) Prepare nice hospitality Start with a prayer service (Pastor must be involved) Speaker on the theology of Stewardship Invite an experienced Stewardship speaker (include personal and parish experience) Allow time for questions & answers Distribute take home handouts (include scripture readings; speaker s handouts, other info) Pastor request a simple commitment: To pray and discern if willing to invest time and talent to nurture Stewardship in the parish, if so Review handout materials Return in 2 weeks Be sure to give a contact name, phone # for any questions during the 2 week process (65 people attended our first meeting)

4 Two weeks later: Agenda Continued Discernment Prayer Brief review of information from the first meeting. Questions, comments Pastor: His expectations of stewardship in the parish His commitment as Pastor Why is a Stewardship Council needed? (education on God s Word on stewardship; direction on helping people use their God-given time, talents and treasure; support and encouragement to help people do stewardship as a way of life) Where he will need the most help. Group discussion: Review what has been happening in the parish with time/talent/treasure/prayer. How are we teaching or updating both our current and new parishioners as they register in our parish. Pastor/ Facilitator work to be done educational and spiritual journey Ask for continued prayer and discernment and Invite back in 2 weeks (20 people returned to second meeting) Two weeks later Getting Organized Have a formal agenda start with Prayer Explain educational process (first 4-6 months will be a study process) Outline of topics that will be covered during the study period of this ministry Time commitment (suggest meetings every two weeks) Ask for a commitment to this ministry hope for 8 to 10 people Includes commitment of prayer and mass attendance Those who can not commit ask to commit to prayer for the Council Handout of U. S. Bishop s Pastoral Letter (A Study and Reflection guide) ¹ and assign study section. Continue study process, meetings suggested every 2 weeks (15 people returned to 3rd meeting and 8/9 people committed to serve) ¹ U.S. Bishop s Pastoral Letter (a study and reflection guide) published by USCCB

5 EDUCATIONAL PROCESS Educational Materials U.S. Bishop s Pastoral Letter (a study and reflection guide) Scriptures Resources from the Diocese & other Review of Parish Vision and Mission Review Parish Concept of Giving Time spent in meetings for discussion and clarity to lay the basic foundation for the Council. The goal is: The Concept of Stewardship is clearly understood. All council members not only understand the meaning, but, believe in it as their faith response. They are willing to make a commitment and to serve as models for the community of how to apply the principles as a Way of Life. How does the Stewardship Council fit into overall life of the parish? Conduct A Parish Needs Assessment (Parish needs & dreams, possible Saturday workshop) Strategic planning, developed preliminary goals, Where do we start? What areas have the greatest needs? Start with one or two projects and increase as you go along Message must be communicated 17 times in order to be heard Communicate in a wide variety of ways, prayer service, website, bulletin, mailings, (Liturgy & Music and Hospitality in all areas of the parish St Luke) ² A Practical Document published by International Catholic Stewardship Council

6 Job Description of the Stewardship Council Members Be spiritually motivated individuals Be actively involved in the parish Exemplify stewardship by their own gifts of time, talent and treasure Have the ability to envision where stewardship can take the parish Be able to communicate well Be accountable Have good organizational skills Have a willingness to share their faith with others Generally represent and be knowledgeable of all the spiritual, educational and social ministries and activities within the parish guidelines: International Catholic Stewardship Council Other: Time limits and retreats * Drafted Vision & Mission for Stewardship Council Composed a Stewardship Prayer Establish basic responsibility to whom is this Council accountable? Plan an annual calendar (must include the annual renewal/recruitment of volunteers but stay with two/three projects to begin process) Develop a parish budget (printing, newsletters, time/talent booklet, brochures for the bulletin, cost for stewardship materials, annual renewal/recruitment event, hospitality in different areas, conference, speakers, etc. Meeting notes should be taken with copy going to staff secretary or other? (be sure notes are ed to all participants everyone must be updated on each study timeline) Parish awareness on Council study process and ask for prayers Keep parish updated by including blurbs of information from study period in the bulletin Invite members of staff/pastoral/finance Council to join you at any study meeting (just to learn) (Our Pastor chose a Director of the Council who would remain until a change was requested)

7 Continuing the study process Using the Stewardship, A Disciples Response Manual ² Establish Responsibilities of the Stewardship Council Nurturing stewardship education, as a way of life, in all areas of the parish. (stewardship awareness) Recognize, encourage and help parishioners utilize their God given talents to further God s kingdom. Carry out the annual Time, Talent & Treasure renewal/recruitment fair. Evaluate the annual stewardship renewal process. Specifically, review comments, criticisms and questions received with the time, talent and treasure forms and determine proper responses either by mail, phone or personal visits Carry out appropriate research on parish stewardship needs. Encourage hospitality in all areas of the parish. Work with the appropriate parish committees to develop programs for welcoming new parishioners, including a discussion on stewardship Assistance to the pastor and parish leadership in the overall design, implementation and evaluation for the parish stewardship process Host periodic stewardship presentations to parish leadership explaining stewardship in general, the parish renewal process and the importance of stewardship in the parish community Publicize stewardship reflections throughout the year in the parish bulletin or newsletter Work with pastor and parish finance committee in providing regular and appropriate communications to parishioners about their stewardship commitment and how those commitments are benefiting the parish community Other responsibilities as assigned by the parish pastor. guidelines: International Catholic Stewardship Council (At St Luke this stewardship body was designated as a Council to work in collaboration with the Finance & Pastoral Councils) Establish Role of the Pastor Role of Stewardship Director Role of Parish Leaders, clergy & staff (see Stewardship A Disciples Response (A Practical Guide for Pastoral Leaders)²

8 Introducing Stewardship in the Parish Clergy staff include in homilies (use the word Stewards & Stewardship) Include stewardship related prayers of the Faithful in Sunday masses Weekly bulletin reflections Introduce Council members to parish at all masses Stewardship literature in all parish buildings Prepare and mail parish newsletter stewardship articles, good stewards, etc. Conduct a Gifts Discernment Workshop for the parish * Prepare a Ministry time & talent Information booklet Do Lay Witness testimonies (train and help prepare) * Plan & execute the annual renewal & recruitment of volunteers Publish Council s annual goals Stewardship Education Pastoral & Finance Councils Annual Parish Leaders workshops Work with Liturgy to incorporate concepts of Stewardship in homilies, music, parish intentions, prayers, etc. Work with Faith formation staff to insure stewardship is a component of curriculum Stewardship presentations at baptismal classes, RCIA, New parishioners welcoming & any other presentations, meetings, etc. where appropriate Annual Report card evaluate parish stewardship efforts Offer to send staff, Council members, others to Stewardship workshops, conference, etc

9 The Stewardship Council of St Luke the Evangelist St Luke Stewardship Council was started in An parish leader committed to facilitate the educational and discernment process of future members for the Stewardship Committee (or Council). Director of Stewardship volunteer position and considered part of parish staff 10 to 12 members Members of the Council are a cross section of the parish from new parishioners, original parish founders and others; have a variety of gifts, not overly involved in other ministries Ministry Fair Committee ( people) includes a Kick-off Event Consultants in different areas of talents who are invited to Council meetings on occasion to hear where/what the Council is working on and get their ideas/comments. Meetings are held monthly or as needed basis. (during Ministry Fair & Leaders Workshop often) Clerical and other helpers for mailings, copies, Leaders workshop, etc St Luke s Council s responsibilities include: Plan and conduct the annual Recruitment & Renewal of Volunteers (6 week educational series) Invite and prepare people to do lay witness testimonies for Volunteer s event Plan and facilitate the Annual Parish Leaders Workshop (80 to 100 people attend) Maintain Stewardship Awareness in the parish, (brochures in all parish areas; a weekly Stewardship Corner in the bulletin; Quarterly Parish Newsletter, etc) Work with Faith Formation and Liturgy to be sure a Stewardship component is present in all areas Stewardship reflections included on Mission week Maintain communications with all ministry Leaders ( group) to keep them informed of parish updates and help with their needs. (generic ministry brochures, flyers, etc) Provide leaders with Leaders Parish Manual Work with the Hospitality groups and the Welcoming Committee on Orientation of New Parishioners St Luke welcoming procedure New parishioners register on the 3rd Sunday of the month and at that time they hear our parish story, lay witness testimony, receive their welcoming packet and the a gift of a bible. Work with parish Webmaster to make sure information is update Interview and help develop parish volunteers Assist with Appreciation Day for volunteers Do presentations at the Baptismal classes, RCIA, Early Childhood classes, Boy Scouts, etc. Support Pastor on workshops, presentations, etc Council members day of prayer and reflection and socialize on a quarterly basis Rest in after Nov. 15th and return first week in January

10 Parish Stewardship Review This review will help in your Stewardship efforts. Is your parish spiritually strong? Are you pleased with Mass attendance? Do a fair number of parishioners participate in spiritual enrichment activities small faith communities, adult faith programs, etc? Do parishioners show a willingness to spend time with God through Eucharistic Adoration, weekday mass, parish missions, personal prayer, etc.? Is there annual parish mission, spiritual workshops? Do parishioners have a sense of ownership in the parish? Do parishioners feel a sense of belonging to the parish? Do parishioners really feel that the parish belongs to all of them? Are all parishioners included in or advised of parish needs assessment? Do parishioners feel invited to share their thoughts, comments and suggestions? Are the accomplishments of the parish adequately promoted thus encouraging a sense of pride in the parish? Is there a Parish Vision that has been formulated through broad-based input? Is there a Parish Strategic Plan making your parish proactive rather than reactive? Are all parishioners aware of the goals that are a part of this plan? Parish Services Are there parish activities available for everyone including the elderly, the handicapped, the single, those without children and the young adults? Are the leaders of your ministries encouraged to make all newcomers feel welcomed and do they encourage new input and ideas? Are welcoming activities and processes in place, including a warm and convenient registration process, welcoming packets and invitations to welcoming events? Are parish leaders willing to ask, invite and challenge different people to get involved rather than always relying on the same people all the time? Are attempts made to reach out to those who are not actively involved? Parish Outreach Is there an active social service ministry with adequate opportunities for all interested parishioners to participate? Is the mission work of the parish adequately publicized so parishioners do see that they are investing in God s work and not jut in the maintenance of a private club for the parishioners? Do parishioners understand that a parish exists to help them serve God or do they think the parish exists to serve them? Do the parish leaders also understand this? Parish Information Is your database up to date so that parishioner mail is properly addressed ( )? Do you have the correct first name salutations as part of your database? Is there open accounting of parish activities and plans including a comprehensive annual report and regular comments in the bulletin about parish business and management?

11 Stewardship Resources United States Conference of Catholic Bishops International Catholic Stewardship Council Our Sunday Visitor GraceinActionCatholicStewardship/WhatIsCatholicStewardship/tabid/235/Default.aspx Institute of School and Parish Development Diocese of Rockford (Stewardship A Disciples Response on line) & Stewardship Scripture References Catholic Update St Thomas More Catholic Church Diocese of Austin Diocese of Green Bay Little Books (burgundy, white, etc distributed by the Diocese of Saginaw Mi Apple Seeds Crossroads Initiative library_article/238/stewardship.html

12 11011 Hall Rd Houston Tx Honored by the International Catholic Stewardship Council with the Award 2004 Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy Stewardship Parish of the Year Coni Perez, Director of Stewardship is more rewarding to find someone in the parish to do a task or to train a willing someone to take up a task or position of leadership. This process of putting the parish in the hands of the people invests them with a sense of belonging, of ownership, of responsibility, and genuine concern for the welfare of the parish.

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