It’s time for our Annual Stewardship Renewal. This year, our theme is Stewardship Starts at Home. Regardless of the size of your domestic church, is your home welcoming? Is there a dedicated prayer space in your house? Are you setting aside time in your home to be further formed in our Catholic faith? Do your family members exercise acts of service for each other (big and small)? Just as the Church proposes a time of spiritual renewal each Lent, we believe in the importance of a yearly examination of commitment. As you grow closer to the Lord each year, that growth may lead you to be interested in using your time, talent, and treasure differently. The following Q&A about our Stewardship Renewal should help you discern your commitments this year.
I feel like my life is already too busy with family and work obligations. I barely even have time to relax. How can I possibly share my time and talents with my parish?
We all have many obligations to our families, jobs, schools, and other endeavors. But we also all have the same number of hours in the day with which to accomplish these things. The issue is not how much time we have, but how we prioritize that time.
Before you fill out your Commitment Card, take some time to reflect on your priorities, and where God fits into your day-to-day life. Remember, living as true stewards of God’s gifts involves giving back the first fruits of what He has given to us in thanksgiving, not the “leftovers.”
I am happy with my current level of parish participation. Why do I need to keep filling out a Commitment Card every year?
As part of the renewal process, we must consider our current level of participation in parish life. Sometimes, the call to stewardship involves the quality of service in addition to its quantity. In looking through the opportunities for ministry, you may find yourself drawn to a new ministry you haven’t tried before or new ways to share of your time with God to enrich and enlighten your prayer life. So, even though your current level of parish participation might not change drastically, how you participate may evolve as you grow in living the stewardship way of life. Even if you end up continuing to participate in the same ministries as you have in the past, marking and turning in a Commitment Card means you have reviewed your present ministries and recommitted yourself to them.
I’m not very active in the Church and, frankly, feel like it may be too late to get involved. Why should I fill out a Commitment Card?
It’s never too late to renew your faith life, and filling out a Commitment Card is a simple step through which you can immediately re-enter the life of the parish. Our parish community is not here to judge you but to welcome and nourish you in your faith journey. Begin by checking the box that says, “Attend weekly Mass and Holy Days of Obligation,” and take some time to discern additional ways in which God is calling you from that starting point.
I’m physically unable to attend Mass or be active in parish life. Is there any reason for me to submit a Commitment Card?
Of course! There are talent ministries you can do right from your home, such as Prayer Partner, Comfort Cards, Prayer Line, Ranger Rosary, Prayer Shawls, etc. And, your prayers are just as important to the success of our parish community in carrying out its mission as ministry participation and financial contributions, so don’t miss the “Stewardship of Time” section of the Commitment Card and take a step towards growing in your relationship with Christ and His Church.
I’m reluctant to make a financial pledge for the year in case my circumstances change and I’m unable to fulfill it. Should I?
Your Commitment Card is not a legally binding contract; it is a pledge of intentions. Make your pledge based on what you are setting out to do to give back to God and do your best to fulfill that pledge. If your financial circumstances change, your gift will likely change, as well, but it is still important to prioritize God first. Nobody is going to send the bill collector to your house if you can’t fulfill your pledge due to a change in your financial situation! But we’ve all got to start somewhere, and we must begin our commitment by writing down our goals for giving back of our gifts to God.
I’ve expressed interest in a ministry in the past by filling out a Commitment Card, but nobody from the parish ever followed up with me about it.
While we do our best to consistently follow up with everyone who has shown interest in the opportunities for ministry, we are human, and we sometimes fall short in our follow-up. If this has happened to you in the past, we sincerely apologize, and we encourage you to renew your interest in any activities in which you might like to participate by filling out a Commitment Card this year. Every year, we go into the renewal to make sure that everyone who has expressed interest is contacted with more information, and we will do so again this year.
I don’t agree with everything that goes on at my parish. I feel like when I fill out a Commitment Card, it condones the things I disagree with.
In filling out a Commitment Card, you are not making a pledge between yourself and your parish; you are pledging yourself and God. Disagreements occur in life. This is a part of being human, and we respect the opinions of every member of our parish family. But it is of utmost importance that each of us fulfills our discipleship of Christ by growing in our relationship with Him and utilizing the gifts He has given us to carry out His mission on Earth, regardless of disagreements or misunderstandings. Beyond helping the parish, filling out a Commitment Card expresses a devotion to spiritual growth and a strong belief in the Catholic faith.