Stewardship is an important concept for our spiritual growth as Catholics. It is based on the understanding that all we have and all we are is a gift from God -- our time, our talent, our treasure, and even the gift of life itself.
We show our gratitude for these gifts by returning a portion of what we have been given back to God.
Giving significantly to God and our parish community requires a bit of soul searching about the priorities in our lives. The process can require some tough choices about our lifestyles and budget, but the results can be life changing. Stewardship opens a new avenue of thought that allows us to give without questioning what we will get in return. We become better people, more generous, less fearful, more loving and more faith filled.
God is continually presenting us with new opportunities to expand our giving capacity.
Spending time with God in prayer is part of our baptismal call. A prayer life steeped in a sense of gratitude for all that we are and all that we have is a wonderful gift to share with our family, friends and parish. We invite you to participate in the many personal and community prayer opportunities at St. Barnabas.
God has given each of us the ability and gifts to do certain things well. If we give ourselves to God and let Him use our talents to serve others, we will be amazed by the results. Not only will our lives be changed, but so will the lives of others. We are blessed with many wonderful and vibrant ministries at St. Barnabas. We invite you to reflect on the individual talents and skills that God has given you and consider sharing these gifts with your parish community.
Stewardship allows us to thoughtfully plan what portion of our income we can share with God. It does not leave giving to chance. In doing so, we develop a strong sense of God's providence and our faith is deepened. The amount of your financial gift is not as important as the act of discerning what you can reasonably return to God in gratitude for all you have been given. By declaring your intentions for financial giving with your parish each year, you help us plan responsibly for the growth of our ministries.
My parish is composed of people like me. I help make it what it is. It will be friendly, if I am. It will be holy, if I am. Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them. It will do great work, if I work. It will be prayerful, if I pray. It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver. It will bring others to worship, if I invite and bring them. It will be a parish of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith, of compassion, charity, and mercy, if, I, who make it what it is, am filled with these same things. Therefore, with the help of God, I now dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want my parish to be. Amen.