Principles of Christian Stewardship
The 1992 American Bishop’s Pastoral Letter, titled Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, defines a Christian Steward as someone who:
“receives God’s gifts gratefully,
cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner,
shares them in justice and love with others,
and returns them with increase to the Lord.”
The theology of stewardship includes these basic principles:
- All that we are and all that we have truly is a gift from a loving and generous God.
- We are stewards or trustees – not owners – of these gifts.
- We are accountable to God for how we use our gifts.
- Stewardship is a response to the call to be Christian disciples.
- Stewardship is a way of life – it is not a program.
- Stewardship development or cultivation is a life long process.
- Stewardship is an attitude of mind and heard that is carried out in action.
- Christian stewards operate out of love and gratitude, not just duty and fear.
- The stewardship attitude permeates all aspects of life, including all areas of parish life.
- A commitment to Stewardship begins with a conversion of heart.
- A positive relationship with God and with the parish community prepares the way for the Holy Spirit to convert hearts to Stewardship.
- A conversion of heart flows from faith development, prayer, stewardship education and the witness of others.
- While stewardship is not a program, we can help people act on their new attitude with programs and activities that facilitate Stewardship of faith (evangelization), time (for God and loved ones), talents (for ministry and social justice), and treasure (for the Church, the poor and other causes).
- We are also called to be stewards of our personal vocations, stewards of the Gospel and Christ’s Church, and stewards of the earth – caretakers of the environment.
- Stewardship requires intentional (a deliberate decision), planned (annual budgeting), proportionate (a percentage) giving of our time, talent and treasure.
Christ has no body now but ours, no hands but ours
Here on this earth ours is the work, to serve with the joy of compassion
Christ has no hands but ours to heal the wounded world,
no hands but ours to soothe all its suffering,
no touch but ours to bind the broken hope of the people of God
No eyes but ours to see as Christ would see,
to find the lost, to gaze with compassion;
No eyes but ours to glimpse the Holy Joy of the city of God
No feet but ours to journey with the poor,
to walk this world with mercy and justice
Ours are the steps to build a lasting peace for the children of God
Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
GLOBAL STEWARDSHIP - Help the world one step at a time
Stewardship is a trust from God, which includes all creation and the human cultures built from it. This especially implies promoting just relationships among humans, and with creation. Global Stewardship is crucial for the developing world, where poverty often leaves people without land, food or health.Greed, violence and disease are fed by inequity, apathy and ignorance, which recognize no boundaries. When abject poverty exists next to unimaginable wealth, it is a sin. As Christians, we seek to commit ourselves to the relief of suffering and address its causes.
PERSONAL STEWARDSHIP – GROWING IN FAITH
Every day we make choices without considering the implications for ourselves and our world. How do we care for ourselves? Do we take time for personal rest, prayer and reflection? Have we considered how best to use our God given gifts to make a difference in the world?
Simple choices we make every day may perpetuate substandard living in another part of the world. Where do we shop? What do we buy? What do we drive? Where and what do we eat? As Christians and as responsible world citizens, we must first care for ourselves and also make everyday choices based on more than self-interest. We must recognize that, as individuals, families and communities, we will either contribute to the problem or pledge our efforts to the solution.
STEWARDSHIP OF GIFTS
All that we have and all that we are comes from God. That includes our interests, talents, skills and abilities. Each day that we live we gain experiences unique to us. Stewardship of Gifts refers to how we employ all of this richness to strengthen our community of faithWe are called to prayerfully reflect upon the gifts God has given us and how we might best use them for God’s honor and glory and our neighbor’s good.
Your financial support makes it possible for the Mount Saint Peter Parish to continue to:
be a welcoming community of faith,
provide quality liturgies,
educate our youth,
feed the hungry in our community,
fight against social injustice,
maintain the beautiful facilities built by those who have gone before us
Giving a financial gift is your way of saying, “Yes, I have committed whole-heartedly to the mission of Jesus Christ at Mount Saint Peter Parish.”