Service: At the Core of the Gospel
At the very heart of Christian stewardship is the act of service.
“Mature disciples make a conscious, firm decision, carried out in action, to be followers of Jesus Christ no matter the cost to themselves. Beginning in conversion, change of mind and heart, this commitment is expressed not in a single action nor even in a number of actions over a period of time, but in an entire way of life. It means committing one’s self to the Lord.” (Stewardship – A Disciple’s Response, U. S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship)
A stewardship parish seeks to be that common faith community within which parishioners are invited and have the opportunity to serve and be served, giving, receiving and sharing their God-given giftedness. It is through the pillar of Stewardship and service at the parish (or broader community level) that a Christian steward is provided the opportunity to respond, in action, to his/her call to discipleship individually and/or collectively.
It is therefore the role of the parish staff, the stewardship council and the many ministry leaders to be attentive to the needs of parishioners, and in turn to provide the opportunity for them to respond in gratitude and action in recognition of the gifts they have received. As such, parishioners and visitors are afforded the opportunity to discover their personality strengths through Gallup’s “Living Your Strengths” program and the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment.
We encourage parishioners to “try out” different ministries through our First-Serve opportunities. Look for these in our weekly “Connection” email newsletter and on our social media sites.
“We are called to prepare for the coming of our Lord. We are called to reform our lives and live out the gospel message.
All are a call for action.
How do we move from observing to participating? My opportunity was presented to me through music. I began my walk on the path of service because I was asked. Although I had been singing professionally, it hadn’t occurred to me to offer my services, because I was busy, I was young, I didn’t know that many people – until I was asked to sing for the Easter mass at a small church in Colorado.
It was the beginning of a change-of-life focus and a path to enrichment for me, and now, my children. In service to others, we have become more aware of the needs around us. Our commitments within our family, church and community have strengthened and increased. It is not always easy to find the time or the energy to participate and the distractions are many so we prioritize to ensure our involvement. If something tugs at your heart or there is a door of opportunity for service, will you walk through it? God presents the opportunities for us all to participate and touch each other’s lives as simply or as boldly as we choose.
In this season of renewed attentiveness to listen for God’s calling, my prayer is for us all to hear and see our opportunities to serve and respond graciously with action.”Kristin Ourso