Continuing our Stewardship season, this time of gratitude and generosity, we welcome Dave Baranowski, Director of Parish Stewardship for the Archdiocese of St. Louis to St. Margaret of Scotland this weekend. Dave will be speaking at all the Masses, teaching us about what Stewardship means and challenging us to put Stewardship into practice by being more grateful and generous. Welcome, Dave!
There is much planned during Stewardship season! In the coming weeks, you will be asked to make a renewed financial pledge through the Increased Offertory program. We will also encourage name tags and introductions at Mass so we grow as a community. Next month, you will be asked to renew your participation in our parish ministries and organizations. There have been some wonderful reflections on Stewardship in the bulletin by faithful St. Margaret parishioners, and next week, other parishioners will reflect on Stewardship at the Sunday Masses. I hope that each of you is taking some time these days to reflect and pray about your own Stewardship, how God is calling you to be grateful for the many gifts you have received, and generous in sharing those gifts with others.
To that end, here are some things to think and pray about in the coming weeks…
How is your attendance and participation at Sunday Mass? The Eucharist is the most important thing we do as Catholics and at St. Margaret of Scotland, so every reflection on Stewardship must begin with the Eucharist. Do you come every Sunday, or is Mass not a priority? Do you come on time? Do you show full, active, and conscious participation by responding, singing, and being with others?
Are you an active and generous financial giver to the parish? Each of us is responsible for the upkeep and support of our parish, yet only 30% of our parishioners are active givers. Imagine what we could do if everyone gave something! I encourage all our parishioners to plan their giving. Look at your finances, consider your budget, and make a plan. Studies show that Catholics give less than 1% of their income to the Church, yet Scripture tells us that a tithe is 10%! Can you increase your giving by a percentage or two? Do you use electronic giving for its convenience and ease? Have you remembered St. Margaret of Scotland in your will?
How are you nourishing your spiritual life? Every Christian should spend time in prayer, fostering spiritual growth. Can you come to daily Mass or Eucharistic Adoration? If you are teenager or young adult, how about Bible study? How about reading the Bible, or the lives of the saints, or some other spiritual reading?
What are you doing for others? Every Christian should strive to serve others, after the example and command of Christ. Can you serve at the Mass as a lector or minister of Holy Communion or choir member? Can you be part of our Living Justice ministries, our St. Vincent de Paul Society, or our Respect Life Group? Are you called to serve on the Finance Council or the School Board? Can you help with Coffee and Donuts? How are you involved in the life of this parish?
I think those are four things that mark a sincere and committed Catholic: attending Sunday Mass; financially supporting the parish; nourishing one’s own spiritual life; and being of service to others. How are you doing? What is God calling you to do? This week, pray to be more grateful and generous, and listen to what God is asking of you.