OPEN OUR HEARTS IN STEWARDSHIP
WHAT IS STEWARDSHIP?
Stewardship asks us to recognize the gifts and talents with which God has blessed us.
Stewardship invites us to use the gifts and talents with which God has blessed us according to God’s will.
Stewardship challenges us to share our time, talent and treasure beyond what we believe we can do in order to grow as God desires.
What Stewardship Means to Me by Sheryl Lifka
There is a station of the cross dedicated to Simon. The 5th Station: Simon carries the cross for Jesus. We know nothing about Simon. We don’t know his story. And that is the point. It is not about him and more importantly, it isn’t about me or you. Jesus is the one who carried the cross. The cross He carried is our sins, our struggles. Jesus came NOT to be served, but to serve (Mark 11:45). Jesus came into our world not just to serve us, but to save us from our sins, our struggles and selfishness. Stewardship is a reminder of all that we have been GIVEN. Looking at the cross and at our Savior’s willingness to carry it, how can we not be like Simon and jump in to help carry it? Stewardship is simple. Stewardship is looking at our gifts, looking at our blessings, recognizing our sins, realizing our struggles and shortcomings and saying to Jesus, “Thank you”. Then, with gratitude, reaching out your hands to the cross, lifting it to your shoulder and telling Jesus, “I came to serve too…. And I will help You carry the crosses of others”. It is simple- Be Simon. To me, THAT is what stewardship is all about.
A reflection from Julie Cohen, Development Director
Stewardship is for Everyone!
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34
When I was young, I remember many dinners when the phone would ring just as my sisters and I were sitting down at the table. My Dad would jump at the opportunity to let the pesky solicitor know that we were eating dinner and there was no need to call back because we give to our church. “And take our name off of your list,” he would add before hanging up and settling in to eat.
I am sure many of you can recall phone calls like this. One time I asked Dad why he always said no to these callers. Mom chimed in, “We give to St. James. St. James gives to charities and St. James in and of itself is a charity. By giving to St. James we support what happens at St. James and we support that guy who just called.” To me that seemed very practical and efficient, and it made sense. To be fair my parents bought from the neighborhood cookie sellers, purchased Entertainment books from high-school sports participants, and donated to many a marathon race-runner. But the largest donation dollars always went, and are still given this day, to St. James.
Fr. Matt has given multiple homilies about the topic of making St. James your charity. He makes it very clear: If you decide that St. James is your anchor, you can financially invest and reinvest in a unique faith/life experience that will grow with you and your family far into the future. Moreover, by choosing St. James as your charity you are helping other families in addition to your own, which is the very nature of community building. Deciding that St. James is your charity is a win-win for everybody.
During this stewardship weekend we are reminded that God’s blessings must be returned to him as a thank you. We cannot always take—we must give back. So not only are we asked to support with our treasure, such as making St. James your charity, but we are asked to give time and talent as well. Time, talent and treasure are the three building blocks of a dynamic Catholic church. And it is with 110% confidence that I can attest to how well we do this at St. James. With over 80 ministries served by our parishioners, St. James overflows with good stewards who give with incredible energy and dedication. The spirit of stewardship here is truly God-given and for that we can all be thankful!
All my very best,
Julie Cohen, Development Director