What is the ultimate mission of the Church? And as a parish of 5,900 families, how do we fulfill that mission along with over one billion Catholics around the world?
Very simply, the Church’s mission is to bring people into a loving relationship with God and each other. At St. Martha, we emphasize stewardship because we believe every single member of our parish has unique gifts to contribute to this mission. Thus when you place your gift in the offertory basket, you’re not just helping to pay the power bill, but truly building the
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Our parish is no ordinary human community. We’re truly on a mission from God! By embracing stewardship as a way of life, our parish goals are:
• To grow closer to Christ and each other by putting our faith into action.
• To be a parish whose members are noticeably committed to a lifestyle of prayer, service, and generous financial giving.
• To promote a universal understanding of stewardship among all parishioners.
• To have the majority of parish households make written stewardship commitments each year.
Stewardship of Time
It is tempting to think that giving money to the church is the most difficult part of stewardship. For most of us, however, time is our most precious commodity. And while it is common to remark, “She has more time than I do,” the reality is that all of us have the same amount of time: 24 hours each day and seven days each week. It is how we choose to spend our time that differs.
At St. Martha, we encourage one another to be good stewards of our time, especially when it comes to spending time in prayer. Of course, all Catholics are obligated to attend Sunday Mass. In addition, every Catholic adult should be striving to set aside time each day to pray—by yourself, with your spouse, and with your family. Your Commitment Card offers several suggestions for making prayer a regular part of your life.
Action Steps for Spiritual Growth
• Make Mass your top priority on Sunday
• Schedule time for daily prayer
• Pray together with family and loved ones
Stewardship of Talent
At the end of Mass, the deacon or priest says, “The Mass is ended, go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” The implication is that Mass is only the beginning; being an active Catholic isn’t fulfilled with our one-hour Sunday obligation. Instead, we are told to “go forth” and bring Christ to our city and in our world.
St. Martha has over 100 different ministries, full of people ministering to children, adults, and the poor. Whether your talents are for cooking or organizing – or anything in between – there is a ministry that needs your help. Our parish simply isn’t the same without your involvement. Mass is only the beginning! Let’s continue to “go forth” to serve God and each other.
Action Steps to Increase Your Involvement
• Pray for Guidance
• Get to know and understand your talents (for more info on talents check out the Living Your Strengths
tab on the right under Section Navigation)
• Choose to either recommit to your current parish ministries or choose a new ministry to join.
• Train your children to serve in the Church
Stewardship of Treasure
Stewardship isn’t all about money, but it does have a financial component—and we shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about it. After all, Jesus asks us to give Him our hearts; why should it be harder to give Him our dollars?
St. Martha has a history of excellent financial stewardship, but many of us still need to work on living up to the scriptural tithe. Parish members are asked to give half of the tithe five percent of your income to our normal weekly offertory. Review your finances and challenge yourself are you giving to God in proportion to how He has blessed you?
Action Steps for Financial Generosity
• Commit to a specific gift each week or month
• Strive to give 5% to weekly offertory
• Strive to give 2 ½% to parish Capital Campaign, “Honoring our Past, Envisioning our Future,” and 2 ½% to the archdiocese and other charities.
Why do we emphasize stewardship at St. Martha? The answer is quite simple: it is a practical way to check up on our relationship with God as disciples of Jesus. Stewardship also draws us closer together in our common mission and helps create a more vital community of faith. And why do we ask our parishioners to fill out a Commitment Card every year?
• Because we are more likely to fulfill our commitments when we write them down
• Because we need to reevaluate our role in the parish every year
• Because when our financial situation changes, our offertory gifts should change too
• Because we want to express our dedication to our parish community, which is our spiritual home
A Stewardship Prayer
Lord, You alone are the source of every good gift, of the vast array of our universe, and the mystery of each human life. We praise You and we thank You for Your great power and Your tender, faithful love. Everything we are and everything we have is Your gift, and after having created us, You have given us into the keeping of Your Son,
Fill our minds with His truth and our hearts with His love, that in His Spirit we may be bonded together into a community of faithful, caring people.
In the Name and Spirit of Jesus, we commit ourselves to be good stewards of the gifts entrusted to us, to share our time, our talent and our material gifts as an outward sign of the Treasure we hold in Jesus.