Dear Friends in Christ,
Stewardship is the grateful response of a Christian disciple who recognizes and receives God’s gifts, and shares these gifts in love of God and neighbor. That said, I want to commend the good stewards of Our Lady of the Assumption – faithful and committed parishioners, dedicated parish leaders, and devoted staff.
Our lives are filled with Grace, Gratitude and Generosity. Through the grace of God, our faith community continues to fulfill the mission of Jesus and the ministry of the Catholic Church in this place we call our spiritual home. By God’s grace, we have reached the half-way point in our capital campaign and earned the approval of the Archdiocese to move forward with the plans for renovating our church. We have been blessed also with the resources to respond generously to the needs of our brothers and sisters through collections for the victims of natural disasters, Together in Mission, national appeals, world missions, and the good works of our own parish organizations.
We are grateful to God for the faith that gives our lives meaning and joy, for family and friends who love us, for a faith community that supports us, and for a country with the freedom to exercise our faith in action. We appreciate the wonderful addition to our staff of Deacon Jim Allgaier, Victor Hernandez and Mary Munoz. We thank God for the work that is currently being done on a new strategic plan to move our parish forward in the next three years.
In the coming year, may we grow in Grace, Gratitude and Generosity!
Fr. Charles Ramirez and the OLA Stewardship Committee
What is Stewardship?
A life-long journey that brings us closer to Jesus Christ,
following the path he laid out for us through his example of self-giving
Understanding that everything we have is a gift from God
of which we are absolutely the best caretakers (stewards)
Having the heart to give back out of love a portion of
every gift that has been entrusted to us by God
Living our life with the understanding that someday God
will ask each one of us what we did with his varied gifts
A way of life with rewards that last an eternity
Good stewardship begins with our loving God. Everything that we have is a gift from God – our life and natural talents, our family and relationships, our health and energy, our emotions and ability to reason, our material goods. God has provided abundantly for all our needs. Jesus said: “I came that they might have life, and have it to the fullest” (John 10:10).
We are good stewards when we praise and thank the Lord for the many gifts we have been given. “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was ‘thank you’ that would be enough” is a famous insight of Meister Eckhart (1260-1327). What a blessing it is when a gift is received in gratitude and used to the fullest! And the best way to show our gratitude is to cultivate those gifts and celebrate the best in us.
Scripture encourages us to trust in God’s providence and be assured that our own needs will be met if we are generous. In fact, we have been promised blessings of every kind – the “hundredfold” of the Gospel. We are taught to share our gifts with others as we live out the mission of Jesus in true discipleship. Together, as a community of faith, we collaborate with God in bringing about the Kingdom of hope and love, peace and justice, comfort and joy.
The Stewardship Committee
The OLA Stewardship Committee is seeking parishioners to promote the practice of Stewardship through year-round activities, education, emphasis in liturgy, and liaison with parish ministries and organizations. Prosepctive members should be baptized, practicing Catholics who are registered and active in the parish. They should also demonstrate a commitment to Stewardship with their generous contribution of time, talent and treasure, and be willing to witness to the Stewardship way of life. The committee also provides ongoing education and development in the understanding of Stewardship principles for its members. Individuals with an interest in the following areas are encouraged to contact Deacon Jim Allgaier for more information about the Stewardship Committee.
Stewardship Education and Formation
This area includes preparation of the Annual Stewardship Renewal materials in November to encourage parishioners to grow in grace, gratitude and generosity. Other related areas are leadership training and the cultivation of lay witness speakers. There is an opportunity to build new Stewardship programs for children and teens in our regular Faith Formation curriculum.
Ministry Recognition and Awareness
This area includes preparation of a Parish Ministry Handbook, the annual Parish Life Expo, and planning regular bulletin updates on ministry opportunities. Another area not yet implemented at OLA might be ministry recognition events.
This area includes the regular Stewardship articles in the parish bulletin and on the parish website, as well as the annual Stewardship report to the parish. Another possibility is building a roster for e-mail blasts to parishioners.
This is the area of assisting parishioners with the discernment of their individual gifts and following-up with parish ministries on new membership. There is an opportunity for using reports from our parish database to create a "time and talent" inventory.
Hospitality and Welcome
This area includes creating a Welcome Packet for newcomers to the parish, and sponsoring Welcome events. There is an opportunity for setting up home visits to new families and "mentor families" to guide them.