Holy Spirit Catholic Church Stewardship
Tim and Pam H. Witness talk, Stewardship Way of Life, November 11-12, 2017
Hi my name is Tim Hilber and this is my wife, Pam. We have been parishioners here at Holy Spirit for 18 years. We’ve been asked to share our journey to a stewardship way of life with you. We don’t pretend to know what is right for you and your potential journey but we know that we can share our experience in hopes that it will reach you.
I grew up in a large Catholic family in Fargo, ND. I watched my dad dutifully attend mass every weekend. This became my model for being a good husband, father and Catholic. This is what I would do for years, it was my minimum and my maximum, I was doing what was expected. Yet, I was aware of a gnawing discontent or sense of unrest in my life. I had a wife I loved, two great children I loved and a job I loved. Why did I feel this way? I looked around and thought, “I must need more. If only I had this or that, I would be content.” But I acquired those things and the unrest continued. Foolishly I thought, “well I must need even more,” and I spun off to accumulate and acquire more clutter and distraction in my life.
Meanwhile, my wife of nearly 30 years began to pray for me asking that I would be open to a true and genuine relationship with Christ. She pushed me to sign up for ministries each year and nudged me to do a little more than the year before. She invited me to read and pray with her each morning as we enjoyed coffee together. She asked me to give of myself and volunteer one night a month at the St. Francis House and the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House. I placed myself close to the gift of the Eucharist as a Eucharistic Minister. And gradually it happened. I gained a sense of peace that I had never had before. I put down all the clutter and false promises from our secular world and freed up my arms to receive the gift of grace and transformation from the Holy Spirit.
What does this have to do with you? We are looking for Holy Spirit parishioners to adopt a stewardship way of life en route to becoming a true disciple of Jesus. This is not about our parish having enough volunteers to get all of its activities done. The goal is you growing your relationship with Christ via a stewardship way of life. It really is true---Jesus is the peace that the world cannot give.
How can you begin a stewardship way of life to grow closer to Christ? We know people have many, many commitments and have busy lives. Take one small move, open your heart humbly to Christ and the Holy Spirit will guide you. It may be a simple as the addition of a prayer with your family to one of your daily routines. You may choose to contribute as a lector, usher, musician or Eucharistic Minister at mass that you regularly attend anyway. Training is provided to you. Or you may give of your time regularly to a community ministry that serves the less fortunate. I believe if you deliberately make time for God you’ll be amazed at what happens. Please consider this for you and your family this Fall.
There are several ways to get started with stewardship here at our parish. Stewardship forms have already been mailed out to each registered family and you may bring those to mass or mail them in. We will be having a stewardship fair next weekend where you can learn more, also. You may also sign up for ministries on our website. Please come along on a journey that will bring peace and happiness as Jesus has promised. Thank you.
Matt Harris Witness talk, Stewardship Way of Life, November 4-5, 2017
The first letter of St. Peter reads, “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” My parents, grandparents, and those others who I trust have always assured me that every person has special talents. Throughout my young life, however, I often notice how amazing other’s talents are while feeling as though I have none. Yet as I have come to grow in relationship with our Father, my experience has revealed His special gifts to me.
The extraordinary people I met through different youth events within our diocese as a freshmen revealed a specific opportunity our parish offers high schoolers: being a Junior High Youth Group Core Leader. I felt a small tug to become one myself, yet I was still unsure. After all, I was not—and still am not—a super holy person, which led me to believe I had little to offer the Junior High kids I would be leading. After thinking it over, I finally decided to try it because of my friends who were part of this group—and, I will admit, the much shallower motive of gaining service and leadership experience I could later list on college applications. Little did I know, God had much more in store for me than simply gaining a bullet point on some list of activities.
After coming for a few weeks, I realized being a Core Leader was a perfect opportunity for me to begin living a stewardship way of life. The voices echoing St. Peter finally made sense in my own experience as I discovered one of my gifts to be the simple ability converse with others. Overcoming the initial belief that I had to bring something for the Junior High kids, my eyes were opened to how much I myself learned from each of those faces who showed up on Sunday afternoons.
My relationships with the friends I had followed into being a Core Leader also grew, and continued to bring me into more opportunities to volunteer my time at the Banquet, Bishop Dudley House, and more. In each circumstance, I came out of the experience with greater joy in my heart and a renewed understanding of Jesus’ words from our Gospel today: “whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” As a result of the fruit that stewardship has brought to my life, I have truly become a new and better person than I was at the start of high school, with more joy than I ever thought possible! Thus, I recognize that Christ is closer to me because of each of these experiences in my stewardship way of life.
My life is still that of a busy high schooler, which I am sure many of you can relate to. Involvement in extracurriculars, as well as my school workload, keep me busy—sometimes busier than I think I would like. But when I am able to sacrifice a little time for others and give of the gifts God has given me, it seems even my homework is different, less of a burden and more of a blessing. Life’s problems have not disappeared, but I seem able to respond to them in a different way that makes them more bearable thanks to that tiny tug I felt as God called me to this specific opportunity.
It is tempting to say that every high schooler should be a Jr. High Core Leader. But we are all different, and God is calling each of us in different ways. Even so, every one of us is called to live the stewardship way of life. Thankfully, Holy Spirit Parish offers many different ways to follow Christ through each other and, in doing so, grow in relationship with Him. November 18th is stewardship Sunday, on which we will have a stewardship fair where parishioners like yourselves will have the ability to sign up for the different opportunities we Holy Spirit-ers have available. Please consider how God may be calling you to take part in one of these opportunities. Thank you, and God bless.
Ron Staebell Witness talk, Stewardship Way of Life, October 28-29, 2017
Thank you, Father for the opportunity to witness about my experiences with the stewardship way of life.
My experience with the stewardship way of life began as a conversion many years ago when, over time, the Holy Spirit guided me to the realization that everything good comes from God and that he loves me unconditionally. By the way, this conversion is a lifelong journey.
The stewardship way of life is a response to God’s love. My response to his love involves three primary factors:
*being grateful *being responsible *being accountable
I’m very grateful for the many gifts God has given me such as my life, my good health, my loving wife, Virginia, my loving family, my faith, the forgiveness of my many sins, my free will, the men’s group @ Holy Spirit, and for the greatest gift of all, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In gratitude for these and other gifts that stem from God’s love for me, I want to return my love to him by giving back part of my time, talent, and treasure, not out of any obligation and duty, but out of sincere desire to express my gratitude for his love.
The stewardship way of life calls for being responsible for the gifts from God. As examples, I’m responsible to nuture healthy and physicial lifestyles, to protect my family, and to contribute a portion of my time and talent to serve and a portion of my treasure to support our parish, diocesan, and community needs.
On the day of judgement, I will held accountable for the gifts God has given me. This belief comes from the parable of the talents as told in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 25 which is the gospel reading coming up on Nov. 18-19, the date of our stewardship/ministry fair. In the parable, the master of the house is going away for a long time. Before he left, he gave three of his servants some talents which were the currency of the day. Two of the three servants used their talents wisely while the third servant buried his talent out of fear. Upon his return, the master called for an accounting of the talents he had given. He was pleased with the two servants who had used their talents wisely and gave them even more. He was not happy with the third servant, took the talent away from him and cast him out in the darkness.
The message is clear…..God does not give us our gifts of time, talent, and treasure so that we hide them or use them for selfish means. Since he has given us a free will, it is our decision what to do with them. It is his will that we use a portion of them to benefit others.
Our parish’s theme for the renewal of the stewardship way of life is: Holy Spirit set a fire. A reminder about returning our forms indicating what ministries we want to serve and that our stewardship/ministry fair will occur on Nov. 18 & 19 in the school foyer after each mass. Come join us!
Please pray that the Holy Spirit will set a fire among all of us and that he will continue to guide us on our journey with the conversion to the stewardship way of life.
Holy Spirit Catholic Church welcomes you!
Weekend Mass Times: Saturday 5pm, Sunday 7:30am, 9am, 11am and 5pm
Weekday Mass Times: Monday 8am, Tues 8am, Wed 7am, 8am, Thur 8am & 515pm, Friday 7am and 8am
Confession Times: Thursday 5:45pm, Friday 7:30am, Saturday 3-4pm