Stewardship at St. Mary of the Hills
Dear Parish Members:
Thank you for your great work on the Stewardship last year.
Frank Fary has taken the helm of the Stewardship Committee. We are grateful for her and the leadership she will provide.
Yours in Christ,
In our 'Brochure' you will find a brief description of the various ways contributions may be made to St. Mary of the Hills, our policy on receiving gifts, and information on investment management.
Our 'Gift Policies and Processes Document' gives full and comprehensive descriptions for contributions including legal and tax advisement forms.
In all matters pertaining to estate and gift planning, individuals are advised and encouraged to consult with an appropriate legal and/or tax professional.
Growing Generous Hearts
It is time to start thinking differently about Stewardship at St. Mary's. This year you will be asked to think more about being a good steward of God's blessings, rather than focusing on what you think your fair share of the bills might be. Stewardship is truly a spiritual effort that starts with inspiration, rather than money. Growing a generous hears is not an involuntary reflex; it takes effort and nurturing. It is a life long process, a journey and not a destination. In the course of that journey, we cannot be content with whatever we have done in the past. We need to look to the future and endeavor to do better, to do more.
How do we grow a generous heart?
By giving willingly
"For if the willingness is there, your gift is acceptable according to what you have, not according to what you don't have." II Corinthians 8:12
By giving thankfully
"... be generous on every occasion and... your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God... for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of God's people, but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God." II Corinthians 9:11-12
By giving time and talent
"As each of us has received a gift, employ it for one another , as good stewards of God's varied grace." Peter 4:10
By understanding that Stewardship is:
By Understanding that Stewardship is not:
By recognizing priorities
Understand that stewardship is about a life of total accountability. It is everything we are, everything we do, every dollar spent, every moment we live. We challenge you to calculate the percentage of your annual income that you currently give as a gift to the church and other charities. Then make a commitment to increase your gift to St. Mary's by one percent a year until you reach whatever percentage you think is right for you. It may be a one year plan or a ten year plan. A plan such as this helps each of us refocus... turning the emphasis from "how much I am required to give? to "how much God has given me?'
By looking into our own hearts
"Open wide your hearts also..." The heart of stewardship is prayer and generous giving. But stewardship is about more than money. It is about the spirit that directs our lives. It is about the health of our soul.
By giving proportionally and sacrificially
By giving a portion of what we have to God we make holy all that we have. While a certain percentage for one with limited means may be a small dollar amount, in God's eyes it is every bit as important as a gift of the same percentage from someone with greater resources. Christ's gift to us is the greatest example of sacrificial giving. Every effort we make to emulate that gift, small or large, grows a generous heart.
Why should I give?
Stewardship commitments are a central part of Christian life, not a method of paying dues.
As loving stewards, we undertake both a prayerful account of the many gifts we have been entrusted with, and a serious consideration of what portion of those gifts we will return to God. Our goal is to respond to God with a generous offering of praise and thanksgiving to support Christ's work in this world.
Our annual financial commitments are vital to ensuring that St. Mary's mission and ministry are nourished.
We give because we love this parish, its community and God, who calls us to be here and who teaches us the meaning of love and the responsibility of Stewardship.
May we all find the inspiration we need to grow generous hearts!