Stewardship Council Description
Name of Ministry
The Stewardship Council is charged with supporting stewardship in our parish, coordinating our annual renewals of time, talent, and treasure and fostering a welcoming, hospitable environment in the community
The mission of the Stewardship Council is to motivate each individual and family to become aware of the personal and community benefits of stewardship.
Role of Ministry Within the Parish
Traditionally, Our Lady of Lourdes, and most other Catholic parishes, have relied on the standard model of practicing stewardship mostly in terms of financial giving, with a small emphasis on the giving of time and talent. However, a new model, which Lourdes has adopted, focuses on the idea that stewardship is a way of life based on the Holy Spirit and the belief that one’s giving follows one’s heart. Lourdes is committed to stewardship as a way of life. To live as Christ has taught takes a prayer-filled conscious decision.
Stewardship is a choice to give back to God a proportion of one’s time, talent, and treasure. It is an on-going conversion process and one that is just beginning in 2013. (Members of the Stewardship Council spent the year 2012 educating themselves and becoming aware of the new model of Stewardship.) In 2013 we will be sharing our understanding with the parish community.
The model here at Lourdes is based on what is known as the “Wichita Model” – named after the successful program that has been implemented in the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, Kansas over the past several years. Other parishes in our diocese are also beginning to move towards the model.
The Wichita Model focuses on four key aspects of stewardship, known as pillars. These pillars are:
These pillars are the strength of any successful Stewardship program. Where you have these four, you will find a conversion of the hearts and minds of parishioners and they will lovingly and proportionally give of their time, talent and treasure.
How Much Time is Required?
The Stewardship Council consists of the parish pastor, 9 parishioners and a representative from the Davenport Diocese Chancery Office (who helps by providing resources and contacts on stewardship).
Positions on the Council include This Year’s Leader, Next Year’s Leader, a Publicity Coordinator, Secretary as well as sub-committee positions that vary with stewardship projects (e.g., Greeters, Offertory Renewal, Education offerings, Parish Survey, etc.)
Members of the Stewardship Council attend 1 and ½ hour meetings usually at 6:00 PM the first Wednesday of each month. There are also periodic special meetings of the Council.
Sub-committee work can require several hours per week (preparing and executing time). For example; annual renewals time, talent and treasure require hours of work.
There is a 3 year commitment target for membership with the plan of replacing 3 members each year. Members will rotate through leadership and other roles as they gain experience.
The parish pastor approves Stewardship Council membership. Relations with other parish ministries including - Pastoral Council, Finance Council, Faith Formation Board, Adult Faith Formation Committee, are very important.
Explain the Process (These take years to develop and implement.)
Responsibilities of the Stewardship Council should include:
Responsible for parish stewardship awareness.
Responsible for the annual stewardship renewal.
Recruit individuals and/or couples to share their personal testimonies about stewardship for the parish.
Development of a parish time and talent form with which to solicit volunteers for the various activities, services, parish groups, ministries, etc.
Implement a method of cataloging, maintaining and distributing a list of volunteers.
Evaluate the annual stewardship renewal process. Specifically, review comments, criticisms and questions received with the time and talent forms and determine proper responses, either by mail, phone or personal visits.
Publish stewardship reflections throughout the year in the parish bulletin or newsletter.
Make appropriate stewardship literature available in parish booklet racks.
Work with appropriate parish ministries to develop programs for welcoming new parishioners, including a discussion on stewardship.
Work with the pastor and parish Finance Council in providing regular and appropriate communications to parishioners about their stewardship commitment and how these commitments are benefiting the parish community.
Other responsibilities as assigned by the parish pastor.