Parish Stewardship in the Diocese of Tyler
Stewardship requires conversion of heart—new insight into God’s call to be a disciple. Discipleship is the foundation of any effort to build stewardship at the parish level, for stewardship necessitates a gift of the whole self to God.
The stewardship way of life is a challenge to parishes and missions to consider the development of their ministries and apostolate not in the vacuum of what the parish wants, but rather in the context of what Christ asks of his disciples.
The Diocese aspires to help each parish and mission foster love for God which, deeply rooted in the Word & Sacrament, manifests itself in a life lived in response to the baptismal call to holiness. The Diocese will assist parishes in encouraging parishioners to be devoted caretakers of the gifts and resources that have been bestowed upon them. By listening to God’s Word on stewardship, the parishioners can understand their call to holiness as being applied to every aspect of their lives, as a call to imitate Christ not only in their prayer but also in their dealings with the ordinary circumstances in which they find themselves—within their marriage, family, workplace, and parish. In this foundational context, the commitment to building the mission of the local parish will be experienced as the call to relationship with Christ.
A practical goal of Parish Stewardship is that all parishes and ministries base their communications, organization, ministries and apostolates on a cogent sense of the Church’s mission as it plays out in the particular parish or mission circumstances. In this way, Parish Stewardship seeks to illuminate and forward the existing mission and vision of the parish. With an understanding of authentic stewardship, the parish can thereby effectively lead the people of the parish on an intentional path to relationship with Christ.
As it relates to a parishioner’s stewardship of resources, abilities, and time, each parish can use October as a time of particular focus on stewardship, culminating in parishioners making concrete commitments to the parish. The Diocese will assist as a resource center and companion throughout the planning and completion of this process. The Diocese will allocate and make available ideas and resources in a format that each parish and mission can use using new and old media.
Outside of the specific annual campaign, parish leaders can work throughout the rest of the year in supporting the pastor in imbuing parish activities with principles of stewardship, ever conscious of the need to encourage and challenge the parish to deeper discipleship.