Stewardship is central to the vitality of St. John Vianney Parish. The faithful and wise steward who is praised by Jesus in the Gospels (Matt. 25:14-
Talents are the special gifts that are uniquely ours. We hold the conviction that each and every member of our parish has been given gifts from God for the enrichment of our community. Here all persons are valued for who they are. Diversity enriches rather than divides us. We welcome initiative and encourage parishioners to step forward with their special skills.
We strive to help one another in the discernment of talents, which too often go unrecognized in the world around us. Sometimes it is our very neediness that calls us forth to risk and grow. Often those who carry the cross — the sick, those in crisis, fringe members of society, enrich our community as much as members whose circumstances permit a more active involvement. We look to every parishioner to make a sacrificial offering to the Lord from whatever talents have been entrusted to him or her for the betterment of the community.
Time is often our most valuable commodity. The church traditionally has asked for an hour of our time each week in worshiping God at Sunday Mass. Today, we seek a full and active participation at worship which often involves personal preparation time as well as help with the ministries essential to our rich liturgical life.
At St. John Vianney, we seek more than this bare minimum gift of an hour for the Lord on Sunday. A truly sacrificial offering of time will normally mean some further involvement in the life of the community. The needs here are manifold, and so are the opportunities for volunteer service. In deciding “what return shall I make to the Lord for all his goodness to me” (Ps. 116.12), parish members are urged to make a regular commitment of time by participating in some activity or service sponsored by the parish. The weekly bulletin is constantly filled with appeals for help and opportunities to volunteer. Stewardship in this parish community is a broad notion indicative of a whole way of life. We believe that, when embraced fully and joyfully, it will help us to be more like the Lord “who did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to become a servant” (Philippians 2:6-
We have been blessed with a material abundance that makes even the less affluent among us rich in comparison to the rest of the world. The Lord seeks our generosity not just from our abundance, but even from our substance. The biblical tradition of tithing is still a proposed goal. It is suggested that ten percent of our income be directed to the needs of others. Five percent given to the Church and five percent distributed to other worthwhile charities seems a reasonable balance. Of course, not everyone can achieve this goal. But we ask all to acknowledge their responsibility for sustaining the works of pastoral care carried on by the Church and to contribute at a level that represents a truly sacrificial offering. Parish members are encouraged to use the contribution envelopes, which make our administrative tasks easier. We also ask that parishioners include St. John Vianney among the beneficiaries of their wills.
A Way of Life
The acceptance of responsible stewardship as a way of life is more than a practical issue of survival for the many activities of our parish. It is also an issue of spiritual growth for those who recognize God’s gifts in their lives and who seek to express their gratitude in action. At St. John Vianney we attempt to provide structures for all of our members to make a response to the Lord by sharing generously their gifts of time, talent, and treasure.
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