"Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, yours are the eyes through which He is go about doing good, yours are the hands with which He is to bless people now…" -St. Teresa of Avila
Stewardship is a lifestyle, a life of total accountability and responsibility. It is the acknowledging of God as the Creator and Owner of all. Christian Stewards see themselves as the caretakers of all God's gifts. Gratitude for these many gifts is expressed in prayer, worship, offering and action. Stewardship is a way of life. It is a way of thanking God for all our blessings by returning to God a portion of the many gifts that we have been given. It involves the intentional, planned and proportionate giving of all we have.
Stewardship encourages everyone to participate in the task of building the Kingdom of God. He has given each of us certain things, and we are responsible for caring for them and accountable for what we do with them. Stewardship rejects the notion that we must "have it all" and instead demonstrates the value of giving in love, in service and in justice. Good stewards have an "attitude of gratitude."
Here at St. Elizabeth Ann every fall members of the parish are asked to prayerfully reflect on what they plan to give back to God of their time, treasure and talent for the coming year and make a pledge to do so. This also helps the Finance Committee to plan for a fiscally responsible budget.
Each week in the bulletin there is a reflection on personal stewardship. We offer “Veritas” financial classes twice a year to help people understand personal stewardship as a way of life.
Every Mass we are reminded of our stewardship. When the gifts of money and bread and wine are brought up, these represent us (many grains to make the bread and many grapes to make the wine), what kind of gift of self do we give back to God?? Generous or selfish???
God cannot be outdone in generosity. He has given us every good gift. We fall short in our appreciation for these gifts. “Perfection is our goal, excellence will be tolerated.”