Banner
Advertise with us

Home Local Make stewardship a way of life, conference told

Make stewardship a way of life, conference told

E-mail Print
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Stewardship is a way of life involving gratitude, generosity, and trust
By Agnieszka Krawczynski
RICHMOND


Archbishop J. Michael Miller says one of the Church’s most powerful revival tools is a word that isn’t very popular in Catholic circles: stewardship.

“Stewardship is a great force, perhaps even the greatest force, for the renewal and rejuvenation of Catholic life,” the Archbishop told the Western Canadian Catholic Stewardship Conference in Richmond.

The conference, held in Richmond June 9-11, drew 130 people from Western Canada and the U.S. to discuss ways to use such a force.

The Archbishop admitted, “I am a convert to the spirituality and practice of stewardship,” which can enrich the spiritual life of parishioners and “enable the doors of the vast storehouse of gifts and charisms to be flung open and offered for the building up of the Church and community.”

Stewardship also builds “stronger, holier, and more collaborative parishes,” he said.

So why do so few Catholics talk about it? Breakout session speaker Father Darrin Gurr said it’s due to a misunderstanding of the word.

“Most people spell stewardship with a dollar sign. There’s a great apprehension to embrace it, even among priests, because it continues to somehow have that association with being about money,” said the parish priest from Winnipeg.

“It does involve money. It involves everything. But it certainly isn’t about money. It is a spirituality for living.”

This spirituality is built on three pillars: gratitude, generosity, and trust. “It is in gratitude that we come to discover so much of what God is about, what others are about, and what we’re about.” Being grateful leads people to give back to the Church and their communities, which, in turn, can boost parish engagement.

Keynote speaker Brett Powell told participants the starting point for stewardship is a strong, personal relationship with God.

“There is a big difference between … giving intellectual ascent to the doctrines of the faith and having a personal encounter with Jesus Christ,” he said.

People in Capernaum and Nazareth didn’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah because they were expecting a political leader, not “the express image of the invisible God,” he said. Wrong preconceptions “prevent us from growing intimacy with God.”

One way to improve relationships with God, according to breakout session speaker Ron Huntley, is to promote the Alpha evangelization program.

“It is a disciple-making machine,” he said of Alpha, an interactive series of videos and discussions designed to be held in a social atmosphere over a meal, with questions about God, life, death, and salvation.

“I love the Mass. I love the Eucharist and the sacraments and being Catholic, but a lot of people don’t, and so I need to find other tools to help them fall in love with Jesus. I believe once you fall in love with Jesus, you fall in love with his Church.”

Huntley, director of pastoral ministries at St. Benedict Parish in Halifax, said once people have experienced Alpha they are urged to become leaders or facilitators of Alpha events and eventually start their own discipleship groups.

“Changed lives are the fruit of a church that’s healthy.”

Steve Homiack and about 20 others travelled from Seattle to attend the conference.

“One of the key fundamentals we’re trying to do in the Archdiocese of Seattle is drive home that sense of gratitude,” he said, with Archbishop Peter Sartain summing up stewardship as: “‘Everything we have, everything we are, is a gift from God.’ That is so true! When people can realize that, that really drives the message of stewardship home.”

akrawczynski@rcav.org

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 June 2017 10:55  

Dear reader,

Due to an unmanageable amount of spam and abusive messages, we are no longer able to offer the comment function on our website. We respect the principle of public debate and remain committed to it. Please send us a note at letters@rcav.org and visit us in the near future when we have finished building our new website — at which point the comment function will be restored.


Kind regards,

The B.C. Catholic

 
Banner

 

Banner

 

Multimedia

Salt and Light Webcast
  
  Courtesy of Salt & Light Television



Click image to watch Video
Medieval Gem - UBC acquires papal bull

Click image to watch Video
Paul Goo's Diaconate Ordination

Click image to watch Video
Thank You John Paul II

 

 

 
4885 Saint John Paul II Way Vancouver BC V5Z 0G3   Phone: 604 683 0281 Fax: 604 683 8117
© The B.C. Catholic

Informing Catholics in Canada since 1931