Stewardship is a term that carries a unique understanding in churches. Within the parish community stewardship refers to the foundations of Prayer, Service, Hospitality, and Formation. Too often this term is narrowly defined as financial responsibility. At OLIH, we are a community rooted in the pillars of stewardship.
Prayer should be a major component of all that we do as a parish. It is through prayer that our soul is nourished and that we nurture our personal relationship with God. In this personal relationship, our intentions as a steward are intensified. Our desire for Eucharist is deepened and we go forth to “love and serve the Lord and one another.” As we deepen our connection to God and embrace our total dependence on God’s generosity, we can open our hearts and our lives to God’s will for us.
Formation for stewardship involves recognition that the gifts one has been given come not from one’s self, but from God and should be shared. As individuals - and as a parish - we have a call from God to give, and hearing this call involves a conversion of heart. Formation is centered at the individual level on a deepening faith relationship with Jesus Christ and coming to rely truly on Him for all that you need in life.
Faith formation is a multi-aged, multi-faceted dimension of our parish. It involves all parishioners: children, young adults, families, senior parish members … everyone. It is the process by which our faith deepens and our relationship with our God matures.
Service: A natural response to the gifts that are given is to help those who are hurting in our community and to celebrate in thanksgiving to God. Just as we learn within our families how to form relationships and live in the world, so too we learn within our parish how to serve and be served. However, we have a need to take this one step further and to give beyond our own members. Our call to service reaches beyond the parish - to the community, the diocese and the world. A parish that focuses on service to its membership only, has not thoroughly understood the first pillar of hospitality. It is in service to others that we put the other three pillars of hospitality, prayer and formation into practice.
Hospitality: We all long for a place at the table, a place to call home. Whether we have moved into a new community, or have been away for a while, it is important to be warmly and intentionally welcomed. Jesus Christ teaches that whenever we welcome the least, we welcome Christ himself. To help you as you think about hospitality in our parish, see the broad list of activities and ideas generated at the parish leadership day.
- Greeters at Mass (welcome parishioners and guests)
- Funeral dinners (prep, serve, clean-up and other volunteer work)
- Coffee & Donuts
- Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN)
- Personal greeting and invitations to participate in various events
- New member bulletin board in the entry way
- Posting events on our website and e-mails to parishioners
- Hospitable gathering space
- Seating in the worship space (allows you to see the faces of other people)
- Parish relations committee (social activities coordinated by a group)
- Welcoming Committee (welcome new members to the parish)
- Open Gym
- TEA CUPS (welcoming of new members)
- Senior Potluck
- Youth Ministry
- Knights of Columbus
- Christian Experience Weekend (CEW)
- Volunteer opportunities