We are Called to be Faithful Stewards
Of course a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon won’t tell the whole story or present the complete picture of St. George parish, but it will give us cause for consideration and appreciation. The excitement of the PAT’s winning the Super Bowl may not be there but an enthusiasm for who we are and what we accomplish can be.
Each of us has an integral role to play in the life of St. George parish and the ‘Annual Meeting’ helps us see how we’re doing. As we hear reports of our parish organizations and programs, elect leaders, review our finances, discuss, debate and plan for our future we exercise the responsibility God has called us to share in.
The ‘Annual Parish Meeting’ is an opportunity to recall that everything we are and have as individuals and as a parish is a gift from God. It is an occasion to thank God for His many blessings and to commit ourselves to greater stewardship over all He provides. St. George Church is committed to good and faithful stewardship and we encourage its development when we come together and reflect seriously on how we’re doing. Stewardship is a lifestyle based on accountability and responsibility, acknowledging God as Creator and Owner of all.
We thank God for His gifts by our prayer, worship, offerings and actions, and when we share these gifts willingly with one another and with those around us. The ‘Annual Parish Meeting’ lets us review how well we are serving each other. Service to our parish and community consists of offering our time in activities that benefit and grow the church. God blessed each of us with unique talents that can serve our parish. He expects us to offer back these talents in the service of His people.
Good stewardship also means prayerfully considering giving from our financial resources. Though this is often the most difficult gift to offer back, experience shows that giving of our financial resources can produce the most reward in the live of the person who makes the sacrifice. This year we are asking parishioners to freely give $240,000 to help fulfill our responsibility as a parish. The financial report and budget represents countless hours of work and review by the Treasurer, the Ways and Means committee and the Parish Council in order to present a comprehensive and transparent accounting of all parish finances. Our projected operating budget this year is $521,421.
From a financial standpoint, the ‘Annual Report’ of a private enterprise is designed to give potential investors a sense of the risks and opportunities present in a business. In our case, as the church, our reports should give us some comfort as we prayerfully consider at what level to donate our money. If we carefully read, review and listen, we will have all the information we need to make informed decisions about our level of financial involvement in the parish. St. George offers us tremendous opportunities but these are possible only through the generous contribution of parishioners.
Our financial blessings can help accomplish God's work by supporting our parish's mission and its many ministries. In this respect, we are making a "return" on the Lord's contribution through the many gifts He has bestowed on us.
Faithful stewardship produces much joy in the lives of those who voluntarily give of their time, talent and treasure. No doubt, the spiritual benefits outweigh all else. Stewardship of God’s gifts and of each other deepens our faith and ultimately changes lives. On Sunday, February 8th we’ll have a chance to reflect on our role as responsible agents of God’s gifts.
Blessings, Fr. +Timothy