More Ideas for Stewardship Sunday

All parishes should have received, in May, a golden colored Parish Planning Guide & Resource Manual for Stewardship Awareness Sunday. In addition to the ideas on the front cover of this newsletter, this Planning Guide should give you lots of suggestions for celebrating Stewardship Awareness Sunday on Sunday, September 21. Here are just a few more ideas.

Use Stewardship Lay Witnesses

When parishioners share the joys and challenges of their own stewardship journeys it encourages others to try, likewise, to give more of their time, talent and treasure. A one-hour training session for stewardship lay witnesses will be held on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center. Pastors or parish lay witness speakers are welcome to attend. Registration is required. Contact Dave Baranowski at 314-792-7215 or davidbaranowski@archstl.org to reserve your place.

Unveil A Stewardship Suggestion Box

Researchers tell us that people take more interest and/or ownership in any organization if they are invited to share their comments or suggestions. (That’s why we put a space for comments on all our stewardship intention cards!) Since stewardship challenges all of us to take ownership for our Church, a suggestion box can tie in nicely with efforts to improve stewardship. Encourage parishioners to offer positive ideas on how the parish can better carry out its Mission and be faithful stewards of the gifts God has given. You could be surprised at the ideas for new ministry that might surface.

Call Parishioners and Thank Them for Their Support

Archdiocesan stewardship programs usually include a telephone follow-up to those who did not return an intention card. If you are not doing that, you might want to consider having a committee of volunteers call every envelope user and simply thank them for their support over the last year. This is an easy and joyful call to make and you can even leave the message on an answering machine.

Announce A Stewardship Project

Do your parishioners really see your parish doing God’s work or do they think you are just paying bills? If you want parishioners to live stewardship, your parish must live stewardship. The possibilities are endless.

  • Plan to build a parish "Habitat for Humanity" house.
  • Take up a monthly "food-for-the poor" collection as part of the Offertory one weekend a month. Ask parishioners to bring the canned goods to the foot of the altar.
  • Begin to tithe a portion of your Offertory to a poor parish, a mission parish, a Catholic Charities agency or a parish outreach project. Let parishioners decide what organization they will help. If you are not ready to trust God enough to commit a percentage of all Offertories to a charitable stewardship project consider committing just a percentage from one Offertory a month.

Declare that Stewardship Is Alive in Your Parish

Unveil a new banner, sign or bulletin board that proclaims a stewardship message. A stewardship banner can be used every week to lead the Offertory procession.

For more on Stewardship Awareness Sunday, contact Dave Baranowski at 314-792-7215 or davidbaranowski@archstl.org. 

New Stewardship Manual Available

It Is Designed to Help Parishes Establish Stewardship & Development Committees

Make no mistake about it — the successful and viable parish of the future will have an active Stewardship & Development Commission or Committee as part of its Parish Council. To help parishes plan for and establish this commission a new manual is available — Faithful & Generous: A Guide to Establishing Stewardship and Development in the Parish. Contact Dave Baranowski at 314-792-7215 or davidbaranowski@archstl.org for more information.

How Does Your Average Weekly Offertory Gift Compare?

The following chart compares the average weekly Offertory gifts in each of our ten deaneries with the average weekly Offertory gifts of parishes in those deaneries that teach stewardship. Notice the difference? Across the Archdiocese, parishes that practice stewardship have a 15% higher average weekly Offertory gift than all parishes combined.

Deanery Overall Average Average for Stewardship Parishes
Washington $20 $24
Festus $22 $21
Northeast $17 $26
North City $16 $13
Northwest $24 $30
Southeast $18 $23
South City $19 $25
St. Charles $19 $24
Ste. Genevieve $14 $16
Southwest $25 $28
Overall Archdiocese $20 $23

Compare your average Offertory gift with these numbers and see if stewardship might help your parish. Call Dave Baranowski at 314-792-7215 or davidbaranowski@archstl.org for more information.