"Stewardship – A Way of Life" is an invitation to all members of the parish to draw closer to God with a prayerful response to participate in the works of the Church. Stewardship is a call, a vocation, rooted in our biblical tradition, which reveals our relationship with God. God is the Creator and Giver of all gifts. We are the caretakers, "the stewards," placed here to care for God's gifts.
Being a "disciple of Christ" means that we respond to the call of Jesus to follow His examples and teachings. It requires us to carry on His mission by placing our resources of time, talent and treasure at the disposal of God. Our gifts are not solely for our own benefit, but to be shared with a community of faith, starting with our family, parish, diocese, and the universal Church.
When we share our gifts with others we really give back to God rather than give away, because to give you must first own – and we truly own nothing. We came into this world with nothing and leave with nothing. All that we have is on loan to us from God. That is why we call this "stewardship" because we are only caretakers for God and we will be held accountable for how we care and share God's property for His glory and the building of His kingdom.
Stewardship is trusting God the Father to the extent that we trust as Jesus trusts, and live as Jesus lives. This is a philosophy not a program. It is an understanding of the heart, not the head. None of us will ever be able to convince another person to live a life of stewardship because it is truly a conversion experience. We can, however, share the personal experience of joy from living a life of stewardship. We can also express how life takes on new meaning, a sense of mission, vocation, and gives new freedom as we strive to live a life of stewardship.
God is our generous Creator and we are His stewards. Like all catechism, the stewardship message needs to be frequent and continual. Parishioners who commit themselves to stewardship as a way of life, experience a sense of increased ownership in parish life through the prayerful response of giving time and talent. This in turn leads to a greater awareness of responsibility, resulting in the parishioners' generous commitment of treasure. The parish that is committed to stewardship as a way of life is likely to be more prayerful, more hospitable and more dedicated to serving others. http://www.usccb.org/stewardship/disciplesresponse.pdf