Summer’s end brings with it nostalgia for carefree days, long nights, lazy weekend afternoons, reunions with families, and summer road trips. But in our parishes, autumn brings a burst of new life that makes September and October feel almost like spring. Why? For the Christian steward, fall brings a renewed sense of commitment. Literally, many of us make our commitment of time and resources to our parish during September or soon after in October.
Stewardship and ministry fairs bring a sense of excitement to parish weekends, witness talks remind us of the good work to be done, there are renewed calls for sign-ups for ministry (Audio Visual, Evening With the Friars (Call Linda at 760-420-6157) Music Ministry, Community Life & Hospitality are looking for help), and kids are everywhere – in our Catholic schools and in our faith formation programs – filling us with hope and enthusiasm for our young Church.
This is the time when we reexamine and reconfirm our stewardship. If you found yourself away from your parish this summer – either through neglect or through travel and visits to other parishes – now is the time to get reacquainted. Our parish is our primary faith community, where we built relationships based on our shared values and sacramental life, and September is a wonderful way to come “home” to that community.
Some things which will draw you closer to your faith community during this Fall Season:
• Spend time with people you may not have seen due to summer travels, and “meet and greet” any newcomers you spot.
• Make sure you visit your child’s faith formation class and introduce yourself to the teacher.
• Consider a new ministry this year. Think of something that will reinvigorate you, provide the greatest service, bring out your best talents, and help you to meet more of your fellow parishioners.
• Take inventory of your financial giving. Did you sometimes neglect the parish offertory during the summer months? Find out if your parish has online giving, or automatic withdrawal so that your year-round stewardship helps provide the parish with a stable income.
• Make Sunday Mass your top weekend priority, ahead of sports, school activities, or other temptations.
This article adapted from the International Catholic Stewardship monthly e-bulletin for September. To read the bulletin, click here. For Spanish, click here.