St. John the Evangelist Parish Stewardship (Time, Talent, Treasure)
In the Gospel of John chapter 13 verse 35 our Lord Jesus Christ states: “They will know that you are my disciples by your love for one another.” Christian charity has transformed the world since the first disciples and it continues to be a very important part of our lives as committed disciples of Jesus Christ. In the earliest days of the Church, we have understood that we, as Church, must be attentive to our larger community’s needs. In the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles we read:
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.”
So from the beginning there was a willingness among Christians to share among themselves, but also with others in their need. This gospel charity is at the heart of our Christian stewardship, and we are reminded in Sacred Scripture over and over again that God will be generous to us at the end of our lives based on, in no small part, just how we have revealed his generosity and his charity throughout our earthly lives (see Matthew 25:40). Moreover, again in scripture, we find this notion of charity as it relates to the example of a steward. A steward is not the owner of the estate, but someone who watches over it, and keeps it vital and producing. As Catholics we live in God’s house, which is the Church, but we are not a guest, but stewards of his home. It is true that we are adopted as his children in Christ, but we are nevertheless meant to bring his name honor by how we live in and serve and support his house, the Church. In Biblical tradition we have always looked at 10% as the tithe that we owe the Lord. The Church teaches us that this ideal can be divided between our parish and other worthy Christian charities, but we should not lose site of the ideal. If everyone gave 5% to their parish, St. John the Evangelist would never have to worry about finances again, so we encourage everyone to prayerfully consider how they spend their money, and what is it they are really investing in.
But now allow us to say one last thing before we close, and this message goes out to those who are the wealthiest among us. Many of you are so very generous to your parish, and we are so very grateful, but some among you need a bit prodding from time to time. A pastor doesn’t like to talk about money all the time, but it is part of our job to help people be more generous for the sake of their own salvation. So let us end by recalling that the Apostle, St. Paul, towards the end of his life, wrote some letters most likely whilst he was under house arrest to his younger protégé, St. Timothy, who he was instructing on how to lead the church as a bishop in the post Apostolic age. The relationship between Paul and Timothy is that of a father and son. Together they had traveled the world, and Timothy had helped Paul in his ministry for years. But Paul sensed that his life was coming to an end, and so these letters to Timothy are particularly touching. In I Timothy, chapter 6, St. Paul writes:
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”
And finally, let us keep in mind that even in difficult financial times when some families are struggling to keep their homes or make their insurance payments, we all have some talents and time to give. Stewardship is not simply about financial help for our parish and its ministries. Stewardship also involves time and talent. So let us all volunteer in our parish when asked, because this great collective effort of the Church is at the bequest of our Lord Jesus Christ, and it should always be a great honor and joy to serve He who gave up his life for our redemption.
Gift of Treasure:
How you can share your financial gifts with St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
1. Pledge: Make a pledge in response to an initiative at the parish. Pledging allows you to make a greater gift over time, without overburdening your budget. When you make a pledge, you will receive monthly reminder statements via email until your pledge is paid. This monthly reminder statement includes an option to pay your pledge via credit card or electronic funds transfer (EFT).
2. One-Time Gift: Give a one-time contribution towards a parish initiative. Please make check payable to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and put “restricted gift for (list desired initiative you wish to support).” Please do not send cash through mail.
3. Online Gift: You may make a one-time gift or set up a monthly gift payment towards a parish initiative via credit or debit card through our website online giving.
4. Stock Donation: Make a donation of publicly traded securities and receive the tax benefits for giving appreciated stock. A stock donation form and instructions can be downloaded from our Diocesan website: charlottediocese.org/ways-to-
give (Please ensure to make know on Diocesan Form that the gift is restricted for St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and indicated desired initiative you wish to support)
5. IRA Contribution: For donors over 70 & 1/2 years of age, contact your Financial Advisor to request a charitable distribution from your IRA. Please give instructions to have the check made payable to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church (with desired parish initiative you wish to support in memo section), and include your name and address in the accompanying letter, so you will receive credit for the donation.
Weekend Mass Collections:
– Weekly collection to help with operational expenses is taken up as a first collection at all weekend Masses. The Diocese takes a small percentage of these weekly 1st collections.
– 2nd Collection for “Parish wide Capital Improvements” at our Parish is taken up The First Weekend of Each Month at all Mass. This 1st weekend of the month 2nd collection is not taxed by the diocese and serves to support capital improvements on our perspective parish campuses.
– Annual DSA (Diocesan Support Appeal) – contributing toward this annual appeal helps our entire diocese. If we meet our annual parish assessment we do not have our operational account taxed for the balance. If we collect more than our assessment, we get everything collected over assessment back without any tax from the diocese. It is to our benefit as a parish to meet our annual assessment to the penny, then devote donations to other capital needs on our parish campus. https://
- Second Collections (we need to scan in 2nd collection calendar) – 2nd collection each month will ALWAYS be our “Parish wide Capital Improvements.” Diocesan 2nd collections will happen on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th weekends as required.
- The Legacy Endowment of St. John the Evangelist (Link to what I will send you)
- Finance Council (insert text below for next level link once one clicks on Finance Council)
Canon Law mandates that our Catholic parishes should have a Parish Finance Council to assist with the administration of the temporalities of the parish, and to advise and consult with the parish pastor. The individual members of the Finance Council should be committed Catholic faithful, who are not paid staff, and they should be selected for their expertise in general business management, banking, law and insurance. They must be prudent, discrete and trustworthy. They must help the parish in the establishing a yearly budget, and in overseeing parish expenditures throughout the year, with regular meetings, all as a means to be vigilant in watching over the common treasure of the parish, and always with a mind towards the needs of not just our parish, but also the larger sense of our universal Church. The Finance Council chairman will be expected to work hand in hand with the pastor and parish staff to routinely be attentive to budgets and planning so as to help keep the parish in the black, and assure that our books are in order. The Finance Council helps to keep everyone honest in our parish: the clergy, the staff and our people, so that we can all have, in a general sense, where we stand financially, and trust that we are all working towards the common good of the parish. For more information, feel free to contact the chair of our Finance Council (see below for contact information).
St. John the Evangelist Parish Finance Council
Mrs. Norma Waring (SJE Financial Council Chairwoman)
Immaculate Conception Catholic Mission Finance Council is a special branch of the St. John the Evangelist Parish (Immaculate Conception and St. John the Evangelist have separate accounts)
Mrs. Beth Maida (IC Finance Council Branch Chairwoman)