Thursday, September 22, 2016

Website with Lesson Plans for Children and Youth

Why reinvent the wheel?  Visit the Learning to Give website for ideas on teaching the concept of Stewardship to children and youth.

Learning to Give

Best Practices for Children’s Offertory Envelopes

One of the best ways to teach children the habit of giving is to offer them the opportunity to place their own contribution in the Offertory basket each week.
Whether you are just introducing children’s envelopes or have used them for years, here are some suggestions for making the practice successful. (adapted from Archdiocese of St. Louis)

  • Be sure to educate families to the fact that the idea is not to raise more money but to teach children the joys of giving. Thus, it is more important that children give a quarter from their own bank than $5 from a parent’s wallet.

  • Many designs of children’s envelopes also encourage kids to share talent – a picture they have drawn or a prayer they have written – or to write down ways they have been good stewards. If you use this comprehensive approach to stewardship try to highlight some of the artwork or ideas children share in the bulletin and/or on a children’s stewardship bulletin board.

  • Involve student representatives in picking out the envelope design and in selecting the recipient of children’s gifts. Youth giving can be used for a parish project, for support of families in need, for a local charity or for an overseas mission. When given a choice in where the money goes, children often prefer activities that help other children.

  • Be sure to include a report on children’s giving in your regular parish Offertory reports and in your annual report.

  • Occasionally invite older children to assist in taking up the collection. This is another way to involve them in the entire Offertory process.

    A Stewardship Walk Through the Mass

    Penitential rite
    “…in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do…”
    “We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks…”
    Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed
    “I believe in one God…maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible…”
    Preparation of the gifts
    “Through you goodness we have received the bread we offer you…”
    “Through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you…”
    Dialogue before the Preface
    “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.”/ It is right and just.”
    Preface for Sundays in Ordinary Time V
    Father... you laid the foundation of the world and have arranged the changing of times and seasons; you hve formed man in your own image, and set humanity over the whole world in all its wonder, to rule in your name over all you have made and for ever praise you in your mighty works…”
    Eucharistic Prayer I
    Beginning – “To you... most merciful Father, we make humble prayer and petition through Jesus Christ your Son: that you accept accept and bless these offerings, these holy and unblemished sacrifices.”
    End - “Through him you continue to make all these good things, O Lord; you sanctify them, fill them with life, bless them, and bestow them upon us. ”
    Eucharistic Prayer II
    “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Father most holy,  through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ.”
    Eucharistic Prayer III
    Beginning — “You give life to all things and make them holy… You never cease to gather a people to yourself, so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name…Therefore, Lord... make holy these gifts we have brought to you for consecration…”
    Eucharistic Prayer IV
    “Father most holy... you are great and you have fashioned all your works in wisdom and in love.  You formed man in your own image and entrusted the whole world to his care...”
    Lord’s Prayer
    Acknowledges God as Father, as Provider and Source of all we need. We pray for the coming of the Kingdom knowing that we have a part to play. God has given us all the gifts we need to do the work to which he calls us, not alone, but together. “Give us this day our daily bread…” We ask the Lord for what we need, just for today, and to free us from whatever impediments keep us from serving him with our whole hearts. For, ultimately, we know that everything is and was and ever has been God’s –“the kingdom, the power, and the glory.”
    Dismissal dialogue
    “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.”—Urges us to use our gifts in service.
    “Thanks be to God!”—We will, in thanksgiving for God’s gifts.

    Monday, August 29, 2016

    Best Practices for Liturgy in a Stewardship Parish

    Incorporate elements of stewardship messaging into liturgies through:

    universal prayers
    orders of worship
    commissioning and blessings 
    meaningful stewardship commitment/recommitment opportunities.

    Read the U.S. Bishops' Pastoral Letter...


    "…fundamentally the work of the Spirit in our lives. It is, ultimately, the pull and the power of the Gospel come alive in our times and circumstances." (U.S. Catholic Bishops’ pastoral letter, Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response)

    (download free or purchase from the OCF for discount)

    Ask for help from the Office of Development and Stewardship.

    Most strong stewardship parishes have not done it alone.  They have worked together with the leadership of the diocese to create a plan that works for the parish.  No single method works for everyone.  Our Office of Development and Stewardship can be a great help to a parish throughout its stewardship journey.  The office can be reached by calling 904-262-3200, ext 106.

    Friday, August 5, 2016

    3 Key elements to Promoting Stewardship: Guaranteed to Generate Enthusiasm to a Struggling Program

    Start a Welcoming Committee and implement a welcoming process.

    Hold a ministry/volunteer appreciation event.

    Develop an on-going lay witness program.