Councils & their Ministries

Stewardship Committee

The Church of 
St. Bartholomew
  Yonkers
A Catholic Community
In the Archdiocese of
New York


                                              PASTORAL COUNCIL

                                         STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE

Mission Statement
A sub-committee of the Parish Pastoral Council harnessing parishioners’ God-given gifts of Time, Talent, and Treasure, for the work of God among us and for the building of God’s kingdom on earth.


Vision Statement
Our vision is that one day every parishioner will discover his/her God-given gifts, and in their own uniqueness and abilities, use them to serve God in others and make a difference.


Guidelines

A. Membership And Officers

  • The Stewardship Committee shall be composed of ten (10) members of the parish, the pastor and the associate pastor.
  • Members shall be appointed by the pastor, who may seek recommendations from the Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils.
  • The Committee shall have a chairperson, appointed by the pastor, and a recorder elected by the members. Their terms shall be a three-year term, renewable once.
  • The term for members shall be a three-year term, renewable once. When and if there is need, the pastor may request a member to serve for the third consecutive term.


B. Qualities Needed in Committee Members


  • Mature in their personal commitment to Christ and practicing stewards of their time, talents, treasure, and testimonies.
  • Deeply committed to the mission of the Church and the mission of St. Bartholomew’s Church.
  • Must be regular in their attendance at parish liturgies and events, thus inspiring fellow parishioners by their examples.
  • Committed to being aware of the crucial importance of the gifts of Time, Talent, and Treasure to the fulfillment of our parish mission and ultimately, Christ's mission; subsequently, committed to communicating this compelling message to parishioners.
  • Have the love of God, the Church and St. Bart’s in their heart.
  • Have the ability to collaborate and communicate with the other related ministries, committees, and councils of the parish.
  • One who follows through on what they have agreed to do. Therefore, any member who misses too many meetings or does not follow up on what they agreed to do, shall be asked to step down and a replacement appointed by the pastor.
  • One who strives to be persistent, optimistic, patient, and creative in sharing their faith with others.


C. Meeting

  • The Chairperson shall chair the meetings. In his absence, the pastor or any member he appointed shall chair the meeting. 
  • Meetings shall be held monthly or bi-monthly depending on the needs.


Long-term Goals/Responsibilities

A. Education & Awareness – General

  • Foster an awareness of God’s abundant blessings in our lives and in the gifts He has given each of us. Then foster an awareness of stewardship as everything we do with our lives in response to God’s goodness and generosity. Finally, encourage and enable our parishioners to respond to God’s love by sharing these gifts of time, talent and treasures freely to serve Jesus Christ and to minister in His Church through effective stewardship habits and practices. Ultimately, the Committee shall strive to help the parishioners of St. Bartholomew’s to understand and embrace the call for all of us to return to God, what is God’s. This formational task includes education, inspiration, and discipline.
  • Develop a program of stewardship education to be incorporated into the faith formation program for children, youth and adults. Work closely with the Faith Formation Commission and the Director of Religious Education to ensure that the stewardship message becomes a part of the faith formation process. Incorporating stewardship language and terminology into the existing curriculum may be all that is needed to promote stewardship among children and youth. Preparation for Confirmation should have a stewardship component. Work with RCIA director to ensure the catechumens and candidates have a good understanding of stewardship. In addition to including stewardship education in the faith formation curriculum, include children in the three weekend stewardship efforts.
  • Provide opportunities for gifts discernment. Parishioners should be given an opportunity to help discover their own spiritual gifts and then use those gifts in service to others. Parish stewardship efforts can include programs and workshops on the discernment of gifts to better help parishioners find the ministry best suited for them. The adults of the parish might appreciate a stewardship presentation by a motivational speaker.


B. Thanks Be To God Program (Parish Annual Stewardship Appeal Program

  • Carry out the Stewardship Appeal of time, talent, and treasure on an annual basis. These efforts will run three weekends every year. On the first weekend the pastor should deliver a homily on stewardship. On the second weekend a parishioner or couple would give a personal testimony on how stewardship is lived out in their life. The last weekend would always be a Commitment Sunday, where parishioners would bring their commitment cards of time, talent, and treasure to Mass and place them in the basket. Organize ministry fairs on the three weekends to promote the many parish and community groups that provide volunteer opportunities to parishioners, showcasing particular ministries each weekend. Alternatively, with the direction of the Finance Council, the stewardship of treasure campaign could be done at a different time of the year altogether.
  • Recruit individuals and/or couples to share their personal testimonies about stewardship with the parishioners. The lay witness testimony is probably the most educational, motivational and important part of the stewardship effort. The lay witness talk makes stewardship very real and practical for the people in the pews. The lay witnesses should be individuals who believe and practice the principals of stewardship in their own lives—those who give of their time, talent and treasure. As this develops, the Committee should consider the use of a parish video instead of a single lay witness. Be sure to use different lay witnesses each year to give a new and fresh testimony.
  • It is important that the Stewardship Committee work with the appropriate parish commissions and groups to ensure that those who commit their time and talent are personally thanked, and invited by commission or group leaders to become involved. This activity of the committee is probably its most challenging task. It takes planning and follow- up to make sure people end up actually volunteering for what they have committed. If people are not contacted and instead just have their names put on a shelf or in a computer, then they will not get involved in the stewardship effort in future years.


C. Year Round Awareness

  • Prepare a catalog of parish activities and organizations, and keep it current. Be sure to list a contact name, phone number and email address of each person who leads a ministry or activity. A time and talent list or catalog gives parishioners an opportunity to become aware of the number and type of volunteer ministries available in the parish. Develop a pamphlet or catalog that provides a detailed description of each group or activity. Post the catalog to the parish website.
  • Publicize stewardship thoughts throughout the year in the parish bulletin on a weekly basis. It is very easy to put a few lines about stewardship in the bulletin each week. With little effort, it can be one way to keep the stewardship message in front of people on a regular basis. These reflections can include scripture quotes, quotes from books, magazines and newspapers, or ideas that you jot down while going about stewardship work in your parish.
  • Publicize stewardship reflections in the parish media outlets. Stewardship reflections could include profiles of individuals or couples in the parish who live lives committed to stewardship, questions and answers on stewardship, thoughts on stewardship, commentaries on stewardship, ministry spotlights, etc. You may also want to consider producing a special newsletter each year that focuses only on stewardship.
  • Make appropriate stewardship literature available in the parish booklet racks. Providing stewardship brochures or pamphlets in the booklet rack gives people the opportunity to read and learn more about stewardship in a refreshing way, apart from brochures that might be used for the annual appeal. There are several companies that produce good stewardship materials from which to choose.
  • Incorporate comments about stewardship in the Sunday homilies. The committee could suggest that the priest(s) incorporate comments about the spirituality of stewardship in the Sunday homilies on a monthly basis. In some instances, the whole homily could focus on stewardship. In others, a few sentences can be incorporated into the context of the entire homily.
  • Encourage support for stewardship through the Prayers of the Faithful at Mass. The committee can develop Prayers of the Faithful with a stewardship message that can be prayed at regular intervals throughout the year. Typically one stewardship prayer among all the other Prayers of the Faithful would be sufficient.


D. Education & Awareness – Parish Leadership

  • The Chairperson of the Stewardship Committee will provide for in-service and continuing education opportunities for the Stewardship Committee as a whole, at least annually.
  • The Committee shall provide a program of stewardship education for parish ministry leaders so they understand the meaning and focus of stewardship. The event could also be used as an appreciation event, combined with an opportunity to present the stewardship message and the importance of the follow up procedures. When ministry leaders understand the importance of the parish stewardship efforts and their position regarding the follow-up and training of new ministers, they are more likely to respond to the stewardship effort in a positive and timely manner.


E. Care And Appreciation of Ministers & Volunteers

  • Develop a commissioning service for those who volunteer in the parish ministries. Work with the Liturgy Commission to develop and plan a commissioning service to be held at all Masses on commissioning Sunday.
  • Organize a training session for new ministers to get acquainted with their ministries and to better equip them for the tasks entrusted to their ministry.  
  • Show appreciation for those who are involved in parish volunteer ministry. Gratitude is an important element of stewardship. Find a way to say “thank-you” to those people who volunteer in the parish. This could involve something as simple as an appreciation reception after Mass or as elaborate as a catered dinner.


F. Evaluate the stewardship effort and awareness efforts on an annual basis.

  • All elements of the stewardship effort in the parish need to be evaluated. Review comments, criticisms and questions received with commitment cards. Evaluate the written materials used throughout the year—letters, brochures, bulletin announcements, newsletter articles, etc. and discuss the verbal presentations—are the homilies and lay witness testimonies getting the stewardship message across? What more could we be doing to get stewardship information out to people? What kind of results are we getting from the stewardship effort? Always look to the spiritual life of the parish when evaluating stewardship. Do these efforts bring people closer to God? What symptoms of spiritual change are evident in the parish?


G. Develop a Welcoming Program for new parishioners.

  • Work with the appropriate parish commissions to develop programs for welcoming new parishioners, whether it is by personal visits, group meetings, or through the mail. Be sure to include a discussion of and materials about stewardship in the presentation and/or packet.


H. Helping With The Gift of Treasure


  • Annual Parish Tithing Program-Help the Finance Council in the planning, promotion and execution of the program, which is geared precisely towards making St. Bartholomew’s a successful and effective tithing parish.
  • Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal - Help the parish to reach their goal by, for example, helping the Finance Council to organize a thank-you gathering for substantial donors,  


Responsibilities - Ministry Development, Coordination And Continuing Support

a. Continuing Support to existing Parish Commissions, Ministries and Committees:

This support could be in the form of:

  • Recruitment through ministries fair or personal invitation
  • Organizing spiritual, educational and formational programs that will help each ministry to be better acquainted with their purpose and goals, and be better equipped to fulfill them.
  • Providing relevant resources


b. Coordination of Ministry Activities

Annual parish calendar of events:


  • Invite the four Commissions to collect from their ministries the various events they want to do in the coming year and the dates for such events.
  • Meet with the Commission leaders, and representatives of any ministry that may need to be present, to compile and set the parish calendar of events for the coming year. Care must be taken to avoid scheduling conflicts.
  • Submit to the Parish Pastoral Council, at their June meeting, the parish calendar of events for the upcoming year.


Notes:

* The parish year follows the Archdiocesan fiscal year, September - August

* The calendar of events will be maintained and updated at the Parish Office by the parish office assistant(s). 

c. Develop New Ministries and Committees

  • Develop the new ministries outlined in the Parish Pastoral Plan
  • Revise the list of new ministries outlined in the Parish Pastoral Plan to decide which ones might be merged or eliminated. This effort will be lead by the pastor.
  • Revise the timeline for the implementation of the Parish Pastoral Plan as necessary.