Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Stewardship Potluck

Last weekend I was at Sts. Simon and Jude Parish in Huntington Beach, CA. We had two wonderful days of formation, fellowship, learning from each other and growing as disciples in the process. The stewardship board members had done so much preparatory work for the weekend, including researching possible processes, exploring potential speakers, attending to all of the details of getting books to participants for their preparation, food and hospitality. They were such good witnesses of the joy that a life of stewardship can bring, I found myself thinking, "If every parish had a group of people this committed to living as stewards, life in our parishes would surely be powerfully compelling, a living witness of Christ's presence. They are just having so much fun being together and welcoming others, who wouldn't want to live this way?"

As we began our conversation with parish leaders about who we are as disciples and stewards, created in God's image, intended to reflect Christ's life to the world through the way in which we care for and use the gifts we have been given, one table of participants offered their thoughts about this life as a steward in this way: "Stewardship is sort of like a potluck dinner. Every person brings something. Sometimes it doesn't seem what we bring is all that much, but when we bring it all together, we create with Christ a feast!"

-- back home in Indy for a few days,
with a grateful heart, Leisa

Friday, January 22, 2010

Of Young Adults, and the Young at Heart

This week for me included participation in a groundbreaking gathering in the Diocese of Buffalo, where teams and individuals representing over 50 parishes gathered to consider the pastoral needs of young adults. The event was the kickoff for an integrated process of projects aimed at engaging and serving young adults in the parishes of the diocese. The event and the projects are funded by the diocesan Catholic foundation, an inspiring witness to partnership and collaboration in ministry among diocesan departments and the wider Catholic community.

As we talked at table and shared our hopes and dreams for people of all ages within our parishes, a true spirit of living faith and the desire to be with each other. I found the opportunity to sit with others of similar passion and hope to serve to reach me in a profound way. By the second day, with Jerry Galipeau's beautiful mystagogical reflection on sacramental spirituality, I felt like Jim Carrey's portrayal of the Grinch who declares, "I'm leaking!" Ah, as a friend often said of the two of us, we have been given the gift of tears! But what a blessing, to be able to reflect on our lives in Christ to the point of tears, and of challenge to learn, grow, serve, and love more deeply, now and into the future.

Now from Huntington Beach,