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Total stewardship achieved when a church becomes a family

The giving of time, talent and treasure work in harmony at St. Mary Parish in Cleveland.
“It’s a generous church and there’s a warmth there between the different groups,” said Wanda Norwood, 2015 Stewardship Committee chair at St. Mary.
That harmony came through the efforts of the Stewardship Committee and resulted in the committee receiving the St. Anthony of Padua Stewardship Committee award at the annual Stewardship Awards held at the MCM Elegante in Beaumont on Aug. 21, 2016.
The St. Mary Stewardship Committee is small, so they had to divide and conquer at first.
“We decided to split up and find out what the needs of the different groups in the church were,” said Ivette Ramirez, St. Mary Stewardship Committee member.
Three of the groups the members worked with are the non-Hispanic community, the Hispanic community and the parish youth.
They discovered each group’s needs and brought members of the different groups together to create solutions.
The Stewardship Committee built bridges between the different communities within the church. This unity helped grow the church.
“More people became involved in different ministries, we had new volunteers,” Ramirez said. “People started coming back to church and volunteering.”
A church community was formed from the different groups. The church faithful came to understand and love each other.
The Bereavement Committee is one example of how the different groups work together.
“The Bereavement Committee is made up of one Hispanic and one Anglo director who work together,” Ramirez said.
Working with other church groups and ministries, they arrange for the funeral Mass, for the hall to be decorated, and for the youth or Knights of Columbus to set up the tables. They also call church members to coordinate food donations and to serve the food.
The groups also now work together on community outreach events.
The St. Mary Stewardship Committee brought the different groups together to work on the 2016 Cinco de Mayo festival.
The different ministries all worked together in the planning and logistics of the festival.
However, St. Mary stewardship is not just about the giving of time and talent. The St. Mary faithful were also generous with treasure. The number of families giving to the Bishop’s Faith Appeal doubled.
Stewardship Committee members worked with all of the groups in the parish to find parishioners who have benefited from the diocesan ministries funded by the BFA. These people shared their testimonies with not just their group, but with the whole church family.
“The Stewardship Committee has a great responsibility and wants to see success in our community as one church of God. That is genuine love,” said Father Vincent Alexius, SVD, pastor at St. Mary.
“And the faithful responded well to the committee’s invitation to participate, to be great stewards of God. I’m so proud of my faithful here at St. Mary’s,” Father Alexius said.

By | 2017-05-03T15:22:53+00:00 January 27th, 2017|English, ETC Online, This Just In|0 Comments
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