Deacon John’s Stewardship Blog

“We all have a purpose in our life here.”

    We are Mike and Sandy Kerr. Our children are; Rachael, Joshua, and Benjamin.  Deacon John asked us to write a couple paragraphs on what stewardship means to our family.  We were reluctant at first because it seems like bragging.  Sandy’s parents, Ronald and Veronica Banjak would refer to Bible passages such as Mathew 6:1 “take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father..” We were encouraged to “just do” and not talk about it.

Sandy is an RN and Mike is a Paramedic.  We are both “helpers” by nature.  Being in the healthcare field, we see many who are not as fortunate as us.

Our daughter was born with a congenital heart defect. She has had 3 open heart surgeries. We have experienced the POWER of prayer first hand. She has had a normal childhood and now is married with a great job. We feel so blessed with the life and family God has given us so we try to give back to the church and the community and to be there for others when in need. We struggled with medical bills for  awhile and were not always able to give monetarily.  Therefore we volunteered our time teaching Sunday School, working festivals, fish fries etc.

We tell people there is a reason you are put on this earth. We all have a purpose in our life here. Colossians 3:23-24. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for the human masters. Since you know that you receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward, it is the Lord Christ you are serving.

We have seen how prayer works. We all can be good stewards for our church. Giving of your Time and Talents.  Sometimes it is just a kind word or to give a needed ride. It is truly a wonderful feeling knowing you made a difference in someone’s life.

 

The opportunities to be a good steward for the Lord are endless.

We are the Behnke family, Freddy, Danielle, James, and Annaleigh. We began attending St. Patrick Church not long after James was born in 2006, and officially converted to Catholicism in 2010. James and Annaleigh were both baptized at St. Pat’s, and all of us received our sacrament of First Holy Communion here as well. We decided to join St. Pat’s after feeling a sense of belonging here, more so than any church we had attended throughout our lives.

Not long after joining St. Pat’s, there was a ministry fair held after Mass one Sunday. I (Danielle) decided to go down to the church hall to see what it was about. Although speaking in public was never something I had any desire to do, I felt compelled to sign up to be a lector. I was terrified before my first reading but knew immediately afterwards that I had made the right decision. Since that day, our entire family has found ways to be positive stewards by joining various ministries and volunteering at the annual festival and Lenten fish fries.

Stewardship, however, is much more than what we do for our St. Patrick family. It could be mowing the lawn or shoveling the driveway for an elderly or incapacitated neighbor. It could be a smile and hello for someone longing to be greeted by a friendly face. It could be setting time aside each week to pray for a random person you encountered the previous week. Whether your acts are large or small, Christ’s light shining through you will be apparent. The opportunities to be a good steward for the Lord are endless, you need only be ready and willing to do so with a glad heart. “Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others.” (Colossians 3:23).

 

Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)

Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5) There is a clipping of this scripture on our refrigerator. It serves as a daily reminder to us both and is one of the stones on which we have tried to build a life of stewardship. Listening to God as he helps us to navigate our life journey is truly what guides us and for him we are truly grateful. —Mass is a special and sacred time for us. When we are at home, it is important for us to be at St. Pat’s and spend time with our church family. When we are traveling, one of the first things we do is find the church and the Mass times and schedule ourselves accordingly. It is in that quiet time, that we are able to hear God, through scripture and prayer, finding answers and guidance.

Selfless giving, as Father Tim used to speak of, is another part of our spiritual life. We make a conscious effort to implement this in our lives regularly. First and foremost within our home and our families.  As God’s children, it is not our place to give of ourselves looking for anything in return. Rather, it is in these times that we hear the quiet whisper of Him telling us what to do and we do it without question.  —We give freely of ourselves at our jobs and, of course, at church. We have both participated in the Renewal programs and are all the better for it.

Living a life of stewardship is not always an easy task. Lamentations 3: 22-23, states “His mercies are new every day.” And, with each day, he forgives us and leads us again.

God has blessed us in so many ways. It is to him that we give the Glory.

Your Brother and Sister in Christ,

Kevin and Janet Barren

 

Stewardship Through the Festival

Once again, festival time has arrived! This year’s festival marks a very special occasion for our parish, that being, the 60th anniversary of our parish festival. I can only imagine the early days of the festival that began as a bazaar in the basement of the church. I have enjoyed hearing many stories about those early days…the booths that were separated by curtains, and how the ladies would prepare their favorite dishes in their homes and sell them at the bazaar. Those early days were a time of excitement, commitment and an abundance of joy for the parish. I could remember as a young boy over 50 years ago, that attending the festival was our family tradition. Looking back, I realize that it was a nice time for my mom because she didn’t have to cook for a few days.

I am truly convinced that the passion and commitment of those parishioners who served at the very first festival some 60 years ago, is alive and well in our parish today. We have a multitude of parishioners, both young and old, committed to making our diamond anniversary festival the best one ever through the giving of their time, talent and treasure.

I believe most of us would agree that over the last several years we have made great gains in the appearance of our church grounds and improvements to our facilities. We are a parish on the move! This is due in a great part to our commitment to the spirit of stewardship our parish family has embraced whole heartedly. Our parish festival is our largest fundraiser of the year and has funded many of the improvements we all have enjoyed.

With God’s help, this year’s festival will set the mark that leads us into the next 60 years. Guided by the leadership of our pastor, Fr. Mike, many new and innovative changes have been made to make our parish festival one to be extremely proud of. Just to mention a few changes, this year we will have electronic ordering and credit card payments, a gourmet coffee and popcorn shop and an enhanced food menu including grilled chicken salad, Avalon Brier Hill pizza, all sandwiches served on bakery fresh bread, and stuffed cabbage and haluski prepared the “old world” way. The BBQ pavilion will rival the best BBQ restaurants around, featuring grilled kielbasa, authentic Greek gyros, lamb, chicken and rib dinners cooked over an open fire and as always, Fr. Mike’s famous steak hoagies that will be served on the midway.

Please save these dates, August 2, 3, 4, and 5. Invite your family, friends and neighbors to join in this year’s 60th anniversary of our St. Pat’s festival. May we continue to embrace our call to live a life of stewardship as we serve Jesus Christ and Mother Church. See you at this year’s festival.

God bless you,
Deacon John Bartos, Director of Stewardship