What Does "Stewardship" Mean at OLG?
Responding to a need to provide what was necessary for the Catholic Faith to be practiced in the Greenwood area, Our Lady of the Greenwood parish members have built an extensive campus that includes our original chapel, parish halls, office space, priests’ rectory, sisters’ convent, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school and a large “Parish Life Center” used as gymnasium and meeting space for church and school functions. Growth has been steady for over five decades. As the need for expansion became evident over the years, funding for the buildings came from a series of capital campaigns. Regular Sunday offering donations make it possible for over a thousand professional staff and dedicated volunteers to bring the buildings alive with a complete program of worship, educational, recreational, spiritual, and public service activities. “OLG” has grown from its original forty founding families to home for over two thousand Catholic families.
As the parish has grown and matured, the parish notion of stewardship is beginning to also grow and mature. We are aware that we are changing from institutional “responding to a need” to a more personal “need to respond.” Previously we said that we needed a certain amount of money to build a church or school, then, decades later we needed a larger amount of money to build a bigger church or school. For operating the church and school the question was: “How much money do we need to give to make our budget?” This was practical and the people of OLG always did their best to respond to the need. Now we are beginning to understand that stewardship is an act of worship, not of obligation. Stewardship is part of discipleship, it involves giving of our whole self to God; it is part of our continuing spiritual journey; it is about a lot more than money. A steward in today’s Catholic: Church.
Receives God's Gifts Gratefully
At OLG we do all we can to show our gratitude by thanking the Lord by celebrating Mass, thanking each other for acts of generosity, and by publicizing the good that God has brought to our lives today and promises
Tends Them Responsibly
At OLG we maintain the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Faith. We maintain our buildings and programs. We provide information to the public about our Faith, finances, and programs.
Shares Them in Justice and Love
At OLG we know that we are entrusted with God’s generous gifts not only for our own benefit but for others who look to us for help. Works and donations of generosity and charity for others outside our parish are our hallmarks.
Returns Them with Increase to God
As the biblical stewards gave their accounting to their master upon his return, we at OLG are industrious and frugal with out gifts of time, talent, and treasure. We accomplish amazing things with the limited resources we have.
Our growing understanding of stewardship does not change our traditional understanding of tithing, which is based in Sacred Scripture. In fact, it enriches our spiritual understanding of one concrete way we give of ourselves to God. We affirm as a guideline that our first ten percent of our income (after taxes) belongs to God and we gratefully return it in this manner:
This is only a guideline because some can give more without really sacrificing and for others the above guideline is truly sacrificial giving. This growing understanding of stewardship makes everyone’s gift important. Everyone is able to know that they are contributing and appreciated because stewardship at OLG is not about the amount of money; it is about the amount of the sacrifice.