Our campaign is in full swing. To date thanks to your generosity we have hit the $250,000 mark. This is a great start – but only a start. The fundraising committee is working diligently to contact all of our parishioners by phone and letter. I would ask you to prayerfully consider how you will be supporting this campaign. Talk about it with family and friends even though you would not normally do this. If you have a financial advisor, see what tax benefits are possible with your donations. And most importantly, take this decision to the Lord.
How do you pray to be a good steward of the gifts God has given you? The first action in such a prayer is thanksgiving. All prayer should start off by giving praise to God and thanking him for all that is and is given to us. Everything is of God and he has given things of this earth to us as stewards to care for and use for our good and the good of the whole world. This is what it means that we are stewards of our gifts. So thank God for them.
Second, ask the Lord what he wants of us. How do you want me to live? How do you want me to be? What do you want me to do and how do you want me to do it? These questions focus our minds. They open our hearts so as to receive God’s guidance. I have to ask myself if I am I really open to what God wants. Am I open to seeking God’s will in my life? It is a big question?
Third, take time to listen. Do you have a friend that always talk but never listens? We need to listen to God. How is God moving our heart? What is God asking me to do not just in general but in specific ways. What does God ask of me and my gifts?
Fourth, can I look at the world with new eyes? Can I ask, “God, let me be and do what you want me to be and do.”
Fifth, give praise to God for allowing you to know his presence and to act according to his direction and grace in the world.
This is called discernment. It means I am open, I am seeking. I am following what God wants me to do not just in a general way but in specific ways and treasures I have been given.
I want to list many of the specific ways that you and the whole parish community is involved. To achieve our goal will take true sacrifice on all our parts and it will take a reordering in many of our lives. The first part of this campaign are the actual pledges and donations of money.
This week we hit the $75,000 profit in Support Cards. This is very significant but only a minority are using them. I ask you seriously to consider switching so that instead of a minority a majority would be using them and easily triple our profits for the fund overnight. If you have any questions about this ask any of the sellers and ask yourself why you are letting these questions get in the way of a direct and clear support of this fundraising.
Events such as the Fish Fry , the St. Michael’s Choir School concert and the CWL shopping mall bus trip need your full active and wholehearted support. These are fun and effective ways that put the Fun into Fundraising. They help us to build the community that the Church serves.
Ever since our last campaign there have been monthly restoration fund envelopes in your weekly envelope boxes. My thanks go out to all the people who have used them. If this is a convenient way to show your support, then do it and continue to do it. You may think it doesn’t amount to much but it adds up.
Lastly, bequests and legacies just don’t happen. What you or a loved one leaves in a will has to be put into a will with final instructions. Pray about this and see how you too can contribute to the ongoing legacy of your mothers and fathers. This means you need to sit down and think about your will. Is the Church and Restoration Fund included in your funeral, your will and your bequests? In the last three weeks we have received $1,200 from funerals in lieu of flowers.
Please prayerfully consider all of these points. Our Lord is asking you to think and think again, pray and pray again, how you will accomplish this goal to the glory and majesty of God. Remember, no matter how generous you are, you will never outdo the Lord’s generosity.