SS. Simon and Jude is a Stewardship Parish. “Stewardship” does not mean the donation of money. Stewardship is much more and represents the giving back to God the gifts of our time, our talents, and our treasure that He has given us. Everything that we have is a gift from God and we are the Stewards of those gifts.
We want to take this opportunity to explain to you the program which our parish has adopted for its financial support. Some time ago, in a series of sermons, our parishioners were introduced to GOD’S PLAN – a modern adaptation of the ancient biblical practice of tithing. We have summarized below the main points of the program. We hope that you will find, as many of your friends and neighbors of this parish have found that this is the best way to satisfy both your need to acknowledge God’s goodness and the needs of His church.
THE MATERIAL NEEDS OF THE CHURCH
Almighty God, as a pure and infinitely perfect spirit, has no need of material goods. In His wisdom, however He has made His work on Earth, the work of the church, dependent on material goods. In spite of the entrance of the government into various areas of charity and education, the basic needs of religion must be met by the offerings of individual church members.
OUR NEED TO EXPRESS GRATITUDE
It is basic to our human nature and our self respect to desire to express gratitude when we receive something. All our spiritual and material blessings, even our existence, we have received as a gift from God. God has providentially united our need to acknowledge His goodness with the needs of His Church.
THE MEASURE OF OUR RETURN
The practical question arises: “How much of our material goods should we return to God?” The only direct answer God has ever given is the tithe or 10%. Even though this standard was set in a different economic situation, it is still found to be the best answer to this question. It is both an adequate response and an economically possible one.
THE METHOD OF GIVING TO GOD
We make our return to God whenever we met Him. We meet God in every opportunity to practice charity, either directly to our neighbor, or indirectly through some charitable agency such as Catholic Charities, the United Way, etc. Our primary meeting place with God is our parish church. It is here that we unite with the priest in offering the Mass and are nourished by the Sacraments. Therefore, our return can be made to God in this way: 5% through our parish and 5% through other charities.
This practical solution to church support is being used by more and more people of all faiths. We hope that these few words of explanation will encourage you to investigate and adopt this program.