The Follow Up Phase

DECEMBER - Who Are You Following?

“To be a Christian disciple is a rewarding way of life, a way of companionship with Jesus, and the practice of stewardship as a part of it is itself a source of deep joy.  Those who live this way are happy people who have found the meeting and purpose of living.”  USCCB Stewardship A Disciples Response

This phase is the most neglected, yet one of the most important.  For stewardship to be successful everyone must be contacted - even those already serving.

Prayer:

  • Pray for all the members of our parishes, who in response to our Annual Parish Stewardship Renewal have pledged their talent and treasures that the Lord may give them the perseverance and reward their efforts with blessings.
  • Prayer for my Parish
  • Give the First 10 minutes of your meeting to prayer.  Pray and reflect on the coming Sunday’s readings.  Pray for those of your parish that have lost a loved one.

Formation and Gratitude:

  • Acknowledgements during announcements:
    • thank parishioners for returning renewal forms.
    • remind those who did not return their forms to please do so.
    • Thank yous:  Ministry Fair planning team, Ministry Leaders, lay-witness (es).
    • Mail thank you postcard/note and/or email.
    • Thank you article in parish bulletin (in addition to the above).

 Annual Stewardship Renewal:

  • Open and organize Talent and Treasure forms
  • Send thank you/acknowledgement to parishioners that returned renewal forms
  • Be intentional about contacting  parishioners that haven’t returned renewal forms
  • Enter  Talent and Treasure commitments into data-base (ongoing)
  • Keep track of the number of Talent and Treasure forms returned.  This is important so that you can track progress from year to year.  (Count after Commitment Sunday then at the end of each month.)

 Communication:

  • Send invitations and publish date in parish bulletin for the January gathering of all Ministry Leaders.
  •  Publish dates for the January Commissioning Service for Ministry Leaders.
  • Contact parishioners who did not turn in Talent, and Treasure forms.
  •  Utilize Bulletin Bits in parish bulletins etc. weekly (emailed and posted on website in English and Spanish).
  •  Utilize Stewardship Prayers of the Faithful (one time per month except for November weekly).
  •  Contact the Office of Stewardship with questions or with an invitation to a Stewardship Council meeting.

 V  PRAY:  Pray that the Lord will teach us how to thank Him for all the gifts that He has given as signs of His love and in gratitude to our parishioners for sharing their gifts in love of God and neighbor.  REFLECT:  What do you do when life gets hard?  What is grace?

 

January/February - Who Are You Following?

"Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction." Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

“As a Church, we are called to be missionary disciples who know and live the faith and confidently share the Gospel.”  Living as Missionary Disciples USCCB

The Stewardship Council, pastor and ministry leaders model stewardship especially during the Follow-Up Phase!  Gratefully recognizing and receiving the gifts of parishioners that signed up for ministry!  Contacting parishioners in a timely manner is being a great steward of their gifts.  Contacting parishioners that have not made a commitment and inviting them into the life of faith.

Pray:   

  • Pray that we are trustworthy stewards of God’s abundant gifts and that we recognize and receive the gifts our parishioners.
  • Pray that we follow the example of Jesus’ servant leadership, serving others and sharing the Good News of Jesus into every situation
  • Give the First 10 minutes of your meeting to prayer.  Pray and reflect on the coming Sunday’s readings.  Give thanks for the gifts from our parishioners.

Formation and Gratitude:

  • Commissioning service for Ministry/Council leadership at all of the Masses (found in the Book of Blessings).  The purpose of this is to: recognize ministry leaders in the presence of their peers and it allows parishioners the opportunity to thank them.  It also provides an opportunity for ministry leaders to re-commit to service.  Thank Ministry Leaders who have recognized and received their gift of leadership.
  • Schedule a Ministry/Council Leadership gathering, open house, or Leadership Retreat.  This is a good opportunity to personally thank them for their leadership, refresh/renew, build community, set expectations, and distribute lists compiled from the Talent forms.  (See Ministry Leaders Guide on pgs. 15 and 16)** Don’t forget to include food:  when we meet…we eat!   (Sample agendas and photos can be found at:  www.CatholicDioceseofWichita.org/stewardship)

Annual Stewardship Renewal:

  • Send acknowledgments to all parishioners that have made commitments 
  • Contact those who did not return forms (Ideas:  pastor letter, Phone-a-thon, email reminder, announcements at Mass).
  • Annual Parish Stewardship renewal debrief of the Preparation Phase and Call to Commitment Phase.

Communication:

The 4 C’s of Stewardship Communication:  constant – consistent – concrete - creative

  • Bulletin article ideas:  “Many thanks to our good parish families who are committed to living the stewardship way of life!”  “It’s not too late to turn in your forms!”  Recap of Commitment Phase:  How many attended the Ministry Fair?  How many returned forms?
  • Utilize Bulletin Bits in parish bulletins, etc. weekly (emailed and posted on website in English and Spanish).
  • Publish Annual Parish Stewardship Report (pg._).
  • Contact the Office of Stewardship with questions or with an invitation to a Stewardship Council meeting

 V  PRAY:  Pray that a deeper faith is realized by those parishioners who, out of gratitude to God, shared their talents as members of our parishes.  REFLECT:  In what ways do I publically witness to the Christian life?  What opportunities does the parish provide to cultivate ongoing encounters with Jesus?