Stewardship writer passing the pen

Lisa Coyne is a Langauge Arts teacher at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Wichita. She wrote stewardship Bulletin Bits for five years. She has passed that pen to Lance Biel, a parishioner at Church of the Magdalen in Wichita. (Advance photo)

Teacher at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton wrote Bulletin Bits for five years

Lisa Coyne’s work was stewardship in service of stewardship.

Coyne wrote stewardship “Bulletin Bits” for five years on behalf of the Diocese of Wichita, paragraphs she shared with parish bulletin editors, but has now passed her pen to another writer.

An English teacher at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Wichita, Coyne put her English degree and her master of theological studies degree to work in her efforts to catechize the faithful about the beauty of the stewardship way of life.

Audrey Ronnfeldt, the coordinator of the Stewardship Office, was looking for an author for Bulletin Bits in 2016 and learned from a mutual friend that Coyne had just graduated from Newman University’s theology program.

The timing was right for Coyne’s venture into encouraging stewardship via her keyboard. “As an English major writing comes very naturally to me and at that point I had also recently come onto the stewardship council at my parish, Holy Spirit in Goddard,” she said. “So I had a vested interest.”

After reviewing examples Ronnfeldt provided, Coyne began her tenure as a writer of stewardship inspiration.

“When I first started, I was instructed to keep it brief, write maybe a paragraph,” she said. “You’re looking at the readings for the day, but you’re really looking at them through a stewardship lens.”

That was a novel way of reflecting on the readings, she said, and was initially challenging. “It probably took me the first year to really understand I’m not just writing a gospel reflection, I’m actually writing a reflection that is geared towards stewardship.”

Coyne said her ability to see the Mass readings through the lens of stewardship evolved. “It was amazing to me that it’s there. Every single week there’s a stewardship message, or at the very least, a message about discipleship as a steward.”

The diocesan stewardship themes posed a challenge for Coyne at times, she said, adding that it required her writing to evolve. “I was able to not only look for the stewardship message but connect it to the theme. I was – over and over, again – convicted by my own writing.”

Last year’s Fiat theme was beautiful, she said. “It was so amazing how often you could find a steward’s ‘yes’ within those Gospel passages.”

Writing the Bulletin Bits also allowed her to go deeper into scripture. “Having that commitment caused me to just sit down with scripture and with commentaries and read and pray and interpret in a way that I had never done before.”

The couple of hours a month she wrote were also hours of prayer, she said, which was a gift. “I grew as a steward but I also grew as a ‘prayer-er.’”

She will continue in prayer but is passing her stewardship pen to the new Bulletin Bits editor: Lance Biel, a parishioner at Church of the Magdalen, in Wichita.