Sometimes Terry will get a song in his head and more often than not it was the last one he heard at Mass. One of our favorite scripture verses came to us through a song and pretty much sums up how we feel about stewardship.
It’s Romans 8:3-6a and it tells us “For by grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned. For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them.” We are all one body. This phrase typifies stewardship to us. Whether you’re a leader or a follower you’re a part of the whole.
We arrived in Nixa in 1995 and spent the first 8 years or so going to St. Joseph the Worker in Ozark. We liked the small church setting as opposed to the larger ones in Springfield. While we were at St. Joseph the Worker there were so many kids within 6-7 years of our kids' ages and all the families and kids knew each other. The kids would hold each other accountable and their friendships brought the parents together. When we heard about the idea of a church in Nixa, where we lived, we were excited about it and ready to help.
The first pastor, Fr. Boyer, was an incredible educator and taught us all about total stewardship and its components of time, talent, and treasure and how each one of those can morph out to a lot of things and can overlap with each other. He told us that sometimes we have to look in a mirror and ask ourselves, do we really mirror time, talent, and treasure in our lives?
Stewardship is such an important part of St. Francis. As a parish, we’re always willing to help each other out, whether it’s building a ramp for someone who has that need or helping other organizations through working with various Knights of Columbus activities.
We use our organizational skills to help in different ways, like the bowl-a-thon or tootsie roll drive. We don’t mind calling people to ask them to help out. When we were at St. Joseph the Worker we were involved with John and Julie Clarke with a Las Vegas Night. It was a lot of work and we would think why did we get into this, but it was so much fun and when it was over we couldn’t wait for next year. Sometimes, we ask ourselves, why did we volunteer for this one more thing, but when we get there, we’re always glad we did.
Stewardship just makes us feel good. Community is the biggest thing. We love events in the community room such as the ministry fair, fish fries, chili cook-off, and even coffee and donuts. This pandemic has been hard on everyone and we look forward to when we can gather again as parish community. Our parish is all about that feeling of family. Being transplants, we have no family in this area of the country, but by being part of St. Francis of Assisi the parishioners fill that void.
It’s about giving back. Being good stewards is to be a cheerful giver of your time, talent, and treasure and to be there for each other.
- Terry & Linda Howard