Monday, November 13, 2006

Meet the Coach

Orginally posted in my personal journal on October 20, 2006 regarding a parish stewardship meeting on October 25, 2006:

On Wednesday night, Melissa and I met at the Parish Hall for one of the "Meet the Coach" meetings for the parish's 2007 Stewardship Campaign. Father Bernie is rather new to Holy Rosary, having only been at the parish for about two months, and since his arrival, he has launched a campaign to build a team mentality among the various parishioners (thus the theme). Part of the strategy has been to conduct a survey among the parishioners to determine the parish's needs, hold meetings to discuss the findings, and begin a stewardship campaign to meet those needs. Personally, I went to learn a bit more about what the parish offers (I really had no idea how much they do offer), to have the opportunity to meet more people, and to meet Father Bernie once more. The meeting wasn't unpleasant, though as someone who genuinely doesn't have a lot -- or really any -- money to spare, stewardship campaigns generally make me uncomfortable. It isn't that I don't want to give; it's that I think it's more important to keep a roof over my head and food on my table. Fortunately, although "tithing" -- a concept not foreign to me since I was raised Protestant -- is something that the church seems to be moving toward to meet its needs, the Catholic Church does have a provision in the Catechism that states giving should be done according to one's means. Tom and I did talk about it later and after checking with his father (our own personal theological answer-man) to be sure that tithing is truly something meant for people who are actually financially stable, we decided to try to give what we could after paying the bills and putting some back to secure our post-Army education-filled futures -- which means we'll be happy to give 10% of what we have after the bills are paid and a little is tucked away into savings. For us, that's a sacrifice because it means tightening the budget for even basic things like groceries. But mostly, I think I'll give my time. Tom isn't able to do so because he's on post all week, but I have plenty of evenings I can devote to a project or two at the church while still finding time to write. Regardless, I was able to meet Father Bernie again at the meeting and was impressed that he remembered who I was (after all, it's a big church), and he mentioned during his speech that he thought it was great that new candidates like me are jumping right into things (at least I think that's what he said; I was a bit busy keeping baby E from putting goldfish cracker crumbs in my hair). I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that a few people who work at my company are Holy Rosary parishioners, and I was happy to meet Melissa's kids, A and baby E (who, as I mentioned, really, really likes to play with my hair). All in all, it was a good meeting and though I was a little lost during some of it, I'm glad I went.


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