Stewardship of Treasure

Hi All,

Today I once again want to speak to all of you about the Stewardship of Treasure.

The Our Lady of Refuge community has approximately 900 registered families listed as members of the parish. I am aware we have several families who come here regularly who are not officially registered in our parish. These numbers are the families that actually attend, if one wants to look at the size of the parish, we need to look at who attends. So, we have approximately 300 families/households that attend mass on a weekly basis. This is where our weekly offertory is generated. What we put down for our weekly offering, we need to pay our bills, and such is $12,200. Last year we did make that mark and slightly more, that would mean we brought in around $680,000.

The average income for our households is approximately $150,000/year. This is an average so some households are more and some households are less! Based on the amount of money we took in last year and the average income, each household, on average contributed $43.50/week. This works out to 2.2% of the total income. As you recall in my article last week, I spoke about the 4-3-2-1 model. Under that model, if on average everyone contributed 4% of their household tithe, we would be bringing into our collection, weekly, from each household $90/ week. If that were to happen, our weekly offertory would increase from $12,200 to $27,000/week. An increase in this would allow us as a parish to do so much more for all of you in helping you grow in your faith.

As we kick off our campaign to increase our offertory, next weekend you will be asked to fill out a commitment card of what you will contribute. I ask you to prayerfully this week, look into your hearts and see what you can truly do to increase your weekly offering for your second family of Our Lady of Refuge Parish and School.

I thank you all for the current generosity of your Stewardship of Treasure and hope you can prayerfully consider a most subtle increase.

Fr Ron Richards

Parish Picnic 2023

Hello everyone!! What a great weekend! If I could use one word to describe this past weekend’s parish picnic it would be “WOW”! A big thank you goes out to everyone who brought the amazing sides and desserts! I did my best to sample them all! Thank you also to everyone who helped by volunteering their time to set up, run food back and forth, help in the kitchen/social hall, and help clean up at the conclusion of the day!

Thank you also to the Msgr. A.X.M. Sharpe K of C Council #600 for generously donating and serving the beer and wine for the picnic and also grilling all the burgers and hot dogs! What I saw this past weekend was a parish community coming together to relax, have fun, and grow together! I was able to meet so many of you and it was truly an honor putting a face to some of the names. This is how I pray for and envision each event unfolding going forward. Us, gathered as a community enjoying some time together in the presence of God. It was such a fun event and reminded me again how lucky I am to be here with you all at OLR! God Bless!

Dave Kennedy
Director, Evangelization

Offertory Increase Campaign Preparation … Tithing

Hi all,

Next weekend, my homily is going to speak to stewardship and an increase in your offertory. We are officially kicking off an offertory increase campaign the weekend of September 23/24. This weekend, in preparation, I wanted to write this article on Tithing, something we are all called to do.

What is Tithing?

The aspect of tithing is found in scripture as far back as in Leviticus 27:30 and 34. “All tithes of the land, whether in grain from the field or in fruit from the trees, belong to the Lord as sacred to Him.” “These are the commandments which the Lord gave to Moses on Mount Sinai for the Israelites.”

Tithing, by definition, is giving of one’s income to the church and the poor. God gave Moses the commandment of tithing in 1300 BC for the purpose of supporting the Levite priests and their mission work. The practice of tithing has a strong precedent in the Bible and church history and is still relevant today. Even in the new testament in Matthew 19:21, Jesus told the rich man: “If you seek perfection go, sell your possessions, and give to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Afterward, come back and follow me”.

How Much Should I Be Giving?

The understanding of how much to give at a minimum, which can be derived from scripture, is typically 10% of our income to the church and the poor. The maximum would be giving what Jesus said to the rich man in Matthew 19:21, which I referenced above.

Though tithing is a responsibility of all Christians, there are legitimate exceptions to tithing, such as family members living in poverty with hardly enough to cover their own basic needs. However, those who have the ability should make their best effort to tithe. I think one has to look at their budget and ask themselves, are the things I am buying necessary or not, what I am I doing with my discretionary income?

Regardless of circumstances, we should all try to give something no matter how small the gift. Jesus gave us a great example of this in Mark 12:41 -44, where the poor widow gave a few pennies in the collection box and Jesus said to His disciples, “She gave from her want, all that she had to live on.”

I myself tithe and I do tithe 10%. The model I have always used for myself is the following a 4-3-2-1 model. What does this mean? Let us say your annual income, after taxes is $100,000. That would mean you should tithe $10,000/year. From that $10,000, you would break this up in the following way:

$4,000 to your church
$3,000 to your preferred charitable organization/Catholic Services Appeal
$2,000 to other charitable organizations
$1,000 to randomly give out to homeless

What I do know is if all of us in the parish tithed, on average, the way we should our collection would be somewhere around $5,000/week higher than we currently take in. So, as we prepare to begin our offertory increase campaign, I ask you to look at the percentage you tithe on an annual basis. If you are tithing a total of 2%, I am not asking you to jump to 10%, that will take time. But begin that increase now.

Again, I will be preaching on the subject offertory increase next weekend as we begin our offertory increase drive.

Peace and I thank you for hearing me out on this very sensitive area.
Fr Ron Richards

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