Three-day stewardship presentation draws hundreds to St. George
Friday, Nov. 10, 2017
Courtesy photo/St. George Parish
Hundreds of people gathered in St. George Parish's Kuzy Hall to hear Tracy Earl Welliver speak about stewardship.
By Rose Thomas
Special to the Intermountain Catholic
ST. GEORGE — Living in the shadows of the saints, being mindful of the needs of others, striving to make a difference in other people’s lives – all of these and other challenges were addressed at a stewardship workshop given by Tracy Earl Welliver at St. George Parish.
Welliver, the director of Parish Community and Engagement for Liturgical Publications, Inc., is a Catholic speaker, author and stewardship coach who has spoken on stewardship, engagement and catechesis all over North America, Australia and New Zealand.
More than 200 Catholics from the St. George area attended Welliver’s presentation, “Everyday Stewardship,” which was given Oct. 22-24. He used the six stewardship parables of Jesus to highlight six characteristics of a good steward – mindful, prayerful, grateful, gracious, committed and accountable.
For example, in the Parable of the Talents (Mt 25:14-25, 30), Jesus stresses that everyone is given gifts that are to be used as God intended, Welliver said. The gifts are not only obvious talents, but also family members, material possessions, pets, and even the Word. People are called to be stewards, not owners, of what is given. They are not to hide the gifts but rather to use them for the glory of God, he said.
In the Parable of the Widow’s Mite (Mk 12:41-44), the poor widow gave what little money she had as an offering to the Temple out of her great love for God. In the simplicity of her life, she learned to “live in the now” and saw that God provided for all her needs. Like the widow, a good steward accepts the challenge of developing a spirit of sacrifice, which stems from knowing and loving the Creator and Savior, and being mindful of the needs of others – be they emotional or material, small or big, Welliver said.
In a like manner, Welliver discussed the Parable of the Sower (Mt 13: 1-23), which speaks of how and where people can use their gifts wisely through the process of discernment; the Parable of the Mustard Seed (Mt 13: 13-24), which is a reminder that great things can happen from very small things; and the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price (Mt 13:44-46), which shows that good stewards are offered the virtue of expectant hope. If good stewards can overcome fear, lack of trust or any other obstacle that prevents them from giving everything to God, the reward awaiting them here on earth and in eternity is greater than can be imagined, for what could be better than living with God?, he asked.
Welliver ended his presentations with the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37), which defines the response to the challenge of living a life of stewardship. Christians are called to give of themselves to everyone, no matter the cost, Welliver said. As members of the human race, each person is to live for the other because everyone is responsible for one another as members of the one Body in Jesus Christ, he said.
Welliver left those attending his presentation with some advice: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” In the midst of everyday life, Catholics must cut through worldly distractions and come out at the other end with Jesus Christ, he said. In the Church, Catholics stand on holy ground where they can experience freely the love of Jesus through their love of one another, he said, and he asked whether those at the presentation were ready to take ownership of their faith community.
Rose Thomas is a parishioner of St. George Catholic Church.