Dear Friend of Saint Andrew,
Although I cannot guarantee the exact timing that the mail will deliver this letter to you, I wanted to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! In light of all the challenges faced in the last 20 months, it is important to be thankful for what we have. It is at the heart of our Catholic Faith!
I also want to bring your attention to the enclosed response card. As Pastoral Associate at Saint Andrew Parish, one of my annual responsibilities has been to work with the Stewardship Commission on an annual appeal in November focused on parish stewardship. We ask for parishioners to prayerfully consider how they will use their TIME, TALENT, and TREASURE in the year ahead, to complete the response card, and return it to the parish through the normal Sunday offertory, through the mail, or to complete the online form at www.standrew.org/stewardship
Through this effort, you are invited to make a commitment that encompasses stewardship for the many gifts given by God to each household. This commitment includes care for oneself, one’s family and one’s fellow citizens. It should embrace a care for creation, for the vulnerable, and yes, the care of God’s Church through Saint Andrew Parish. While all three aspects of stewardship remain important, in this year’s appeal, we ask you to consider, “How is your TIME being used?”
Years ago, on Father’s Day, I came across a reflection by a priest that radically changed my life. He asked, “What do you get for the Father who has everything?” Perhaps you’ve struggled with the same question around Father’s Day. The answer inferred by the reflection was, “Give him the one thing he doesn’t have… your grateful heart.”
From that moment on, I began to see that the most valuable thing I could give my dad was my time. Just being with him, sharing memories together, listening to the things important to him and telling him what was important to me. This would enrich our relationship more than anything else I could offer.
God has the same desire that our earthly fathers have. God already has everything in the universe. What more does God need that God doesn’t already have? The answer is sublimely simple. God delights in us spending TIME with Him.
Often confused with making a commitment to volunteer, the stewardship of TIME invites us to consider the TIME spent nurturing our relationship with God. How is your communal prayer life going? Is it a regular part of your week to attend Mass in person or virtually? How is your private prayer life going? Do you find the space to pray the rosary, make a daily examen, or read the scriptures? A commitment of TIME might be to participate in some type of faith enrichment in the year ahead such as Saint Andrew Parish’s REBOOT program, Advent Speaker Series, or Lenten Parish Mission. More information about these opportunities can be found at the end of the letter.
This Thanksgiving, IT IS ABOUT TIME. After 20 months of the pandemic, there have been numerous opportunities to excuse ourselves from the discipline of spending time with God. It has been easy to defer to “praying at home” and from there, not praying at all.
This is why the annual stewardship appeal is so important. This process is an annual spiritual examination. The fruit of the appeal is seeing numerous parishioners take the next step to becoming the person God calls them to be. As you make a commitment to stewardship for the year ahead, it is important to be prudent. Challenge yourself into a deeper relationship with God by offering back your TIME, TALENT, and TREASURE, but be realistic as well. The life of a disciple is a journey made step by step.
It is also important that we make this commitment annually. Not only does the completion of your annual stewardship commitment serve as a reminder for you, but it also helps the pastor and parish staff know how we can serve you better. We want to support your own personal path to good stewardship, particularly when there is a new interest in serving in ministry or if you are working on your end-of-life documents and are considering Saint Andrew in your estate planning. Whatever “next step” you choose to take, we want to help!
I truly love serving at Saint Andrew Parish! The encounters I have with individuals at every stage of life make me proud to say that I work at Saint Andrew Parish. When I go to meetings with other church leaders from around the Archdiocese, it is clear the esteem that others around Chicago have for Saint Andrew Parish. All of these things happen because parishioners like you take seriously the role of being good stewards of their gifts. Your commitment to wisely use your TIME, TALENT, and TREASURE makes Saint Andrew Parish’s mission possible. I thank you for your commitment in the past and I ask for your ongoing commitment in the future.
As always, if I or any of the staff at Saint Andrew Parish can be of service to you, please let us know.
With deep gratitude,
David Heimann, M.Div
Opportunities to Grow in Faith:
Advent Speaker Series – The Gifts We Bring – Thursday, December 9, 16 & 23, 2021 at 7:00pm over Zoom. Take an inventory of your gifts using the Gallup Strengths Finder, see better how they are given by God, and discern how to use them well.
Parish Mission – Manage Stress Through Faith – given by Mike McCauley – March 20, 21 & 22, 2022 in the evening (TBA). Learn about and practice Catholic responses to stress and anxiety as we prepare for Easter together with Saint Benedict Parish. In person and live streamed.
REBOOT: Update Your Spirituality – For all adults, take a look at how faith and religion has changed for you. Thursday nights at 7:00pm starting April 21 through May 26, 2022.