By Barb Arland-Fye
A new Web page that offers plenty of resources about stewardship has been created on the Diocese of Davenport’s Web site (www.davenportdiocese.org/stewardship/index.htm).
Visitors will find easy access to letters, prayer services and other documents pertaining to stewardship at the parish, diocesan, national and international level. Among the resources:
• A brief introduction to the Web page and contact information for Dan Ebener, the Diocese of Davenport’s director of stewardship and parish planning.
• The U.S. bishops’ 1992 pastoral letter on stewardship, titled “Stewardship, A Disciple’s Response.”
• The Diocese of Davenport’s Stewardship Statement, titled “Fostering Stewardship as a Way of Life.” It includes a vision for stewardship in the diocese, provides components of parish stewardship, and short- and long-term strategies to make stewardship a way of life in the diocese.
• Parish self-assessment. This assessment tool allows parishes to take a look at their own work in stewardship.
• Sharing Faith First. This resource offers a way to start meetings, whether for business or for family, with prayer and reflection on Scripture.
• A link to the Stewardship Letter of the International Catholic Stewardship Council.
• Information about the St. Ambrose Stewardship Institute.
• Stewardship in our parishes. This resource provides items about stewardship that parishes submit.
• Stewardship resources for young adults and teenagers.
• Links to diocesan Web sites with helpful information on stewardship (Dioceses of Providence, R.I.; Rockville, Md.; and St. Louis).
• Annotated bibliography.
• Dan Ebener’s article in CHURCH magazine and his series of articles printed in The Catholic Messenger on stewardship.
Ebener says the beauty of this new Web page is that members of the Diocesan Stewardship Commission “have stepped forward to help put this Web page together and they are contributing materials from their own parishes about what works and best practices for stewardship ministry.”
The commission has taken ownership of the Web page and plans to submit materials on a regular basis that can help others in their stewardship efforts, he said.
They’ll post resources as Word documents so that users can borrow materials for their own parishes. “Rather than posting a survey as a PDF file, we’ll post it as a Word document and they’ll have permission to make it their own,” Ebener added.
He hopes the new Web page will attract parish leaders looking for more materials and resources. “Hopefully this will build capacity for parish leaders to take the initiative on stewardship.”
Judy Johnson, a member of the Diocesan Stewardship Commission and parish administrator at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport, hopes the new Web page accomplishes two goals: first, that it inspires others in their ministry of stewardship in the diocese and, secondly, that they find a useful library of resources for their own parishes to foster and promote stewardship.
She plans to promote the Web page among the various groups and committees in her own parish. She especially appreciates the “Sharing Faith First” resource that offers a prayer service to begin a group’s meeting. Members reflect on Scripture for the coming Sunday, which helps keep the faith component front and center, Johnson said.
She’s also posted helpful resources that Our Lady of Victory has developed. And she’ll continue to check the Web page to see what other parishes and dioceses are offering that could be adapted at her parish.