What is Stewardship?
“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10)
What identifies a steward? Safeguarding material and human resources and using them responsibly are one answer; so is generous giving of time, talent, and treasure. But being a Christian steward means more. As Christian stewards, we receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.¹
The challenge, then is to understand our role – our vocation – and to respond generously to this call from God. Christ calls each of us to be stewards of our personal vocations, which we receive from God. We are obliged to be stewards of the Church, collaborators, and cooperators in the continuing redemptive work of Jesus Christ. It is the personal responsibility of each one of us as stewards of the Church to play our role in carrying out its mission.¹
This is the ultimate lesson of stewardship: that a human being is not owner but only custodian of God’s gifts in this world, to use them and produce with them the fruits of eternal life.¹ We each need to prayerfully reflect on how God calls us to share our time, talents and treasure for the good of all people.
¹A Summary of the U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship
How Much of My Treasure Should I Give?
How much do of your treasure do you donate to SJN? Of course, the answer is different for each of us. Before you determine your giving to SJN, please prayerfully consider your support and reflect on how giving directly supports our continued mission to serve all our parishioners and our neighbors throughout the Reston/Herndon community.
How is My Treasure Used?
Stewardship applies not just to the giver of gifts, but to the recipient as well. The St. John Neumann staff and leadership try to be the best stewards of the generous gifts received from our donors. The management of daily financial matters and operational accounting is handled by trained professional staff employed by SJN. The Finance Council provides advice and counsel to our pastor about the financial aspects of the operation of the parish in keeping with the church’s code of Canon Law.
The primary source of funds for the SJN is from weekly collections. Collections are used to support all facets of running the SJN Parish, including paying for daily operations, funding faith formation to grow the seeds of our Catholic faith and teaching, ministering to our faithful, and serving the needs of the local Reston and Herndon community. Weekly collections literally support everything we do from maintaining the facility and property to supporting the clergy, staff salary and benefits to funding the numerous ministries and programs provided by the parish. Additionally, we are always working to be good stewards to the physical church and environment by ensuring that we plan for unforeseen needs of our property and future capital projects.
It is only by the generosity of our parishioners that we are able to maintain our mission of foramation in our Catholic faith and outreach as the hands and feet of Christ.
Giving to SJN enables us to continue and build ministries to our parishioners and neighbors. Here are just a few of the ministries that your giving supports:
- Annual Hypothermia Protection Shelter
- Cornerstones Food Bank
- Backpacks for the Kids R First Drive
- Birthday Club for the Laurel Learning Center
- Gifts for Kids and Angel Gifts programs
- Thanksgiving baskets for local families
- Loaves and Fishes program, which includes ministry to six local shelter programs providing thousands of meals each year.
- Samaritan program, which works with individuals to break the cycle of poverty by providing personal finance mentoring as well as assistance. Working with local groups and the Fairfax County, State, and Federal assistance programs, the Samaritan program feeds, clothes, houses, and educates those in need.