This year we are blessed to celebrate 94 years as a parish family. Milestones give us the opportunity to reflect more deeply on our mission and ministry as daughters and sons of Jesus Christ. Consider for a moment the countless number of people who have worshiped and celebrated the sacraments with us. Think of the classmates that we attended school with. Think of the Annunziata activities you have been a part of. Think of the baptisms and the weddings and First Communions and Confirmations we have participated in.
In response to all these gifts we say Thank You! Those two words might be the most important words we speak each day. They evoke an understanding and awareness that we have been blessed by our God and others. Think about that for a minute. What did you thank God for yesterday? Did you thank God for your family and friends, your health, your home, your job or livelihood? Did you thank God for the gift of faith or the abundant love that he showers upon you each day?
Prayer is the engine behind it all. Through prayer and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are able to further our mission ‘engaging others as disciples’ to love God and neighbor as Jesus taught.
As we strive to be disciples, good stewardship is certainly a disciple’s response. Stewardship, quite simply, is recognizing that everything we have and everything we are is a gift from God and being grateful and generous with those gifts. Stewardship isn’t a process, or a campaign, or an accounting of our gifts.
Rather, it is a lifestyle rooted in gratitude and generosity.
The whole point of stewardship is to help each other strengthen our relationship with God and get to Heaven! The foundation of stewardship is prayer – talking and listening to God every day, throughout the day.
We at the Church of the Annunziata have the responsibility to continue to be a beacon of hope and light in our community. Now, our energies need to focus on the ‘new evangelization’ with programming, staffing, services, and facilities to welcome and grow new disciples, and engage others to meet the varying needs of our school, church and neighborhood.
Thank you for your generosity, prayers, and commitment to Annunziata Church!
With Prayers and Blessings,
Msgr. John Shamleffer