Stewardship of Prayer

BUILDING A STEWARDSHIP PARISH ON FOUR PILLARS

THE STEWARDSHIP OF PRAYER

A stewardship parish strives to nourish the soul through prayer. "Prayer is as necessary to our souls as food is to our bodies.” (Characteristics of a Christian Steward). Prayer and the sacraments dispose a soul to receive God's abundant graces, which are necessary to grow in holiness. It is through prayer that we nurture our personal relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While parishioners find great fulfillment in giving themselves to parish life, prayer purifies and intensifies the intention of the steward. Prayer increases our yearning to receive the source and summit of our Catholic faith, the Eucharist. As a parish family, we gather together to worship and praise God in the Mass. Nourished by the Word of God and the Eucharist, we are strengthened as a parish family to go and to serve the Lord. Stewardship is a lived response of the disciple to follow this command. There is a deep connection between the Eucharistic celebration and stewardship. In one of the prefaces of the Eucharistic prayers it says, "Lord, our desire to thank you is itself your gift." The Third Eucharistic Prayer states, “All life, all holiness comes from you through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, by the working of the Holy Spirit... And so, Father, we bring you these gifts. We ask you to make them holy by the power of your Spirit, that they may become the body and blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate this Eucharist." All we are and seek to become is strengthened and becomes more perfect through the Eucharist. it is in the Eucharist where we again recognize our total dependence upon God for everything. All that is good is a gift from Him. It is not that we have loved Him, but that He first has loved us by giving His Son. ln both our personal and communal prayer, we turn toward God to discern properly our talents and gifts. in a steward’s response, we place those gifts at the service of God and one another. At the heart of the steward's prayer is the petition, “Thy Will be done.” Listed below are some of the ways you can grow through the stewardship of prayer at St. Luke's parish:

Liturgy Committee

The Liturgy Committee is a “worship and spirituality” committee. This committee seeks to build up the Body of Christ through worship and prayer. Realizing worship is integral to the faith community, the liturgy committee explores and implements ways to make the liturgies at St. Luke's prayerful, participatory, and celebratory. The group meets the 1st Thursday of the month at 7:00pm.

Ministers of Worship

Ministers of worship are scheduled on a quarterly basis. Schedules are emailed to all ministers prior to the beginning of the quarter and are available on the parish web site. In addition, the schedules for each week are published in the bulletin and email notices are sent each Wednesday for the upcoming weekend. Group trainings are announced throughout the year and individual trainings are arranged as needed.

Altar Servers

All students in 4th grade and above are eligible to serve. Servers carry the candles, assist the presider at Mass and serve as guides for the congregation.

Cross Bearers

This minister leads the procession at the beginning and the end of Mass. All adults and high school students are welcome to join this ministry.

Eucharistic Ministers

Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist assist the priest in distributing Holy Communion at Mass. They also bring Communion to the sick and homebound. Eucharistic Ministers must be confirmed, practicing Catholics.

Hospitality Ministers

Hospitality Ministers serve as on outward sign of Christ’s hospitality by welcoming those coming to worship, assisting with seating, taking up the offertory collection, and distributing the weekly bulletin after Mass. All adults and high school students are welcome to join this ministry.

Lectors/Commentators

Lectors are members of the Assembly who proclaim the Word in the first two scripture readings. They need to be effective communicators and also need to absorb and express the spirit of the Liturgy. Lectors receive workbooks containing all the readings with helpful guides and suggestions about presenting, pronunciation and correct emphasis. Commentators read the Prayers of the Faithful and the weekly announcements at Mass. Lectors and Commentators need to be confirmed, practicing Catholics.

Music Ministry

The music ministry provides music for weekend Masses and other liturgical celebrations. it consists of:

  • Cantors — lead sung prayer at all the Eucharistic liturgies
  • Adult Choir — sings at Mass once a month
  • Youth Choir — sings at Christmas Eve Mass and children's Masses throughout the year
  • Instrumentalists — accompany the cantor or choir at Masses

Environment Team

Guided by Father Hoffman and the Liturgical Committee, the St. Luke's Environment Ministry members rotate the responsibility of setting up and decorating St. Luke's worship space.

Junior Environment Team

St. Luke's Jr. Environment Team is a group of grade school students who volunteer their time and talents to decorate St. Luke’s worship space once a month. They design and create inspirational banners/drawings relating to the liturgical season and to the readings for the Sunday they are assigned. They are guided and supervised by members of the Environment Team.

Reflection Questions

  1. Is your parish a place of prayer? Is it evident to you that the directions and decisions of the parish are guided by a deep prayer life of the parish community?
  2. What can your parish do to help yourself and others make prayer a greater priority?
  3. What ideas do you have to strengthen each building block listed above to lead parishioners within your parish to deeper prayer?