“The toolkit was helpful in setting up our ministry fair,” said Tom Dohm, who is a member of the Corpus Christi parish pastoral council as well as its stewardship committee. “But more than that it helped us with the broader stewardship effort in our parish.”
Dohm was one of more than 300 parish leaders – clergy and mostly lay – who attended one of five workshops intended to present the new tools that have been added to the toolkit in this its second year. The workshops were spread geographically across the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis the first full week of June.
Along with presenting the new elements of the toolkit, the workshops offered parish leaders time to share challenges and ideas with others engaged in parish stewardship initiatives and to suggest other needs that might be addressed in the toolkit in the future.
At each workshop Michael Halloran, archdiocesan director of development and stewardship, briefly ran through the elements new to the toolkit:
- A chapter on Shared Ministry;
- More scriptural references to stewardship;
- A chapter on Planned Giving;
- More samples of commitment forms, pastor talks about stewardship, and,
- A section to facilitate the segmenting of parish lists through the Logos software system for more effective annual stewardship renewal efforts.
The toolkit is available both in three-ring binder form and on http://www.archspm.org, and Halloran invited parish leaders to browse through the updated version to see what’s available now to see what they may want to adapt for their own parish stewardship initiatives.
Added time and talent pieces
At the workshops Mary Kennedy and Sally Carlson-Bancroft described the additions to the toolkit aimed at supporting approaches to parish volunteerism.
Kennedy, coordinator of stewardship at Pax Christi in Eden Prairie and chair of the archdiocesan Stewardship Committee, pointed out that in its first year the toolkit’s emphasis was on the more financial aspects of the parish annual stewardship renewal effort.
“This year we collaborated with the Shared Ministry Association in the archdiocese to work on the time and talent part,” Kennedy said.
Carlson-Bancroft, coordinator of both volunteer support and new member welcome at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, noted the importance of encouraging all aspects of a giving community, not simply financial stewardship.
“So much of our life is about how we steward our time and talent as well as our treasure,” she noted.
The new toolkit chapter on Shared Ministry includes a baker’s dozen ways to link parishioners’ gifts with ministry opportunities and samples of ways to invite people into parish ministry.
More for Logos users, new Planned Giving section
Mike Laughery introduced the new segment of the toolkit that shows the step-by-step process to segment donor lists using Logos, a process he used as business administrator at St. Michael in Prior Lake, and Pam Burke, the Logos consultant to the archdiocese, walked attendees through a sample of the possibilities the software affords for better stewardship results.
Finally, Bill Marsella of the Catholic Community Foundation offered a glimpse at the new chapter on Planned Giving and the reasoning behind adding it to the toolkit.
The chapter includes sample letters, suggested resources and steps for building an endowment.
During a roundtable discussion with parish leaders from St. Patrick in Oak Grove, Corpus Christi’s Dohm said he liked the new things that have been added to the toolkit.
“I like the strength-finder idea, and maybe working on the endowment, too,” he said.
Mark Flynn from St. Patrick said his parish began using the new stewardship logo from the toolkit last year, and is looking forward to the new portions on Shared Ministry.
“We need help with volunteer development,” Flynn said, “re-generation of volunteers. We need to work on how to ask for volunteers.”
Ideas for future additions to the toolkit that surfaced at that one table included stewardship education for children, family activities with a stewardship focus and education pieces on the benefits of electronic giving.