Summer’s end brings with it nostalgia for carefree days, long nights, lazy weekend afternoons, reunions with families, and summer road trips. But autumn brings a burst of new life that makes September feel almost like spring. Why?
For the Christian steward, fall brings a renewed sense of commitment. Literally, many of us make our commitment of time and resources to our parish during September or soon after. Stewardship and ministry fairs bring a sense of excitement to parish weekends, witness talks remind us of the good work to be done, renewed calls for sign-ups for Eucharistic Adoration are issued, and kids are everywhere – in our Catholic schools and in our faith formation programs – filling us with hope and enthusiasm for our young Church. This is the time when we reexamine and reconfirm our stewardship.
If you found yourself away from our parish this summer – either through neglect or through travel and visits to other parishes – now is the time to get reacquainted. Our parish is our primary faith community, where we built relationships based on our shared values and sacramental life, and September is a wonderful way to come “home” to that community.
Some things which will draw you closer to your faith community during September: • Visit, or better yet help with, the ministry fair. Spend time with people you may not have seen due to summer travels, and “meet and greet” any newcomers you spot. • Consider a new ministry this year. Think of something that will reinvigorate you, provide the greatest service, bring out your best talents, and help you to meet more of your fellow parishioners. • Find out what adult faith formation classes or presentations are offered for the fall, and commit to at least one. • Take inventory of your financial giving. Did you sometimes neglect the parish offertory during the summer months? Find out if your parish has online giving, or automatic withdrawal, so that your year-round stewardship helps provide the parish with a stable income. • Make Sunday Mass your top weekend priority, ahead of sports, school activities, or other temptations.