Partners in Stewardship for Life has been established for the purpose of assisting parishes, dioceses, and other organizations to foster and to teach stewardship among their faithful, and to help those parishes which have begun the stewardship journey to enhance and improve their current efforts. After years of experience of living and teaching stewardship, the founders of PSL are poised to utilize their knowledge and experience to help establish lives of stewardship for others.
ED AND APRIL LAUGHLIN, FOUNDERS AND DIRECTORS
Ed & April Laughlin were married in 1975. They were somewhat active in the Church, and typical "good Catholics." However, their lives were changed in January 1980, when their eldest child Michael, age two, was seriously burned in an accident. He was hospitalized for several months. During this ordeal, and owing in large part to the support the family received from the Church through their pastor and the people of their parish, the Laughlins' faith began to develop on new levels of prayer and commitment and gratitude and service.
They began to practice living as stewards of God's many gifts, gaining a new appreciation for what was truly important in life, as well as how the Lord had called them to live a Stewardship way of life. Since 1983 the family has witnessed throughout the United States and Canada to living as Christian stewards in relation to the Church, the family, and the community.
After more than 20 years of working with parishes and dioceses and living lives of stewardship, the Laughlins formed Partners in Stewardship for Life ( PSL ) to offer the following services.
PARTNERS IN STEWARDSHIP SERVICES
PSL (Partners in Stewardship for Life) is prepared to offer a variety of services to parishes and organizations interested in forming and developing lives of stewardship. The following are a representation of what they offer. However, each is adjustable, and other services are available.
Partners in Stewardship is now offering assistance with planning, organizing, and carrying out parish capital campaigns WITH A STEWARDSHIP APPROACH. The advantages of working with PSL are the following: 1. fund raising with a sense of joy; 2. faith-based philosophies; 3. Campaigns rooted in genuine stewardship; 4. We are small and you know from the beginning with whom you will be working; 5. Although we are a small firm, we are rich in experience (worked with more than 300 parishes on campaigns); 6. We are spiritually-oriented; 7. Thoroughly Roman Catholic.
This is a long term agreement (one or two years) between the parish and PSL which would allow us to completely develop and establish a stewardship process. It may include recruiting, training, forming, and organizing a stewardship committee; preparing a stewardship plan; leadership retreats; time, talent, and treasure, commitment weekends; ministry fairs; and other stewardship preparation to allow a parish and its people to move toward this way of life.
Intended for parishes which are already on the road to stewardship, PSL offers an on site process by which the parish effort in stewardship and those participating in it are analyzed and evaluated. Through interviews, a survey, and self evaluation, followed by a two day planning retreat, the status of the stewardship effort is established and then short and long range plans are developed to enhance it.
A three day mission with a stewardship emphasis, this would follow a traditional mission/reflection format, with presentations at all Masses on a weekend, followed by three evenings of prayer and reflection. The themes of the three evenings might be respectively faith, hope, and love (charity), all seen through the prism of stewardship.
PSL will organize, plan, and conduct both half day and all day stewardship seminars for up to 200 people. The purpose of these seminars is to provide the attendees with a practical understanding of stewardship and offer them ways they can live it out in their lives.
STEWARDSHIP PLANNING RETREATS
Conducted over two evenings and two days, these planning retreats are for stewardship committees and parish leaders. There are three basic goals of the retreats: 1. to renew and recommit to stewardship; 2. to evaluate the ongoing parish stewardship effort; and 3. to prepare and produce both short and long term plans in relation to the parish’s stewardship journey.
STEWARDSHIP WITNESS AT WEEKEND LITURGIES
Since 1983 the Laughlins have witnessed to stewardship at parishes and dioceses. They are available for parish renewals, parish commitment weekends, and other parish stewardship weekends. Because of their experiences, they are able to tailor the message to the needs of the parish.
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE WORKSHOPS
These workshops or seminars can be customized for established stewardship committees or beginning committees. They are 2 ½ hour sessions that can be conducted in a morning, an afternoon, or an evening. They involve stewardship renewal, evaluation, and group dynamics.
STEWARDSHIP IN-SERVICE FOR EDUCATORS
For meetings of administrators or teachers at Catholic schools, the stewardship in-service sessions, normally ½ day, clarify the philosophy of stewardship and offer ways to introduce and include it in the curriculum at all levels.
FAMILY STEWARDSHIP SESSIONS
These introduce the concept of stewardship in ways the family can live it out in the home. In an evening 1 ½ hour session families are presented with stewardship approaches to budgeting, service, family organization, and stewardship as a way of life.
A Stewardship Plan or Initiative for a Parish
Plan to: Initiate or enhance stewardship
in a parish.
From: Partners in Stewardship for Life, LLC
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Partners in Stewardship for Life was established to work with parishes, dioceses, and church institutions for the purpose of establishing and building stewardship as a way of life among the faithful. There are several possible phases of a proposed process, dependent upon the current tenor and situation in each parish or institution. The various phases may or may not apply to a parish dependent upon where that parish is in relation to its stewardship journey. It is assumed all phases can be completed in a one to one and a half year time span.
Phase 1: Planning and organization
A. Partners in Stewardship will meet
with the pastor and any committee or
commission which the pastor designates
to establish a strategy for
instituting stewardship as a part of
B. Partners in Stewardship will meet with
parish leadership and key committees
to present the concept of stewardship
and begin the process.
(4 – 6 weeks)
Phase 2: The Stewardship Committee
A. Partners in Stewardship will assist the
pastor and parish in identifying,
recruiting, organizing, and training a
B. The role and duties of the committee
will be clearly defined based upon the
parish situation and needs.
C. In the event a committee already exists,
Partners in Stewardship will re-organize
and/or retrain where necessary, and
revisit and redefine the role of the
(6 – 8 weeks)
Phase 3: Parish leadership training and
formation-- presenting the concepts of
stewardship and its relationship to parish
A. Partners in Stewardship will conduct
one evening workshop;
B. And one weekend retreat for designated
(4 – 8 weeks)
Phase 4: The Stewardship Process.
A. Partners in Stewardship will assist the
pastor and parish in conducting a four
to six week educational process, in the
event the parish is new to stewardship.
B. In those instances where stewardship has
been introduced, Partners in Stewardship
will guide the parish in preparation
for, and conducting of annual renewals
in time and talent and in treasure.
C. Partners in Stewardship will assist the
parish in identifying and finding lay
witnesses to speak at Masses, and will
conduct training for those witnesses
D. Partners in Stewardship will, in those
situations where it is beneficial, offer
our own lay witness as to our
stewardship approach and experience.
(8 – 10 weeks)
Phase 5: Follow up and Renewal.
A. Partners in Stewardship will oversee
follow up of the stewardship process
or renewal in the parish.
B. Partners in Stewardship will be
available via phone, fax, and e-mail for
ongoing consultation with each parish.
(Balance of the year)
OUR STEWARDSHIP COMMITMENT
Partners in Stewardship for Life is a firm founded on the principles of Christian Stewardship. As an indication of that commitment, PSL pledges to tithe a minimum of ten per cent (10%) of all fees paid as follows: half to St. Bernadette Catholic Parish; the other half divided among these charities/ organizations: Boy Scouts of America: Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children: Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission; Human Life International; Red Cloud Catholic School, Pine Ridge, South Dakota; Habitat for Humanity; Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach; Sisters of St. Benedict; Christian Foundation for Children and Aging; the Red Cross; Notre Dame Haitian Mission. We further recognize our need to continue to show our gratitude for the many blessings of God by utilizing all retained fees in ways that reflect our faith, our sense of responsibility, our commitment to our Christian principles, and our understanding of our call to discipleship.
( Partners in Stewardship for Life is a registered LLC Corporation in the State of Florida. )
The Principles of Stewardship
The Principles of Stewardship...
It has been said that stewardship is "counter-cultural" -- that is, it "flies in the face" of some of the facets of our culture that promote accumulating things, that encourage us to buy, buy, buy-- gather, gather, gather-- be selfish, selfish, selfish. As citizens of the United States we enjoy many freedoms and blessings which are denied to the citizens of many other countries. While we take justifiable pride in these gifts, we often take them for granted as well. For those of us who are familiar with what has happened in the world over the past twenty years, what could be more poignant than watching the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union as they struggled, and continue to do so, to secure the basic freedoms and rights to which we have been accustomed for many years? However, as Americans we may suffer under a "split consciousness" about the world in which we live. We keep our "faith" in a spiritual sphere which we consider to be separate from the real world. Faith becomes separated from life events and struggles. Stewardship places our faith as part of our lived existence, not just a spiritual exercise. The steward sees everything intertwined and uses stewardship as a guide in the way to live.
For the steward...
-- All gifts come from God.
-- As human people we need to give.
-- We give out of thanksgiving and with joy.
-- We give in proportion to what we have received.
-- We give ourselves to God first; then we give to meet the needs of others-- individuals, the parish, the community.
-- We give to our world-- to protect and preserve the earth, its resources, and the environment.
-- We celebrate the gifts we have been given.
A Theology Of Stewardship
1. All that we have and all that we are are gifts from God-- our time, our talent and skills, our resources and possessions, and especially the gift of life itself.
2. God gave us these gifts unconditionally out of love.
3. God did not intend, however, that we be the OWNERS of these gifts, using them for ourselves or hoarding them or ignoring them by hiding them away ("under a bushel basket").
4. God's purpose was that we would be good stewards, managers, or caretakers of these gifts by using them generously and wisely for building the Kingdom of God.
5. The very purpose of our lives is to use our unique set of gifts for loving and serving God and our neighbor.
6. God desires that we FREELY choose to use our gifts this way and that our motives be love, gratitude, and justice, as opposed to guilt and fear--obligation or duty.
7. God promised many blessings for those who share generously and gratefully their gifts as He asked. These blessings may include happiness and peace and a sense of justice, but most certainly eternal life and God's care and protection.
OUR EXPERIENCE AND REFERENCES
Ed Laughlin and the Laughlin family were the recipients of the 1997 BISHOP WILLIAM CONNARE AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED STEWARDSHIP SERVICE. The above photo is with Most Reverend Archbishop James Patrick Keleher who conferred the award.
James Kelley, President, International Catholic Stewardship Council, Diocese of Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
Laughlins receive Christian Stewardship Award
April and Ed Laughlin were presented the Christian Stewardship Award by the International Catholic Stewardship Council at their annual conference in 2010. This prestigious award is given annually to a person or persons who have made significant contributions to the promotion of stewardship internationally. In the 40 year history of the award, the Laughlins are the third couple to be so honored. The photo above shows the award being presented to the Laughlins by James Kelley, ICSC President, and Michael Murphy, ICSC Executive Director.
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