Everywhere I turn, someone is asking for volunteers. The Volunteer Center in Green Bay lists places, people and events needing a helping hand. We fill our bulletin with volunteer requests – serve coffee and donuts, greet people, help with mailings, serve at mass, rake the leaves, clean the church and the list goes on. We are definitely needed. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed with requests that we just want to turn our backs on it all and crawl into our quiet cocoons.
But last week several parishioners had the opportunity to attend the International Stewardship Convention in Atlanta, GA. A common theme we all heard gave a different slant to volunteers. It fit so well with our parish mission statement “Becoming disciples of Jesus and stewards of God’s gifts”. What if we looked at the sharing of our time and talent, our prayers and service not as optional but as our calling as disciples? What if each and every parishioner, no matter what age or however long they have been members believed that God is inviting us to live more fully by using our gifts for the good of all?
As one speaker nailed the concept, “Being a volunteer is optional. Discipleship is our calling.” When we were baptized our parents or we said Yes to being listeners and doers of the Gospel. After that yes, serving and sharing is not optional. Discipleship is part of our Catholic Christian DNA. It doesn’t go away. We need to respond in some way to God’s continual invitation to meet Jesus and to share Jesus.
Imagine if we lived this out at Resurrection Parish. The bulletin and Web page, Facebook and Flock notes would invite “Disciples” to serve as liturgical ministers, hospitality ministers, health ministers, childcare helpers, funeral dinner servers and choir members. My announcements would be calling forth Stewards not volunteers for Autumn Fest, Pancake Breakfast and Holiday Bakery. Does that mean you couldn’t say “no”. How sweet would that be! But, of course, that is not the point. What could happen is our discernment would be based on our Baptism call to be disciples and the gifts given to us by God. Answering God’s call would be our motivation and, indeed, our desire. Think about it. Pray about it. We just might get caught by the Spirit in a change of heart.
Thanks to all you Good Stewards!