*Thank you Father Bloom for asking me to be a witness speaker.
*And a special thank you for Amy and Ralph Chestine’s inspirational testimonial last weekend.
*Today, I’m asking each of you to reflect on your own personal journey to Stewardship (Time, Talent, and Treasure); perhaps you’ll see similarities to my story. Many of you will be further along your path than I am.
*My name is Cecile Sparling, mother of four, grandmother of six; and a reclaimed Catholic after a 46 year absence.
*My mom’s devout faith and her prayers of thousands of rosaries are the reasons I stepped through SMV doors in 2013 to complete the requirements to be reinstated as a practicing Catholic.
*After thanking our Lord and our Blessed Mother Mary, my mom is dancing in heaven.
*I’m currently working on my four brothers.
*Stewardship is new to me but my deepened faith, love for others and spiritual joy are a result of God’s gifts.
*Something’s happening to me spiritually. The more time I spend with God, through daily prayer, reading the Bible, participating in Bible Study Groups, attending Mass, receiving Holy Communion, Eucharistic Adoration, Generations of Faith, the closer I feel to God. It’s difficult to explain.
*Guilt plagued me, for my past sins even though they had been reconciled in confession, until they were released at the recent Healing Mass through Father Bloom.
*A peace came over me.
*I began praying to the Holy Spirit to guide me, to help me love others beyond my family and for others to love as Jesus loves.
*My time with God has changed me; I am filled with JOY, I see a light glow within me. I love.
*I’m nervous and excited about God’s plan for me to step up and give my time to share God’s love and His teachings.
* As you have done, I, too, used my talents throughout my life -- taking credit for successes I had accomplished, taking bows, improving my skills to earn more money for my family, the ability to help others -- all because I had worked hard.
*What a humble lesson I learned the last couple of years that it is through God, that I was born with these gifts and was given the ability to cultivate them. Wow! Me taking all the credit, when it was actually gifted by God.
*My stewardship journey has rekindled my talents to serve God as a disciple, to use the skills He has given me to spread His word.
* I had no idea how important proportionate giving was. My mom did, she’d tell me that she received more in return from God than her 10% tithing.
* I didn’t get it. As a kid I thought putting money in the collection basket was like paying dues, later, giving the extra left-over dollars in my wallet. As an adult I didn’t set money aside, I thought of other things first, when giving, not God. I didn’t make pledges.
*It wasn’t until I internalized the meaning of spending time with God and understood where we actually got our talents that I made the connection to give proportionately to Him first.
*God has given me EVERYTHING. His son, Jesus, life, my family, my time with Him, my talents and my personal treasure. Thank you God.
*With gratitude I pledge my Treasure Stewardship this year (off the top, not the left-over’s) to give back to God so that it better reflects the blessings God has given me.
*Please reflect on your personal journey and God’s blessings to make a commitment to Stewardship of Time, Talent and Treasure to help our Parish live the Word of God.
11/14/15 – 11/15/15