Many of you asked for a copy of my homily from last weekend, which I am glad to share. It primarily addresses the Treasure portion of Stewardship. In reading it hopefully you will come to a better understand of the financial challenges we have before us as the Transfiguration faith community.
Let us continue to pray for peace in our world!
In peace and courage,
Homily given by Fr. Mike Bausch on 9/11/16, the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, C cycle.
Today I like to talk about the other “T”; two weeks ago I ad-dressed the other 2 “Ts”. By now you should have received, in the mail, the Parish Annual Report which addresses all 3 “Ts” in some detail.
I believe we, the Transfiguration faith community, has much to be humble proud of as we reflect on how we share our God given gifts. With the assistance of Anne, Vicky and Meg, I addressed many of the ministries we should give thanks for as a community.
Yes, we are blessed, but again as mentioned 2 weeks ago we have major challenges in the ministerial areas of Christian Formation Ministries and Liturgical Ministries. We are in desperate need of your gifts of Time and Talent in both of these areas. These ministries cannot happen without you sharing your gifts. Please don't be like the son in today’s Gospel who squandered his gifts, use your gifts now for the good of our community. Please step forward and offer your gifts, in doing so you not only fill a need of our faith community, you also be-come more integrated into our faith community. I realize the best way to recruit people is to personally ask each individual, which I would love to do, but realistically that is impossible with 1500 families and 5300 people in the parish. So I beg you to step forward and a staff member will help you discern how to best use your gifts!
Today I would like to address the third "T", that is our treasure. Those of you who I have had the opportunity and pleasure to break bread with, either in your home or in a restaurant, know I pretty much will eat most food. One of the few things I won't eat is liver and onion, it makes me gag, it’s just not appealing to me in any way. Very frankly, I would rather consume at plate of liver and onion then talk about our Treasure, that is, talk about money. I ask for your forgiveness for not addressing our parishes need for money more often. As you know scripturally and theologically money, and asking for it, is essential part of who we are as a people of faith. Over the last 14 plus years I have addressed this topic very few times, it just isn't a fun thing to address, but we must!
Over the years, we have been blessed with many generous parishioners which have allowed us to be leaders in many are-as of ministry, especially in the areas of Lifelong Faith and Spiritual Formation, and in our Justice and Peace efforts; not to mention a campus of very functional and well-designed buildings, a campus that has been mortgage free since 2008.
The reality is we are living on the edge operationally and we are faced with some major replacement and renovation projects. In the next 3 to 4 years we will need to spend $450,000 to $500,000 to complete these projects. The first project is a new heat and air conditioning system in the next couple months with a price tag of approximately $110,000; in the opinion of the experts it will not make in through the upcoming winter. Some have said all our buildings are brand new, why are needing to replace stuff. I only remind you our oldest building is 33 years old (that is the Education Center) and our newest building (the Parish Life Center) is 17 years old. As home owners we all know things wear out! My compliments to our Buildings and Grounds Committee for their ongoing oversight of this wonderful parish campus that we are privileged to use.
Next August 6th we celebrate our 35th anniversary as a parish and plans are already in the making! My hope is we can celebrate our spiritual, formation and worship life with great enthusiasm as we begin our next 35 years. It is also my hope that we have our savings account for facilities built up to a level we are able to pay for the $450,000 to $500,000 of needed replacement and renovations projects.
Over our nearly 35 years as a parish the demographics of the parish have changed drastically. Many of our founding members have either moved away or died. Many new parishioners have joined the parish and inherited a great gift. It is now time for all of us to step up to plate and assist in preparing for the next 35 years.
At the beginning of this homily I began by saying, scripturally and theologically financial support of your faith community is an essential part of who we are as a people of faith. Personally I interpret that, with strong support dating back to the Old Testament as tithing, 10% of my income is given to charity. As I have stated before I live that out by giving 5% to the parish and 5% to other charities such as the Catholic Ministries Appeal, United Way, my college, my high school, Catholic Family Center, our Global Solidarity efforts and I am sure your list is similar. The point being that half of your tithe (5% of income) is given to the parish, and the remaining half to other charities. As we look to the year ahead be assured you will hear many more details about the parish’s needed for financial support relative to replacements and repairs. For now please review your current giving commitment to the regular collection; whether you use envelope or electronic trans-fer.
Be assured no one on the Finance Council, Pastoral Council, Buildings and Grounds Committee or myself are like the son who squandered his gifts. We used your gifts carefully and use them for the good of our faith community and hopefully we never have to ask for forgiveness for using any resources foolishly.