DURHAM, NC—Whether your parish is just starting to promote stewardship as a way of life or has been actively involved for years, the tenth Regional Stewardship Conference will feature something for you. The conference, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Dioceses of Charlotte, Charleston, Raleigh and Savannah, will be April 9, at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham.
The keynote speaker, Carlos Proaño, will focus on the spirituality of stewardship and how it is a way of life for individuals, families and parish communities. Proaño will also present two breakout sessions, one in English and one in Spanish, on the topic of stewardship in a multicultural parish. He specializes in integrating and conducting both diocesan and parish programs with ethnic communities, especially with Hispanics living in the United States. His talk provides an opportunity to form Hispanic leadership in the principles of stewardship.
The remaining breakout sessions for the day will cover a wide array of topics and some concrete ideas for promoting stewardship in the parish. Each session will be offered twice during the three breakout time slots. For parishes who cannot send participants to all six of the breakouts, a notebook of materials from all sessions will be provided for each registrant.
According to the U.S. bishops’ pastoral letter, “Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response,” one of the seven steps to success in promoting stewardship of time, talent and treasure in parishes is recruiting, training and recognizing the gifts of time and talent of parish volunteers. Colleen Assal, pastoral associate at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Greensboro, N.C., has years of experience in working with volunteers. She will share her expertise in recruiting, managing and communicating with the many volunteers in her parish.
Those looking for some practical help in starting and nurturing a stewardship parish should be sure to attend Jim Kelley’s breakout session. Kelley will share the “nuts and bolts” of his 25 years of helping build stewardship parishes in the Diocese of Charlotte, where he serves as director of development, as well as throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and Guam.
One of the best parts of any stewardship conference is learning what other parishes are doing to promote stewardship. Christine Heusinger, from the Archdiocese of Atlanta, will facilitate breakout sessions on best practices in stewardship. These sessions provide a chance to share successes and hear about new ideas from others.
One of the most popular breakout sessions each year at the conference is the Parish Profile, and this year will be no exception. St. Francis of Assisi Church in Raleigh, is a model of how stewardship works well in the parish. Sue Mathys, director of stewardship at St. Francis of Assisi, and Steve Monti, a member of the stewardship committee, will share the parish’s stewardship journey, giving participants plenty of practical ideas.
The Southeastern region of the county is blessed to be growing. Instead of closing churches, dioceses are building new ones and expanding existing ones. Capital campaigns are becoming more prevalent in the South. For those wondering how to include stewardship in the capital campaign process, Matt Dwyer, director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Charleston, S.C., will share his expertise in conducting a capital campaign under the auspices of stewardship.
This annual gathering of stewards from all over the region is sure to inspire, energize and renew parish stewardship efforts. Attendees new to stewardship will find plenty to learn. Those who have been promoting stewardship for years and are part of the “never missed a conference club” will also find new ideas and inspiration. All who work in stewardship are welcome to attend.
Cost for the conference is $40 per person through March 18 ($45 after March 25, $50 on-site). The fee includes continental breakfast, conference materials, breaks and lunch.
For additional information on the Regional Stewardship Conference, or to receive a registration brochure, go to: http://www.catholic-doc.org/stewardship/index.php?m=h