It’s these three components that make up the complete picture of stewardship and Otto’s task is to help parishes accomplish all three.
“My main role is to serve parish leadership through consultation, workshops and resource materials so they can be empowered to promote,” she said. “We just completed a stewardship prayer for Lent and we are also doing a stewardship of creation, which we are going to release soon for Earth Day in regard to St. Francis.”
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Otto has served as diocesan stewardship director for six months. “One of the other main roles that I’ve had … is to create a stewardship commission,” she said. “We gave a proposal to (Bishop David Ricken) and he accepted it and then we nominated people for appointment.”
The stewardship commission, which held its first meeting last month, includes representatives from throughout the diocese, said Otto. “We’re getting a broad range of people on the stewardship commission. Their main goal is to assist and support the bishop’s directives.”
Among the commission’s specific goals will be to:
• create educational opportunities for parish leadership,
• help develop parish stewardship committees,
• create stewardship materials for parishes,
• create an annual diocesan stewardship event along with supporting materials,
• integrate the stewardship message into all diocesan initiatives.
Otto said the annual Bishop’s Appeal makes the stewardship initiatives possible.
“All aspects of the Stewardship Department, including salaries, are funded by the Bishop’s Appeal,” she said. “People who generously contribute to the Bishop’s Appeal are helping to infuse the stewardship message of prayer, service and generous sharing into the minds and hearts of people in our diocese through resources and workshops.”
Otto said she sees positive steps being made to promote stewardship throughout the diocese.
“We’ve set great goals and there is lots of energy,” she said. “I think it’s just the beginning. We’re creating a certain amount of energy within the parishes and it’s not only with the staff people. It’s with the volunteers who are running and chairing committees. I think (Bishop Ricken) has supported stewardship as a way of life by helping to get the commission up and running. I’m grateful for the Bishop’s Appeal because not every parish can bring in speakers. We are able to go out to parishes, whose resources are limited, and make sure they have what they need to get started with stewardship.”