By CHRISTINE HEUSINGER, Special Contributor | Published May 25, 2006
More than 300 people from 82 parishes across five dioceses attended the fifth annual Regional Stewardship Day Conference, held in Cary, N.C., on April 29 and sponsored by the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the dioceses of Charlotte, Raleigh, Charleston and Savannah.
The keynote speaker was Dan Conway, president of RSI Catholic Services Group. Conway has more than 20 years of experience helping Catholic organizations in stewardship education and development.
Stewardship is a way of life at St. Brigid Church in Alpharetta, and the parish’s successful stewardship efforts were highlighted at the conference.
The conference featured six breakout sessions on topics designed to enhance stewardship efforts. Joel Gray and John Bott of St. Brigid presented “Time and Talent Fairs.”
Gray, the stewardship director at St. Brigid, and Bott, an enthusiastic volunteer, presented a detailed account of the stewardship efforts at the parish, focusing on the parish’s successful time and talent ministry fair which runs concurrently with the annual parish picnic.
The time and talent ministry fair has been instrumental in attracting additional volunteers and parishioner support for the many ministries offered by St. Brigid Church. Over 60 ministries support the parish staff in ministering to a growing parish community of 2,900 families. The weekend ministry fair, combined with a parish picnic, allows each ministry to showcase its successes, provide information and present opportunities for parishioners to sign on as volunteers. This past year, the parish’s sixth fair and picnic attracted over 600 new volunteers to join the various ministries of their choice.
“Stewardship is based on the premise that all that we have and all that we are comes from God and, as a way to thank Him for all His blessings, we are called to return a portion of the time, talent and treasure allotted to us,” said Gray.
Gray believes that conference attendees found their ideas from St. Brigid’s experience helpful. “During the ending session of the open forum question-and-answer segment, the comment was made by an attendee that the conference seminars concentrated on the end results,” he said. “From the Time, Talent and Ministry Fair breakout session, he learned how to get to the end results.”
The sixth Regional Stewardship Day Conference will take place in Charleston, S.C., on April 28, 2007.
For more information visit www.archatl.com/offices/development or call the Office of Development and Stewardship at (404) 885-7277.