Stewardship in a parish is always a topic best approached cautiously. It shouldn’t be, but it is. People always assume that it is just a $20 word to bring up donations and the need for money. In this musing, I want to talk about Stewardship in two ways: (a) to lead you to online resources that explore the richness of Stewardship, Belonging and Gratitude – the call of who we are to be as Christians in the world. And (b) the easiest way you might ever find to donate to Sacred Heart by not changing a thing in your life.
Gratitude, Stewardship, and Belonging. Over this past few months I have been writing a series of pastor columns about topics such as Gratitude, Stewardship, and Belonging. Lots of people have asked me where they can get copies. You can find them all on the “Pastor’s Blog.” The blog is easily found. Just start on the front page of the parish website and click on the “Pastor’s Blog” blue button – or go directly to friarmusings. The collected columns are easily found on the main blog menu (see below).
Now, on to the “the easiest way you might ever find to donate to Sacred Heart.” Did you know that Amazon will donate 0.5% of all your qualified online purchases to the charity of your choice? And now Sacred Heart is a charity registered with AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a simple way to support Sacred Heart every time you shop with Amazon.
You have all of the same features you know and depend upon, including your Prime member benefits of shopping and shipping, All you have to do is go to https://smile.amazon.com/ and follow the online instructions to “sign up” – and really all you are doing is telling Amazon that you want your current Amazon account to charitably give to Sacred Heart. There is nothing special to buy, no special time periods, just shop as you will.
Is there a catch? Sort’of, but not much of one. You need to shop at Smile.Amazon.com (versus Amazon.com). If you are already an Amazon customer, then most of your desktop, smart phone, and smart tablet shortcuts and apps are pointing to Amazon.com. Want to know how to easily “re-point” the shortcuts and apps? Check out our instructions at https://sacredheartfla.org/amazonsmile/
I had set up AmazonSmile on my personal account a while ago – and promptly forgot about it. Over the last 12 months, in the normal course of buying things for the church, the friary, or myself, I spent $1,415. AmazonSmile donated $7.08 to Sacred Heart. You might not be impressed but think if 500 or 1,000 households in the parish signed up! That would be several thousand dollars per year to the parish and it is about as easy as it gets.
I mentioned this to a parishioner who thought it was a great idea. Her family spends a lot more per year via Amazon and she loved the idea of just doing what she already did and the parish benefitted.
It won’t change the world, but it seems to me it is a simple thing of taking time to be good stewards of our online purchases in a way that benefits the parish. The start of Sacred Heart being a Stewardship Parish is for each one of us to be good Stewards
in our own lives.