Greetings in Christ, all!
This blessed and holy Easter Season is drawing to a close: can you believe it?
I wanted to take this time to run the DSA by you for this year. I had received some questions about why we are doing a DSA since we just did the big Witness to Hope Campaign and I thought this would be a good format to tackle it. I understand people feeling frustrated or confused…especially at Sacred Heart, where we literally just finished the campaign. I’ll ask us to think of two things when we think of DSA and then, at the end of this article, I’m going to ask everyone to consider a radical approach to our yearly DSA efforts.
The first thing is this: DSA is Diocesan Service Appeal and it is the way the diocese funds herself for the year. They don’t have a parishes per se, they don’t have weekly collections, they are totally dependent on the yearly DSA collection to operate; they have no other means of funding.
The second thing is this: as you may remember from the handouts, the Witness to Hope campaign was done to accomplish two things: help parishes meet any extra needs they have and help the diocese shore up its numerous trusts and efforts to help people. At both parishes, we benefitted greatly from the Campaign, as the diocese basically footed the bill for our fundraisers.
So, here we are, as we are every year (except last year!) asking God’s People to chip in and help the diocese with its numerous offices and ministries. At our Parish, we recognize that we are part of a bigger reality: we are a part of the diocese of Lansing and we need to do our part.
I want to pitch an idea that I hope will make it easy to hit our DSA goal every year and I am asking you with all my heart to consider this. Every year, we meet our DSA because a couple people step up and write big checks. For the most part, we do not have a large number of people participating and I’d love to change that.
Here is what I am getting to: if every family within our parish would commit to pledging $20.00 a month to the DSA, we would go over our goal and help our diocese.
In order for this to work, we would need everyone to participate…we would need everyone to commit to this and, if we did, we would easily make our goal. To be clear, I hate asking for money. I really do. This time of year is one where my hunger to help us do our part clashes with the realization that money is tight and many people don’t like it when I ask. But here is the thing: the diocese is not separate from us, it is a family we are part of and the diocese is counting on us to help them help us and all the other parishes in our diocese.
I am asking you to please challenge yourself and consider doing your part, especially if it is not your custom to participate in the DSA campaign. Let’s not put all the burden on 5% of our parish family, but take it all on together.
I will be preaching on the DSA next weekend, May 19-20 and I will share some very specific examples of what your DSA dollars do…I think it will blow you away.
Please help me spread the word and this challenge…I would be so grateful.
God bless you…thank you for who you are and all you do.