2023 Annual Impact Report


The Metropolis of Chicago’s Strengthen Stewardship Now and Forever (SSNF) program is comprised of a team of parish leaders including: Owen Field, Dr. Alexandria Kalina, Myra Karegianes, Dimitris Katsamberis, Perry Siatis, and Fr. Luke Melackrinos. The Metropolis asked the SSNF team about their work with parishes to create healthy stewardship ministries. Here is what they had to say.

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Why should parishes be interested in SSNF?

Put simply, SSNF is about creating more stable and certain conditions for our faith to grow and thrive. We do this by using extensive research on stewardship best practices across faith traditions. Parishes that have implemented these best practices have grown in size and impact and have become less reliant on transactional events (e.g., summer fests).

What are you most proud of with SSNF?

Many examples are ones where parishioners feel a deep sense of belonging and, with it, a personal sense of responsibility for their church. Most significantly, parishes who focus on welcoming, engagement, and philanthropy, as SSNF calls for, have seen increases in the number of stewards as well as stewardship giving.  

Does SSNF support the Vision for Growth core priority, “Support Parishes”?

Definitely! In one sense, stewardship is parish ministry. But in a broader sense, stewardship is a foundational endeavor that supports all other parish ministries, services, and functions. If SSNF is done well, stewardship fades in the background and operates quietly while a parish demonstrates its support of and service to its faithful as well as to the broader community. 

What is the best piece of advice you’d give to  a parish that is thinking about reinvigorating its stewardship?

Just do it! No stewardship program should be static – look for ways to reinvigorate it. Start with the heart. Work to engage more people. Look outside of your parish. Reach out to other parishes and share ideas, approaches, and – yes – frustrations. Every parish has something to offer another parish. And, remember, the SSNF team is always here to support you!

What would you tell a parish that may not have the time or people to implement SSNF?

No program is implemented in its entirety on Day One. Be patient. Take small, successive steps. Find parishioners with an interest in growing the parish. They are out there waiting to be asked to get involved! Set modest, incremental, achievable goals. Be positive. Reach out to the SSNF team for help.

“Unity in Christ cultivates relationships with family, friends, and neighbors—bearing fruit for vibrant communities and a flourishing Church” – Metropolis of Chicago Vision for Growth 

Help us accomplish our Vision and support the growth of our parishes, ministries, and philanthropic organizations. 

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