Last week at the International Catholic Stewardship Conference in Chicago, Catholic Foundation President and CEO Angela Moloney presented a talk titled “Kerygma: Telling the Story”. This conference brings together parish, diocesan and other Church leaders who seek to promote stewardship as a way of life.
Angela’s presentation opened the Foundation Forum and grounded the attendees in who they are as people of faith, motivated by their stewardship work. She said, “As a people of faith, it is our role, to proclaim the good news, to tell stories, to find connections, and invite people to joyfully give.”
She highlighted how those who work to promote stewardship are uniquely poised to hear beautiful, sacred stories of those who are moved to give generously.
Angela framed this storytelling as part of the call of kerygma, a word which comes from the Greek and means “proclamation.” In the Christian context, it speaks specifically to the proclamation of the Gospel: the Good News of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
“This proclamation comes from an encounter with the living God, with Christ crucified,” Angela shared. “The encounter calls us to conversion and compels us to proclaim the Good News: that in love we are redeemed, that mercy prevails, and life triumphs over death.”
“Our work, as a Catholic foundation, should be, and is, kerygmatic because, we encounter Christ in the sacred stories that are shared with us. Our work is the work of the Gospel. Our work, rooted in Christ, is about encounter. Our work is the sharing of the story. Our work is evangelization.”
Participants were invited to share stories with each other which highlighted how their work of stewardship was a work of telling sacred stories, a work of encounter with Christ. The next part of the presentation focused on how to effectively share these stories, in person and online, in a way that “proclaims the good news.”
“At the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, we seek to find connections, and make connections. We embrace all of our work, as a Christ-centered ministry,” Angela shared.
Angela then shared about the goal of stewardship communications, to inspire, inform and invite and reflected on the power of stories to move and transform us. Participants were very engaged as they shared their marketing successes and challenges and learned from each others’ experiences about sharing transformational stories.