Sunday, October 30, 2011

Be the Blessing

We are in the middle of a month long renewal of stewardship at my church, St. Matthias in Somerset, NJ. Each weekend, we hear from diverse speakers who talk about the many aspects of being a faithful steward and active disciple.

This weekend, the message touched on Tikkun Olam, which refers to repairing (or restoring) the world. By doing good deeds (mitzvot), deeds that feed the hungry, clothe the naked, put a roof over the homeless, and destroy injustice, we perfect ourselves and we repair the world.

I was reminded of a saying that Canada-based consultant Jan Yuill often mentions on the Organization Development Network discussion board:

~ "Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. Take care of this place."

That sums up the steward's role nicely.

Florida-based consultant Ed Hampton puts it poetically like this:

~ "Please keep your goodness coming! You were blessed to be a blessing. And take your blessings to action of spirit."

Posted by Terrence Seamon on Sunday October 30, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Unemployed? Deja Vu All Over Again

I’m sure you are reading the latest articles and stats on how bad the jobs crisis is in the US. What saddens me is when someone who has been unemployed finally lands a gig, only to find himself (or herself) bounced out again, back to the unemployment lines.

Just earlier today, I got one of those emails from someone I know here in New Jersey.

In his email, he asked me for my advice on how to keep his LinkedIn profile up-to-date while he resumes his job search. I offered the following advice:

- Number One, make sure that your profile (and your resume) are up-to-date, including the gig you had that ended too soon.

- Make sure that you put in your accomplishments! Even from non-paid work such as a pro bono project or volunteer work.

- Take a good hard look at your headline on Linkedin. That’s the space right under your name. It may be the most precious real estate on your profile! When someone (like a headhunter, a recruiter, or a business owner) looks at your name, what message will they see right beneath it?

- Publish status updates at least once every week, if not more frequently. This promotes your visibility!

- Seek recommendations from people who know your work and want to help you. Let them toot your horn!

Then, beyond LinkedIn, what else are you doing to stay active, visible, and involved with other people? This can take many forms. For instance, teaching, taking on projects, even pro bono ones.

Also don’t eschew volunteering. By giving back to the community in some way, you will feel good about yourself. Plus it’s a new experience where you might acquire a new skill. And it’s networking!

And don’t forget to actively participate in one or more job search support groups. Help others in their job searches. You’ll feel good. And they will want to help you in return.

Published by Terrence Seamon on Thursday October 20, 2011.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Stewardship Is Love In Motion

Jeanine is a friend from church at St. Matthias in Somerset, New Jersey. Wife, mother, and teacher, she is also a living saint, an inspirational model for all of us. Ten years ago, she suffered a spinal cord injury in a car crash and has been paralyzed from the chest down ever since. Confined to a wheel chair, you might think she would be a bitter recluse. Quite the contrary.

Jeanine is on the go, driving her kids places in her specially equipped van. And she is filled with the Spirit, her heart full of gratitude for all the gifts in her life.

This morning, at all four of the Sunday Masses, she and her husband joined our pastor Father Doug for the homily. The topic? Stewardship Is Love In Motion.

For Jeanine, being a faithful disciple means following the example of the faithful steward in the Good News. In the gospel according to Matthew, we find the "parable of the talents" which tells us what God expects us to do here on earth.

Essentially, each of us is given time, talent and treasure. Some of us have a lot, some a little. What we have doesn't matter. Whether your talent is great or modest, we all are expected to do something with it to help build the kingdom right here and right now in this world.

Scripture tells us that God's ways are not our ways. We think that "bigger is better." What really matters is what we do with whatever gifts we have been given. Week in and week out, what are we doing with our time? What actions are we taking with our talents? Where are we spending our treasure?

To reach the ambo, Jeanine rolled up a temporary ramp. To reach the microphone, her wheelchair slowly pushed her up until she was upright next to her husband.

When they finished, I started clapping. So did everyone else in church at the 7:30 Mass.

Posted by Terrence Seamon on Sunday October 9, 2011