Aloha. My name is Errol Llantos. This is my lovely and better half Lovette Llantos. We’d like to share with you what stewardship means to us and how it has affected our lives. A quick background on us:
I’m an usher and an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion here at St Michael. Outside the church, I’m the Director of Human Resources for Hawaii Life, a real estate brokerage here in Kona.
Lovette is a Lector, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, and a member of the Hula Ministry. Outside the church, she is a Realtor and Broker in Charge also with Hawaii Life and helps her clients buy and sell properties.
We have a son, Arrion. He is a seminarian studying to become a priest at St Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park California. With the grace of God, we are praying he becomes a deacon next year and ordained a priest the following year. We give much mahalo and appreciation to Bishop Larry Silva, the Diocese of Honolulu, and most especially Father Lio for all their help, encouragement, and guidance to Arrion throughout his journey.
Aloha. I’m Lovette. I want to add something to what Errol said about Arrion earlier. Errol and I are avid tennis players and I remember a time when he would remind us that we can play tennis any day of the week but we should reserve Sunday for church. So, come to think of it, the seeds of stewardship in our family may have actually stemmed from Arrion.
Stewardship. What is it and what does it mean to us and our family?
Stewardship is “Gratefully receiving God’s gifts; using our time, talent, and treasure to build the Kingdom of God especially here at St. Michael’s church.”
- It is using our time wisely; making personal prayer, family prayer, and quality time with friends and loved ones.
- It is using our God given abilities to strengthen the Church and help others, especially through ministries and activities.
- It is giving a portion of our income to the parish offertory and any needs that the church may have.
Let me tell you how we got involved with Stewardship at St. Michael’s Church.
We became a lot more active with fundraising events to rebuild St Michael’s church after damage from the earthquake of 2006. We sponsored the annual golf tournament and we for a few years also organized a tennis tournament to help rebuild the church.
Through the years, I was motivated to help with church activities like our Christmas concert and Simbang Gabi, which is a Filipino tradition of a series of masses leading up to Christmas. Eventually, it led me to stewardship through ministry including the Hula Ministry. And as a member of the Hula Ministry, my hula sisters and I help deliver the message of prayer through hula. I remember sitting in the pews and watching all the beautiful women pray through Hula. One day the holy spirit moved in me that I found myself moving along with them in the pews and was inspired to also pray through the gift of Hula. So I invite you ladies and gentlemen, and gentlemen – hula is just not for the women. If you can move your hips and hands then I invite you to pray through the gift of Hula.
Stewardship doesn’t end with sharing our time and talent. We also make an effort to donate to St Michael’s Church. We recognize all the blessings of God and are grateful for what he has gifted us. We have our friends and family, our health, food on the table, a roof over our heads, and we live here on the beautiful island of Hawaii.
In return for these gifts, we contribute to the weekly offertory and make a regular donation of our income to the church. I also made a pledge towards the Parish Building fund by donating a portion of my real estate income for every transaction on behalf of my clients.
So, how has Stewardship helped our family?
- We are closer as a family more than ever.
- We have come to appreciate more all the gifts God has given us, large and small.
- We approach work with a new sense of purpose.
- We have learned that while society encourages us to continually strive for more and more, stewardship helps us to recognize that we have enough and we have enough to share.
Finally, we’ve come to learn the true meaning of Stewardship for our family. And that is God has given us a gift, our beloved son Arrion. In return, we are offering our son, our treasure, as a gift to God and the church so that he can help and minister others.
These are experiences and take-aways that are personal to us.
As we continue with our mass today, please reflect on all that God has given you and ask yourself how you have been using those gifts to serve others in your family, community, workplace, and here at St Michael’s?
We encourage you to join us in sharing your time, talent, and treasures whatever that may be as a Steward at St. Michael’s.
Mahalo for your time. Errol and I thank Father Lio for the opportunity to share the importance of Stewardship.