Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Sense of Ownership

Written by  Jim Nakoneshny

Have you noticed how common it is not to own stuff anymore? Increasingly, we’re paying only for the temporary use of things, rather than for the thing itself. For example, many of us now lease vehicles instead of buying them outright. With cars and trucks commanding ever-higher prices, perhaps there’s little choice in that. But a whole new segment of the population is taking that concept a step further and car-sharing only when they absolutely need it.

A generation ago we all bought albums, tapes or CDs to build up our music collections. Later, we bought and downloaded the music. Now, folks subscribe to a music streaming service. For that matter, when was the last time you bought a DVD? Instead, we subscribe to Netflix. Recently, I saw a news article about Ikea planning to start renting out furniture. Even our food purchases are changing. Rather than going to the store to buy groceries we can now subscribe to meal planning services which will deliver ingredients and recipes right to our door.

As the next generation continues to move into the workforce this trend will no doubt accelerate. Maybe I’m a bit old-school, but to me there’s still something special about having things to call your own. Whether it was a new bike as a kid, your first car as a young adult, or anything else that you felt strongly enough about to put your hard-earned money towards, the fact that it was yours made it special. You took care of it. It’s why we treat books differently than magazines. There’s a sense of permanence and inherent value to it. The one item that most of us still strive to own is our home. But we all know that the process of ownership doesn’t stop when you move into a house. That’s when it begins. The question is, how do you instill that sense of ownership in a culture that doesn’t own anything?

Here at Holy Family, we sort of have a foot in both camps. We’re simultaneously owned by no-one and everyone. We’re a common facility which was built solely by individual families. People come and go over the years, yet want a space to call home while they’re here. We’re both temporary and permanent at the same time. In a strange way, the Church is kind of like a next-generation “Fee for Service” enterprise. The question is, do we each follow through with the “fee” portion or do we just want the “service”?

Maybe the key point here is that our church doesn’t belong to either an individual or the public at large, but rather, we share that family connection. It’s like going to Grandma’s for Christmas dinner or using the family cabin at the lake. You pitch in where you’re needed, whether it’s helping to set the table or going out to stock up on supplies. You do your part because you are part of the family. You understand the importance of keeping things going and passing them along to the next generation.


Just like you wouldn’t let Grandma’s house fall into disrepair or let the family cabin become overgrown, hopefully we can all come together with our parish home and personally take ownership of it. Help us to get rid of the last of our construction debt so we can put all of our future resources into supporting our Holy Family activities and keeping up our Holy Family home. Step up for one of our Sunday ministries or take in one of our other programs. Come out and join with us for community-building parish events. Make an effort to get to know some of the many other parishioners just like you. Many are your neighbors. Some are your co-workers. All are your family.

We are Holy Family.

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