The Stewardship of Family

Orthodox Christian Stewardship

Orthodox Christian Stewardship

Most often, we stress the importance of stewardship of the great gifts of God's material world, but which of God's gifts is greater than family?

Orthodox Christian Stewardship is:

  • ...learning how to be a responsible and concerned caretaker of Christ’s Church; it is learning how to enjoy Church life and be happy in Church work, for in Her dwells the fullness of the Spirit of God
  • ...our active commitment to use all our time, talent and treasure for the benefit of humankind in grateful acknowledgment of Christ’s redeeming love.
  • ...caring for the needs of others.
  • ...offering one’s self to God as He offered Himself to us.
  • ...what a person does after saying “I believe...”, as proof of that belief.
  • ...devotion and service to God and His Church as persons, as families, as diocese/metropolis, as national Church and as Church universal.
Most often, we stress the importance of stewardship of the great gifts of God's material world, but which of God's gifts is greater than family?  Stewardship is a way of life, which acknowledges accountability, reverence, and responsibility before God. A primary goal of Stewardship is to promote spiritual growth and strengthen faith. Becoming a Steward begins when we believe in God, to whom we give our love, loyalty and trust and act on those beliefs. As Stewards, we affirm that every aspect of our lives comes as a gift from Him. Stewardship calls on the faithful to cheerfully offer back to God a portion of the gifts with which they have been blessed.

What does it mean to be a Steward

According to the Bible, a Steward is one who manages the gifts entrusted to him for the perpetuation of the Lord's work. Christian Stewardship and total commitment are Orthodox! It is not just giving of our time or our talents or our treasures. It is, rather all three!

  • Stewardship is koinonia ... it is fellowship ... sharing together in the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
  • Stewardship is diakonia ... serving Christ. Each of us has different talents, and we must offer our services and our talents to Christ.
  • Stewardship is also martyria ... it is witnessing.

Stewardship and Family

As our role within our family evolves, we become stewards of the authority and influence which we hold in the family. A spouse or parent with authority must also relate to family members with respect and humility. St. Paul writes to the Ephesians, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (5:21). St. Paul further instructs us, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (5:25). And in Colossians 3:21, St. Paul instructs, “Parents, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”

We Love our Partners

As Orthodox Christians, we are also stewards of our Church family – those with whom we worship, fellowship and serve the community. In the same way that we care for our immediate family, we also care for our Christian brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.

What the Bible says about Stewardship

Cross1

Stewardship is giving back to God

"We thank you, our God, and praise your glorious Name ... for all things come from you and we have only given back what is yours already." (I Chronicles 29:13-14)

Cross2

Give without show

"Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing." (Matt. 6:3)

Cross3

Give with regularity in proportion

"Upon the first day of the week let everyone of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him." (I Corinthians 16:2)

Cross4

Give liberally

"He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." (II Corinthians 9:6)

Cross5

Give cheerfully

"Let everyone give as his heart tells him, neither grudgingly, nor under compulsion, for God loves the man that gives cheerfully." (II Corinthians 9:7)

Cross6

Giving our gifts with faith in Christ; giving regularly

St. Paul tells us, "On the first day of every week, each of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income." (1 Corinthians 16:2)

Steps in Becoming a Steward

Decide on the amount that you can Pledge

Commit by completing a Pledge Card

Fulfill your Pledge

Some Frequently Asked Questions

  • WHAT WILL MY STEWARDSHIP PLEDGE COVER?

    Your Stewardship Pledge will cover your annual Parish Membership commitment, but not special offerings or projects such as the Building Fund.
  • WHEN DOES THE STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM BEGIN?

    Our Stewardship Program for the next calendar year will begin during October. At that time, all our members will be invited to pledge a percentage of their resources to do their "fair share" to support our Church for the upcoming calendar year. Payments toward the pledges will begin in January. Members who do not make their pledge (inactive members) will be contacted by members of the Stewardship Committee who can explain the program to them.
  • HOW MUCH SHOULD I GIVE TO MY CHURCH

    True Stewardship is giving back to Christ's Church (for the perpetuation of God's work) a percentage of your financial resources - in proportion to the blessings you have received. The amount each family gives will be different, because the resources of each family are different. Give in proportion to what you have been given; but give sacrificially. It is recommended that each parishioner review the cost of operating the Church before submitting their pledge. Remember; most Greek Orthodox parishes require an average of $20 per week from each family ($1,040 annually) to maintain an Orthodox Church with active ministries. The Bible encourages tithing as a guideline for giving. Tithing is when one gives cheerfully and voluntarily 10% of one's annual income for the glory and support of His Church. If you cannot give 10%, begin at 2 or 3% and challenge yourself to increase the percentage each year. God will honor your commitment. God will provide.
  • DO I HAVE TO DISCLOSE MY INCOME

    Absolutely not!
  • HOW CONFIDENTIAL IS MY STEWARDSHIP PLEDGE

    Only persons authorized by the Parish Council have access to the Stewardship records. All records are kept in the strictest confidence.
  • HOW SHALL I PAY MY STEWARDSHIP PLEDGE

    In the manner that you choose. Weekly or monthly offerings are suggested because it is easier to manage small, regular contributions rather than large accumulated amounts. You can pay in person in the Church Office, or by mail or online by using PayPal. It is also easier for the Parish to plan its budget if the income is regular throughout the year.

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