Stewardship

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Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.

Matthew 25:21

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How much is enough? How much is necessary? What do we really need? How may we use our money and possessions for ourselves, our families, our children and our churches? These are the hardest questions for Christians to answer.
Fr. Thomas Hopko

Memory eternal, Fr. Thomas! Read an excellent article on almsgiving by Fr. Thomas here: A Meditation on Almsgiving.

almsgiving challengeWill anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, “How are we robbing you?” In your tithes and offerings!  You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me—the whole nation of you! Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing. (Malachi 3:8-10)

The Entrance into the Temple of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos

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The icon of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple offers powerful reflections on God’s gifts to us. St. Gregory Palamas says that “they led this truly sanctified child of God…into the Temple of God. And she, being filled with Divine gifts even at such a tender age, … she, rather than others, determined what was being done over Her. In her manner she showed that she was not so much presented into the Temple, but that she herself entered into the service of God of her own accord, as if she had wings, striving towards this sacred and divine love.”

Posters of the 12 major feasts are available on the Parish Development webpage at goarch.org.

$tewardship or S+ewardship

[W]hen most of us hear or read the word “Stewardship,” we instinctively think of it spelled as “$tewardship,” a code word for giving money to church. It may be politely asked for. It may be clothed in pious language. It may be linked to giving of time and talents. But, in the end, stewardship still means, for most of us: “I must give some of my money so that we can operate the church.”

However, we may have not yet learned to spell this key word as “S+ewardship.” The Bible from beginning to end identifies what we now call stewardship as a way of life centered on God. And for Christians, this means discipleship centered on Jesus Christ as Crucified and Risen Lord. The cross thus dramatically signifies both our identity as disciples of Christ and our calling to a life of sacrificial giving directed toward God, others, and all creation. Read More →

Be the Bee: The King’s Stewards

Watch this engaging explanation of stewardship for young people. Be the Bee is a weekly web video series put out by Youth and Young Adult Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. To see the complete series, click here.

 

2015 Stewardship resources now online

 

2015 Stewardship resources now available at www.stewardship.goarch.org.

2015 Stewardship resources now available at www.stewardship.goarch.org.

The 2015 Stewardship resources from Stewardship Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese have as their theme the stewardship of family. As the materials explain, family is one of God’s greatest gifts to each of us.

…[W]e are stewards of the love authority, trust, and respect that exist among members of the family. Unlike material possessions, these are not diminished by use. But if mishandled, they can be lost.

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. In his book on the Eucharist/Divine Liturgy, Fr Alexander Schmemann explains that in the early church, the Eucharistic sacrifice was offered by all the members of the church. Each person coming to the gathering of the Church brought with them everything they could spare for the needs of the Church. This meant for the sustenance of the clergy, widows and orphans, for helping the poor, and for all the good works of the Church.

This is the Church that we as Orthodox Christians claim to be.

Follow the link to the 2015 Stewardship resources at www.stewardship.goarch.org.

Testimonial: A Father’s Day Gift

When I was a young girl, my father would give me money to buy him a Christmas or birthday gift. This is how it is with our Heavenly Father, too. Stewardship is not simply something we give to God. Rather, it is His own gift given back to Him. In the Divine Liturgy the priest says, “We offer these gifts to You from Your own gifts.” This is what stewardship emulates. When we begin to make our Lord a participating member of our lives each day, we are humbled to learn how much more we have to give back.

Read more testimonials here. Share your story here.

Which Sea of Palestine are You?

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There are two seas in Palestine. One is fresh, and fish are in it. Splashes of green adorn its banks. Trees spread their branches over it and stretch out their thirsty roots to sip of its healing waters. Along its shores the children play, as children played when He was there. He loved it. He could look across its silver surface when He spoke His parables. And on a rolling plain not far away He fed five thousand people.

The River Jordan makes this sea with sparkling water from the hills. So it laughs in the sunshine. And men build their houses near to it, and birds their nests; and every kind of life is happier because it is there. Read More →

Asking Effectively

Frequently, parish leadership discusses the challenge: “How can we increase parishioner support for (the parish budget, a new ministry, a building project…)?” We would do well to examine how we ask for funds from stewards, drawing from nonprofit fundraising research and experience in our Orthodox Christian environment.

Don’t forget to ask (personally). The number one reason people give is surprisingly simple: they are asked! From time to time, the call to give may seem “obvious” and may have been broadcast through the bulletin and from the pulpit. But unless a steward is personally asked, ideally in the most individualized way possible, they will not likely take the action of giving. Read More →

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