Stewardship Most Common Questions
What is Stewardship?
We offer ourselves and all creation to the Lord at every Divine Liturgy with the words, “Your own gifts, of Your own, we offer to You.” We acknowledge that everything we offer to God is a gift from him. We take what God has given to us and we return it to Him as an act of our thanksgiving and praise.
As stewards of God’s gifts, we return to Him a portion of our time, talents and treasures for Christ’s work on earth through His Church.
The Christian Stewardship Program is an opportunity to respond to Christ’s love by perpetuating His ministry through the Church. Stewardship places the responsibility to support our Church exactly where it belongs, on us.
What does the Bible say?
King David said, “all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You.” (Chronicles 29:14).
A steward, according to the Bible, is one who manages and uses the gifts entrusted to him by God for his personal welfare and for the perpetuation of the Lord’s work.
The Bible speaks of offering back to God the "first fruits" of our possessions, thus recognizing Him as the provider of all we are and all we have. Our money and possessions are not ours, but on a loan. When we give to the Church, we return to God, the Owner, His rightful portion. The more we are given, the more is expected from us. Stewardship is making Christ the first priority in the use of the time, talents and treasures He has given to us.
Why is money needed?
Money is a necessary tool for ministry. To fulfill the Church’s mission, we are called upon to commit ourselves to bear out fair share in the financial support of our Church’s expenses on a parish, Metropolis and Archdiocesan level.
How much the Parish needs to operate?
Saint George operating budget for the calendar year 2016 will be about $350,000. The Stewardship Committee has set a goal of $200,000 for stewardship giving.
Our goal is to raise our entire operating budget from Stewardship. We have learned that we cannot depend on special affairs to meet our budget. Practicing Christian Stewardship enables us to spend quality time in doing the work of Christ.
The expenses of our parish are vital for our Church, and are generally:
1. For keeping in Touch with You,
2. For Maintaining our Buildings,
3. For Those Who Serve Us,
5. For Worship and Education and
6. For our Total Commitment to the National Church (15%) of our budget.
The quality of our service as a parish and a National Church depends directly on the level of our giving.
What Guide Can I use to Determine my giving?
Proportionate giving involves two things. Firstly, that our level of giving rises out of our level of income. Secondly, that giving out of thanks will involve sharing a portion of that income for God’s work.
We should ask ourselves “what is a worthy level to determine my stewardship?” The Bible gives much guidance by teaching us that direct giving to God and His work should be proportionate to our income, wealth and possessions. Each person is to give according to his or her own ability.
The Old Testament laid down the standard of the tithe or 10% of one’s income. This provides us with the principle that giving should be a proportion of our income. Each steward should determine what percentage of his or her income will be committed to Christ and the Church for 2015.
We should consider what we spend on cable television, holidays, pets, dining out, sports events, vacations and so on. How do these compare with our giving for God’s work?
We should ask ourselves if our Stewardship Commitment is serious and responsible before God. Is our gift a genuine response to the Lord: “Your own gifts, from Your own gifts, we offer to you?”
"Each person should give what he had decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerfull (willing) giver". (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Am I expected to increase my Stewardship Commitment for 2016?
Yes! In making a decision, one should keep in mind that the expenses of our parish and the Church increase every year. In order to meet our 2015 expenses, each Steward should increase his or her commitment.
Am I bound to my Stewardship Commitment?
If you wish to revise your commitment during the year for any reason, you may send a note to the Church Office indicating your intention.
How shall I pay my Stewardship Commitment?
You may pay your commitment in the manner that suits you best. Since small regular contributions are easier to manage, it is suggested that your contribution be made on a weekly or monthly basis. You may however also contribute, quarterly, semi-annually or annually.
Who will my Stewardship Commitment include?
The stewardship Commitment includes husband and wife for married couples and single adults as Stewards. Our Sunday School students make their own Stewardship Offering each Sunday. Family members over 18 years of age, who are employed, should make their own Stewardship Commitment.
Participation in the Christian Stewardship Program allows each Greek Orthodox Steward to vote and to seek elective office in the administration of the parish as provided in the Archdiocesan and Parish by-laws.
How will my Stewardship Card be collected?
The Stewardship Commitment Cards can be mailed to the Church Office before February 6th, 2016.
Private & Confidential:
Your Stewardship commitment is kept in confidence. Jesus taught us that giving should be done quietly, generously and out of sight of others.
How can a new member join our Church?
Orthodox Christians, who wish to be served by our parish, may become Stewards of Saint George by making a Stewardship Commitment for the current year.