Stewardship: Partner and Grow in Faith with Us

 

HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH

ST AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA

As Christians, we believe that we are expected to be good stewards of what the Lord has given to us.

Our church is not just a building.  It is its people and the power of their hearts. With your support as stewards we look forward to the end of isolation and greeting one another again in Christian fellowship in our spiritual home, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, St Augustine.

Donations and stewardship contributions are now easier than ever, with online giving on our website – www.holytrinitygoc.com

Nothing, not even social distancing, can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ and the hope we share in Him.  We will continue to find strength in His care and in our care for one another.

On behalf of the Stewardship Committee, along with Father Maximos and the entire Parish Council, in His service,

Toula Zotos

Stewardship Chair

 

On-Line Giving

The Parish Council has added a link (Make a Donation) on our Church’s web page for on-line giving.  This is a secure way to give to your Church.  Giving categories have been set up to allow giving to specific funds within the Church – for instance, Stewardship, Easter, Memorials, etc.  You will be able to give via credit card, Paypal and bank draft and also have the ability to set up recurrent giving.  Of course, you can also set up recurrent giving through your bank if you wish.  Please be sure that a specific notation (ex: stewardship) is included for each transaction.  

 

A message from Andy Lekos, and the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Stewardship Committee

Church Stewardship

Michael and I were camping this weekend with Cub Scouts, and he asked why we had to leave early.  I told him I was asked to present this morning, and the message was important.  I proceeded to tell him this story:

You Are the carpenter

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire.  He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife, enjoying his extended family.  He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire.

 The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor.  The carpenter reluctantly said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work.  He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials.  It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

 When the carpenter finished his work, the employer came to inspect the house, he handed the front door key to the carpenter.  "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."  The carpenter was shocked!  What a shame!  If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

 So it is with us.  We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building.  Then with a shock we realize we have to live in the house we have built.  If we could do it over, we’d do it much differently.  But we cannot go back.

 We are the carpenter.  Each day we hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall.  Life is a do-it-yourself project.  Our attitudes and the choices we make today, build the "house" we live in tomorrow.  Build wisely!

Stewardship is our Building

Stewardship is believing in our Church and wanting to support and perpetuate its mission.  The support that we pledge is utilized to help meet our parish's obligations, its programs and ministries.  These must be supported by our generous giving.  Our commitment should be a blessing and a privilege in sharing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The expenses vital to our Church, should include:

  • Being able to Keep in Touch  (ie. Administration, Telephone and Email, Lease and Office Equipment, Postage and Mailing Expenses, Parish Publications: Newsletter, bulletin, website, Stewardship Program)
  • Maintaining our Building  (ie. Building and Maintenance, Utilities, Mortgage, Insurance)
  • Those Who Serve Us (ie. Personnel:  Salaries and Benefits, Missionaries (Holy Trinity members are serving in Albania, Alaska & Kenya))
  • Worship, Education & Outreach  (ie. Liturgical Supplies and Candles, Youth Programs (ie Acolytes, dance groups), Religious Education (ie. Sunday school, bible study, VBS), Library and Bookstore, Outreach ministries (local and/or national))
  • Supporting Our Archdiocese (ie. Commitment to the Metropolis, Archdiocese, Other national ministries – OCMC, IOCC, St. Photios Shrine, Holy Cross Seminary, St. Basil Academy, OCF, etc.

Think for a moment what is required of each of us for these to happen; what we must offer.  Our Stewardship is not just paying for something; we are offering our commitment to the work of Jesus Christ and to His Church, which He has established for us.  Our giving is an expression of our love for God; for Christ who gave His life for our salvation.  Yet we are asked to give a portion of our resources to continue the work of Christ in the world!

Our Stewardship expresses our commitment to insure and promote the future of our Church.  Our Stewardship giving – time, talents, treasures – helps make us an active part in the Divine Liturgy, in the teaching, programs, outreach, missions and all ministries of the parish, because we offer ourselves and our possessions to the Lord.  When we take an active role in the ministries of the Church, we foster the spreading of Christ's word among our own people and others.

Everything that we do as a Church should be in direct support of Christ’s ministry of salvation.  If we build buildings, they should be to support ministry.  Any event sponsored by the Church should be ministry or in support of ministry.

Proportional giving

God does not expect more than you can give.  Nor does He expect less.  This is for our worship, our growth, our witness.  Proportional giving of our time, talents and treasures is not something unique to the New Testament.  Do you know that of all the themes that Jesus preached and taught about, he talked more about riches and treasures and money than he did about other such themes as prayer and fasting.  You see, the topic of money, and specifically good stewardship of all we have, is a spiritual topic, because Christ understood well that where our treasure is, our heart will be also! 

Even in the Old Testament offerings, there was provision for giving according to one’s means (it is called the tithe; 10%).  If God had richly blessed you, there was a fitting way to show your gratitude; by offering of a young bull.  Those not so fortunate could still express their thanks by offering a sheep, a goat, or a bird.  But whether the offering was as large as Solomon's (who sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep at the dedication of the temple, or as small as Mary's (who brought the offering of the poor, a pair of turtledoves, after the birth of Jesus, the important thing was not the size of the gift but the intent of the giver.  The poor man's pigeon smelled as sweet to God as the rich man's bull!

Ham and eggs

I grew up learning to make my contribution to the Church.  At one point, I understood I needed to make a total commitment to Christ.   I conclude with the following story:

A pig and a chicken were walking through the barnyard one day, planning a birthday party for Farmer Brown.  “And what do you suggest that we do for Farmer Brown?” asked the pig.  The chicken replied, “I was thinking of making him a ham & egg breakfast.”  The pig, troubled by this idea, quietly said to the chicken, “For you this is a contribution, but for me it’s a total commitment.”

God does not ask us for a contribution, because His Church is not a club to which we pay dues.  He is asking for a total commitment --- our life!

At this time, we ask to prayerfully consider your role in ministry and your stewardship commitment for the upcoming year. 

May He continue to bless us all.