Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stewardship


Stewardship is the meaningful use of our God-given time, talents, and treasures. Christian stewards serve God out of love and gratitude, acknowledging that everything we have belongs to Him. We come into this world with nothing, and we leave with nothing. God gives us temporary custody of material wealth and talents, which we must use responsibly, always remembering the words we hear repeatedly during the Liturgy:

“Let us commit our whole life to Christ our God.”

God does not ask for ten percent, but for our whole life. We are required to commit ourselves, not just make a financial commitment.

“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord, your God which He has given you” (Deuteronomy 16:17).

Every believer has a Christian right to return to God in faith a portion of what the Lord has bestowed. Only you can determine how you can best serve God and your brothers and sisters in Christ. Stewardship should be a priority-returning to God our first fruits, not what is left over. It should entail personal sacrifice. We should consider stewardship a privilege, not an obligation to be fulfilled grudgingly.

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).

Each family and all single adults are requested to prayerfully reflect upon their financial resources and to complete a stewardship commitment form indicating their intended giving for the year. Completed forms should be returned to the church by the end of the year.

New church members complete a commitment form when they join St. George. Payments may be made weekly, monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually. You may use a credit card for payment. Stewards in good standing are eligible to participate in the governance of the parish by voting at General Assemblies and serving on the Parish Council.

You can give of your time and talents by participating in parish ministries and activities.

Each of us as Orthodox Christians is called by God to share in the ministry of the Church. Conscientious giving of our time, talents and treasures through faithful stewardship is our means of following the teaching of Christ to love one another and of supporting our parish, archdiocesan ministries, and international missionary and charitable activities.

Every Christian has an obligation to support the work of the Body of Christ. At St. George parish, our expectation is to exceed the Old Testament requirement – that is, to tithe, +1!