Copyright © 2007-
The miracle of the multiplication of loaves is the only miracle of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that is included in all four gospels. It carries two important messages. First, no matter how little each of us may think we have, we always have enough to share. Second, Christ has the ability to take whatever we have, transform these humble gifts, and gift them back to us in abundance& if only we put our trust in Him.
Fulfillment of our commitment to Christ and to the Church also requires the stewardship of our resources in a manner, which follows with the precepts of the Gospel. This includes a commitment on our part to support the local Church through the offering of our financial resources as well as of our own unique gifts and talents. In order to be a "member in good standing" of St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church, each person or family must make a financial commitment (pledge) to the church on an annual basis, and fulfill that commitment throughout the year. Members are encouraged to use a "percentage giving" method, whereby each person or family sets aside a certain percentage of their income for the church. It is understood that situations change and unforeseen events arise; therefore, by simply calling the Church office a pledge may be amended. It should be emphasized, moreover, that our stewardship commitment goes far beyond financial matters; it is rather a commitment of the totality of life to God. Stewardship, therefore, also includes volunteering to serve on church boards, helping to organize and execute church functions, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, cleaning and maintaining the Church, and other forms of ministry; it is engagement in the total life of the church.
Stewardship: Giving Back to God
"Let everyone give as his heart tells him, neither grudgingly, nor under compulsion, for God loves the man that gives cheerfully." (II Cor. 9:7)
Who is the Church?
The Church is you, your family and your relatives. The Church is all of us together. The Church is people who have a common spiritual and religious bond. The bond is Jesus Christ our Lord. Thus, the Church is the body of Christ. Our Church is the body of believing Orthodox Christians throughout the world; and it is our local congregation of believing Orthodox Christians.
What is the Church?
The Church is the vehicle for the mystical or sacramental life of the people. Through the Church we are cleansed, nourished and sustained by the Holy Spirit in the mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation, Holy Communion, Confession, Holy Unction, Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders. The Church teaches us the Christian Faith. The Church provides us with fellowship and the activities that are needed in order to experience the fullness of our Faith in union with Christ.
Is there a difference in Church Membership?
Yes! There is active membership and inactive membership. Active members are people who are baptized or chrismated in the Orthodox Church, who nurture their faith through participation in the Sacraments, such as Holy Communion, Confession, etc., and who contribute their resources, i.e., time, talent, ability and finances. Active members are members in good standing.
Inactive members are people who are baptized or chrismated in the Orthodox Church, who do not nurture their faith through participation in the Sacraments, such as Holy Communion, Confession, etc., and/or who do not contribute their resources, i.e., time, talent and finances. St. Katherine needs your active membership. We need you as a steward.
How do I become an active Church member?
God has blessed each of us with unique talents and abilities. For St. Katherine to become all that it can be, we need your active participation in the life of the Church (participation in the Sacraments, the local ministries and the various Church organizations).
St. Katherine also needs your "fair share" of your financial resources. The burden of giving is on all of us. Only by pledging a percentage of our annual income can St. Katherine grow in ministry and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
What is the Stewardship Program of church support?
The Stewardship Program of Church Support is believing in Christ's Church and wanting to support and continue His work on earth.
Who is included in the Stewardship Program?
The Stewardship pledge includes husband, wife, children and all dependents. If self-
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 on January 1st. Members that do not make their pledge, or inactive members, will be contacted by members of the Stewardship Committee and 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 -
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 his or her 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?
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?
Payment of your stewardship pledge can be made in whatever manner you choose. Weekly or monthly offerings are suggested because it is easier to manage small, regular contributions rather than large accumulated amounts.
But what if after I make my Pledge, sickness or misfortune or loss of job occurs?
Your pledge is not a contract; it is a statement of intent. A parishioner may at any time make a private phone call or write a confidential letter to the Parish Priest to lower or discontinue his pledge until circumstances allow him to resume his giving.
Should I increase my Pledge over the previous year?
The St. Katherine Stewardship Program should cover the entire annual operating budget of the Church. This is our challenge. It should be the goal of each parishioner to give a portion of his or her blessings to meet this challenge. Decide what you will give; then increase that amount by $20 per month. If you give $20 more each month, it would probably be a small sacrifice to your family. But, $20 more per month from each family would make a great difference in the life of St. Katherine Church. Youth, education and outreach ministries could be greatly expanded.
Are there correct attitudes toward Christian giving?
Christian giving is focused on the soul and not on the purse. In making our Stewardship Pledge, we are not paying for something. We are offering our commitment to the cause of Jesus Christ and the Church, which He established for us.
Christian giving is focused on the love of Christ. Our giving is an expression of our love for Christ, who gave His life for our salvation and for our well being. We give a percentage of our resources to continue the work of Christ in the world that others, too, may be blessed as we have been blessed.
What if I did not meet my previous pledge?
All pledges should be paid in full for the good of the Church. You must fulfill your pledges to maintain an active membership in St. Katherine. However, a parishioner with difficult circumstances may at any time privately contact the Parish Priest to lower or discontinue his pledge until circumstances allow him to resume his original pledge
How much should I give?
Your pledge is what you decide it to be.
The proportion of your income you give to your Church depends upon:
How much do other people give in financial Stewardship?
Many of our stewards recognize the financial needs of an active parish. More than 160 families average pledge is $20 or more per week in Stewardship so that St. Katherine can strive for excellence. Considering your financial resources, are you giving your "fair share" to Stewardship? Remember, it requires an average of $20 per family per week to operate a healthy Orthodox parish. Some people cannot give $20 per week; but many more people can give $20 or more.
To view a pie chart that represents our current stewardship click here. Locate the category your family is in and consider raising your pledge to the next level.
Are you giving in proportion to the blessings you have received from God?
Stewardship is giving back to God!
Yes! I want to support God's work through my Church of St. Katherine. Here is my Commitment of Faith for the year 2007, representing my best efforts to return to God a portion of that which belongs to Him.
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