Stewardship: Giving Back to God
“…We thank you, our God, and praise your glorious Name …for all things come from you and we have only given back what is yours already.” (I Chronicles 29:13-14)
What does the Bible say about Stewardship?
Give without show – “Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” (Matt.6:3).
Give with regularity in proportion – “Upon the first day of the week let everyone of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him.” (I Cor. 16:2)
Give liberally – “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (II Cor. 9:6)
Give cheerfully – “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 included in the Stewardship Program?
The Stewardship pledge includes husband, wife, children and all dependents. If self-supporting members of the family over the age of 18 live with their parents, they would make their own separate pledge. For college students living at home, the age is 23. Family membership allows each Orthodox spouse voting privileges in parish matters.
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 the month of December. 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 in January.
Members who do not make their pledge (inactive members) will be contacted by members of the Stewardship Committee who 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 – in proportion to the blessings you have received.
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 their 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. This is only a recommendation, the Annunciation Stewardship program has no set minimum.
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?
In the manner that you choose.
Weekly or monthly offerings are suggested because it is easier to manage small, regular contributions rather than large accumulated amounts.
It is also easier for the Parish to plan its budget if the income is regular throughout the year.
But what if after I make my Pledge, sickness or misfortune or loss of job occurs?
Your pledge is not a contract. 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 original pledge.
Should I increase my Pledge over the previous year?
The Annunciation Cathedral 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 their 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 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 The Annunciation Cathedral Church. Youth, education and outreach ministries could be greatly expanded.
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 The Annunciation Cathedral. 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. There are no minimum amounts.
The proportion of your income you give to your Church depends upon:
- How much you love Christ and His Church.
- Your personal awareness of the needs of the Church and of the importance of the Church’s role in the world today.
- Your willingness to sacrifice.
- Your recognition that regular and sacrificial giving to your Church is a measure of your personal gratitude toward God.
How much do other people give in financial Stewardship?
Thankfully, many of our stewards recognize the financial needs of an active parish. Many of our families regularly pledge $20 or more per week in Stewardship so that The Annunciation Cathedral 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.
Are you giving in proportion to the blessings you have received from God?
Stewardship is giving back to God!
Commitment of Faith
Yes! I want to support God’s work through my Church of The Annunciation Cathedral.
Here is my Commitment of Faith for the year 2015, representing my best efforts to return to God a portion of that which belongs to Him.
Electronic Funds Transfer Enrollment
We are now capable of offering automatic Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to allow you to contribute to your Stewardship pledge on a monthly basis directly from either your checking or savings account.