What is Stewardship?
Stewardship comes from the Greek word "oikonomia", or economy, which means management of the house or household. In the New Testament, it means man's management of his whole life in response to God's love. Man is a steward, a manager of the "time", "talents" and "treasures" that God has given to him. God as Creator gives us time by granting us life, our very existence. God as Giver of all gifts, grants us our abilities and talents. God as Maintainer, provides for our needs by affording us opportunities to earn a living. If I believe that God is the Giver, the Owner and I the manager, then it follows that a Steward trusts the Bible's directions on how to manage God's gifts. God expects us to give Him thanks by managing our gifts of "time", "talent" and "treasure" according to His will.
The essence of Stewardship is that we first give ourselves to God and then seek to do His will as his servants. Unless our hearts are in Christ, then we will find it difficult to do His will. We can only become His servants, by accepting His lordship over our lives. We can give our "time" to the Lord by our daily devotion, reading his Word, by attending Church services and by assisting others in need. We can use our "talents' in response to God's love by serving God as a Sunday School teacher, a Choir member, a Parish Councilman, a Philoptochos member, by cooking, cleaning and responding to the call of service to others. We use our "treasures", our income, God's gift to us to glorify his name. By sharing our "treasures" with the Lord, we become co-workers with Him in His work of salvation. Stewardship, as the management of God's gifts to us, is the method by which Christians should support their Church. We are to return a portion of what God has given to us back again to God.
Stewardship is a matter of our personal faith in God and He keeps his promises. St. Paul writes: "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).
2017 Stewardship Pledge Drive
Think about all the times you talked to somebody about football, politics, hobbies or movies. Now think about the last time you talked to someone about your faith, or about Christ, or about Orthodox Christianity.
Not even close, is it?
We talk a lot about a lot of things, just not about faith. You might say, "Well, that's personal, Father." Yet the most personal things for us should be the most important, right? Just imagine, if God were "number one" in our life, what would happen? I'm not saying that we should go stand on a street corner and thump the Bible. What I am saying however, is that our faith should be more than just something personal that we never talk about or do anything about. Our faith in God should be what drives us in life. It should affect the way we think and talk and behave. Our first priority in life should be to do what Christ Himself told us to do: to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourself. (Matthew 22:37-39)
The first step to making sure that happens for each of us is to show our commitment to it. And that's where Stewardship comes in. Stewardship is not just a program. It is the life and blood and soul for our parish, where we all come together to love God and our neighbor as ourself. This year, let's try to have our Stewardship giving provide for the entire operation costs of our Church, and then the extra things we do, for philanthropic work.
Make your stewardship pledge by either filling out the online form below, or downloading the pledge card and mailing it to the Church or emailing a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please help by making a financial commitment for the coming year, to ensure that God's work through our Church is indeed done.
Fill out the form below to submit your stewardship pledge online. Note, all fields are required.