- Our Faith
Mary Ann Mastorakos
What is Stewardship?
A steward is someone who has been entrusted with another's property and charged with the responsibility of managing it in the owner's best interest. Stewardship is the act of lovingly returning to God a portion of His many gifts with which He has blessed each of us. Stewardship is a ministry that enables us to respond to Christ’s love by perpetuating His Church’s mission. Our giving of time, talent and treasure enables St. Nicholas’ parish to do Christ’s work here on Earth through our many ministries, services and outreach programs.
What Does Scripture Say?
The Bible repeatedly challenges us to give generously! As St. Paul writes, “Just as you excel in everything else…in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in earnestness, and in love…see that you also excel in the grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7). These words still challenge us today!
We focus on the “treasure” or financial element of stewardship for two main reasons: First, there is a vital link between our wealth and possessions, and the health of our souls. Seventeen of the Lord Jesus’ thirty-eight parables are about wealth and possessions. His message is consistent and clear. How we handle our many blessings from Him, especially our money, defines how we are doing with what is really important—Faith, Hope and Love. Where we invest our treasure on Earth speaks volumes about where our “hearts” are. The second reason we focus on financial stewardship is that it costs money to operate, maintain and grow St. Nicholas' parish. Dollars fund the many ministries and services provided to parishioners and our local community.
Where is Money Needed?
We fulfill the Mission of Christ’s Church by providing the many ministries and services offered in St. Nicholas' parish. Most, if not all, bear a financial expense. A partial list of these include: Divine Liturgy and Sacraments; Choir; Church School; Parish Office; Parish Council, Philoptochos, GOYA, Jr. GOYA, HOPE, Cherubs, Sunday Bulletin, Website; Facilities Maintenance and Insurance.
The ultimate goal of St. Nicholas' overall stewardship Program is to fund 100% of the operating budget through stewardship contributions. This will enable the use of funds generated from special events to be directed toward paying down our mortgage, updating our facilities, new vital ministries, and new outreach programs to further Christ’s work through St. Nicholas' parish. St. Nicholas' Stewardship Program focuses on the treasure or financial element of stewardship. It provides respectful guidance for giving based on teachings from the Bible. It seeks to have stewardship contributions fund 100% of St. Nicholas' operating, ministry, and services expenses. It strives to encourage and motivate purposeful “giving from the heart.”
In May of this year, we passed the 5th Anniversary of the Parish Assembly Motion where we approved the renovation of St. Nicholas and the construction of the Family Life Center. These projects were approved by a large majority of the Assembly, and now that they have come to fruition, we are thankful for the beauty and new energy they have instilled in our community. In order to properly fund and sustain the needs of our beloved parish, especially now that our capital campaign is winding down, we must also step-up our financial support.
In light of this Father Doug, the Parish Council, and the Stewardship Committee announced the formation of new Stewardship programs that are independent of any capital campaign pledge previously made. The goal of these programs is to provide leadership and financial security to our parish. These programs offer parishioners several ways to contribute their fair-share in support of our community and they provide respectful guidance for giving based on teachings from the Bible. It seeks to have stewardship contributions fund 100% of St. Nicholas' operating, ministry, and services expenses. It strives to encourage and motivate purposeful “giving from the heart.”
Leadership St. Nicholas
"Leadership St. Nicholas" is the cornerstone program. It has its origin in similar programs at the Archdiocese as well as some that have been proposed here at St. Nicholas in the past. It is one that has now taken hold. The idea is that at least 40 of St. Nicholas' top benefactors with the financial means pledge a minimum pledge of $10,000 per year for at least the next 10 years. This will provide needed stablility of operations and continuity in our budget planning.
The "Super Steward" program is the next level. We took the concept and gave it new life. Using scripture as the basis for this, the idea is that parishioners pledge 5% of their annual gross income or $5000 per year to the church. This program provides parishioners the opportunity to seriously commit to the financial well-being of the parish.
The "3% Giving" is the third program. For those parishioners who for one reason or another are unable to commit to either of the other programs, this one still provides parishioners an opportunity to commit what they can to the parish and make a difference.
The Proper Spirit
As Father Doug has recently sermonized, for our parish to thrive and to recieve the life of the Holy Sprit and the abundant joy and life each and every one of us is needed. Everyone is important and has something to add. Everyone has Time, Talent, and Treasuer to offer. At whatever level we can contribute, we should all give as the widow referenced in scripture gave -- out of great love, dedication and conern. She gave from her heart. It is not the particular amount that matters but that we give in this spirit. If we give in this spirit the amounts will be where they should be.
How Do I Make a Stewardship Commitment?
Stewardship pledges are made for a calendar year by completing and signing a Stewardship Pledge Form. Parishioners are asked to fulfill their pledges by December 31st of the year in which they pledge. Please complete, sign and return a St. Nicholas' Stewardship Pledge Form to the parish office or drop it in the Sunday offering basket.
Pledge amounts and contributions are held in the strictest of confidence.
Stewardship Giving Options
On a quarterly basis, the parish office will provide a year-to-date update to help you keep track of your pledge fulfillment. A detailed document is provided at year-end for tax purposes.
Thank you for your participation and financial support of the important Stewardship Ministry of St. Nicholas' Greek Orthodox Church. Together, we can continue Christ’s mission for us here on Earth… to spread the Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.