Saint Sophia Stewardship Program
As Orthodox Christians we are called to a new way of seeing things—a new way of life. As Orthodox Christian stewards we are each called to obey the greatest commandment: “love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength...and to love your neighbor as yourself”. We are called to keep in mind that:
…all we have is a gift from God—and He gives generously;
…without the Father we can do nothing. Even Jesus Christ admitted as much about Himself (John 5:18)--who are we to think otherwise about ourselves?
…God expects us to be good stewards of all He has graced us with; our families, our finances, our time and talent, every day and every breath of life He gives us, His Church and our Parish;
…as good stewards we are called to give back to God, to give back to God with joy in thanksgiving for what He does for us.
We are called to live as, ‘One who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others, and returns them with increase to the Lord.’ (Bishop’s Pastoral Letter, 1992)-
The St. Sophia Stewardship Program places responsibility for supporting our Parish on every parishioner. No one member is asked to give a specific amount; there are no dues. All that is asked of you is that you give a percentage of what you have received from our Lord, in order to sustain His beloved Church and its ministries. The ideal, which our Stewardship program strives to implement, is based on allowing each individual to give according to their means and conscience. Everyone 18 years of age or older, who is self-supporting and who wants to assume his/her responsibility to their Church, should make a commitment.
Our Stewardship pledges cover about 50% of the current parish budget. Our challenge is for stewardship pledges to cover all the day-to-day operating & maintaining the Church and all its programs, or 100% of the total budget. We are realistic--100% reliance on stewardship will not happen in the next few years. It is a goal to achieve as our Church grows and as we learn to support her from our hearts, with love and trust that God will provide what we need to do His work.
BUDGETING FOR FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP
Each year as we consider our Stewardship Commitment, we ask: How Much Money Should I Give? Stewardship involves an individual and personal commitment--a commitment that you make to God, and for God. Therefore, the best measure of the proper level of giving is by God’s standards as presented in the Bible and by our current capabilities and resources.
Let your heart and your trust in God guide you!