Ideas and Resources to Support Parish Ministry, Part II

Ideas and Resources to Support Parish Ministry, Part II

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Stewardship Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

Stewardship Ministries is led by the Director of Stewardship, Outreach & Evangelism in cooperation with the Archdiocesan Council Stewardship Committee and includes representatives from each Metropolis and the Archdiocesan District with the goal of sharing best practices from parishes throughout the country and supporting Archdiocesan efforts to provide guidance and practical resources to the parishes. Please share (stewardship@goarch.org) what is working in your parish so that it may be incorporated into future stewardship resources.

National Stewardship Training

The National Stewardship Ministries Subcommittee on Leadership Training has created an interactive, educational program to offer parish leadership a new vision for stewardship. The program includes training of parish leadership in the principles and procedures for implementing effective parish ministries. Key components of this training include an off-site, interactive seminar, outlining a vision for the future of the parish and developing skills for consensus-building, engagement of volunteers, and development of a council of ministries. Contact the Department for more information.

Plans are being formulated and funds allocated to seek out, train and support additional individuals throughout the Archdiocese to carry this message. The program will provide for a uniform message that is coordinated with the various subcommittees and initiatives of Stewardship Ministries, as well as the other departments and ministries of the Archdiocese. This will include a coordinated effort to create or enhance existing parish infrastructure for carrying out effective stewardship ministry, implementing the principles and ideas presented in the training sessions.

Standardized Stewardship Training PowerPoint Presentations have been prepared by clergy and lay leadership of both the Metropolis of Detroit and the Metropolis of Boston and have been adopted as official resources of the Department.

Planned Giving

The National Stewardship Ministries Subcommittee on Planned Giving provides a complete set of resources to the parishes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with the goal of assisting parish members in their estate planning while encouraging them to remember the Church in their plans. An by the parish in this program could yield exponential results for the parishes while providing our members with much-needed guidance and materials for end-of-life planning from an Orthodox Christian perspective.

Planned Giving resources have been developed outlining the practical importance of including the Church in one’s financial and estate planning, as well as the Orthodox Christian perspective on general end-of-life considerations. Resources include:

  1. A General Outline of the Various Ways to Make a Planned Gift;
  2. A Tri-Fold Brochure for general distribution in the parish;
  3. A Parish Implementation Plan for a Planned Giving Program;
  4. A Planned Giving Poster for Display in the Parishes;
  5. Sample Documents for Making the desired Planned Gift(s);
  6. An Article co-authored by parish priests of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese titled “Practical Considerations” offering guidance from an Orthodox Christian perspective; and
  7. A Living Will/End-of-Life Planning Document that is legally binding in most states (in final stages of preparation).

In addition, the department encourages parishes to establish a parish Eternal Light Society which would include all those who have made arrangements for a planned gift to the parish. The various programs and benefits of the Eternal Light Society would include regular meetings, luncheons, dinners, newsletters, financial planning seminars, annual artoclasia, annual memorial service and more.

An initial supply of the Planned Giving materials was been distributed to the parishes in 2012. This continues to be supported by ongoing efforts — articles, ads, etc. — to encourage and educate the faithful on the importance of planning and the need to remember the Church in their estate plans.

Long-term plans in the area of Planned Giving will include ongoing updates and enhancement to existing resources, promotional materials such as articles by experts in the field and ads to appear in the Orthodox Observer and metropolis and parish newsletters, endorsements from legal and financial professionals, and success stories from individual parishes.

The initial printing of all Planned Giving resources was underwritten by a generous grant from Leadership 100.

Parish Welcome Folder

To assist and encourage the parishes in reaching out to new members and to inactive members who may be returning to church for a service or sacrament, the department offers a Welcome Folder to be personalized by each parish with local information, directories, letters and more.

Engaging the Parishioners: Orthodox Natural Church Development

Orthodox Natural Church Development (ONCD) is a useful tool for engaging parishioners in a process of quantifiably evaluating and improving church ministry. The process begins with a survey completed by ministry leaders of the parish that evaluates church health in eight areas of ministry. The parish then works through the results, strategically addressing areas most in need of improvement. ONCD engages the entire congregation in analysis, evaluation, planning and prayerful support.  Visit oncd.us or contact the Department of Stewardship, Outreach & Evangelism.

Stewardship Banners

Full-color, vinyl Stewardship Banners for outdoor use and fabric Stewardship Banners for indoor use are available from the Department of Stewardship, Outreach & Evangelism for a nominal cost. These banners incorporate the graphic and current theme of the stewardship materials.

 

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Stewardship Resources Handbook for 2017; for more information also see Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Stewardship Ministries.

As part of an on-going series on stewardship, OCN is pleased to share excerpts from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Stewardship Resources Handbook for 2017.  This series hopes to assist your parish Stewardship team in getting started and planning a full year of Stewardship Ministry. The handbook contains guidelines for preparation of a parish Stewardship Program, updated letters, a sample commitment card and new member card, various campaign formats and ideas for parish stewardship ministry.

Funding for news from this department is provided through the support of OCN viewers and by Leadership 100. 

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