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The Importance of an End-of-Year Procedure
Ideally, every Steward is an active supporter of the ministries of the parish by offering their time, talents and treasure. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. People move in and out of the church’s area of service, change residence, or may lose interest in pursuing active participation as a Steward. Identifying those who have not fulfilled their commitments as well as those who have not committed at all during the year requires special focus and effort.
During the last three months of the year, special appeals should be made to those who are categorized as Committed (Ongoing) or Non-Committed. These are listed below for your convenience with a brief description of each:
- Committed (Ongoing) Stewards have submitted a Stewardship Commitment Form but have not yet fulfilled their commitment. Some in this group may not have made any offerings toward their commitment.
- Non-Committed Parishioners are those who neither signed a Stewardship Commitment Form nor made any offering during the year.
Procedure for Committed (Ongoing) Stewards
In early December, a special letter is sent informing Committed (Ongoing) Stewards of the amount necessary to fulfill their commitment. If no response is received by December 31, a special letter is sent with the Final Stewardship Offering Statement asking for fulfillment of the committed amount. If no offerings have been made toward a Steward’s Commitment, you may use the Letter to Ongoing Stewards who have not yet made Offerings. No other action need be taken for those whose pledge remains partially unfulfilled. These partially unfulfilled stewards will be entered into the active rolls for the coming year with a clean slate.
Procedure for Non-Committed Parishioner
With each Monthly/Quarterly Stewardship Offering Statement, a special cover letter is sent, reminding the Non-Committed Parishioner to make a commitment for the current year. The letter is sent together with pro forma offering statement showing a blank commitment line and a zero offering to date. In addition, a new Stewardship Commitment Form and return envelope is included.
Early in the New Year, the presiding priest of the parish or an individual that he designates, should contact Non-Committed Parishioners to ascertain why they have not committed and personally invite them back into the life of the church. As noted above, it is imperative that the caller listen carefully to the concerns of the Non-Committed Parishioner. Confidential notes on the conversation should be forwarded to the presiding priest for follow-up. It is important to note that people become disenfranchised when they feel that they are not being heard. A thoughtful and considered follow-up to their stated concerns may bring them back into the fold.
At some point, Non-Committed Parishioners are reviewed by the Parish Priest with respect to removal from the active rolls. This should be seen only as a last step, after multiple attempts have been made to bring them back into the active life of the church, or when it has been determined that they have become stewards of a different parish.
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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