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Stewardship Sunday Program
The priest coordinates and leads the Stewardship Sunday Program, assisted by the Stewardship Committee and the Parish Council. The program would do well to include a personal testimony by a steward of the parish who speaks on the spiritual rewards of Stewardship giving. This type of message can prove to be very moving and inspirational. A podium is set on the solea for this purpose.
Collection of Stewardship Cards
After the Divine Liturgy is completed and the Stewardship speaker has completed his or her talk, the Stewardship Committee Chairman and the Parish Council President, each bearing an offering tray, lead the Parish Council to the solea.
The Priest is the first to place his Stewardship Commitment Card in the offering tray. Then the Priest will take the tray and hold it as each Parish Council member places his or her Stewardship Commitment Card in the tray. The Parish Council President and Stewardship Committee Chairman receive the trays from the Priest and proceed to pass the trays among the congregation assisted by other Council Members.
After the Stewardship Cards are collected, the Parish Council President and the Stewardship Committee Chairman return the trays to the Priest. They both remain on the Solea in front of the Altar.
The Priest faces the Altar Table and either reads alone or invites the congregation to read the Stewardship Offertory Prayer. (If the Priest wishes, he can print the prayer in the Sunday Bulletin so that the congregation can read it with him.)
The Priest returns the trays to the Parish Council President and Stewardship Committee Chairman, who place them in the church offering for processing.
Suggested Offertory Prayer
Adapted from the Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great
Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Priest [or People Together]: O Lord our God, You created us and brought us into this life. You showed us the way to salvation and have granted us the revelation of the heavenly mysteries. Accept our Stewardship Offering as an acceptable sacrifice and in return send down upon us the grace of your Holy Spirit. Look down on us, O Lord, and accept our Stewardship Commitment as You accepted the gifts of Abel, the offerings of Noah, the burnt offerings of Abraham, the priestly sacrifices of Moses and Aaron and the peace offerings of Samuel. Accept also now, in your goodness, O Lord, these gifts from the hands of us sinners, making us worthy of the reward of the faithful and wise stewards on the fearful day of Your just judgment.
For You are the God of mercy, love and salvation and we glorify You, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.
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.
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