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Stewardship Ministry: Introduction & Definition
“Stewardship is the offering to God as children of faith rather than as hired servants. Children of God make offerings to God as expression of authentic love, whereas, hired servants simply fulfill legalistic duty. Christian stewardship is a manifestation of our love for God through the holistic offering of time, talent, and treasure to Him, through Christ’s Holy Church. By this offering of love to our Father in heaven, He further extends the healing experience of His Church to His children, through Her ministry.” Father Luke Palumbis
This booklet and the materials that accompany it are directed to parish leadership throughout the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America as part of an ongoing effort to provide practical and inspirational ministry resources. Stewardship Ministries, is offering these resources under the theme “…As the Father Has Sent Me, So I Send You.” (from the Gospel of Saint John 20:21 and the theme of the 2016 Clergy-Laity Congress).
Effective stewardship ministry is not a single event or project. Rather, it is going out to our people wherever they are in their walk with Christ, listening to their concerns, helping them to realize their importance as branches of the True Vine and encouraging them to offer their gifts in His service. We use various resources to support our efforts, but unless we meet with our people personally, sincerely listen to their ideas and concerns, and share a vision for the future of the parish, our efforts will not each their full potential.
DEFINING ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP
In Oriented Leadership, their book on Orthodox Christian leadership, Williams and McKibben define stewardship as the call of the faithful to share willingly the gifts that God has bestowed on them, including sharing these gifts for God’s work. Stewardship is devotion and service to God and His Church as persons, as families, as a Parish, as a Metropolis, as a National Church, and as the Church Universal. Stewardship is our active commitment to use ALL our time, talent and treasure for the benefit of humankind in grateful acknowledgement of Christ’s redeeming love.
Stewardship is caring for the needs of others. Stewardship is offering one’s self to God as He offered Himself to us. Stewardship is what a person does after saying “I believe…” as proof of that belief. Williams and McKibben in Oriented Leadership
An example of “tremendous stewardship of time, talent and resources in support of the Mother Church of Constantinople, the Orthodox Christian Church throughout the United States,” Archon Theofanis V. Economidis has been has been designated as the recipient of this year’s Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Archon Stewardship by The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle. A special tribute will be held on the evening of October 14, 2016, as part of the Order’s annual three-day assembly.
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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