What is Stewardship?
A steward is someone who has been entrusted with another's property and charged with the responsibility of managing it in the owner's best interest. Stewardship is the act of lovingly returning to God a portion of His many gifts with which He has blessed each of us. Stewardship is a ministry that enables us to respond to Christ’s love by perpetuating His Church’s mission. Our giving of time, talent and treasure enables St. Paul’s parish to do Christ’s work here on Earth through our many ministries, services and outreach programs.
Stewardship is the foundation for all we do at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church. Many new spiritual programs and support services are added each year. St. Paul’s has a rich tradition of stewardship that the founding families and long-time members of our parish have built since 1978. Today, each of us has a responsibility to Christ and to one another, to continue growing our stewardship that enables us to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
What Does Scripture Say?
The Bible repeatedly challenges us to give generously! As St. Paul writes, “Just as you excel in everything else…in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in earnestness, and in love…see that you also excel in the grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7). These words still challenge us today!
We focus on the “treasure” or financial element of stewardship for two main reasons: First, there is a vital link between our wealth and possessions, and the health of our souls. Seventeen of the Lord Jesus’ thirty-eight parables are about wealth and possessions. His message is consistent and clear. How we handle our many blessings from Him, especially our money, defines how we are doing with what is really important—Faith, Hope and Love. Where we invest our treasure on Earth speaks volumes about where our “hearts” are. The second reason we focus on financial stewardship is that it costs money to operate, maintain and grow St. Paul’s parish. Dollars fund the many ministries and services provided to parishioners and our local community.
Where is Money Needed?
We fulfill the Mission of Christ’s Church by providing the many ministries and services offered in St. Paul’s parish. Most, if not all, bear a financial expense. A partial list of these include: Divine Liturgy and Sacraments; Choir; Church School; several Bible Study classes; Parish Office; Parish Council, Philoptochos, and Foundation; GOYA, Jr. GOYA, JOY, OCF, College and Careers (YAL), Orthodox Parents (OPA); Spiritual Odyssey, Marriage Encounter, and Guest Speakers; St. Paul’s library and bookstore; St. Innocent’s Orphanage and Project Mexico; Seminarians, OCMC; Alcoholics Anonymous and local shelters; Communications like Ambassador, Sunday Bulletin, Website; Facilities Maintenance and Insurance.
Where Does It Go?
St. Paul’s current operating budget is approximately $800,000. It costs over $15,000 each week to open the doors of St. Paul’s. Below is a breakdown of expenses.
The ultimate goal of St. Paul’s Stewardship Program is to fund 100% of the operating budget through stewardship contributions. This will enable the use of funds generated from special events to be directed toward building of new facilities, new vital ministries, and new outreach programs to further Christ’s work through St. Paul’s parish.
Stewardship Program: 3% Giving
St. Paul’s 3% Stewardship Program focuses on the treasure or financial element of stewardship. It provides respectful guidance for giving based on teachings from the Bible. It seeks to have stewardship contributions fund 100% of St. Paul’s operating, ministry, and services expenses. It strives to encourage and motivate purposeful “giving from the heart.”
The objective of 3% Giving is to move all of St. Paul’s families to pledge 3% of gross household income. Many members currently give at the 3% level; some parishioners pledge in excess of 3%. We pray that all St. Paul’s members will be at a 3% giving level. The Old Testament established a standard tithe (one-tenth) of income as the proportionate amount to be given back to God. In the end, the question is not “How much should I give?”, but rather “Am I giving all I can?”
How Do I Make a Stewardship Commitment?
Stewardship pledges are made for a calendar year by completing and signing a Stewardship Pledge Form. Parishioners are asked to fulfill their pledges by December 31st of the year in which they pledge. Please complete, sign and return a St. Paul’s Stewardship Pledge Form (back side of this form) to the parish office or drop it in the Sunday offering basket. If you need to revise your pledge during the year for any reason, you may send a note or place a call to the parish office .
Pledge amounts and contributions are held in the strictest of confidence. Only the priest, office administrator and bookkeeper review this information.
Stewardship Giving Options
Contributions toward a pledge can be made weekly, monthly, quarterly or on an annual basis. Stewardship envelopes are provided for weekly offerings. The ParishPay option is an easy, convenient, and secure method that electronically transfers monthly stewardship from a checking account, savings account or most major credit cards automatically (www.parishpay.com).
On a quarterly basis, the parish office will provide a year-to-date update to help you keep track of your pledge fulfillment. A detailed document is provided at year-end for tax purposes.
Stewardship Mission Statement
The aim and purpose of St. Paul’s Stewardship Committee is to actively engage people to help people by nurturing a passion within each individual parishioner to contribute his or her finances, time and talent that enables St. Paul’s to fulfill its ongoing operating, program and service needs.
Thank you for your participation and financial support of the important Stewardship Ministry of St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church. Together, we can continue Christ’s mission for us here on Earth… to spread the Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Stories of Stewardship
What Stewardship Means to Me by Ron Tedesco
Keeping the Light On by Linda Hewitt
The Challenges of Stewardship by Helen Louis
Consider "Parish Pay"
We found an easier way for good stewards to give to our Church. Sign up now to have your donations to St. Paul's automatically deducted each month. It's automatic and it helps St. Paul's maintain a regular and expected pattern of financial support!
click Sign up with Parish Pay
1) Click on Donors & Parishioners
2) Search for St. Paul's by zip code = 92604
(Netscape Browser not currently supported)
Why We Use Parish Pay to Support St. Paul's
by Lara Callas