Bring Them to Me
Jesus Is concerned about the 5,000 men plus women and children that are with him in the wilderness. His disciples tell him that all they have are five loaves and two small fish that a boy has offered. Jesus’ response is the phrase, “Bring them to me.” Jesus then takes the loaves, blesses and breaks them, and feeds 5,000 men plus women and children.
We also bring what we have to Jesus. We offer bread and wine. He returns it to us as His body and blood in Holy Communion. We offer ourselves and we become the Church, His body on earth. No matter how much we give, He cannot be outdone. Just like the boy who offered the loaves and the fish, if we offer what we have – however great or small our gift – with prayer and humility, God will receive our gifts and multiply them to feed His people.
What is Christian Stewardship?
Christian Stewardship is…
…learning how to be a responsible and concerned caretaker of Christ’s Church; it is learning how to enjoy Church life and be happy in Church work., for in Her dwells the fullness of the Spirit of God.
…our active commitment to use all our time, talent and treasure for the benefit of humankind in grateful acknowledgment of Christ’s redeeming love.
…caring for the needs of others.
…offering one’s self to God as He offered Himself to us.
…what a person does after saying “I believe…”, as proof of that belief.
…devotion and service to God and His Church as persons, as families, as diocese/metropolis, as national Church and as Church universal.
Williams & McKibben in Oriented Leadership
Christian Stewardship is about becoming good caretakers of all that God has given us. God has given each of us special and unique gifts. And through Holy Scripture He teaches us all that we have is a loan. He lends everything to us, and reminds us that one day He will ask us to give a detailed accounting of what we have done with the gifts He has given us. Archbishop Anastasios of Albania has noted that “we find ourselves by offering ourselves.” Have we learned the blessedness of generously giving to others of all we have?
Everything we have is temporal. We don’t know for how long we have it. The fundamental question, though, is how will we use all that we have for the glory of God?
One day, a person complained to his priest that the Church and Christianity is one continual “give, give, give.” To which the priest replied, “Thank you very much for the finest definition of Christianity I have ever heard. You’re right, Christianity is all about a constant “give, give, give.” God giving His only Son to the world to show His unconditional love. His Son Jesus giving His life on the cross to forgive our sins and destroy death. Then our Lord’s disciples giving all they had to make sure God’s Good News of love was preached to all people everywhere. They not only gave away their homes and businesses, but even gave up their lives as martyrs in gratitude to God!
It is by offering our blessings back to God that He will be able to continue His forgiving, healing, liberating, empowering, transfiguring, loving ministry through the Church. For God, Infinite though He be, has chosen to work through us, through our gifts, to continue His saving work in the world today. Fr. Anthony M. Coniaris
You are the Voice of Christ in a Changing World
The base from which we serve as the Voice of Christ in a Changing World is the parish. A strong parish provides opportunities for sharing the Good News of Christ, for welcoming those that are searching for a spiritual home, and a base from which we are sent out into the world. The parish also provides a place for worship, community and education in the faith. To be stewards of the Gospel, we need to be stewards of our parish. This requires the vision and inspiration to see the parish, not as it is, but as it could be. We are called to offer ourselves and our treasure to make our local church all that is can be.
You are the voice of Christ in a changing world
We live in a physical world that places great value on material possessions. Material possessions and wealth may bring power and status. But wealth and possessions can be fleeting. Circumstances change. It is the voice of Jesus Christ and the truth of His Gospel that remain constant. In our spiritual relationship with our Creator, we realize that we are called to be good stewards of His creation. And as stewards of His Gospel, we are called to use our material, worldly possessions to meet the needs of others.
What is the Purpose of the St. George Stewardship program?
The purpose of the St. George Stewardship program is to help our faithful understand the need for their commitment of time, talents and treasures to the Church. All that happens in our Church happens by the Grace of God and your support. Our financial goal this year is to fulfill the operating budget of our Church through the contributions of our parishioners. The breakdown of expenses of our Church in 2015 is itemized in the pie chart below. You can see why St. George depends so much on you. Your increased contribution to our Church will help us achieve even more in the year 2016.
Evaluate Your Life
Are you a contributing member of the body of Christ? Are you actively serving God and sharing Him with others? Are you contributing to peace and unity within His body? Do you worship regularly? Take a moment to evaluate your life in light of these principles.
We are called to apply our gifts, training, abilities, education and skills to the tasks that God places before us. If we do this humbly and prayerfully, the body of Christ will function to its full potential.
The New Testament’s motivation for giving is grace; giving is an act of worship in response to the generosity of God. You are to give, Paul says, “as God has prospered you.” II Corinthians 8 and 9 teaches clearly, “He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. God blesses those who give with generosity.”
Giving is a way to thank God for His grace and generosity. The question is not, “How much do I give to stay in the club?” or “What are the dues?” but “How can I thank God for my many blessings?”
Stewardship: A Way of Life
As Orthodox Christians, we are called to a new way of seeing things – a new way of life. Our stewardship is obedience to the greatest commandment to “love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” We are called to bring others to commit their lives to Jesus Christ in such a way that leads to the joy of knowing Him personally and profoundly.
As Orthodox Christians, we see the world as God’s gift, as a sacrament of God’s presence and a means of communion with Him. And so we are able to offer the world back to God in thanksgiving as we say in every Divine Liturgy “Thine own of Thine own we offer to thee...”
It is right to praise the, to give thanks unto thee and worship thee in every place of thy dominion; for thou art God inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, ever existing and eternally the same. For all these things we give thanks unto thee, and to thine Only begotten Son, and thy Holy Spirit; for all things of which we know, and of which we know not, and for all the benefits bestowed upon us both seen and unseen.”
From the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom