From the desk of Fr. Andrew

November 2018

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The month of November is known as Stewardship Month in the (Greek) Orthodox Church. So, when considering your 2019 pledge commitment, I respectfully ask you to pause and say a prayer as you reflect upon your 2018/2019 stewardship offering to your beloved parish. Ask yourself, "will it be one of seriousness, which will require you to take the entire 2019 year to fulfill?" Or, will your pledge offering be a mechanical check writing experience? Will this year's stewardship pledge be a serious pledge commitment to be fulfilled over the course of the entire 2019 calendar year? Or one that requires a few fleeting moments as if it really does not matter? The goal of our parish, which hopefully you support, is to totally fund our Operating Budget with stewardship dollars instead of using monies designated for other purposes, like purchasing property, paying down/off outstanding mortgages, etc. If each and every one of us took a serious look at our stewardship giving and compared it to other expenses in our personal home budgets like how quickly we pay for the luxury of cable and access to the Internet, or the cost of our daily gourmet coffee, etc. our concerted goal of totally funding our Operating Budget could be accomplished.

Let me be clear, stewardship giving, like attending the Divine Liturgy, is not an option. It is our sacred obligation freely given to Christ and His Church here on earth (Eph. 1:22;23). Our responsibility toward stewardship should not be offered grudgingly or with conditions but should be given freely and joyfully. From both the Old and New Testaments and from the life of the Church throughout the ages (Holy Tradition) we are reminded that our stewardship giving should be from our first fruits and not from our leftovers. Stewardship giving should not come from an attitude of "I will pay all my other bills and from what ever I think I have left over, then I will "pay my dues to the parish." As we freely offer our first fruits with joy, we come to realize that we are truly fulfilling part of our vocation as Orthodox Christians.

In the very near future (the first week in December) all of you will receive your 2019 Stewardship Packet sent out by our dedicated Stewardship Committee. As we draw closer to the new calendar year, I, together with our conscientious Stewardship Committee and the devoted Parish Council, encourage each and every one of you to once again give serious consideration to your 2019 stewardship pledge commitment to Christ's Church here on Park Boulevard. As a community we must all pull together in our individual stewardship giving in a concerted effort to reach our individual and communal goals. We are getting closer and with just a little more seriousness our community can accomplish the task at hand: to fully fund our operating budget using stewardship dollars only. Remember, stewardship is for everyone. The question is, what will be your level of honorable stewardship giving for 2019?

God's continued blessing, +Fr. Andrew