Chicago Synergy announces it’s first Stewardship Retreat – September 26, 2015

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Christ is in our midst!

Chicago Synergy has scheduled its first Stewardship & Strategic Planning Retreat. Stewardship is a tool that we use to attain our personal Salvation. Bill Marianes will provide new ways to personally think about Stewardship and re-energize your parish and reflect on a new strategy for the growth of Time, Talents and Treasures.

DATE: Saturday, September 26, 2015

TIME: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

PLACE: Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church

8410 West 131st Street

Palos Park, IL 60464 

Tickets are available at www.chicagosynergystewardship.eventbrite.com

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Stewardship and our Salvation!

Christs Mercy

And so if you are rich or in power, do not please yourself but the poor and needy, because in this way you will at once have true glory to enjoy, and be doing much service. For glory from things of the world soon flies away, but that from things of the Spirit is abiding, if you do it to edification.

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Our Stewardship takes many forms

john-chrysostom-01Let us listen, as many as are to receive Christ: for it is possible to receive Him even now. Let us hearken, and emulate and receive Him with as great a zeal, for indeed, when you receive a man who is hungry and naked, you have received and cherished Him.

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How serious are you?

Offering "Thine own of Thine own..."

The Eucharist

St. John Chrysostom…

I observe many partaking of Christ’s Body lightly and yet it is not the Epiphany or Lent that makes it a fit time for approaching but it is the sincerity and purity of the soul. For as often as you do this, you proclaim the Lord’s death.

You proclaim the Lord’s death – with our Stewardship comes responsibility for this. Partaking in the Eucharist every week confirms our faith and prepares us for the Heavenly Kingdom. Through His Crucifixion, our sins were nailed to the Cross! As St. John reflects, partaking of His Body and Blood should not be done once or twice a year, but as often as possible with preparation and guidance from your parish Priest. Our entire Orthodox faith focuses on the Eucharist and from a Stewardship perspective, Christ provides His Body and His Blood while we approach Him asking for forgiveness and providing ourselves to Him. The Divine Liturgy and Holy Eucharist is necessary for our personal Salvation!

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Material possessions – tools to attain the final goal!

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St. Jerome:

As I have been led to touch to the subject— it shall have a treatise to itself if Christ permit— I will relate what took place not very many years ago at Nitria. A brother, more thrifty than covetous, and ignorant that the Lord had been sold for thirty pieces of silver, Matthew 26:15 left behind him at his death a hundred pieces of money which he had earned by weaving linen. As there were about five thousand monks in the neighborhood, living in as many separate cells, a council was held as to what should be done. Some said that the coins should be distributed among the poor; others that they should be given to the church, while others were for sending them back to the relatives of the deceased. However, Macarius, Pambo, Isidore and the rest of those called fathers, speaking by the Spirit, decided that they should be interred with their owner, with the words: “Your money perish with you.” Acts 8:20 Nor was this too harsh a decision; for so great fear has fallen upon all throughout Egypt, that it is now a crime to leave after one a single shilling.

 

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A reflection on today’s Gospel…

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St. John Chrysostom:

“For it is not because one is a Jew and the other a Gentile, that one is honored and the other disgraced, but it is from the works that either treatment comes.”

Protopresbyter Milorad Loncar:

“The Lord, Who knows the human heart, called His creatures to this important mission, knowing their zeal and piety. God gives many different talents to His people. Some re gifted to be teachers, others to be builders; others have a talent for preaching and so forth. If everyone were to multiply his own talents, doing what he knows best, then we would find the world to be a better place.”

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Fishers of men!

fishers

In today’s Gospel (Matthew 4:18-23), we reflect upon the following verses and St. John Chrysostom’s homily:
18 “And walking by the sea of Galilee, He saw two brethren, Simon that was surnamed Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. 19 And He saith unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they left their nets, and followed Him.”

And yet John saith that they were called in another manner. Whence it is evident that this was a second call; and from many things one may perceive this. For there it is said, that they came to Him when “John was not yet cast into prison;” but here, after he was in confinement. And there Andrew calls Peter, but here Jesus calls both. And John saith, Jesus seeing Simon coming, saith, “Thou art Simon, the Son of Jona, thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone.” But Matthew saith that he was already called by that name; for his words are, “Seeing Simon that was called Peter.” And from the place whence they were called, and from many other things, one may perceive this; and from their ready obedience, and abandonment of all. For now they were well instructed beforehand. But mark both their faith, and their obedience. For though they were in the midst of their work (and ye know how greedy a thing fishing is), when they heard His command, they delayed not, they procrastinated not, they said not, “let us return home, and converse with our kinsfolk,” but “they forsook all and followed,” even as Elisha did to Elijah.”Because such is the obedience which Christ seeks of us, as that we delay not even a moment of time, though something absolutely most needful should vehemently press on us. Wherefore also when some other had come unto Him, and was asking leave to bury his own father, not even this did He permit him to do; to signify that before all we ought to esteem the following of Himself.

As we consider today’s Gospel, reflect upon the urgency and obedience that we are called to when following Christ. The same urgency and obedience that is necessary as Stewards of our parish. We must become Stewards immediately, not next month, not when Church school starts, not at Christmas but as soon as possible as our Church needs our support. We must also be obedient with our Stewardship of Time, Talents and Treasures – not, when we have a surplus of money or time, not when we have extra funds available but as soon as possible as the Church needs support for all of the ministries it provides.

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