This month, identify how you can help!

jesus-1Within parishes across the United States there is an overall need for Stewardship. Tireless effort is placed on preparing the Church, supporting various ministries and planning the calendar of events. This doesn’t just happen but requires a great amount of Time, Talents and Treasures – and this is where you can make the greatest impact. Teach a Church school class, sponsor a faith-based educational presentation, volunteer to host a coffee hour or become a greeter during the services. There are many ways that you can make a difference. God doesn’t ask for much but what He provides is immense.

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St. Nikolai

nikolai_velimirovic2If alms are given only from the hand, they do not cleanse the hand, let alone the heart and soul and mind. Alms from the hand are indispensable, but they cleanse only the giver when the heart moves the hand to almsgiving. As well as this almsgiving from the hand, there are other kinds of almsgiving. Prayer for the other’s interior is almsgiving and also grieving over human illness and joy in another’s joy. This is an almsgiving that proceeds from the heart and creates cleanliness in the heart and soul and mind.

St. Nikolai Velimirovic

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Working for others

Business Team Huddling Around Computer --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

It is a mark of love to our neighbor not to receive from them, but to impart to them… and it is the effect of working that one does not receive of others, not live idly, but by working imparts to others. For it is said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”… for it is truly spiritual that one should by working impart to others, and nothing is equal to this.

St. John Chrysostom

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Excuses

sinsavIn some of the Gospel readings, we reflect on something that is very common in our daily life – excuses. How many times have you been given an excuse? You are depending on an associate, and you receive an excuse. You ask your children to complete household chores and you receive an excuse. The delivery didn’t make it on time and you receive an excuse. Now, consider God’s commitment to you in that He gave His only begotten Son for your salvation. He provides no excuses but just asks that you follow Him as a good and faithful Steward. Consider making your commitment to Stewardship in the upcoming year without any excuses. Remembering “That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”

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Help the poor during this holiday season

night-1024x695When asked about the poor… St. Theophan the Recluse reflected:

Let’s take an example: A beggar comes up to you; it is God who brought him. What should you do? You must help him. God has brought the beggar, of course, desiring you to act towards this beggar in a manner pleasing to Him, and He watches to see what you will actually do …If you do what is pleasing to God, you will be taking a step toward the ultimate goal, the inheritance of Heaven.

Stewardship, and how we use our Time, Talents and Treasures, is one of the positive steps that we can take for our personal Salvation!

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Great business advice

 

st-paul-icon11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 1 Thessalonians 4:11

 

 

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Stewardship as a daily practice

stewardship_iconReflection from a parishioner… 

I recently read my morning Scriptures and reflected on an article discussing aspects of worship. In the Orthodox faith, we attend the Divine Liturgy on a weekly basis as a community and are expected to worship God privately each and every day of our lives. This includes our daily prayers, thanksgiving, almsgiving, gratitude – many ways we can praise and thank God for all that He has provided. 

This then led to a reflection on my life as a Steward – this isn’t a commitment that is completed weekly, or when a collection tray is passed or once a year at a festival we volunteer for. This is a commitment that must be exercised daily as well. When we thank God for all that He provides us, His only expectation is that we be good and faithful Stewards with what He has entrusted to us. Each function of our daily life should focus on our Time, Talents and Treasures and how we are using them.

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