Stewardship

In the secular world the concept of Stewardship means taking care of someone or something. So, a Steward is that person who assumes the responsibility of taking care of a person or something out of love or for some other reason.

In the Christian Orthodox sense, Stewardship means taking responsibility for our eternal salvation and the salvation of those in our care. In addition, Stewardship includes our relationship to and care of all of creation that God has entrusted us (Ecology) to protect and safeguard for which, at the end, we will give an account. All of this is learned and realized through the ministry оf our Holy Church.

Stewardship begins the moment we voluntarily and freely answer God’s call, “Follow Me,” which occurs when we are baptized. With baptism we enter the community of Christ’s Church. With baptism we renounce Satan and unite with Christ, confessing our faith in Him as our Savior, King and God. From that moment, each one of us becomes a member of the Church.

Clearly, everyone who is baptized is a member of the Church. It is equally clear that all members of the Church are not on the same spiritual level. Some are permanent, active Stewards, attending Divine services regularly, receiving Sacraments and helping materially; others are not very active but they help Church mission, whereas, there are those who are too occupied with worldly responsibilities and have no time to devote to the Church, meaning to God and one’s own spiritual life. Nevertheless, regardless of one’s activities and involvement, the Church does not reject anyone. Rather, the Church meets the needs of each member by offering salvation through Holy Sacraments wherever and whenever the need arises. However, where administrative or missionary work is concerned, the Church only recognizes active Stewards.

To be considered an active Steward of the Church, one is called upon to do the following:

+To concentrate on one’s personal salvation and that of one’s children or those for whom one is responsible.

+To attend Sunday and Feast Day services regularly.

+To receive Holy Confession and Holy Communion regularly in one’s Church, as well as other Holy Sacraments, according to need.

+To observe prayer, fasting and to live an honorable and virtuous life.

+To study one’s faith and to teach it to the young.

+To celebrate one’s family’s spiritual birthday – Patron Saint’s Day (Slava), according to Church ritual and blessing.

+To invite the priest to bless one’s home and for other spiritual needs.

+To respect canonical laws and religious practices of the Holy Orthodox Church.

+To respect the Church hierarchy – Priesthood.

+To help the mission and projects of the Holy Church – one’s own parish, financially, and in any other way according to one’s ability.

Stewardship in a number of Serbian parishes across America and sister Orthodox Churches in America has proven to be spiritually and materially highly successful. With the direction of the Episcopal Council Administration and the blessings of our Bishop Dr. Mitrophan, we appeal to all of you to answer the call of your Church to do whatever you are able for your salvation and the advancement of our Church and Serbian community in New York City.

We have a number of outstanding Stewards and contributors who, with their generous donations and sacrifices, enable our Church to progress. Our annual expenses are over half of a million dollars, excluding restoration and other humanitarian causes. With God blessings and the generosity of our Svetosavski Stewards, we continue to advance.

We beg your attention, your assistance and understanding regarding the importance of Stewardship, for this is truly the most efficient way to help our spiritual renewal, the restoration of our community, and to repay God to some degree for His gifts and blessings which we receive each hour and each day.

Please fill in the enclosed form and put in the amount of your pledge for the year 2013. If you are a member and have already sent in your membership, please fill in the enclosed form and return to the Church office so the Church can keep up-to-date records. Thank you.
Cathedral Board and Priest

Dear Stewards of the Cathedral of St. Sava in New York,

With God’s grace, your  prayers, love and sacrifice, our church is progressing despite the enormous economic crises and other world problems.

Our church was built by the Wall Street Episcopal Trinity Church in 1855, and with God’s guidance a small but determined group of New York Serbs purchased the church, parish hall and the apartment building at 20 West 26th Street in 1943 (during World War II). From that day forward, the Serbian community has had its own spiritual and social center in the middle of New York City, bringing with it great pride, joy and blessings, though accompanied by huge responsibilities.

Our predecessors, guided by the St. Nemanjic Dynasty legacy of “zaduzbinarstvo” (stewardship), expended their effort, time and love in researching, purchasing, securing and maintaining this property for us and our progeny. We are grateful to them for their sacrifices, and during every Divine Liturgy a prayer is sung to the “founders and contributors to this Holy Church.”

With God’s providence, Serbs from around the world have settled in New York. It was in this alien country and city that they were welcomed by our church – our spiritual and social center–where we gather for prayers, weddings, baptisms, and to honor the deceased. It also provides a place to learn and to socialize, etc.  As our forefathers needed the church so, too, we need it as much today as will future generations.  St. Sava (patron Saint of our church) implores us with the words: “I beg those who follow me to complete that which I, because of the shortness of time, could not complete.” His message is clear: continue where our forefathers stopped and fulfill St. Sava’s wishes and the legacy of the St. Nemanja Dynasty.

It is true that our spiritual and social center is advancing, illustrated by the number of congregants attending Sunday liturgy and participating in the Spiritual Sacramental life of the Church. You are also witnesses to the educational and social activities extended to a large number of children and adults. Relentlessly, we contribute to the poor and unfortunate, not only in our native land (Kosovo & Metohija) but also in other parts of the world. Moreover, within the past 15 years we have raised and invested over $3.5 million in the restoration of our church, in addition a million on the completed replacement of the parish hall roof. Furthermore, the church’s annual expenditure is approximately $500,000.

The end of November brings a fiscal year to an end and the beginning of the new fiscal year starts beginning of December. To assist the church administration in planning for the coming year, we are suggesting: in addition to fulfilling your spiritual stewardship (regularly attending the Divine Services, receiving Holy Sacraments) we ask according to your financial capabilities, support our church mission. The Holy Bible teaches us how to support our Holy Church: “No one shall appear before the Lord empty handed, but each of you with as much as he can give, in a proportion to the blessings which the Lord, God has bestowed on you.” (Deut. 16:10;16-17)

It is our desire to arrange a plan for the mission and future of our church community for the next year.  We ask that you complete the enclosed form in which you specify the amount of money you will pledge to support St. Sava Cathedral’s goals. Please return the completed form to the church office prior to November 20,  which will entitle you to participate, make proposals and vote at the Annual Assembly in December 2013.

Our brother Greeks are a perfect example of the successful practice of stewardship, which they have divided into several categories, designed to support their Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity on E. 74th Street, one of five Greek churches in Manhattan. Pacemakers is the first category of 90 members pledging $1000 and more annually. The Regular stewards pledge between $400-$1000 annually.

We do not recommend any set pledge amount, but we do hope that everyone will participate. The survival of our church community is dependent upon us. Let us not fail her. As the Bible teaches: “No one shall appear before the Lord empty handed, but each of you with as much as he can give…”. Thank you. May you and your loved ones live in God’s love.

STEWARDSHIP-MEMBERSHIP 2013

Tel: (212) 242 9240 

Website: www.stsavanyc.org 

Email: protanyc@gmail.com

Facebookwww.facebook.com/StSavaNYC

 

Name and Surname: …………………………………………………………….….

Name of Spouse: ……………………………………………………………………….

Full Address: …………………………………………………………………………..

Home tel.: ………………………………. Cell phone: ……………………………….

Email address: …………………………………………………………………………

Patron Saint – Slava: …………………………………………………………………..

Regarding the material help to the Church, St. Paul writes to the Christians, suggesting that

Every Sunday let each of you put aside your offering for the work of the Lord.”

In keeping with the teachings of St. Paul, we invite all parishioners, according to their abilities to financially help God’s Mission on Earth through our Church. Stewardship can comprise an individual or a married couple. Your donation can be made in installments throughout the year: for Christmas, for your Slava, for Easter, etc. Thus, by the end of the year you will have accumulated the amount you had initially pledged.

Please make your Checks payable to: “St. Sava Cathedral” and write in memo “Stewardship-Membership.”

 In 2013. I wish to contribute to the Mission of the Cathedral of St. Sava in New York:

$50 – $100 Member               $365 Steward            $600 Faithful Steward                      $1000 Pace Setter

In addition to fulfilling your spiritual responsibilities: 1) Regular attendance at Divine Services; 2) Receive Confession and Holy Communion and other Sacraments; as well as monetary contributions: Each Steward is called upon to accept a role in the workings of the Cathedral Board: Help in the Altar and Church; Join the choir; and help in different construction projects and in any other Church or socially related events.

I read and understand the meaning of Stewardship in the Orthodox Church. I voluntarily accept the responsibilities related to becoming a Steward of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava in New York. Within my ability, I shall endeavor to advance myself spiritually by being a useful member of my Church and my community.

Signature: ………………………………………………………

Date: ……………………2013

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