The ministry of Saint Sophia is made possible by its faithful and generous stewards. Stewardship is much more than a noun describing our annual giving program; it is a verb describing a way of life. Christian Stewardship involves our purposeful giving back to God in gratitude for all He has given to us. God commands believers to be good managers of all of their resources and to give their "first fruits" for His work.
When we give prayerfully and in proportion to our means, we grow closer to the Lord by letting go of something that has the power to enslave us spiritually: material possessions. Christian stewardship is not the same thing as "giving to a charity.” It is a spiritual discipline, like prayer and fasting. The Lord calls His followers to make good stewardship a holy habit.
What Our Faith Teaches About Stewardship:
God is the Ultimate Giver
We offer to You this gifts, from Your own gifts, in all and for all.
– The Divine Liturgy
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.
– James 1:17
Believers Put God First
God Blesses Faithful Givers
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.
– Luke 10:27
Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
– Proverbs 3:9-10
O Lord, Who blesses those who bless You and sanctifies those who put their trust in You.
– The Divine Liturgy
Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house; and thereby put Me to the test, says the Lord Of Hosts, if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.
– Malachai 3:10
Give, and it will be given to you; .... For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.
– Luke 6:38
A rich person is not one who has much, but one who gives much, for what we give away remains ours forever.
– St. John Chrysostom
What is Stewardship?
Christian Stewardship involves our purposeful “giving back” in gratitude for all that God has given to us. It is not the same thing as giving to “a charity.” God directs all believers to be good managers of everything He has given to us and to give back a portion of His blessings to advance His mission through His Church.
Christian Stewardship both requires and nurtures spiritual discipline. Believers are called to make good stewardship a holy habit. When we give prayerfully, substantially, and in proportion to our means, we grow closer to the Lord by letting go of something that has the power to enslave us spiritually: material possessions.
I give to charities. Why should I give to the Church?
Jesus makes it clear that the Church's mission is the greatest mission when He commands His Disciples to: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you …” (Mt. 28:19-20).
We share this mission at Saint Sophia. We preach the Gospel and offer Holy Communion on Sunday mornings and throughout the liturgical year. We baptize and catechize our children, marry our young adults, hear confessions, anoint the sick. We foster spiritual growth through Bible studies, spiritual discussion groups, youth programs and fellowship for people of all ages. We offer food and support to those in need. We provide pastoral care and comfort for many people in their most trying times.
How can I make Giving an Act of Worship?
In every willful act of generosity, God transforms our selfish nature, allowing His grace to grow more and more in our hearts. Yes, our “hard-earned money” leaves our pockets, but Christ quickly changes our momentary fear of not having enough, into a deeper and abiding relationship with Him in which He gives us His truly priceless gifts of faith, hope, love, joy, peace, meaning, and steadfastness.