January 11, 2008
Dear Parishioner and Fellow Orthodox Christian:
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
As a new year begins, we have a unique opportunity to reassess the many responsibilities in our lives. One of those responsibilities is our stewardship to our Church. Stewardship takes many forms. It can be time, it can be talent, and it can be financial.
In a few days, a brochure discussing Stewardship and a pledge card for 2008 will be mailed to every member of the community. We hope that you will carefully and prayerfully consider this opportunity to give to the Community. While financial stewardship has continued to increase slightly, it certainly has not kept up with our needs and expenses.
The cost of maintaining basic services at their current level is $1,200 per family, per year, which equates to $3.30 per day. Our average pledge in 2007 was $649, which means that 58% of our annual operating budget it covered by Stewardship, the balance comes mostly from parking lots and apartment rentals. Furthermore, at the direction of the General Assembly the operating budget cannot and does not include any Greek Festival proceeds.
We realize that some can not afford to pledge $1,200 annually. Those who cannot afford this pledge should give as they are able. However, others believe that not pledging or giving only a minimal amount will send a “message” to communicate their dissatisfaction with someone or something. Nothing could be further from the truth. The salaries for clergy and staff will remain unchanged; our commitment to the Archdiocese will not decrease; our utility bills will not be lowered. What will suffer are the youth programs, the religious and Greek language education efforts, senior citizen programs, and certainly our capital expenditures, just to name a few.
We have taken the first steps necessary to bring our community into a new level of excellence so that we can achieve our primary responsibility, that being the Glory of God and the perpetuation of our Faith. Please fulfill your Christian obligation and pledge today so that we may continue on this path..
In His Service,