“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

... do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing ...

Matthew 6:3-4
... so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

It is offensive and crass when individuals call out other individuals on their giving. If the idea of stewardship is that each gives according to what they can; it is beyond any one person to say another isn't giving enough or should give more. Anyone who espouses that they have a belief in the Orthodox understanding on stewardship wouldn't "call out" their brethren about their giving, because, as we Orthodox believe, stewardship is between the one who gives and God.

(Incidentally, wasn't this the basis of the "reasoning" that the Benevolent Funds could not possibly be examined?)

When things were fair and open, most current PC members have given, gave, and always will give, generously. When they could not, in conscience, give to appointed and/or culled parish councils, who deliberately vilified long-standing stewards and long-established structures and traditions of our Church in the worst possible ways, still-generous stewards gave to other Orthodox entities.

Since the restoration of assemblies and elections (something the splitters, these priests and the Metropolitan fought AGAINST tooth-and-nail) most on the Parish Council, have upped their stewardship by a factor of thousands, not to mention underwriting events to help the operating income bottom line. Can we consider also the time and talent of a group of diverse professionals, not to mention sleepless nights wondering how to get through the next payroll period? If the "average" is supplied to the erstwhile Mr. Souvall, we would also like to "average-in" the combined stewardship pledges of the clergy and their former toadies - after all, aren't THEY "leadership"?

What can one say about men, supposedly with a spiritual calling, and the splitters who blindly continue to support them? Apparently, according to them, the clergy should be so exempt that blackmail, economic malfeasance and lying are now part of the apostolic calling? Who, besides the priests, have a "UNION BOSS" to demand that they NOT WORK for over THREE WEEKS, denying the faithful a sacramental life, (though, as was pointed out by their supporters, they still did so for a select few!) and still get back pay? Would this behavior be accepted in any other job, profession, or calling?

Sadly, the priests, the former appointed councils, and the Metropolitan have destroyed trust in hierarchy and clergy for a long time to come. People have spoken and are speaking through the one voice they have left - through their stewardship, despite George Pappas' Herculean efforts. Too many who see through the sham and lies in these past dismal years have been cast away as "heretics and robbers". (one might well ask what effect THIS has had on stewardship?) It is asking a lot of jaded and disheartened parishioners to support such a clergy and hierarchy until they are held accountable for their destructive tactics. And finally, remember, OUR YOUTH ARE WATCHING!

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