Stewardship – A Way of Life
We are able to give of ourselves to St. Mary’s in three ways: St. Mary’s is our family, our home. It is where we go to fill our soul with Christ, and to fill our hearts with the love of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a place to do God’s work for the greater community and to comfort and help those within our own family who are hurting.
The gift of Time: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”
The gift of Talent: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God”
1 Peter : 10
The gift of Treasure: “…Send your treasures to the heavenly storage room. Deposit your wealth in God’s Bank, distributing it to the poor, the orphans and the widows, so that you can receive a million times more in the Second coming of Christ…”
Elder Joseph the Hesychast
Whether participating in worship or parish educational events, teaching children in Church School or chanting during liturgy, serving souvlaki at the Festival or soup at a shelter, St. Mary’s has a role for anyone who wishes to give of their time and talent.
“God loves a cheerful giver.”
Our many programs and extensive outreach depend on your generous contributions. At St. Mary’s, we do so much more than “keep the lights on.” Our priority of compassionate stewardship is about how we, as a community, can do God’s work with love and compassion, and to engage parishioners and guests in our ministries and liturgical services.
“…and the greatest of these is love.”
2023 Online Yearly Stewardship Commitment Form
A Message from Father Tim
Christ is in our midst!
We have accomplished much in our 122 year history of being a living church serving our congregation in Minneapolis, and we have more opportunities for greater accomplishments ahead for us. One such opportunity is stewardship. In chapter 25 of the gospel according to the evangelist Matthew, we learn of a servant who buried a talent rather than to work to increase the gift he had received from his master. In chapter 21 of the same gospel, we learn of a group of vine keepers who chose to not return to the owner of the vineyard what was due him from the fruit of the vine. Instead, they murdered the servants and son of the owner and stole everything that was benefited from the vineyard. These are examples of bad stewards of their masters’ gifts.
But there are also examples of good stewards of the blessings they have received. For example, the servants who increased the five and two talents they had received and willingly brought the outcome of their hard work to their master serve as excellent examples. Zacchaeus is another such example of good stewardship. Joseph, who was placed in charge by his master Potiphar, was yet another excellent example of a good steward. We likewise are called to be good stewards of the gifts of health, wisdom, family and friends, opportunities, and all the blessings we have received by which we have gained benefits for our lives. We are called to be stewards who recognize that all that we have has been accomplished by us through the blessing of God’s gifts upon us.
We do not interact with God as His slaves. In fact, he was crucified on the Cross and resurrected on the third day precisely because He wanted us to choose a relationship with Him freely. We serve Him and His people because we desire a relationship with Him and with His entire creation. But relationships are formed only through “commitment.” This year, we are embarking on a new vision of commitment to Christ, to His Church, and to St. Mary’s. The new process to become a Steward at St. Mary’s involves completing a Time, Talent, and Financial Commitment form, either on paper or electronically on our website. As we detailed in our 2023 Stewardship brochure, making a formal commitment to Christ, through a formal pledge to His Church, is a crucial step in advancing our spiritual life, and reflects true Christian stewardship. We have been able to function financially at St. Mary’s without requiring this formality for many years, so one might ask why we are making this change. In truth, while it does help St. Mary’s to have a vigorous volunteer pool to reach out to when events or project needs arise, and it is helpful to have an idea of financial commitments when planning the next year’s budget, the benefit of making a pledge is most beneficial to the parishioner, who proclaims boldly in the spirit of true Christian stewardship, that Christ and His Church are worthy of a formal commitment.
All us are children of God, and as His sons and daughters we are also inheritors of all that God has created and maintains. Being good children and wise inheritors of what God has in store for us we take responsibility and ownership of what God has given us, we engage with what He has given us, and we are generous with what He has entrusted to us. Our Stewardship theme – Ownership, Engagement, Generosity – mirrors the Metropolis of Chicago’s long-term strategic plan for stewardship. We have long been a beacon of light in the Metropolis, and to that end, once again we hope to lead by example and demonstrate true, principled, Christian stewardship.
The benefits of being a Steward at St. Mary’s (as opposed to a donor) include:
- Be eligible to have Sacraments (wedding, baptism, etc) performed at St. Mary’s,
- Be a Godparent/Sponsor at the Sacrament of a loved one,
- Attend and vote at Parish Assemblies,
- Run for Parish Council,
- Vote at Parish Council elections,
- and attend the yearly Appreciation Glendi.
It is important to remember that there is no penalty for not being able to fulfill a financial commitment as reflected on a pledge form; we understand that financial circumstances might change during the year. Likewise, if it is impossible to make a financial commitment, filling out name and contact information, along with any time and talents, is sufficient to become a steward. Additionally, we remind everyone that the individual financial commitment and donations of our parishioners and donors remain private and are only known to very few persons who must work with the respective numbers or process. Above all, we seek to remind ourselves that it is the process, rather than the outcome, of the commitment that reflects true Christian stewardship and a formal commitment to Christ and His Holy Church.
The Stewardship Committee inspires, educates and enables the members of the parish to return a fair portion of God’s blessings of time, talents and financial resources back to the Church so that the work of Christ through St. Mary’s may continue and grow. They set the Stewardship schedule and drive each year, prepare literature and commitment cards, track responses and follow up.
Stewardship Committee Members
- Athena Mihas
- Diakonissa Alexandria Kalina,
- Father Timothy Sas
- Cooper Buss
- Jessica Buss
- James Geogleris
- Dean George
- Annette Legeros
- Cristina Nicklow
- Mike Rakes