Q: How much does it cost to be a member of the Church?
We, and our contributions of our personal time, talents and treasure, are all equally welcome. In this spirit, we do not have "dues." It does not "cost" a certain amount of money to belong to the Church.
Each of us can contribute to our parish in our own way depending on our God given talents and to the best of our ability given our personal circumstances. Some can give more time than others, or have different talents. Financially, some of us can contribute more and others less.
We all need to ask ourselves, personally and prayerfully, how much we can and should contribute to our beloved Cathedral. Our Church is there to guide and shape our children, to bring each of us closer to Christ and to offer us comfort when we need it. We have an obligation to support our Church.
How much is appropriate for you? The same as two cups of coffee each week? At least as much as we spend on cable television, or dinners at restaurants? Only you can determine what you think is appropriate for your personal situation, and only Christ the Pantocrator can judge. Please take seriously your obligation as a Steward of our Church, and respond with a pledge that reflects the value you put on your Faith relative to the other things we all spend money on in our daily lives.
If you are blessed with resources that make life a little easier for you than it is for some of our parishioners, including the poor and the elderly, please consider it your privilege and a blessing that you are in the position to offer more to our Church than others can, and respond accordingly.
Q: Why is it important to complete and submit a Pledge Form?
As you know from running your own household or business, it is very important to have some idea of what you can afford to spend in any given year. Our parish council tries its best to manage the financial affairs of the Church prudently and responsibly. To do so, we need to budget and to project what we expect to receive in revenues for our parish each year. Stewardship is by far our largest and most reliable source of revenue. Please help your parish council fulfill its duty and keep our Cathedral financially healthy by submitting your pledge at the beginning of each year's pledge drive. Your pledge form can be completed in a matter of seconds.
If your personal circumstances change during the year, and you cannot fulfill your pledge, no one will be chasing or embarrassing you. Similarly, Stewards are always welcome to increase their pledges, or to contribute more than they pledged. Your pledge is simply evidence of your best intention for the year, and having your pledge at the beginning of year pledge drive is an enormous help to the Parish Council.
Q: Why do we talk about Stewardship all the time? Shouldn't I just contribute what I feel is right?
We need to educate ourselves and each other about Stewardship because as a community we are just beginning to appreciate its true meaning and importance. Stewardship means living our lives as an active member of the Church, which is the Body of Christ. It means participating fully in the sacramental life of our parish. It means caring for the Church
and thinking of it in our daily lives. It means caring for our fellow parishioners, and it means supporting the life of our Cathedral in every way, including financially.
Q: Isn't Stewardship just another way of asking people for money?
Stewardship is most certainly not just another way of asking people for money. It is a way of life, and the only way our Church will survive. The Church is not a cable TV company, a restaurant or a country club. We are not charged a fee for services rendered or goods provided, and we are not "members" who pay "dues." We are Stewards, or caretakers, of our Holy Church. Our most important obligation to our Church is to be there - to be present and fully engaged in the sacramental life and ministries of our Church. The financial component of Stewardship is only one part.
We are blessed with a diverse community at St. George, and our diversity is a strength. Some of us have lots of time and important talents to give. Some of us have plenty of financial resources to contribute generously. Some of us have more of all of these and others have little. If we are all fully engaged as Stewards, however, we will be doing Christ's work, and our community will be successful and vibrant in every way.
Q: Where do my Stewardship contributions go?
Stewardship is by far our largest source of revenue - over half of our Cathedral budget. Stewardship contributions pay for the maintenance of our Cathedral building and grounds, salaries for our priests and staff, office supplies and technology that allow us to communicate with our parishioners, contributions to our Archdiocese that support the resources available to us and to Orthodox Churches throughout the country, our budgets for religious education, youth and other ministries of our vibrant community. Detailed statements of our expenses are published and distributed regularly. Please contact the Church office for more information.
Q: Why does it seem like it's all about money?
If it seems like Stewardship is all about money, then we've done a poor job of communicating the message, or a poor job of listening. Money is one component of Stewardship, the least important! Stewardship is about getting engaged in doing Christ's work and in understanding that our Church's only business is the business of doing Christ's work for the purpose of working toward our personal salvation, and the salvation of the world. It takes money to do the things we have to do - for example to educate our community, to maintain a place of worship that appropriately reflects the Glory of God, to help the poor - but if we are truly engaged as Stewards, the money will take care of itself because our Stewards will see to it that the Church has what it needs to fulfill its mission.
Q: Why don't we just have dues like we used to?
Besides the many persuasive philosophical arguments against "dues," there is also a compelling practical argument: dues don't work. The Archdiocese has maintained statistics over many years, tracking the growth and performance of parishes that still use "dues" compared to parishes in the same region that have adopted a Stewardship program. Parishes that have maintained a system of dues are smaller and shrinking, and less vibrant and viable by any measure compared to parishes that have a Stewardship system. It's plain and simple. If we want to be a growing, vibrant parish, dues are not an option.
Q: Why don't husbands and wives pledge jointly as a family?
In some parishes Stewards pledge as a family. At St. George, we have for many years had individual pledges so that each husband wife is a separate Steward, making his or her pledge individually. This gives each individual an opportunity for personal introspection about his or her relationship to God and the Church and to personally dedicate his or her life to Christ for the individual's own salvation.
Q: Why are my contributions sometimes credited to my husband's account, or his to mine?
We do our best to enter data accurately. Mistakes do happen, however, and you can help us record your pledges and contributions as accurately as possible by making sure your forms and envelopes are clear and legible. If you submit a check to be allocated between a husband and wife, please indicate the desired allocation on the envelope, and in the memo portion of the check.
Q: How can I get more information about Stewardship?
This is a wonderful question because it shows an interest in learning more about the true meaning of Stewardship. To get more information about Stewardship, please contact Fr. George, our Parish Council President or Stewardship Chair, the Church office, or any member of the Parish Council.
Q: How can I get a Stewardship and Family Information form?
Forms can be obtained from any parish council member on Sunday or through the Church office during the week. The forms are available at any time on the stgeorgecathedral.org website.
Q: Can I use a credit card account to make my offerings?
Yes, many stewards do make their offerings through credit cards. The best way to do this is through the PayPal capability on the website. This approach is the best way to keep your credit card information confidential and to assure that your offerings will be recorded in an accurate and timely manner. It also provides you the convenience of being able to enter the information at a time and place that convenient for you. Our office staff or Stewardship Chair will be happy to guide you through this process. It provides the option of making one time or recurring monthly offerings.
Q: Can I make my offerings through the United Way?
Check your local United Way to determine if they permit United Way donations to be allocated to houses of worship. Rules differ by jurisdiction. While we welcome offerings made this way, please keep in mind that the United Way deducts an administration fee and forwards payments sporadically during the year. As a result there may be delays in the recording of your offerings in our church Stewardship system.
Q: If I have additional questions who can I contact?
You can address question to the church office staff, the Stewardship Chair, or any Parish Council member. We will be happy to help you.