2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Stewardship FAQ

What is Stewardship?

Chris­t­ian Stew­ard­ship is a life-style, which acknowl­edges account­abil­i­ty and respon­si­bil­i­ty before God. Becom­ing a Stew­ard begins when we say we believe in God, to whom we give our love, loy­al­ty and trust. We affirm that every aspect of our lives comes as a gift from Him. Stew­ards are moti­vat­ed as recip­i­ents of God’s abun­dant love, to respond by par­tic­i­pat­ing and sup­port­ing His plan of sal­va­tion and the min­istries of the Church, which make sal­va­tion pos­si­ble for them and for oth­ers.

In the Bible, the Stew­ard is depict­ed as a per­son who is giv­en the respon­si­bil­i­ty of man­ag­ing some­thing that belongs to the Own­er, God. The Stew­ard as the man­ag­er is thus account­able to the Own­er for all that he pos­sess­es and is respon­si­ble to return to the Lord his or her fair share in grat­i­tude and thanks­giv­ing. As God has been gen­er­ous to us, He expects us to be gen­er­ous toward the work of Christ and His Church. Chris­t­ian Stew­ard­ship is the priv­i­lege and hon­or of direct­ly sup­port­ing God’s work on earth through the Church.

What is a Stewardship Commitment?

A Stew­ard­ship Com­mit­ment is a method by which every parish­ioner can active­ly par­tic­i­pate in the sup­port of the parish accord­ing to his/her abil­i­ties. The finan­cial sup­port of the parish falls into the hands of every parish­ioner (Stew­ard) who by his/her con­science con­tin­u­al­ly invests their time, tal­ents, and trea­sures in the life of the parish.

Why is Stewardship Commitment necessary in our parish?

Mak­ing a Stew­ard­ship Com­mit­ment by com­plet­ing a Stew­ard­ship Pledge Form helps the parish cre­ate a bud­get and man­age our finances more eas­i­ly and effec­tive­ly, Addi­tion­al­ly, it will assist us in cre­at­ing a data­base of vol­un­teers who com­mit to their Ortho­dox Stew­ard­ship through Time and Tal­ents. And for the parish­ioner, it’s a mean­ing­ful expres­sion of sup­port for your Parish.

How is the church currently supported financially?

Our Church is sup­port­ed pri­mar­i­ly through con­tri­bu­tions from of our parish­ioners and rev­enues from Church spon­sored events (e.g.,The Gala, Food Fest, etc.). In recent years the Church has had to make cash with­drawals from our sav­ings to meet expens­es. While we still have cash reserves in our account, we can­not con­tin­ue to rely on our sav­ings to pay for expens­es. We are reach­ing out to encour­age more of our Parish­ioners to become active Stew­ards in our Church.

Is the Stewardship Commitment mandatory for all parishioners?

Not at all. Noth­ing in the life of the Church is forced. God gives us an oppor­tu­ni­ty to do every­thing accord­ing to our free will. Jesus Christ did not say: You have to fol­low me, but he did say, “If any­one desires to come after me, let him deny him­self, and take up his cross, and fol­low me” (Matt. 16:24).

How is the Stewardship Commitment going to be implemented in our parish?

A Stew­ard­ship Com­mit­ment is based on vol­un­tary, pro­por­tion­al and reg­u­lar invest­ments of time, tal­ents and trea­sures in the parish. It should be not­ed that con­tribut­ing to your parish is not a year­ly com­mit­ment, but rather a life-long com­mit­ment that a Stew­ard makes toward their Church. Through this com­mit­ment, a parish­ioner shows that he is indeed a child of God, a Stew­ard of the God-giv­en bless­ings which God bestows upon us dai­ly. Stew­ard­ship becomes an unend­ing grat­i­tude to God and serves as a sign of small thanks to Him for all the things that already belong to Him. Every­thing comes from God-every­thing should be returned to Him!

If my Commitment is based on a yearly giving of a set amount of money, is it possible to divide that amount over several months?

As you will see on the Stew­ard­ship Pledge Form, you may ful­fill your com­mit­ment in week­ly, month­ly, or quar­ter­ly install­ments or in full annu­al­ly.

I have heard that some non-Orthodox denominations such as Protestants support their Church by giving 10% of their monthly/yearly income. Do I have to do the same for my Church?

That prin­ci­ple is based on the old Hebrew cus­tom of tithing or giv­ing “tenths” of all that they pos­sess. How­ev­er, not all peo­ple are able to put aside 10% of their month­ly or year­ly income. Con­sid­er the bless­ings that you have been pro­vid­ed and deter­mine the amount that you wish con­tribute.

It is impor­tant to remem­ber that God is not con­cerned with ‘how much was giv­en,’ but ‘how it was giv­en.’ In oth­er words, does a per­son give out of abun­dance (sur­plus) as the Phar­isees did, or do they give all of what they have, as the poor wid­ow­er who put the last two coins in the bas­ket? (Luke 21:1–4) As we all know, the Phar­isees gave out of pride and the poor wid­ow­er gave out of the good­ness of her heart and with­out dis­tress.

What will happen if I am unable to fulfill my financial commitment due to job loss, sickness or any other unforeseen circumstance?

Noth­ing will hap­pen. The Church is the liv­ing organ­ism that breathes by the Holy Spir­it and shel­ters all her chil­dren who seek sal­va­tion with­in the Church. It may hap­pen that a Stew­ard of a parish is not able to ful­fill their com­mit­ment due to unfore­seen cir­cum­stances.

Am I able to complete my Stewardship Commitment form electronically and also pay electronically?

Yes, the Online Stew­ard­ship Pledge Form is avail­able for you to fill out and sub­mit.

For online pay­ments of your Stew­ard­ship Com­mit­ment, you can use your bank’s bill pay fea­ture to make pay­ments direct­ly payable to The Nativ­i­ty of the Most Holy Theotokos Ser­bian Ortho­dox Parish. Please make sure to include the church’s address when set­ting up your bill pay on your bank­ing web­site. Addi­tion­al­ly, you can make elec­tron­ic pay­ments by cred­it card or bank trans­fer via Pay­Pal. Vis­it our Dona­tions page to make your dona­tion with Pay­pal.

What if I do not have access to the internet or online banking, how can I submit my commitment form and payments?

Stew­ard­ship Pledge Forms and envelopes are avail­able on the can­dle stand in the narthex of our Church.

You can mail your com­plet­ed com­mit­ment forms and pay­ments to the church office:
The Nativ­i­ty of the Most Holy Theotokos Ser­bian Ortho­dox Parish
2148 Michel­son Dr.
Irvine, CA 92612

Or, you can bring them to Church on Sun­days when you come for Divine Litur­gy.

Please be sure to make your checks or mon­ey orders made payable to The Nativ­i­ty of the Most Holy Theotokos Ser­bian Ortho­dox Parish. DO NOT SEND CASH!

Who is included in my Stewardship Commitment?

The Stew­ard­ship Com­mit­ment includes: hus­band, wife and chil­dren under the age of 18.

How can I decide how much to give to the Church?

This is a per­son­al deci­sion between you and God.

We plan to pub­lish the names of per­sons who sub­mit a Stew­ard­ship Pledge Form but not the amounts. This approach elim­i­nates pride­ful (Phar­i­sa­ic) giv­ing, com­pet­i­tive giv­ing, and alle­vi­ates a dis­com­fort for those who are not able to give a large sum.

The finan­cial com­mit­ment that you arrive at should evolve from your per­son­al judg­ment based upon your finan­cial resources com­bined with a spir­i­tu­al expres­sion of the grat­i­tude and love for the bless­ings which have been pro­vid­ed to you by our Lord.

Stew­ard­ship is about equal sac­ri­fice, not equal giv­ing.

What does the Bible say about financial support of the Church?

We will cite a few pas­sages from the Bible that clear­ly state how we should sup­port our Church:

Secret­ly: “That your char­i­ta­ble deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret, will Him­self reward you open­ly.” Matt. 6:4

Reg­u­lar­ly: “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay some­thing aside, stor­ing up as he may pros­per…” 1 Cor. 16:2

Boun­ti­ful­ly and Will­ing­ly: “He who spar­ing­ly sows will also spar­ing­ly reap, and he who sows boun­ti­ful­ly will also reap boun­ti­ful­ly. So let each one give as he pur­pos­es in his heart, not grudg­ing­ly or of neces­si­ty; for God loves a cheer­ful giv­er.” 2 Cor. 9:6–7

As Sacrifice/Offering: “Also we made ordi­nances for our­selves, to exact from our­selves year­ly one-third of a shekel for the ser­vice of the house of our God.” Nehemi­ah 10:32

For the Heav­en­ly Reward: “Do not lay up for your­selves trea­sures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for your­selves trea­sures in heav­en, where nei­ther moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break and steal. For where your trea­sure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:19–21

Being aware greed: “For the love of mon­ey is a root of all kinds of evil…” 1 Tim­o­thy 6:10