Mailing: 30251 Golden Lantern Ste E #380, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 | Services: 4949 Alton Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92604

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