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. Our Stewardship Commitment is the tool of ministry, salvation and healing for us and for others. Christian Stewardship is the privilege and honor of directly supporting God’s work on earth through the Church.
Time, Talent and Treasure
True Stewardship encompasses not only the gift of Treasure (our monetary contributions), but also the contribution of our Time and our Talents. At Ravanica, we believe in order to be an “Active Steward of the Church,” one must contribute in all 3 areas: TIME, TALENT and TREASURE.
Giving of ourselves to do as Christ instructed us by being caretakers and defenders of His Church here on earth with all of our energies and abilities must be a priority in our lives. We should consider Stewardship a privilege and a responsibility.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify our Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16)
How much time should we give to God? The answer is very simple: All our time belongs to God. Whatever time we have is a gift from God and must be used wisely in every activity throughout the day. Our Christian life must be more than a weekly Liturgy or an occasional meeting.
Examples of sharing our time include:
- Participating in the Divine Liturgy
- Volunteering for a particular project
- Sharing our faith
- Attending Bible Study
Remember, only through involvement does the life of the Ravanica Parish become more meaningful. Please consider sharing the gift of your time with our Ravanica community. Come and join us and give of yourself!!
We welcome you to join any of the following organizations/programs:
- Serbian Sisters Ravanica
- SSS Ravanica Choir
- St. Lazarus Church School
- St. Lazarus Cultural Program
- Pensioners Club
- Sports Club
- Posetioci Ravanice
“Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (St. Paul to the Hebrews 13: 7-16)
Each one of us has been endowed with natural abilities. These abilities can be physical, social or intellectual. Besides these natural abilities, we have been endowed with spiritual gifts which we received from the Holy Spirit at our Baptism. Sharing our natural abilities and spiritual gifts with others brings great personal satisfaction and joy.
Examples of ways in which one can share their talents:
- Participating in church organizations and committees
- Building a set for St. Sava
- Playing the piano for children
- Teaching a Sunday School class
- Teaching a Kolo class
- Utilizing your technology skills
- Organizing a fundraiser or field trip or community trip
- Sharing your cooking and baking abilities
- Serving on the Executive Board
All these gifts come from above and when shared bring great joy and reward.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, …but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34)
We must realize that everything comes from God. When we give to the Church, we return to God, the Owner, His rightful portion. Whatever our occupation is, it involves interaction with resources that God has provided. The health that we have, allows us to work, and comes from God. The more we are given, the more that is expected of us.
“Everyone to whom much is given, of him will much be required.” (Luke 12:48)
Why must we give monetarily? Money Enables Ministry Orthodox Christian financing is focused upon the soul and giving as we have been blessed. Giving money to our church is a symbolic act. It is the offering of ourselves in service and devotion to God.
Money is a necessary tool for all Parish Ministries and the entire operating budget. We strive to be a self-supporting entity. In other words, through Stewardship, our Church and our church grounds should be completely supported by our contributions.
Your Stewardship monetary contributions are vital to our Church in order to:
- Provide religious services and sacraments (baptism, marriage, funerals, Patron Saint days, special holidays, Christmas and Easter, etc.)
- Provide religious counseling
- Provide religious education for our children and for adults
- Provide cultural education and opportunities
- Communicate regularly with you through church publications and mailings Continue visitations to the hospitalized and shut-ins
- Maintain and repair our buildings
- Pay for all utilities – heating, cooling, phone service, etc.
- Pay for all staff including our priests and secretaries
- Pay for landscaping and ground maintenance
- Pay for snow removal and parking lot maintenance
- Support our Diocese (St. Lazarus pays $65/steward)
- Provide for so much more
As in your own home, an annual budget is established to cover all of the needs at St. Lazarus. It is our hope that through the generous spirit of all Stewards, we will be able to initiate a self-sustaining momentum for future years to come without the assistance of our hall or outside sources.