When we gather together in joy and worship, we sing to God in gratitude for His many blessings. Our hearts are full, and we want to give of what we have.
There are three general ways in which we share with others what we have, giving back to God in gratitude:
Christian stewardship is one of the disciplines of the Church that help to cultivate a proper attitude toward the world and toward that part of the world's bounty which God has entrusted to us, our material possessions. The whole thrust of the Divine Liturgy is offering. We offer up "ourselves, one another, and our entire life unto Christ our God." God is the source of all gifts and this is why we proclaim in the Liturgy, "Thine own of Thine own, we offer unto Thee on behalf of all and for all." It is this sacrifice, or offering, that is then returned to us as Christ Himself.
Just as we cultivate the discipline of daily prayer and fasting, we should endeavor to be a steward of our finances through offerings and alms. Christian stewardship is a loving response to a loving God. It is an invitation to grow in one's faith by responding to the Gospel. We only rob ourselves by not giving and this is true of all of the disciplines of the Church. As we have our lives transformed by the Gospel we respond with thanksgiving, praise, worship, and offering. Thus the true goal of financial stewardship is growing the hearts of Christians in response to the love of Christ.
Holy Cross was founded by families who wanted an Orthodox church in the Triad area that offered services entirely in English, and accessible and welcoming to newcomers and faithful from all ethnic and cultural groups. We now offer the full liturgical worship that is the foundation of Orthodox life. We provide classes for inquirers and catechumens, and have baptized and chrismated very many new members of the faithful since our founding. We have many children who benefit from our educational and social activities, including our youth group for teens. We continue to see new folks arrive and engage in all areas of parish life.
As the parish has grown, the need for space has become increasingly pressing. Even before the pandemic-imposed limits, overcrowding was a blessed but persistent inconvenience during both worship and fellowship hour. We recently found a new temporary home with more space than the building we had leased for many years, but we need a permanent home with space and facilities where our mission can flourish.
After many years of hope, prayer and hard work, with God’s help we plan to break ground on our new church this year! The church will accommodate 250 worshippers, and its design will reflect the breadth of Orthodox heritage reflected in our diverse membership. The fellowship hall will feature sit-down dining for 200 people, along with restrooms, classrooms, an office, and a kitchen suitable for shared community meals and events. The new interior spaces will include essential furnishings and equipment, with opportunities in future years to add iconography. Outside, we hope to build a fenced playground, along with parking and landscaping which enhance the property’s accessibility and beauty.
This Building Fund is an opportunity for every member of Holy Cross to prayerfully commit to offering up some of the gifts with which we have been blessed. No pledge, if given with a full heart, is too small. Great and wondrous things happen when we bring our offerings together for the glory of God!
Almsgiving is an expression of love and care for our neighbors, and of the self-emptying, selfless service to which Jesus calls us.
... this love for others should not be limited to formal gestures or to sentimental feelings, but should issue in specific acts of almsgiving. Such was the firm conviction of the early Church. The second-century Shepherd of Hermas insists that the money saved through fasting is to be given to the widow, the orphan and the poor. But almsgiving means more than this. It is to give not only our money but our time, not only what we have but what we are; it is to give a part of ourselves. When we hear the Triodion speak of almsgiving, the word should almost always be taken in this deeper sense. For the mere giving of money can often be a substitute and an evasion, a way of protecting ourselves from closer personal involvement with those in distress. On the other hand, to do nothing more than offer reassuring words of advice to someone crushed by urgent material anxieties is equally an evasion of our responsibilities (see Jas. 2:16). Bearing in mind the unity already emphasized between man’s body and his soul, we seek to offer help on both the material and the spiritual levels at once.
The Lenten Triodion, pp. 19–20.
Send a check, noting whether it is for Stewardship, the Building Project, or Alms, to:
c/oMount Pleasant United Methodist Church
4700 Old Walkertown Rd.
Winston-Salem, NC 27105
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