Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Orthodox Church
Archpriest Steven C. Kostoff
4285 Ashland Ave, Cincinnati OH 45212 - (513) 351-0907
2012 Stewardship Pledge Form

January 6, 2012
Dear Parish Faithful,
 
In late October, the pledge forms for 2012 were passed out in the parish following an update given by our parish treasurer, Steve Joachim, to the parish during the post-Liturgy discussion.  Much of what he conveyed is contained below in an outline form for your convenience.  The attachments are meant to be read and acted upon in hopefully a timely fashion.
 
Your generosity in turning in your pledge form for 2012 determines the quality of Christian witness that we will be allowed to continue to make as Orthodox Christians of the greater Cincinnati area.  We humbly request the full and prayerful participation of the entire parish.
 
In Christ,
 
Fr. Steven 
 
+++

Fellow Parishioners,
 
As we have stated throughout the course of 2011, stewardship is a key tenet of our Christian responsibilities to the parish.  Please take a few minutes to read the attached 2012 Pledge Letter, prayerfully consider your stewardship to the parish, and fill out the pledge form and return to me.
 
With your support this year (August 2011 YTD) we have been able to:
 
1.       Donate over $6,473 to various charities both locally and worldwide
2.       Provide $3899 in education funds & scholarships for our children
3.       Maintain our building with $28,964 in maintenance costs
4.       Provide $570 for our fellowship at coffee hour.
5.       Donate to Dormition Monastery the sum of $1500
 
Please take the time to reflect on the impact that your stewardship has for both the community and our parish.
 
We thank you for your prayerful consideration and cheerful giving.
 
You can email the pledge form to me at sjoachim43@gmail.com, place it in the basket on Sunday, or mail it back to me at 7398 Airy View Dr., Liberty Township OH 45044.
 
Yours in Christ,
 
Steve Joachim
Treasurer

2012 Pledge Form (Printable PDF Format)
2012 Pledge Form (Word .doc Format, for ease in completing and emailing)
2012 Stewardship Letter


Stewardship FAQ #4, Notes on the Stewardship Forums

September 1, 2011
Dear Parish Faithful,

Here is the fourth and final installment of the four-part article "Frequently Asked Stewardship Questions," written by Joe Kormos on behalf of our Stewardship Committee. Please read this part over as carefully as you have read the earlier three parts. We hope that this article will have addressed some of the types of questions that arise when discussing stewardship and parish pledging. If there still remains a question or two that the article did not anticipate, then please forward your questions to the committee for further elaboration. Having read the entire article before tomorrow evening's Parish Discussion Forum will only enhance the nature and quality of our discussions.

Please remember, that in addition to the scheduled discussion tomorrow, another is scheduled for September 16, also at 7:30pm.

Fr Steven

CTS Parish Stewardship FAQ Part 4
Scroll down for Parts 1, 2 & 3

Parish Stewardship Committee
Steve Joachim
Alexis Callender
Joe Kormos
Frances Fowler-Collins
Nolan Leara


Stewardship FAQ #3, Stewardship Forum on Sept 2

The Widow's Mites
The Widow's Mites
The Widow's Mites
August 25, 2011
Dear Parish Faithful,

CTS Parish Stewardship FAQ Part 3
 
Here is the third installment of the article “Frequently Asked Stewardship Questions.”  (Scroll down for parts one and two.) We ask  every member of the parish to read “Part Three” with care and then formulate any further questions or concerns based upon the content of the article.  Our Stewardship Committee would be glad to answer any further questions.  The article in its wholeness is meant to anticipate the types of questions that inevitably arise when stewardship is being discussed on a parish level.  By posing and answering these questions in a thorough and open manner, we are hoping to clarify any possible misconceptions that may serve as an obstacle to the practice of responsible stewardship.  
 
Part Three is of particular interest and importance, for you will find  an excellent description of the very concept of Stewardship; followed by an equally clear description of Pledging.  I believe that this part of the article effectively addresses the types of issues/concerns that cause hesitation in the practice of pledging.
 
Please remember our first Parish Discussion Forum scheduled for Friday, September 2, at 7:00 p.m. at the church.

Fr Steven


First Stewardship Forum Coming September 2

Posted August 18, 2011
CTS Parish Stewardship FAQ Part 2
CTS Parish Stewardship FAQ Part 1

Dear Parish Faithful,
 
As announced last week, our parish Stewardship Committee has scheduled two upcoming Parish Discussion Forums that will allow all parishioners in attendance to express an open opinion on the future development of parish projects and direction.  The first of these forums is scheduled for Friday, September 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the church.  Please mark that date on your calendars.
 
In preparation for these discussions, we will continue to send out  further installments of the article entitled “Frequently Asked Stewardship Questions” over the next few weeks in preparation for our first forum.  The first installment went out on August 10, and can be viewed and printed here.  You are now able to view the second installment at your convenience, with two more yet to be distributed.  Even a cursory glance at this article will reveal that a good deal of time, effort and research has gone into it.  Therefore, we ask everyone to read through each part carefully and thoughtfully.  As stated earlier, all and any questions, comments, and criticisms are more than welcome.
 
In Christ,
 
Fr. Steven


Stewardship Forums Announced

August 12, 2011
Our Stewardship Committee met again on Thursday evening, August 11.  Realizing that this is a parish-wide endeavor; and wanting to hear from all committed parishioners concerning the future direction of our parish for the next few years (three – five?); it was decided that this could best be done within a parish discussion forum. 

Therefore, the Stewardship Committee, with my blessing as the parish priest, has scheduled just such a Parish Discussion Forum for Friday evening, September 2, and a second such meeting on Friday evening, September 16.  This will be further elaborated on, but at the moment we should point out that this will be an informal meeting about ninety minute in length in which all parishioners – new and old - who are present may express their opinions about future projects and direction for the parish.  This data will be carefully gathered and assessed for definite priorities for the future.  There will be no decision-making at these forums.  And this is not a pledge drive or a forum designed to request any funding.  It is a good opportunity to meet as a parish and discuss the future direction of the parish based on everyone’s input.
 
The forums will begin at 7:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be served.

Fr Steven


Stewardship FAQ

August 10, 2011
Dear Parish Faithful,

Our Stewardship Committee has been meeting with regularity this year; and has spent a good deal of time in developing a comprehensive presentation of the meaning and purpose of Christian stewardship for the parish to reflect and act upon.  On the whole, we already are a parish that has been practicing good and generous stewardship through the years.  That is something we need to thank God for.  Yet, our goal is to reinforce an already- existing practice within the parish and to deepen our collective understanding of Christian Stewardship so that others – old and new parishioners alike – will join in the building up of our parish as the local manifestation of the Body of Christ.

With this in mind, the Committee appointed Joe Kormos to prepare a comprehensive article that would simultaneously focus on the formulation of “Frequently Asked Questions” concerning Christian Stewardship; and then well-researched responses to those questions.  Joe has much experience in this field as the Parish Development Ministry leader of our Midwest Diocese.  After critical input from the Committee,  the final version of that article is attached for your convenience.   Everyone is strongly encouraged to read the article with care.  Any comments, concerns, questions, and critical responses – positive or negative - are also highly encouraged.  In a sense, this is a parish project – for we are all involved and concerned about the well-being of our parish.

Due to the thorough nature of this article, we decided to present it in four installments, with about ten – fourteen days between each part.

CTS Parish Stewardship FAQ Part 1

As a reminder, the members of the Stewardship Committee are:

Fr. Steven
Steve Joachim
Alexis Callender
Joe Kormos
Frances Fowler-Collins
Nolan Leara

In Christ,
Fr. Steven

 
Parish Stewardship Committee Update

The Widow's Mites
The Widow's Mites
The Widow's Mites
July 7, 2011
From Fr Steven:
Dear Parish Faithful,


Our Stewardship Committee has been meeting with some regularity since it was formed at the beginning of the year.  We have all been of one mind in terms of our goals and our commitment to be faithful to God and the biblical practice of Christian stewardship on a parish level.  Below is a summary of those goals to date, all of which hopefully witness to our faithfulness to the biblical principles that allow to do all things to the glory of God.  Please read this summary carefully and submit any questions that you may have.  To refresh your memory our committee members are:
 
Fr. Steven
Frances Fowler-Collins
Steve Joachim
Steve Korach
Joe Kormos
 

Stewardship Program Overview

As members of the body of Christ we express our love for God –and our trust in Him- by giving back to His Church a meaningful portion of the resources we have received from God. We do so out of a sense of gratitude for our many blessings and out of a sense of responsibility and concern to build up and strengthen His church.

To keep this Christian opportunity for good stewardship clearly in front of all of us, our parish is embarking on a stewardship education effort developed by our parish stewardship committee.  This effort will be multifaceted including:

  • Stewardship FAQ - A stewardship FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) summary covering various practical and spiritual aspects of what it means to be a good Christian steward. Every few weeks an installment will be available for parishioners to read via email and the parish website. It will cover answers to common questions in the topic areas of:
    • The Parish and Its Finances
    • Financial Support for the Diocese and the OCA
    • Spiritual and Practical Aspects of Stewardship and Pledging
  • Small Group discussions – will be held among parishioners concerning their hopes and aspirations for this parish. What do we value and what do we see as our most important priorities for the next 3-5 years. These will begin in late summer 2011.
  • Church School – Learning the basic principles of Christian Stewardship.
  • New Member Assimilation – Our catechetical class for those persons interested in the Orthodox faith will be expanded to include a segment on the practical and spiritual aspects of stewardship in our lives and as members of the parish. We also intend to create a new member packet that can help newcomers to more effectively become active participants in parish life. These materials will make the responsibility of membership –including the meaningful contribution of time, talent AND treasure by all.
  • All Member Canvas – Our pledge effort for 2012 will be revamped. We’ll start earlier. Offer clear, impactful goals. We’ll ask clearly and forthrightly for every parishioner’s generous participation.
 
 
Stewardship Appeal 2011

Updated Dec 9, 2010
"Corporate good stewardship in a parish improves the quality of spiritual life for the community.  It allows the parish to fulfill its mission in fidelity to the gospel through a proper alignment of values and priorities.  Corporate good stewardship in the Church is a means by which Christians learn to love the poor and the needy of the world and to actively transcend tribalism, ethnicism, racism, and all the other artificially divisive categories of human thought and behavior."  Fr. Anthony Scott
 
I hope that this paragraph from an essay on Christian Stewardship will awaken everyone's understanding even further as to the importance of good stewardship on the parish level.   The parish needs the support of all parishioners and we hope that this is fulfilled in a generous pledge for the parish's material and spiritual well-being as we approach the new year of 2011.  Please hand in your pledge forms to Mickey Callender.

in Christ,
Fr. Steven

~~~~~~~

Previous Posts:
Dec 1, 2010

Dear Parish Faithful,
 
We had a brief post-Liturgy discussion November 21 about parish stewardship in relation to our Stewardship/Pledge Appeal for 2011.  This discussion was, of course, far too short, and attended by a relatively small portion of our parish households.  An important part of our presentation is very well-summarized on the attachment that everyone is strongly encouraged to open and carefully study.  The Financial Stewardship Summary will give everyone a "good look" at the various levels of parish stewardship being practiced, and at your own part or place within our parish program.  One obvious result that is clear, is that our parish is being disproportionately supported by our "older parishioners," and this is something that needs to be addressed for the future well-being of the parish.  That 25% of the parish is not making a pledge is something that also needs to be addressed.  What follows is a brief summary of Sunday's discussion:
 
+  Christian Stewardship is the sharing of time, talent and treasure with the express intention of building up the local Body of Christ - that is the parish.  Our pledge appeal is concerned with everyone's monetary support of the parish for the upcoming year.  The goal for a healthy parish is full commitment from the entire parish, so that we share this responsibility together. 
 
+  Yet, we received far fewer pledges for 2010, than for the previous year of 2009, with a reduction in our budget of over $20,000.00.  Our median pledge has also dropped over the years.  To address this setback, we are appealing to all parishioners to make a pledge for 2011, according to one's means.  "Fair share" giving is another way to express this.
 
+  Financial stewardship is based on proportional giving, according to one's resources and means.  That means that a pledge of $2,500 could be proportionally higher than a pledge of $5,000.  The Bible speaks of offering our "first fruits," not our "leftovers."   Examining our hearts may be as important as examining our pocketbooks.
 
Below are links to three important documents: the Stewardship Summary mentioned above;  the letter that explains this year's pledge drive that allows us to practice Christian stewardship; and the pledge form for 2011.  We are asking that your pledge be turned in by Dec. 13.  That is very important for preparing the budget for the new year.

I would also like to share a series of meditations - hopefully on a daily basis - with all of you as you consider your role as Christian stewards, and as you prayerfully make decisions on your own sharing of "time, talent and treasure" within the context of parish membership. These are being made available on our Meditations blog.
 
In Christ,
 
Fr. Steven

Financial Stewardship Summary
Stewardship Letter 2011
Pledge Form 2011 (PDF)
Pledge Form 2011 (.doc)