Stewardship Commission Meets in Washington
WASHINGTON, DC -- Members of our Diocesan Stewardship Commission and guests met November 12, 2010 at Saint Nicholas Cathedral (OCA) in Washington, DC. Father Frederick Watson, chairman, and commission members Father Basil Aden, Deacon Steve Hall and John Bilanin were joined by Father Michael Rosco, representing His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas, and Stephanie Betsa, a nontraditional student at St. Vincent College and member of our St. Stephen's parish in Latrobe, PA.
The Commission, established by Metropolitan Nicholas following the July 2009 opening session of our diocesan Sobor/Council, has made stewardship education its primary goal during the period leading up to the anticipated 2012 Sobor/Council.
At its November meeting the Commission reviewed and evaluated its 2010 efforts to date, including:
- Development and distribution of Stewardship: A Way of Life – Resource I, educational materials for use by individuals and parishes across the diocese.
- Presentations at:
- Priests’ Convocation
- 2010 Sobor/Council (Stewardship Workshop)
- ACRY Convention
- Diocesan Education Conference
- Stewardship materials and articles on our diocesan website, ACROD.ORG.
- Monthly Church Messenger articles
The Commission will conclude its 2010 educational presentations at the December 17-19 diocesan Readers and Deacons Retreat at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Johnstown.
Stewardship education will continue to be the Commission’s emphasis in 2011, with educational programs being planned for:
- Eastern, Central and Western region Lenten retreats
- Individual parishes or small groups of parishes
- Retreats for Parish Councils and Leadership
Resource II, a comprehensive, practical guide for Implementing Stewardship in the Parish is also being prepared for release in the coming year.
The Commission is testing a pilot program to offer the services of its members as on-call or even on-site resources for parishes that might benefit from Commission members’ insights when planning and implementing stewardship in their own parishes. To request this service, simply send an email to Stewardship@acrod.org.
Ms. Stephanie Betsa presented a proposal to the Stewardship Commission in which she offered her services during the summer of 2011 to provide Stewardship seminars to local parishes. This effort would also fulfill the requirements of a teaching internship for her theology major at St. Vincent College. Her proposal was well received by the Commission, and she will be working closely with Father Basil Aden to prepare her presentations. Interested parishes can place their requests for this service through Stewardship@acrod.org.
The Commission is also looking ahead to 2012, the final year of its inaugural three-year educational effort, with the release of Resource III, Beyond Ordinary Stewardship, This resource will address the topics of Capital Giving, in which the parish or diocesan community undertakes extraordinary programs, such as the building of a new place of worship, a uniquely rewarding spiritual experience, as those who have lived through such a program will tell you. The relatively recent construction of the Saints Cyril and Methodios Church at Camp Nazareth is wonderful example of extraordinary stewardship and proportional giving by many hundreds of faithful across our diocese. Also included in this category is Legacy Giving – estate planning with good stewardship in mind. And this is not only for the wealthy. Every one of us has been uniquely gifted and entrusted by a loving God to return our first-fruits to Him, even - and perhaps especially - when we depart this earthly life.
Finally, the Commission reminded itself that as the faithful of our diocese truly begin to adopt Stewardship as a Way of Life, we must be preparing a resolution for the 2012 Diocesan Council/Sobor that will reflect a new first-fruits attitude toward the support of not only our local parishes, but of our diocesan ministries and administration as well.
The Commission will meet next on February 11th at Holy Cross Orthodox Church near Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
For more information and to download stewardship resources, visit the stewardship commission webpage at stewardship.acrod.org