UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
UOC Stewardship Advisory Committee Meets to Develop New Stewardship Program
On Saturday, August 8th, the hierarchs called forth the newly-established Stewardship Advisory Committee of the UOC of USA, to formally launch this work. His Eminence Metropolitan Antony opened the meeting with a prayer commending to the Lord the work of the Committee and our broader stewardship efforts as a Church, and offered thoughtful remarks about the need to grow our understanding and practice of stewardship in the Church today, and the great potential that it holds for the entire Church. His Grace Bishop Daniel, as President of the Consistory, also committed his personal support and the resources of Consistory to the work of the Committee. Participants in the meeting also included Fr. Robert Holet, Director of the Consistory Office of Stewardship, Steve Revucky of St. Vladimir’s Cathedral in Philadelphia, Pa., Stephanie Romedio of the Ss Peter and Paul parish in Youngstown, Ohio, Charles Sanderson of Four Evangelists mission in Bel Air, Maryland, and Lisa Ryan, of Ss Peter and Paul in Carnegie, Pa. Mark Host of St. Vladimir’s Cathedral in Parma, Ohio participated in the meeting by phone.
The first task of the Committee was to draft a statement to serve as a summary of its vision and mission:
“The Stewardship Advisory Committee serves the parishes and faithful of the UOC of the USA by promoting sound principles and practices of Orthodox Christian stewardship in the Church, by providing information and support to the parishes, clergy, lay leaders and members of the Church, enabling us to fulfill our stewardship calling - returning to God in gratitude His bountiful gifts of time, talent, treasure and trust which He has bestowed upon us. “
Fr. Holet offered a PowerPoint presentation titled, ‘The Stewardship Cycle’, which explained how we, as Christians, engage personally as stewards response to God’s blessings. The spiritual principles of Christian stewardship also serve as a basis for the way that Orthodox parish communities exercise their stewardship responsibilities. The Committee members shared personal experiences about their efforts to promote stewardship in their parishes, and the development of financial offering approaches, parish ministries and evangelization efforts at the parish level. The consensus was affirmed that a sound program to promote stewardship across the UOC should be formed, based on existing resources, which can be made available broadly to everyone in the Church. The Committee, with the guidance of the hierarchs, will be working simultaneously on several dimensions of this new UOC program, including the Content, Program Organization (Manual), and Delivery methods. As stated in the Sobor resolution, the promotion of a new stewardship approach will require a review of the financial implications of such an approach, so that it will be fully in harmony with the UOC constitution and can be implemented effectively in local parishes. This will be a key focus of the effort of our hierarchs in the development of the Program. The UOC program will foster support to individuals and parishes, through personal contacts, as well as the utilization of online capabilities such as a dedicated website and webinars. Materials and content will developed for use in all of our parishes, including those that utilize, primarily, the Ukrainian language.
The Committee has a lot of work to do! But the Stewardship Advisory Committee is committed reviewing and compiling materials into a draft program by the end of this year. The subsequent work to begin in 2016, will be to identify several parishes who are willing to participate in a UOC stewardship parish-level pilot program. Based on the feedback of those pilot programs, the Church-wide program will be completed for presentation to the entire Church at the Sobor in October 2016. In the meantime, to initiate a broad educational effort, the Consistory will disseminate a series of UOC Stewardship Brochures on key topics that speak to Orthodox Stewardship, including those special insights into the topic that emerge from the Ukrainian spiritual tradition.
Because the work of stewardship is mission of the entire Church, we look to all of our UOC members to consider ways that we all can contribute our gifts in support of this work of the Church. If you would like to participate in this exciting effort, or would like to get more information on implementing a stewardship program in your parish, please contact Fr. Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also commend to your thoughts and prayers the work of the Stewardship Advisory Committee.