What does money have to do with salvation?
Isn't the whole-burnt offering an archaic, wasteful practice?
Can tithing be understood as a Church tax?
Isn't almsgiving simply giving a few spare coins to one in need?
Shouldn't parish fundraising use a ministry-centric approach?
An interview with Dr. Andrew Geleris, author of the forthcoming book Money and Salvation: An Invitation to the Good Way, challenges many of these notions after his study of Scripture challenged him.
After listening to the podcast, consider these questions:
Continue the conversation by joining the Summer Stewardship Series, August 2021.
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Rev. Dr. John Panagiotou, author of The Path to Oikonomia with Jesus Christ as Our Lighthouse, shares a powerful framework for stewardship that arises from the Old and New Testaments as well as patristic and liturgical writings. He discusses:
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The Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) Summer Leadership Institute trains nearly fifty college students each year to serve their local campuses through OCF. Applicants to this program demonstrate a heart for service, desiring to "give back" to the OCF ministry that has had such a positive impact on them. Students explore what it means to be an Orthodox Christian as a leader in OCF, the Church, and the world. They are challenged through Christ's teaching to avoid ego-driven leadership, and instead take on the mindset of servant leadership, including a practice of generosity through the resources of their first jobs. As students explore the diverse Orthodox practices and cultures, they grow more united as the body of Christ and together take on some of the most pressing social issues we face in America.
As college graduates launch their careers, their first employers readily harness the value of those who received leadership training and practice in teamwork through service on the OCF Student Leadership Board. But are our parishes so quick to harness the gifts of these students? Christina offers some suggestions to both parish leaders and young emerging leaders to create opportunities for those capable college graduates who desire to serve the Church.
Christina Andresen, Director of Ministries for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, shares how student leaders are trained to serve OCF ministries on their college campuses. She will be a featured speaker at the upcoming National Orthodox Advanced Leadership Conference which will focus on Investing in Emerging Leaders.
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Fr. Luke Veronis shares the story of how his parish trusted in the Lord's provision. Rather than clinging to the last few resources dwindling from their bank account, they accepted the challenge to "Be the Church" by sharing the resources God had provided to global, national, and local missions and ministries. A few years later, as the Church approached its centennial celebration, they invested the Lord's provision by distributing $30,000 cash among their parishioners and sent them to the highways and byways to give to those in need.
Fr. Luke bases his ministry on the Lord's word to Abram found in Genesis 12:2, "I will bless you, so that you will be a blessing."
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Fr. Robert Holet, DMin, author of The First and Finest: Orthodox Christian Stewardship as Sacred Offering, outlines the stewardship cycle: