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Every year on Palm Sunday, a special Patriarchal tray offering is conducted in Antiochian parishes. The Palm Sunday special tray collection is for the benefit of the Patriarchate of Antioch, and is used at the discretion of the Patriarch to benefit people, churches, and programs of the Patriarchate of Antioch in the Middle East.
Now, more than ever, this material support is crucial, as our brothers and sisters in Syria are suffering such great hardship because of the violence that has gripped the country.
A significant portion of the funding that is required by the Archdiocese comes from the assessments and Special Trays which are paid by each parish to the Archdiocese on an annual basis.
Beginning in 2006, the Archdiocese implemented a new Proportional Giving System for parish contributions. With this new system, a parish contributes a percentage of the total parish income that it realized in the previous year. Certain allowable deductions (such as mortgage payments and charitable contributions) are subtracted from the total income before the percentage calculation is made. The percentage that is currently in effect is 10%. Under the new system, parishes with fewer than 50 baptized souls are expected to contribute, but missions remain exempt.
For more information go here.
The Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Stewardship's Chair Ronald Nicola taught high school social studies and served as a vice-principal for many years. A California native, he grew up attending St. Nicholas Church in San Francisco. He and his family have been members of St. John the Evangelist Orthodox Church in Orinda, California since its founding in 1978.
Ron has been active in many ministries of the Archdiocese, from SOYO to parish council to a twenty-year period of service on the Board of Trustees. Through these experiences, he developed an interest in Christian stewardship and the Scriptural teachings that guide the faithful in their offerings of time, talents, and treasure. Recently, the Department of Stewardship added two substantial resources to the web: The Fifty-Two Week Parish Giving Campaign, and the Parish Council Guidebook. The department is also responsible for the upcoming Parish Council Symposium in November.
Antiochian.org spoke with Ron about the ministry of the Antiochian Archdiocese's Department of Stewardship.
1. What is the Department of Stewardship—when was it founded, and why?
Metropolitan Philip established the Department of Stewardship in 1975 and he appointed the late Ernest Saykaly of Montreal, Quebec, as its first chairperson.
The Department of Stewardship highlights two new online sections dedicated to strengthening our parish communities.
52-Week Giving Campaign: The Campaign is a program led by the Parish Council, based on scriptural and church teachings, and not focused on the parish’s financial condition. Councils can study this Fifty-Two Week model, and then either implement the full program as outlined (a year-long teaching process) or adapt portions of the program to local parish realities. Includes a range of supporting articles.
Parish Council Guidebook: A guide to conducting the work of the Parish Council in a manner consistent with Orthodox Christian teachings and traditions. This manual is a resource for instructing Parish Councils on their lay ministry, and training new Parish Council Members. Includes supporting articles from Metropolitan Philip and Archbishop Joseph.
The department has just released online two very important documents for your parish to download, review, field test and comment on prior to official publication. (Some referenced articles and appendices are still to be released.) These pilot projects should prove vital to your local Stewardship efforts:
A Parish Council Guidebook (PDF): Conducting the work of the Parish Council in a manner consistent with Orthodox Christian teachings and traditions. This manual is a resource for:
- Instructing Parish Councils on their lay ministry.
- Training new Parish Council Members.
A Fifty-Two Week Parish Member Giving Campaign (PDF): A program led by the Parish Council, based on scriptural and church teachings, and not focused on the parish’s financial condition. Councils can study this Fifty-Two Week model, and then:
- Implement the full program as outlined; a year-long teaching process.
- Adapt portions of the program to local parish realities.