2015 Clergy-Laity Documents
These are all of the reports and resolutions of the 2015 Clergy-Laity at Sts. Constantine and Helen in Cleveland Heights, OH.
Minutes from the Metropolis of Pittsburgh Clergy-Laity Stewardship Report 2015
Current Committee Members:
His Eminence Metropolitan Savas
H. Steven Poulos, co-chair, N.W. Rep
Rev. Theodore Petrides, co-chair, E. Rep
Lesa Vasiliou Tustin , S.W. Rep.
_______________ , Central Rep
Fr. George Callos, Chancellor
Archon Dr. Nicholas Loutsion
Mr. Steve Sellas
Rev. George Livanos
Fr. Jim Kordaris Director of Dept.of Stewardship, Outreach and Evangelism
David Beidleman Annunciation, Lancaster
Emmanuel Economedes St. Nicholas, Bethlehem
George Spanos Holy Trinity, Camp Hill
Helen Rankin Annunciation, Columbus
John Chames Annunciation, Akron
Peter Pappas Holy Cross, Stroudsburg
Richard Warren SS. Const. & Helen, Cleveland Hghts.
Fr. Andrew Lentz
Those in Attendance: Rev. Theodore Petrides, Rev. Alexandros Petrides, Pamela Koutsaftis, Barney Powers, Harry Athanasiou, Harry Ruska, Sundy Gulu, Rev. Michael Ziebarth, Socrates kolitsos,, Sia Pope, Rev. Stephen Callos, Rev. Andrew Tsikitas, Rev. Panteleimon Maillis, Rev. Alexander Goussetis, Rev. Nicholas Halkias, Rev. Michael Ellis, Rev. Andrew Lentz, Rev. Demetrios Gardikes, Rev. Frank Milanese, Rev. Costas Keares, Rev. Matthew Moore, Anastasios, Athanasiou, Konrad ?, Thea Martin, Rev. Michael Kallaur, Ernie Sparages, George Spanos
1. Reviewed recent statistics on Orthodox Christian giving in U.S.A.
Fr. Theodore presented the statistics of a recent survey of over 2,700 Orthodox Christian families. On average, each family gives $2000 to their parish. GOA families average was $1,500. Other highlights were:
-Lower income households are more generous than higher income households percentage-wise.
-Converts give more than cradle Orthodox.
- Motivation: How do we motivate our parishioners to give? People who give because they believe in the vision give more than those who give because they think they should. People are motivated to give when their parish is doing greater social outreach, evangelism, pan -orthodox activities.
-Fr. Theodore suggested that we strive to have ministry driven parishes, parishes which make decisions based on their vision as opposed to budget driven parishes which let the budget limit what they attempt to accomplish. How do we grow our parishes? By bearing each other's burdens to create community. This increases stewardship.
2. Introduced a Webinar with Fr. Kordaris
There will be a webinar to introduce this year's stewardship program from the Archdiocesan Department for our Metropolis. It will be offered in late October or early November. Our Metropolis Stewardship committee reps will call each parish to get a roll call of who will be in attendance for the webinar.
3. Introduced Two new Programs our Stewardship Internship Program and Metropolis Stewardship Coordinator.
The purpose of the Stewardship Internship program is to help revitalize three communities within our Metropolis who are in desperate need of stewardship assistance. We will place three Seminarians or Master of Divinity students at HCHC, who will have received specialized training under the Archdiocesan Stewardship Department and parish administration professors at the school, into three parishes to work on stewardship for the summer.
The program will be funded by a stipend to be paid to the intern. The stipend will be divided equally between the Archdiocesan department of Stewardship, the Metropolis, and the Parish. A minimum stipend of $5,000 has been suggested, with host parish also offering room and board.
Tasks still needing to be accomplished are:
- Have parishes apply for the internship.
- Come to an agreement with three parishes;
- Enroll Seminarians in the program; and
- Inaugurate the program at the Metropolis with prayer asking the faithful of the Metropolis and the participating parishes to pray for its success.
The other new program we hope to begin this year is having a full-time Metropolis Stewardship Coordinator. This proposal, introduced at the Archdiocesan Stewardship committee by Archon Steve Poulos, is for the Department to hire and train someone with extensive Stewardship background to be placed in one or two of the Metropolis' of our Archdiocese for one year to help revitalize the Stewardship programs of the parishes in those regions of the country. It looks quite likely that our Metropolis will be one of those chosen. The position is listed under Orthodoxjobs.com.
5. Discussion with Fr. George Callos our Chancellor about parish councils and stewardship.
Fr. George first led us in a circle exercise designed to show us how to reveal to our parish council members and community members the extent of our true commitment and engagement in church life.
Some of Fr. George's others points were:
-Don't promote stewardship , promote volunteerism. Parish council committees don’t need to just be parish counselors.
Do you think the church is doing good work? Don’t preach, listen. People ask, “Why should I be involved , or volunteer, if I’m not heard?” ¾ of outreach is listening to parishioners.
-Work on getting your stewardship committee and parish council to do the circle exercise to evaluate the concerns/ issues of the parish and build upon existing and new ministries.
His final thought: God has made a deposit in you and he is expecting you to put that deposit to work to create more good work. It is important to help one another with these struggles. We are all here to support one another (parish-to- parish) When one of us succeeds , we all succeed. When one of us fails, we all fail. Bear one another’s burdens
Fr. Alex Goussetis added:
Credibility and transparency gives more confidence and trust to parishioners so they will give to their community. Gratitude and thanksgiving: People want to return for that feel-good experience for their stewardship.