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From the vision of our founders in the early 1970s whose faith was strong and vibrant, we have a thriving community here in the Bayshore area of Central New Jersey. Fifty families worked, saved, and contributed to build our Church. We broke ground in 1986 and completed the first phase of our Building Program on December 18, 1988 with Door Opening ceremonies and the first Divine Liturgy by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos and Reverend Father George H. Dounelis in our new Church. Our Church was consecrated in 2007.
Today, over 400 families humbly pray and serve our growing parish and fellow parishioners, along with the Monmouth County community, in our expanded complex with a community center/gymnasium and classrooms for Sunday School, Greek Language School, and more. This all began in 1973 with the founding of the Bayshore American Hellenic Association, a dedicated group of people organized to share their common beliefs, values, language, and customs. With 88 signatures to apply to the Archdiocese to begin a Church, His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos issued a temporary charter and ratified the Interim Parish Council on July 16, 1976.
Our Stewardship Program began in 2001 and is a fair-share program. Please complete a form and pronounce yourself a Steward of Kimisis!
WHAT YOUR STEWARDSHIP SUPPORTS
These are the Kimisis Tis Theotokou ministries that are directly funded by our Stewardship Program.
A Worship Ministry nurtures the faithful through regular participation in the sacred services and holy mysteries of the Orthodox Church as expressed through the rich liturgical and hymnological inheritance known as Byzantine music, rendered in both Greek and English.
A Teaching Ministry strives to educate and inspire the faithful through the Sacred Scriptures and Holy Tradition of the Church, with great emphasis on catechetical and Greek language education, for children and adults of all ages.
A Youth Ministry develops and nurtures our children to follow in the footsteps of Christ by learning the foundations of our Faith and to live their lives in integrity, kindness and love.
A Philanthropic Outreach Ministry, under the leadership of a vibrant Ladies Philoptochos Society, fulfills the command of our Lord Jesus Christ to reach out to the sick and poor, and to serve the least of our brethren.
A Social and Cultural Ministry provides a variety of opportunities for all members of the community to volunteer and to share in activities with one another through appropriate cultural, social, and educational events that reflect the life, faith, and cultural heritage of the our Church.
A Stewardship Ministry engenders the faithful dedication of time, talent, and treasure of parishioners in support of the ministries of the Church to the glory of God.
We welcome you to our exciting community. Please join us and help to continue our growth, services, and ministry. Please email your questions to me.
Helen Antholis, Stewardship Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
You may email your form to: Helen Antholis, Stewardship Chair at email@example.com or
mail it to the Church Office at this address:
Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church
20 Hillcrest Road
PO Box 367
Holmdel, NJ 07733-0367
Questions may be referred to the Church office at 732-739-1515
2014 Stewardship Program
“A Rich Man is not one who has much but one who gives much,
For what he gives away remains his forever.”
– St. John Chrysostom
The Gifts of the Magi
The Gifts of the Magi icon presents the Wise Men offering gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Christ Child. These wealthy scholars and priests of the East endured numerous dangers, and traveled great distances to offer their treasures to Christ, the newborn king. What a beautiful and meaningful example of stewardship they set for all future generations, helping us to understand the blessing of properly using and sharing God’s gifts.
To begin with, the Magi show us a sincere desire to seek after God, searching through science, nature, and their cultural traditions to communicate with their Creator and discover His will for them, even when it was something so unexpected.
During their journey, unexpected challenges and discouraging setbacks would have been commonplace. Yet, they persevered. They overcame the difficult trials and tests of their journey, and persisted in their search for God’s truth.
When they finally met the Christ Child, they bowed down in worship. Although they were the wise men of their day, they did not allow rational to interfere with their unexpected discovery. Even when the journey surprisingly took them beyond the king’s palace in Jerusalem to the insignificant village of Bethlehem, they went forward in faith. Things did not seem as they were supposed to be. Everything seemed so astonishing and yet out of place, but with humility they entered the cave and approached the Christ Child to worship Him and offer the best of their gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Both the Magi’s faith and stewardship are worthy of imitation. By offering the best to Christ, they were forever filled with this divine encounter. Christ enriched their lives.
The Magi embody the saying of St. John Chrysostom, “The rich man is not the one who has much, but the one who gives much, for what he gives away, remains his forever.” Both the Magi and Chrysostom offer a challenging perspective of Christian Stewardship. We are called to understand that all we have in life – from life itself, to our intellectual abilities and specific talents, as well as to our faith experiences and material possessions –is a gift from God. Each of us must now act as a proper and good steward of these gifts. St. John Chrysostom highlights that true wealth comes through sharing what we have first received from God Himself. Ultimately, everything belongs to God. We are simply caretakers of His riches.
Christian Stewardship is, therefore, all about becoming good caretakers of God’s gifts. Holy Scripture teaches us that our possessions are on loan. God gives (loans) everything to us, and reminds us that one day He will ask for a detailed accounting of what we have done with these gifts. How have we used our time, our talent, and our treasure? In which ways did we use them to glorify God?
We must certainly know by now that everything we possess is temporal. How long shall we have them before God acquires them back from us? In our final days when we render to Christ what is His with interest, we can honestly experience the great joys eternity by knowing that what we gave away truly remains forever.
We are Called to Bear Fruit
At the Last Supper, as we read in Chapter 15 of the Gospel of John, Jesus instructed His disciples, “I Am the Vine; you are the branches.” He was telling us that the purpose of our abiding in Him is that we may bear fruit for God in the world. “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit…” (John 15:8).
Just as the vine bears fruit only through its branches, so Jesus has chosen to work in the world through us. We are the members of His body – the branches through which the Vine must bear fruit. We bear fruit when we serve and support God and His Church.
What is Christian Stewardship?
Christian Stewardship is…
…learning how to be a responsible and concerned caretaker of Christ’s Church; it is learning how to enjoy Church life and be happy in Church work, for in Her dwells the fullness of the Spirit of God.
…our active commitment to use all our time, talent and treasure for the benefit of humankind in grateful acknowledgment of Christ’s redeeming love.
…caring for the needs of others.
…offering one’s self to God as He offered Himself to us.
…what a person does after saying “I believe…”, as proof of that belief.
…devotion and service to God and His Church as persons, as families, as diocese/metropolis, as national Church and as Church universal.
How do I become a Steward of the parish?
Stewardship in the Orthodox Church begins at baptism (Chrismation for some) and continues throughout our life. We are united with Christ through the sacraments, or mysteries, of the Church and through our faithful offering of our entire selves to Jesus Christ. Our Archdiocese requires each parish to distinguish between voting stewards and non-voting stewards. A voting steward is over 18 years of age and turns in a signed stewardship commitment card, committing a portion of time, talent, and treasure to the Church. The Archdiocese also requires the voting steward to remain current through the year on their commitments. Keep in mind that true stewardship in the Body of Christ involves living according to His word and within His Church.
You may email your form to: Helen Antholis, Stewardship Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to the Church Office at this address:
Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church
20 Hillcrest Road
PO Box 367
Holmdel, NJ 07733-0367
Questions may be referred to the Church office at 732-739-1515
Why must I commit to give a specific amount?
As with any budget, it helps to know what we can expect so we can plan our expenditures. Pledges let us know what you can commit. Also keep in mind that your stewardship amount is kept in the strictest of confidence. However, we do compile the amounts anticipated to better plan our budget.
What if I cannot fulfill my stewardship commitment?
During the course of a year, people’s circumstances change. Your stewardship is valued because it is made out of your love for God and His Church. Please do not be concerned if you are unable to meet your stewardship commitment – we are glad you are a part of this parish. God asks only that you enter into a good-faith commitment, not a legal contract. You can make changes brought about by new circumstances (positive or negative) simply by contacting the Church office.
What is the Annual Stewardship Campaign?
The Annual Stewardship Campaign is a parish-wide process, beginning in November, to encourage regular participation in parish life through financial commitment to Christ and His Church. In addition, we pray for commitment of time and talents from every steward, including children. There are multiple ways for all ages to get involved in parish life, and involvement will only deepen one’s bond with Christ.Stewardship commitments are offered on a calendar year basis from January to December.
When does the Annual Stewardship Campaign end?
Because true stewardship is a way of life, there is, strictly speaking, never a time of year when it is ignored or forgotten. However, our goal is to have every current steward-household return a pledge card by March 31 and commit to regular, monthly payments of that pledge throughout the year.
Why does the Orthodox Church encourage annual stewardship commitments from its stewards?
The philosophy of the Orthodox Church is to take as much of the daily focus off finances as possible. By making an annual commitment, you provide the security that operating expenses of the Church will be underwritten through stewardship. This will allow us to move forward with our real work of being disciples of Christ, which includes not only evangelization and community service, but also the education, nurturance, and support of our own parish community.
What does stewardship help pay for?
Our Church is like any other parish. Children are baptized and married here. Each Sunday your Church presents a rich liturgical experience. We offer ministries that include Sunday School, Youth programs, adult education, and more.
In addition, we have expenses, including: priest and staff salaries, payroll taxes, and health insurance; facility utilities, maintenance, and insurance; administrative expenses such as office supplies, computers, printers, and copiers; and informational publications such as our web site and email campaigns. These are all expenses you would expect a thriving, growing parish to incur in getting its message out to the world.
What was the operating budget this year?
Our operating budget is approximately $440,000.00.
How much stewardship is needed to fund our operating expenses?
With 400 households supporting a $440,000 budget, average donations do not tell the whole story. Some may be able to give more, others less. Our focus should be on what each of us can afford as our fair share.
What is the best way to fulfill my stewardship pledge?
Stewardship is most appropriately understood as an obligation not unlike utilities and rent. So we encourage you to make regular, monthly payments at the same time you sit down to pay your other bills. The Church has made fulfilling your pledge so easy with a variety of payment methods: credit card, automatic bank withdrawal, payroll deduction, cash, or check. Offering envelopes are available on request from the Church Office.
What about the time and talents portion of my commitment?
There are a variety of ministries geared toward all age levels. Sunday School, adult Bible studies, Choir, Philoptochos, GOYA, food pantry, and shut-in visitation, to name a few. But, if you have a particular talent or interest not currently represented in one of our programs, we’d love to hear about it. Please contact our Church Office with questions.
Is my commitment that important?
Absolutely. We all want the Church to be there for us. If our Orthodox community is to remain healthy, we each need to contribute our fair share, understanding that the expenses and work of the Church go on whether or not we are in attendance. More importantly, demonstrating thanksgiving to God in a concrete way is the best way of going through life with an “attitude of gratitude” for all that He has given us.
November 2013 Stewardship Message
Chosen and Appointed by God to Go and Bear Fruit
By Helen Antholis
Join me in welcoming our new spiritual leader, the Very Reverend Father George Nikas. We pray for his good health and guidance as we continue our path to spiritual growth.
We also pray for the health and well-being of our beloved Reverend Father George Dounelis who has served us for so many years. May God grant him a fruitful retirement.
November is here and our thoughts turn to holiday celebrations and time with family and friends. We think of gift-giving and sharing time with others. It is also a time of giving as we think of those less fortunate. We count our blessings and give thanks. We are drawn closer to our parish and community at large.
As the Stewardship calendar year comes to an end, we think about completing our pledges to the best of our ability. If you need to know your balance, please contact me by email (email@example.com) or call Frieda Mookas, Church Secretary, at 732-739-1515.
As we approach the new year, we will embrace the 2014 Stewardship Theme of The Gifts of the Magi.
Our icon for 2014 is The Gifts of the Magi and our theme is a quote from St. John Chrysostom, “A Rich Man is not one who has much but one who gives much. For what he gives away remains his forever.”
The Gifts of the Magi icon presents the Wise Men offering gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Christ Child. These wealthy scholars and priests of the East endured numerous dangers and traveled a great distance to offer their treasures to Christ, the newborn king. What a beautiful and meaningful example they set for all future generations, helping us to understand the blessing of giving. As we reflect on this beautiful stewardship icon, let us take to heart the words of St. John Chrysostom: “A Rich Man is not one who has much but one who gives much. For what he gives away remains his forever.”
2014 – A NEW YEAR; A RENEWED COMMITMENT
Begin to think about your 2014 pledge and complete an “Ongoing” Steward form or “New” Steward form. They are available in this issue of the KCU or ONLINE at www.kimisis.com.
This new year gives everyone the opportunity to simplify their gift-giving process. Stewards now have the option to donate online with a credit card or debit to their bank savings or checking account. Simply go to www.kimisis.com and click on GIVE ONLINE. Follow instructions to set up a private account with your email address and select the Stewardship Fund. Several people have started using the service and have found it safe, convenient, and effective. Some give a one-time gift in full; others select recurring options for monthly giving. You decide what works best for you.
You may also donate stocks to fulfill your commitment. Contact Tom Protentis, our Treasurer, or the Church Secretary, 732-739-1515 for more information.
STEWARDSHIP COMMITMENT IS REQUIRED TO RUN FOR PARISH COUNCIL OR TO VOTE.
To be considered a steward in good standing and be able run for or vote in the Parish Council Elections or at the General Assembly, your Stewardship commitment must have been 75% completed by October 31. Please send your check to the Church Office or go online to make a secure credit card or debit donation.
STEWARDSHIP COMMITMENT DUE DATES
UPR: Section 4: A parishioner in good standing and duly enrolled in the Parish Record but delinquent in his or her Parish stewardship obligations for the current year may vote in the election by meeting his or her stewardship obligation prior to the election, unless Parish Bylaws have established alternate deadlines in this regard. If a Parishioner is delinquent for more than the current calendar year, he or she may vote in the Parish Council elections only if he or she has met his or her unfulfilled stewardship financial obligations at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the elections.
Kimisis By-Laws: To be considered a steward in good standing and be able run for or vote in the Parish Council Elections or at the General Assembly, your Stewardship commitment must be 75% completed by October 31. A Stewardship Commitment form must be submitted by March 31 of the current year.
UPR: Section 5: A new parishioner of the Parish may vote in the election if he/she has become a member in good standing at least three (3) months prior thereto.