Giving: The Old Fashioned Way.
When I visited the Near East my guide pointed out large tracks of land, olive orchards and farms that were the property of the Church. He also showed me apartment buildings, a hotel and even a factory that the Church owned. He explained that this was the primary source of income for the Church and funds from these enterprises were distributed by the Bishop to the local parishes. After recovering from my initial surprise at the Church running farms, managing real estate and manufacturing consumer goods, I chuckled at the image of my parish doing this back home.
I'm so glad that St. George Church doesn't own an apple orchard in Franklin, a string of motels along Rt.1 or a cement factory in Millis. We don't own a farm, and the Bishop doesn't send us money. I'm also glad that we don't depend on other people's labor or commerce to finance the needs of our own parish. Here at St. George we fund things the old fashioned way; we pay for it ourselves. It's great to be self sufficient and sustainable.
Each year every parishioner of St. George Church is asked to make a commitment of financial support to the Church. Our financial commitment is part of our requirement for membership in the parish. Parish membership implies that we participate in the Liturgical life of the parish, receive the Sacraments and make a financial commitment to the Church. In order to achieve a sound and solvent financial picture with a balanced budget, it is essential that everyone contribute honestly and generously. Our financial support of the parish is not an option, it is a responsibility. We are each asked to prayerfully consider the amount of money we intend to offer in thanksgiving for the many blessings we enjoy; including the fact that our church does not have to operate orchards, motels or factories. Because we love God and recognize all He is doing in our lives, we donate an honest portion of our wealth to support His community. God expects that our level of support is proportionate to the gifts and blessings we have received.
The mission of the Church and the success of St. George parish are impossible without our loving and generous support. Our Commitment Program offers us a truly Christian way of giving. An open and freewill monetary gift is the best way for us to support the parish and meet our financial obligations. Our gift is a symbol of the love and gratitude we have for St. George Church and the faith we place in our mission. We give generously because we believe in the mission and work of the parish. The wise use of the gifts and talents God has given us makes it possible for St. George parish to live up to its vocation as the Body of Christ. Because of our monetary gift of support, we are able to minister, to teach and to heal in this challenging world.
We have designated Sunday the 24th of January as 'Commitment Sunday' at St. George. It will be a day to recognize and celebrate the support and generosity of our parishioners. We hope that by then everyone has made their commitment of financial support for 2010.
Everyone has received the 2010 Commitment Form along with Commitment letters urging a generous response, we are grateful to those who have made a monetary commitment and urge those who have not to please complete and return the form today. Duplicate forms are available at the ushers stand or the church office. May God continue to Bless us in all good things.