At our annual meeting in November, I spoke of the many opportunities which await us over the next few years: to build the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Snyder County; to make far reaching decisions to accommodate the continuing growth of Holy Trinity in State College; and to continue to develop new ministries to reach more people in Christ’s name, at home and abroad.
The one way each and every member of the parish can and does respond to these opportunities is through sacrificial giving by means of the general offering and special appeals. Approximately 90 percent of every general offering dollar stays in the parish (roughly 10% goes to support the Archdiocese and the OCA.) In addition, every dime of of special appeal offerings goes to the various ministries we support in and outside of the parish: Matthew 25, Penn State OCF, and the Dn. Jason Scholarship to name but a few.
Our 2013 budget forecasts a modest increase of 6.7% in expenses. To meet this, each of us needs to consider his personal stewardship commitment for the coming year. We won’t ask for pledge cards, and we certainly don’t have dues. But God does love a cheerful giver, and a cheerful giver gives generously.
So pray about the proportion of your income you will cheerfully, not grudgingly, give to the parish’s general offering in the New Year. Set it aside and offer it the first day of every week or month in the parish collection. God has so many more opportunities for us in the future. Our regular offerings are our way to thank Him for the many opportunities to serve Him He has already provided us, and to prepare us for the many more which await us.