2021 Stewardship Theme
Jesus spoke of love and showed compassion. He taught us by his example to love one another and to be compassionate toward those in need. In the Gospels, we read of the compassion of Jesus:
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick (Matthew 14:14).
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him (Matthew 20:34).
…he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34).
Compassion can often mean kindness and sympathy. In these verses, it means something deeper and much more powerful. “And he had compassion” is translated from the Greek ἐσπλαγχνίσθη (esplachNEEsthee) and comes from the root word in Greek for “guts.” In other words, it is compassion and concern that are felt in one’s guts – a compassion that is felt in a deeply physical way. Compassion felt in this way compels us to respond with love and deep concern.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus says “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him…” (Luke 10:33).
In the parable of the Prodigal Son Jesus says, But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him (Luke 15:20).
These stories reflect the love and compassion that Jesus has for his people. His compassion inspires and challenges each one of us to live compassionately.
This understanding of the full meaning of compassion in the New Testament means that another person’s suffering becomes our own suffering. Compassion in this sense can change the way we live and care for others and for our community. When we feel this physical type of compassion, we are fully and physically engaged. We serve others and care for our community with love.
To love in the way Saint Paul writes to the Christians at Corinth, when he says, “…the greatest of these is love,” means we can’t live without compassion for others. Love and compassion are not expressed only in our offerings of money and other support. Love and compassion are not something we give in order to receive something in return. Pride has no place in acts of love and compassion.
The love that Saint Paul describes in his letter to the Christians at Corinth is an expression of stewardship. Stewardship is everything we do after we say “I believe.” Stewardship is about how we live our lives and make our choices. Stewardship is about love and love is about stewardship.
Love and stewardship are inseparable when we consider God’s blessings in our life. We use God’s blessings with love and compassion for others and to honor, worship and give thanks to him.
The continuation of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre is dependent on the will of our parishioners. The stewardship program provides parishioners with the opportunity to support the church according to each person's specific circumstances and financial status. Thank you in advance for all your support of the continued operations of the parish.
Click here to access the 2021 Stewardship Form. By filling out the stewardship form, the church's files containing your information will be updated. After completing the stewardship form, please give it to a member of the parish council or mail it to the church.
If you have any questions, send an e-mail to GreekOrthodoxChurch@hotmail.com .