The Orthodox Meaning of Giving
A pledge is simply a commitment that families make each year to their parish. The commitment is in 3 parts: an amount of money promised to be given during the year, an amount of time promised to work on parish activities and the use of specific talents with which you have been blessed to aid the parish. The pledge of these quantities is documented on a Pledge Card each year that is submitted to the church.
Why Should I Pledge?
There are several important reasons to commit to and fulfill a pledge. The first is very straightforward – each year the parish council must make a budget for the coming year to be presented and approved at the General Parish Meeting. The pledges received serve as the primary source of income planning. As the ministries and expenses of the parish are enabled by the parish giving, the pledges form the basis of planning for parish activities in the coming year.
The second, and perhaps most important reason to pledge, is concerned with the individual. Giving, like attendance at the divine services, is an important aspect of our worship as Orthodox Christians. Giving to God ought to cause great joy in the human person. Faithful people do not give begrudgingly, but rather, with great selflessness and without any hope of reward. The reward is in the act itself. It is a great expression of thanks and will in return multiply God’s grace. This is evident in Second Corinthians 9:7, where St. Paul says:” So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
The third and last reason to pledge is that it compels us to address this important facet of worship in a disciplined and thoughtful manner. As in every other aspect of life, when we promise something and fulfill it, we grow as individuals. Likewise, when we make promises to God – and fulfill them- we grow our faith and our confidence before God. We intuitively know the truth of St. James: “faith without works is dead.” God honors promises made and kept.